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Diabetes Clinical Psychology


Diabetes and Mental Health Education and Training

 Our diabetes and mental health presentations, seminars and workshops are developed in-house and are based on up-to-date research and practice knowledge. We deliver positive and empowering education with supporting materials on a wide range of topics related to psychological wellbeing and diabetes. We also develop and deliver continuing professional development (CPD) on diabetes and mental health, and have worked with a number of peak bodies such as the Australian Diabetes Educators Association (ADEA), the Dietitian Association of Australia and the Diabetes and Mental Health Network (Sydney chapter). Our education is suitable for delivery in schools (both for teachers, support staff and students), primary and tertiary care workshops, conferences, and peak body meetings. We also present to support groups of people with diabetes.


Get in touch today to ask us about delivering training, contributing to resource development, blogs, articles, books and forums. If you can't see the topic you are looking for, don't hesitate to approach us with a suggestion!


Popular Topics:

Supporting children with diabetes
  • Explore the emotional challenges for children and adolescents growing up with diabetes

  • Gain insight into how you can support children and adolescents with diabetes to transition well to independent self-management

  • Learn about what helps children and adolescents to thrive with diabetes

  • "Diabulimia" in a media-coined term referring to an eating disorder in which people with type 1 diabetes give themselves less insulin than they need, or stop taking insulin altogether in order to lose weight.

  • Learn about warning signs, screening, assessment and treatment for this condition

Diabetes in schools
  • Understand the experience of managing diabetes in a school setting from the perspective of children and adolescents

  • Learn about common diabetes-related adjustment issues which come up in schools 

  • Take away strategies to help children with diabetes thrive in your classroom

Managing fear of hypoglycemia
  • Review the psychology of fear of hypoglycemia

  • Learn about how anxious emotion and fear affects your body and mindset

  • Learn about how your mindset can influence your behaviours and choices

  • Review the best strategies to overcome fear of hypoglycemia when it becomes an obstacle

Keys to resiliency with diabetes
  • Explore strategies for building resilience and psychological flexibility  with diabetes

  • Learn about Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and how it applies to life with diabetes

  • Fill your toolkit with strategies to manage distressing thoughts and feelings so you can boost your resilience and wellbeing

Family and friends in diabetes care
  • 'I get by with a little help from my friends': how family/peer support shapes life with diabetes

  • Learn about which strategies work best to support the people you know with diabetes to be well and live well

  • Learn about forms of 'support' which cause conflict or unintended negative reactions, and how to overcome this


Popular Continuing Professional Development topics:

Psychological screening and referrals
  • Using  diabetes-specific psychological screening tools in your practice

  • Validated anxiety, depression and other general mental health screening tools

  • Common diabetes-related referral questions, case examples, and treatment options

  • Gauging psychological referral readinness

Empowering people with diabetes
  • Interpersonal styles: how your style influences the patient-provider interaction

  • The influence of patient style on appointment attendance, information uptake and requests, treatment readiness and 'compliance'

  • Use what you learn to maximise rapport and empower people with diabetes to self-care

Self-care to prevent burn-out
  • Improve self-awareness of your early warning signs of work-related stress and burn-out

  • Review proven methods for gaining balance in all spheres of your life: physical, psychological work-related and social

  • Self-nurturing practices for busy clinicians

  • Incorporation of debriefing into your practice

Diabetes and mental health
  • Review the bi-directional relationship between diabetes and mental health

  • Get the latest research on distinguishing between diabetes distress and depression

  • Learn about psychological management and treatment approaches for diabetes-related mental health issues 

Suicide screening and risk assessment
  • Review risk factors for suicide

  • Managing clinician anxiety around suicide risk and screening

  • Learn best practice risk of harm screening for suicidal ideation and deliberate self-harm, including an overview of screening tools

  • How to - screening follow-up and referrals

Diabetes and behaviour change
  • Learn about Motivational Interviewing, a framework for clinical conversations aiming to facilitate and engage intrinsic motivation to change behaviour change with diabetes

  • Apply these skills using case examples

  • Review the 'who and when' of applying these skills in your clinical practice


Our consultants in the media


Diabetes and Mental Health Research involving Our Team


Authors: Robins, Lisa, Jill Newby, Kay Wilhelm, Jessica Smith, Therese Fletcher, Trevor Ma, Adam Finch, Lesley Campbell, and Gavin Andrews

Study title: Internet-delivered cognitive behaviour therapy for depression in people with diabetes: study protocol for a randomised controlled trial

Journal: BMJ Open Diabetes Research and Care 3, no. 1 (2015): e000144

 In 2015, our clinician Lisa Robins helped to run a national study on internet-delivered depression treatment for people with diabetes. Click on the PDF below to read our research paper on how the study was designed and set-up.


 In 2017 the main results of the national study on internet-delivered depression treatment for people with diabetes were published. Click on the PDF below to read about the study results - including the positive outcomes for people with diabetes who received the intervention, and what the limits were for this research.


Study title: Web-Based Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Depression in People With Diabetes Mellitus: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Authors: Newby, Jill, Lisa Robins, Kay Wilhelm, Jessica Smith, Therese Fletcher, Inika Gillis, Trevor Ma, Adam Finch, Lesley Campbell, and Gavin Andrews

Journal: Journal of Medical Internet Research 19, no. 5 (2017)

Authors: Wilhelm, Kay, Jaya Reddy, Joanna Crawford, Lisa Robins, Lesley Campbell, and Judy Proudfoot

Study title: The Importance of Screening for Mild Depression in Adults with Diabetes

Journal: Translational Biomedicine (2017)

 Mild depression is often overlooked, but our research findings from 2017 suggests that addressing mild depression provides a potential avenue for preventing clinical depression in people with diabetes. For more detail about this study and it's results, click on the PDF below.


 Do you think that a therapy with creative expression might be more your style? For her PhD, psychologist Joanna Crawford is looking at the potential for writing about positive thoughts and feelings about living with diabetes to lead to positive change.  Click on the PDF below to read about her study.


Study title: Writing for Health: Rationale and Protocol for a Randomized Controlled Trial of Internet-Based Benefit-Finding Writing for Adults With Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes

Authors: Crawford, Joanna, Kay Wilhelm, Lisa Robins, and Judy Proudfoot

Journal: JMIR research protocols 6, no. 3 (2017)