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Siobhan Reddel

Our Staff - In Detail

Dr Siobhan Reddel

Dr Siobhan Reddel

GP and Sensory Medical Psychotherapist

BA (Hons, Medallist) MBBS (Hons) MIMH MAppEpid FRACGP

As a skilled psychological medicine practitioner who specialises in nervous system regulation, I see clients who present with a myriad of physical and/or mental health symptoms. Their issues have often been difficult to diagnose or treat with traditional approaches. Physical complaints can include: chronic pain or headaches, gut problems, and/or more specific concerns such as tics or unusual rashes. Many clients present with accompanying anxiety and/or depression, or more formal diagnoses of somatic symptom or post-traumatic stress disorder. This clinical approach is also effective for people who have phobias, emotional dysregulation/recurrent problematic relationship patterns, addiction issues, eating disorders or ADD/ADHD (and are wanting to minimise or wean off medication).

I work to help a client resolve their current symptoms and triggers, whilst simultaneously addressing underlying problematic nervous system responses (such as being excessively aroused/vigilant or alternatively being shut down). This enables the client to respond in a more regulated way to future challenges.

My therapeutic style addresses trauma stored deep in the mind and body’s implicit (procedural and emotional) memory, using a somatic psychotherapy approach that enables direct work with the clients’ senses and nervous system.

Much of this therapy is undertaken with the client in a relaxed or mild hypnotic state, whilst remaining fully responsive and actively working in the session. This fosters a safe space for clients to start to re-regulate their own nervous systems and enables us to progress at a pace that they are ready for.

Being an experienced integrative GP complements my approach, so we can comfortably work with your physical symptoms and re-assess any management of co-contributory factors. For example past infections or injuries may have created ‘weak’ points in your nerves, muscles or organs, making them prone to excitation or inflammation and leading to your symptoms such as intolerance to food or chemicals, or pain when moving the body in certain ways. Further your body may also react in these ‘weak’ areas if triggered by emotions or stress or some other subconscious reminder of previous trauma. In such cases it may be appropriate to support the system with medications or evidence-based supplements, whilst simultaneously addressing excessive protective reactions internally with the sensory psychotherapy. However at all times I will work in conjunction with your existing health practitioners.

The amount of therapy required is variable and dependent on the condition and how ready the client is to undertake this work. Sometimes major symptoms can be shifted in as few as 2-3 sessions. More complex trauma may take a number of sessions over 10-12 months. However frequently the sessions are more condensed at the start and then become wider spaced as the client gains health and confidence with their resolving symptoms.

I see clients who have a range of health issues linked to the nervous system being overwhelmed (emotionally and/or physically), including developmental issues and ‘planned’ trauma, such as surgery early in life. However importantly the actual event(s) do not need to be identified or really remembered by the client themselves.

Accompanying chronic physical complaints may include:

  • Breathlessness (unexplained)
  • Frozen shoulder
  • Headache (particularly Cluster headache or migraine or if from past injury)
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Insomnia
  • ‘Intolerance’ or borderline auto-immune conditions including Chronic Fatigue Syndrome / Fibromyalgia
  • Pain (particularly generalised pain or pain that migrates or gets worse with anticipation, including pain related to sexual intercourse or unexplained breast pain)
  • Rashes that flare with stress/emotion
  • Seizures/fainting that get worse with emotion
  • Teeth grinding / TMJ (Temporo-mandibular Joint Dysfunction)
  • Tics/Stutters

I am a specialised GP with recognition by Medicare to provide Focused Psychological Strategies. I am also a clinical hypnotist, an epidemiologist and a Somatic Experiencing (SE) candidate. I have worked in numerous community settings in different parts of Australia as well as in rural India and Pakistan, Palestine, the Philippines and Vietnam. Whilst I have practiced in a variety of medical clinics in Australia, from St Kilda to Byron Bay to Arnhem Land, a significant proportion of my work has been with highly traumatised or marginalised populations: I also have experience as a Clinical Forensic Medical Officer and in prison medicine.

I consult at the East Melbourne practice.