Dr Jeannie Higgins

PhD (Clinical Psychology), BA Hons, MAPS

Professional Background

I am a registered Clinical Psychologist under the Australian Health Practitioners Regulation Agency (AHPRA) and a full member of the Australian Psychological Society (APS), the APS College of Clinical Psychologists, and a qualified yoga and meditation teacher (Yoga Australia). I meet the continuing professional development requirements of these organisations. 

I have over 43 years of experience as a mental health professional in teaching hospitals, government-funded psychological counselling services (Vietnam Veterans Counselling Service/now Open Arms), national clinical monitoring services (Commonwealth Attorney General's Dept.), non-governmental services and private practice for the past 26 years as a clinical psychologist and a community and organisational consultant in Canberra, Australia.

My clinical psychology experience encompasses working in acute psychiatry, community health, developmental disabilities, university teaching, alternative and substitute care for abused and neglected adolescents, the provision of shop front and country outreach services for war veterans and their families, relationship education and counselling, and interventions in the psychological well-being of emergency service personnel such as medical practitioners, police, nurses, fire-fighters and ambulance officers. 

I work closely with the multiple systems that impact health, social and vocational outcomes. I also provide professional staff training, mentorship, health facilitation and practical support to individuals, families, groups and local, national and international organisations that facilitate the knowledge, wisdom and resources of vulnerable people.

My doctoral work (Ph. D - Psychology) involved successfully developing a theory of traumatic stress reactions in the police that was then empirically tested in both cross-sectional and longitudinal ways on 750 NSW police. I have presented this work and its implications in international, national, state and regional forums.

Here is a link to my doctoral work if you want more detail.


In a previous role as a Senior Psychologist with the Commonwealth Attorney Generals Department, I was part of a specialist team of psychologists who were responsible for monitoring and improving the quality of counselling services provided by family and marriage agencies across Australia. This work involved clinical evaluation of counselling and supervisory models and methods and piloting a preventative family skills program to address issues of intergenerational trauma and help prevent child abuse and neglect.

You are most welcome to look in more detail at my CV (Jeannie Higgins CV.pdf), which also includes vocational roles and consultancies, a selected list of articles and presentations and a brief overview of my social and environmental advocacy work.

Clinical expertise

 have helped facilitate sustained transformational change in the implementation of theoretically informed best practice evidence-based treatment interventions in:

1 Severe clinical presentations across various disorders, including traumatic stress, bereavement and grief reactions, chronic illness and pain, anxiety, depression, eating disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorders (OCD), substance abuse, relationship dysfunction and the psycho-social management of psychotic disorders.

2 The facilitation of post-traumatic evolution and growth, including:

  • Adjustment and recovery following acute injury
  • Interpersonal and systemic interventions in the well-being of couples, parents, children, groups and organisations
  • Menopause and mid-life issues in women
  • Pregnancy and childbirth transitions 
  • Responsible conflict resolution, assertion and social skills training
  • Successful prevention, management and intervention in severe occupational distress
  • Motivational analysis and enhancement
  • Effective interventions for body image and self-worth issues
  • Later life transitions including life review and integration of ageing, retirement, illness, bereavement and death.
  • Staff training and supervision in sustained lifestyle change

I received referrals from multiple sources, including distressed and hurt people and their families and friends, general practitioners, medical specialists, legal representatives, other health and rehabilitation providers, organisational case workers, academics and various other community gatekeepers of well-being such as teachers, coaches, ministers, police and hairdressers.  

Published books

I have published two books:

  1. “Evolve with trauma: Become your own safe, compassionate and wise friend” is a relevant and accessible self-help resource for traumatised people and their supporters. The book has a question and answer style allowing the reader to more fully understand and learn to respond, rather than react, to the pervasive consequences of traumatising experiences.
  2. "I am more than my trauma, pain and loss” is a free electronic gift of exquisite photographs of animals, plants and landscapes and gentle and uplifting words. This work intends to lightly and deeply remind you, even for a moment, of a life beyond what may have left you in fragments.
  3. These two publications are complementary and designed to be a small part of helping you recognise, truly respond, integrate and grow with and beyond what has happened to you.

These two publications are complementary and are designed to be a small part of helping you recognise, truly respond, integrate and grow with and beyond what has happened to you.  

These publications are available from www.evolvewithtrauma.com 

 © J Higgins 2021 e: jeannie@higginspsych.com.au