Dr Malcolm Winstanley-Cross

Psychologist

BA (Hons) Psychology, MA (Hons) Clinical Psychology, PhD

My name is Dr Malcolm Winstanley-Cross.

Although I was born in rural NSW, I have spent most of my life living and working in the UK, The Netherlands and the US. Through this experience I have gained a first-hand experience of issues of cultural adjustment. I don’t think I really understood my own culture until I was required to negotiate another. I am a relative newcomer to Melbourne, having moved here about 2 years ago from San Francisco.

I am a Registered Psychologist with AHPRA’s Psychology Board of Australia and a Chartered Counselling Psychologist with the British Psychological Society, UK. My formal training began with a B.A. in Psychology and Welfare at Charles Sturt University, and B.A. (Hons) Psychology from the University of Wollongong. I then progressed to the M.A. (Hons) Clinical Psychology at the same university before moving to the UK to undertake a PhD in Psychology from City, University of London. I am a Member of the Australian Psychological Society (APS) and continue to be registered with the Health Care Professions Council in the UK and a Life Member of the Division of Counselling Psychology and a Chartered Counselling Psychologist with the British Psychological Society.

I have over 30 years’ experience in clinical practice in a broad range of settings from Primary Care, working as a counsellor in a GP practice, Secondary Care as Clinical Psychologist in a specialist multidisciplinary HIV/Aids Mental Health Team, and in Tertiary Care, where I was the Psychologist across 4 secure psychiatric inpatient units.

I have always maintained my own private practice alongside many roles that have seen me working with an extraordinarily diverse range of clients who have presented with issues of equal diversity. Outside of more traditional clinical settings I have worked as a Coach and Mentor in organisational settings with executives from Banking, Retail and the Construction industry. I often say that Coaching-Mentoring isn’t Counselling, but it is personal and has a focus on the person in their professional role. Invariably however people take with them into the world of work their collective history which shapes how they see and behave in the work environment.

Anxiety

I understand anxiety as the experience of not being able to predict what will happen next. Typically, these predictions are negatively biased and can lead to catastrophising. Because we are thinking and feeling human beings and our mind and body are one whole, we can trigger physiological symptoms along with unhelpful thinking. My approach to working with Anxiety is both cognitive and behavioural. Tackling negative perceptions of the self and situation and replacing these with more adaptive and helpful thoughts is one aspect of addressing anxiety. Simultaneously I help clients learn about and engage in evidence-based relaxation training and broader behavioural change that have been proven to be associated with improved wellbeing. In Australia around 2 million people at any one time will be experiencing anxiety at a level to that would meet the threshold for a clinical diagnosis.

Depression

Approximately 1 million people are living with Depression in Australia today. Although the diagnosis of Depression might be relatively common everyone’s experience is unique. My practice is undoubtably informed by the large body of evidence that tells us what works in treating Depression. That being said, my approach is collaborative, and I work with the understanding that you can’t just pull a manual or worksheet from the shelf and expect it to be effective. Understanding the person in their context and the personal resources they can bring to bear on what can be a debilitating condition is fundamental to my approach.

Bereavement

Psychological thinking about loss and bereavement has moved well beyond historical goals acceptance of loss. The question: ‘Why are you upset by your loss?’ might seem at first sight rhetorical or grossly insensitive. The reality is, however, that the experience of loss is unique to the individual. We don’t just ‘get over’ loss, we learn from it and grow with it.

Sometimes we don’t feel anything when encountering loss, such as the death of a loved one, significant problems with our health or that or others or the end of an important relationship. In these cases, it is just as important to understand this reaction as much as it is to work with feelings of intense anger, injustice or sorrow.

Coaching

As I mentioned above, I believe that although coaching isn’t counselling, it is personal, with a focus on the person in their professional role. As a coach I do not see myself as a business consultant and rarely have the technical expertise of the person I am working with. I am however an expert in understanding how a person’s beliefs shape their performance, for example, I may work collaboratively with my clients to help them answer questions like; why do I keep pursuing the same strategies when there is evidence that they are not working or why am I not open to feedback or exhaust myself with over preparation at the cost of being responsive to rapidly changing priorities?

Areas that are often tackled in coaching are interpersonal relationships, communication peer to peer and with direct reports and the advantages and disadvantages of the client’s unique managerial style. Coaching interventions can have a narrow, single issue focus, or maybe part of a package of on-going personal and professional development.

Identity

Who are we and how are we similar and different to others? Sometimes we are confused by who we are and at other times we may be unhappy or afraid of who we might be? I have come to understand my own identity better by living and working in different contexts; such as rural and urban and in different communities, cultures and countries. Exploring your identity in a safe, non-judgmental space can be really helpful in establishing a positive understand and relationship with yourself.

Identity is complex and multilayered, we have many roles in our lives and live in differing cultures and communities. The letters LGBTQIA refer to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning, intersex, and asexual or allied. The labels are fairly comprehensive, but they might not fit an individual perfectly. Ready-made labels can be a safe place ‘to come home to’ or could be an alienating shell that accounts for just a small part of who we are. Through my own personal experiences, I believe I am uniquely positioned to understand what ‘goodness of fit’ means and the psychology and emotional needs of individuals who seek to belong. I am an experienced clinician and can help you improve your own personal understanding, confidence and well being as you better get to know yourself and become confident and comfortable with your unique self.

Areas of interest

Below you will find a more comprehensive list of the areas in which I work. Overall, I think if you asked my clients, they would describe me as warm, friendly, collaborative, non-judgmental and professional.

  • Adjustment and the challenges of relocation as an expatriate
  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Historical Bullying and its impact on current wellbeing
  • Depression
  • Optimising crisis
  • Grief
  • LGBTI issues
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorders
  • Panic
  • Phobias
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Relationship Problems
  • Marriage & Couples Counselling
  • Self-Image
  • Stress in the Workplace
  • Tragic Events
  • Trauma
  • Recovering from Abuse

Malcolm is registered with Psychology Board of Australia (AHPRA) and the Australian Psychology Society (APS).

To review Malcolm’s registration and membership details click below:

For further assistance, please email Malcolm anytime.

Articles of interest

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