Early Links Supporting Inclusion


Welcome to Early Links Psychology

Our Psychology Team is trained in different therapy styles and techniques for assessing difficulties, helping you, your child and your family understand and support individual differences.

Our approach

Psychologists at Early Links can assess intellectual functioning, learning, behaviour and attentional difficulties, and signs of developmental disorders such as autism spectrum disorder. We can also assess for anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues.

Once we understand the difficulties, we work with clients and families to develop intervention plans based on research that tells us what is most likely to work. We also tailor our interventions to work around families and fit into their busy schedules as much as possible.

What does a psychologist do?

Psychologists work to understand thoughts, emotions, and behaviours, then use therapeutic approaches to support people to adapt thoughts, emotions, and behaviours in positive and helpful ways. They work to optimise people’s performance and improve their quality of life.

Psychologists may practice clinically (directly with clients), teach others, and even work in organisations to help improve the functioning of the whole organisation.

Who can our psychologists help?

While some of our Early Links psychologists have experience working with adults and adolescents, much of our work is with children and their families. When working with children, psychologists use creative ways to help them understand difficulties and learn skills; these can even be disguised as fun games! Research shows how vital the therapeutic relationship is for positive change, so our psychologists will put in the effort to build a strong relationship with clients; for the young clients, this includes their caregivers/families.

    We then want to explore what’s going on, including doing observation sessions and watching how young people interact in their worlds. From this, we can learn what works well, what could be adapted, and understand what might motivate a young person to do certain things and behave in specific ways. This understanding is sometimes gained through formal assessment and is crucial in knowing what to change and how to bring about that change.

    Our psychologists are experienced and passionate

    We use therapies that help people understand why they are doing things and make helpful changes, supporting the development of social skills to help young people interact with others. We work closely with caregivers, helping them understand behaviours and make key changes to the management of behaviours.

    Some of our psychologists are trained in great caregiver programs such as the 123 Magic Parenting Program and Circle of Security Parenting Program. One of our biggest focuses is nurturing positive relationships between young people and their caregivers and other important people in their lives.

    Which areas do our psychologists cover?

    Aberdeen, Abermain, Bellbird, Beresfield, Bolwarra, Branxton, Cessnock, Chisholm, Cliftleigh, Dungog, East Maitland, Gillieston Heights, Greta, Heddon Greta, Hinton, Kurri Kurri, Laguna, Lochinvar, Lorn, Maitland, Morpeth, Muswellbrook, Paterson, Raworth, Raymond Terrace, Rothbury, Rutherford, Singleton, Stroud, Tarro, Telarah, Tenambit, Thornton, Vacy, Windella, Wollombi, Woodberry and more.

    Telehealth sessions are also an option if appropriate for the individual instead of face-to-face sessions.


    How do I start Psychology with Early Links?

      If you’re ready to get started or just want to find out more, you can use the form below to get in touch with us.

      We’ll be happy to answer any questions you have, explain what would be involved and tell you all about the support we can offer.

        Early Links Psychology Allied Health Assistants

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        Frequently Asked Questions

        What is psychology?

        Psychology is the study of people’s thoughts and emotions, and how these are expressed in behaviours. It is the study of the inner world (the mind) and how we interact with our external world, for example, with others. Psychology is the study of the mind, but the mind is, of course, linked with the body. We now understand that these two things cannot operate in isolation. As well as an area of study, psychology is also a profession where the principles and understanding gained through research are applied in real-life situations to support people and their mental health.

        What’s the difference between a psychologist and a therapist or counsellor?

        A psychologist denotes someone who holds registration with the appropriate health board and can use the title ‘psychologist’ as they have met all the board’s learning and training requirements. In Australia, AHPRA is responsible for regulating the profession and ensuring the standard of training for all who call themselves psychologists.

        The term therapist is used differently between countries and within Australia. Therapist may denote anyone who provides any form of therapy, e.g. occupational therapist, psychologist, or speech pathologist. The term ‘therapist’ itself is not regulated within Australia, and its use is more informal. In the US, the term ‘therapist’ may denote someone who has a similar skill set and training to someone known as a psychologist here in Australia.

        Counsellor can be used informally and in varied ways. Still, common use of the term would refer to someone who provides counselling for mental health difficulties such as depression and anxiety. Counsellors, in this sense, are not regulated by AHPRA and may have a different pathway of learning and training to a psychologist.

        Psychologists are trained to assess for and diagnose developmental and mental health disorders categorised within the DSM-5 (a diagnostic manual) and provide goal-directed interventions that are evidence-based (e.g. research has found this to be most beneficial with most people). This may differ from the role of therapist or counsellor.

        What’s the difference between a psychologist and a psychiatrist?

        A psychologist completes undergraduate and post-graduate studies (dependant on training pathway) within the field of psychology and then completes a period of supervised practice. A psychiatrist completes undergraduate training in medicine and is a medical doctor who then specialises in post-graduate training in psychiatry. A psychiatrist can prescribe medications (medically trained) while a psychologist cannot and will focus on therapeutic interventions alone. It can be helpful to have a psychiatrist and psychologist working collaboratively to support a client in many cases.

        What are the different types of psychologist?

        Different countries denote specialities of psychology in various ways; the below list provides examples but is not exhaustive. In Australia, three types of psychologist registration form the foundation of training.
        Psychologist – with general registration: Has completed undergraduate and post-graduate studies in general psychology and a period of supervised internship/practice.
        Clinical psychologist: Has completed undergraduate studies in general psychology and post-graduate studies in clinical psychology with a specialisation in complex mental health intervention.
        Provisional psychologist: Has completed studies in general psychology and is undertaking a period of supervised internship/practice, working towards registration requirements of a psychologist with general registration.

        Once registered, psychologists may undertake further studies/training to specialise in fields such as;
        Neuropsychologists: Study the brain and nervous system (including structures) and the impact on behaviour and cognition. Neuropsychologists often work with clients who have had brain injuries or surgeries and may be involved in rehabilitation.
        Educational and developmental psychologists: Specialists in development, learning, and behaviour. They may work predominantly with children but may also work with adolescents and adults, particularly in areas of career and development.
        Forensic psychologists: Conduct research and work within the legal and criminal justice systems. May work within the police or in rehabilitation settings.
        Organisational psychologists: Work within the realms of recruitment and selection, assessment and development of workforces, workplace culture, and organisational health and well-being.


        Australian Childhood Foundation:

        Emerging Minds:

        How to teach children self-control:

        Resources for ADHD:

        Understanding your child’s anxiety:

        ParentWorks free online parenting program: