Live Life More Freely and Fully:

An Interview with our Newest Practitioner – Gaby Hill!

A warm welcome to Gaby Hill, Clinical Psychologist, who will be joining the Brisbane ACT Centre team in July/August. Gaby welcomes appointments on Wednesdays and Thursdays.

Q. Tell us about yourself

I am a passionate psychologist with 23 years of clinical experience. I strive to empower my clients to live life more freely and fully; to help identify what and who is truly important to them, so they can take committed action to bring more purpose into their everyday lives. I show my clients how to take these steps even in the presence of difficult thoughts and feelings, from which they can learn to unhook and make space for over time, freeing up their options.

Q. Why did you choose a profession in Psychology?

My interest in service, helping others and psychology was sparked at a young age due to family members who are were in the helping professions, including nursing, ministry and psychology. I was very involved in student and community outreach at university. I have always felt great love and compassion towards my fellow human beings, particularly those who struggle. 

Q. Where did you receive your training?

I am originally from Cape Town, South Africa where I trained for 6 years, obtaining a Masters degree in Counselling Psychology in 1994. Our training was both comprehensive and extensive and I was fortunate to learn a variety of solid evidence based therapies, working with tiny tots through to the elderly.

After immigrating to Australia in 2007, I continued my studies to become qualified and endorsed as a Clinical Psychologist with AHPRA. I have done extensive specialist training in the area of Eating and Body Image Issues.

Q. What treatment approach do you follow?

I adapt my therapeutic approach to suit individual needs, drawing on the latest science from Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Compassion Focused Therapy and Mindfulness, together with Positive Psychology and Interpersonal Therapy. 

Q. Do you have any areas of special interest that get you excited?

Very much so! I have a special interest in helping people with eating issues feel more comfortable and relaxed in their relationship with food and body image.  My focus is on helping clients reach their highest goals through strategies that nourish, not punish. 

Specific areas of special interest in this area are:

  • Weight issues (including people considering or having gone through bariatric surgery)
  • Overeating, emotional and compulsive eating
  • Binge eating and bulimia
  • Body image and self esteem challenges
  • Self care and healthy habits

Q. What makes ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy) your favourite therapy of choice?

I find ACT extremely effective as it allows you to quickly let go of unhelpful struggle with your thoughts. You don’t have to get rid of your thoughts or all the stories in your head before you can get on with the things that are important and meaningful to you in your life. ACT skills allow you to become more aware and flexible with the thoughts, stories, beliefs and feelings that can keep us stuck in a place of misery and suffering. As you learn how to defuse or unhook from difficult thoughts, and learn skills to better handle difficult feelings, we can hold them just a bit more lightly, and live more fully. I deeply connect with the ACT emphasis on self-kindness, caring more gently for ourselves and others.

ACT skills also allow us to clarify our Values – what and who is important to you? What kind of life do you want to lead? ACT allows us to notice which behaviours don’t serve us well, and can keep us stuck doing the same thing over and over again. It allows us to see clearly that we truly do have a choice, and that instead of struggle with suffering we can take effective action here and now in a direction that will allow us to lead a richer more meaningful life. ACT skills offer us the tools to walk the path we would choose to walk, and we often discover surprising new directions and grow our lives along the way!

Want to Learn More?

Book an Appointment with One of Our Expert Brisbane Psychologists or Therapists.