Why I Do What I Do

Like many others, I got into the field of psychology as I wanted to make a positive difference in this world. I find true meaning in the work that I do. Truthfully, there are few other experiences I’ve found in life more humbling and fulfilling than to see someone overcome tremendous pain and adversity and come out the other side more happy and whole.

This passion continues to drive my desire to push myself into being the best psychologist I can be.

I spend a fair bit of time staying up to date with the latest innovations in psychological treatment. Specifically, what makes for more effective treatment. I meet with a senior colleague at least fortnightly and often weekly to review videotapes of my own work with clients (where consent has been obtained to do so) and outside of this review videotapes of my own work individually. I believe this leads to better outcomes than simply discussing my work at a theoretical level and looking back at my case notes.

I have been trained in a variety of effective therapies such as cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT).

I’ve spent the last seven years focusing on Intensive Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapy (ISTDP), a type of therapy that aims to get to the root cause of a person’s psychological difficulties and help them understand, process and control their feelings better. This in turn leads to increased emotional health, self-esteem and improved relationships with others.


  • Bachelor of Psychology (First Class Honours) – Griffith University 2008
  • Doctor of Psychology (Clinical) – Griffith University 2012
Griffith University
Dr Jamie Barnier

How I Practice

My main therapeutic focus is Intensive Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapy (ISTDP). ISTDP attempts to address the root cause of a person’s difficulties. A lot of the difficulties that we face are internal (meaning they come from within us) and are often covered by hidden (or unconscious) barriers or defences that can interfere with our recovery and quality of life.

Another way of looking at it is that people often have an awareness of the things contributing to their problems (for example, drug use, excessive eating, unhealthy relationships) but simply having a knowledge about what is contributing to the problem does not help you overcome it or lead to lasting change. There are hidden barriers getting in the way. Simply put, you can’t change what you can’t see.

ISTDP seeks to make you aware, both cognitively and emotionally of these hidden barriers so that you can move forward in your life and become unstuck. ISTDP has been around since the 1960s and is widely practiced in North America and Europe. Importantly, it is an evidence-based therapy which means that it has a lot of research showing that it is effective across the full range of psychological and psychiatric presentations.

Dr Jamie Barnier

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