Get to know Kate Davies, Psychologist
Kate Davies is a warm, compassionate, and highly empathic psychologist at Inlight Psychology, Bondi Junction. She has a Masters in Clinical Psychology (UTS) and works with a variety of presentations, including anxiety, mood, relationships, emotion regulation difficulties and interpersonal difficulties. Kate also has an interest in family, parenting, and attachment issues, as well as perinatal and postnatal difficulties. Her approach is values driven, with a firm belief in the potential and adaptability of all human beings.
Interview conducted by Sara Simenson, UNSW psychology undergraduate completing an internship at Inlight Psychology.
Do you believe that nature or nurture impacts developmental trajectory? The question that is as old as time itself! As human beings we are hard-wired to seek certain things (connection, safety, and ultimately, survival). In typically-developing people, we also reach developmental milestones in a fairly predictable manner in our early years. We have plenty of research evidence and personal anecdotes (or for some of us, lived experience) telling us that these natural processes are greatly impacted by the kind of environment we grow up in, and the experiences we have in the course of our development. My overall belief though, is that nature and nurture are not synonymous entities. Rather, our genetic makeup is continually shaped by our families, our relationships, our experiences, our interpretations, and our actions. What is a tool that someone can practise at home when they are feeling overwhelmed? Never underestimate the helpfulness of breath. Slow, controlled breathing (breathing in through the nose for at least 4 counts, pause, and exhaling through the mouth for at least 6 counts) helps to override the fear response that is often associated with overwhelm. When we are distressed, we have a tendency to shallow breathe, contributing to respiratory alkalosis from excess carbon dioxide. Deep breathing can restore the oxygen that is needed at such times and can support a person to reconnect to the present moment. How do you think pregnancy changes someone’s outlook on life? The prospect of bringing new life into the world brings up so many questions, fears, hopes, and dreams. We all experience this differently. For me, it made me keenly aware of how every human is someone’s baby, and how precious each and every one of us is. What is an important experience in your personal life that has shaped you as a psychologist? I experienced the death of a very close family member at the commencement of my clinical training. I cannot put words to the scale of my grief and how it coloured every facet of my life at that time. Despite this, I made a commitment to honour this person by making the most of the opportunities that they no longer had. Learning to sit with clients in their darkest moments, while I was learning who I was and what my life would be without my family member, was one of the most frightening, humbling, and beautiful experiences of my life. I am so appreciative that I can honour what grief has given me, so that I can extend that gift to my clients. Can you please explain you experience changing careers to become a psychology. How did your previous experience affect your role as a psychologist? I am deeply fascinated by people, the mind, and behaviour. I also felt drawn to the idea that I could work in space that supports others and encourages healing and growth. Looking back, I think I always wanted to be a psychologist but wasn’t sure how to go about it. I decided to study human resources so that I could work with people; however, it become apparent after graduating and working for a few years, that I was not fulfilled by the work that I was doing. Some organisations really value development of their people, but my experiences generally saw their staff as an overhead to be minimised. I made the decision to become an organisational psychologist, so that I could marry my business skills to my passion for understanding minds. However, after only a few shifts volunteering at Lifeline during my undergraduate studies, I realised my skills were steering me toward clinical work. I consider myself so fortunate to have been able to pursue this dream, and every day reminds and affirms why I do this. My clients are so generous and courageous, and it’s the ultimate privilege to walk alongside them in their journey toward an enriched life.
INLIGHT PSYCHOLOGY | BONDI JUNCTION
If you are thinking about speaking to a psychologist about any difficulties you may be experiencing, Inlight Psychology is here to help. The clinic is situated in the heart of Bondi Junction, with large rooms and beautiful views. We have a lovely team of warm and compassionate psychologists, all with tertiary qualifications in Clinical Psychology.
If you would like to learn more about the team at Inlight Psychology, click here.
If you would like to book an appointment, please don’t hesitate to contact Inlight Psychology on (02) 8320 0566 or firstname.lastname@example.org.