Dr. Andrew Roberts
Expert in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
MBBS, RANCP, Cert C&A Psych, BA/BSc
Availability: From February 2019. Fridays 8 AM – 5 PM.
I have worked in a wide variety of settings with a broad age range of people. As a result of this experience I came to an appreciation that the ability to develop and maintain relationships is one of the most important factors in coping with any type of distress or illness. For most people it is also an important part of living a rich life. I have worked with children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder and their families in many settings.
I have been influenced by neurodevelopmental, evolutionary, attachment, mentalization, and psychodynamic models but ultimately come from a humanist psychology perspective in my work. ACT’s non-judgmental empathic but optimistic approach fits very naturally within this perspective. Every person and family is different in a myriad of ways so I aim to individualize treatment rather than have a single approach to problems. I use medication when indicated in a cautious and considered manner.
There is now an extensive existing and expanding body of research that confirms how important the earliest years of life are in terms of people’s longer-term social and emotional development. Thankfully, this research is starting to impact public policy. I see the importance of alleviating current distress in children and parents but also see that early intervention is extremely valuable in prevention of serious mental health problems in the future. I thus enjoy working with parents and carers who, for any number of complicated reasons, are struggling with this role, and also with infants and children who are having a difficult time. I am happy to start seeing parents antenatally. As a parent myself, I appreciate the stresses and demands of this from personal experience. I believe that if we can try to see the world through the child’s eyes, we understand and connect with them more closely, which is a profound and life affirming experience for both parent and child. In most cases I work with both the child and their caregivers but I also really enjoy working with children individually in certain situations
In addition to a range of individual and biological factors, I consider the different systems a child is simultaneously enmeshed in, from the most intimate home system moving outward to the larger school system and the most expansive system which is society and culture. Each of these systems inevitably interact with and influence each other in every aspect of the child’s life.
While it may be obvious that a child’s brain is always changing and growing, I also takes great heart in the increasing scientific understanding of neuroplasticity, the ability of the brain and hence the mind to change and adapt throughout the lifespan. I have found ACT to be a very helpful framework to focus on what is important to each individual and to work towards a rich and meaningful life despite past events and the inevitable difficulties, losses and setbacks we are faced with, including serious mental illness.
Apart from private work, I enjoy working publicly as a psychiatrist for the Queensland Perinatal and Infant Mental Health Service and delivering telehealth to regional and remote areas of Queensland.
Areas of Interest
- Infant and Perinatal Psychiatry
- Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
- New parents (mothers/fathers/carers)
- Complex trauma in children and adults
- Children and Adolescents in the care of the Adult Guardian
- Childhood sleep disorders
- Bipolar Affective Disorder
Would you like to Book An Appointment with Andrew?
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