Lissa Johnson – Retired

Former Practice Director

Lissa was practice director from 2003 – 2024. Her qualifications are a PhD in Psychology and a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology, from the University of New South Wales. She also has a Bachelor of Arts in Media Studies, and a Bachelor of Behavioural Science (Psychology and Psychobiology), with an Honours thesis in Psychoneuroimmunology, which focussed on the interaction between inflammation, cytokines, diet and stress.

Lissa provided counselling and therapy for 30 years and ran the psychology practice for 20 years.

In 2024, Lissa handed leadership of the practice to Connie Terzis who has been with the practice for 15 years. Both Lissa and Connie care very deeply about the clients of the practice. Connie carries forward the practice’s commitment to bringing together a team of therapists who are both warm and compassionate, and highly skilled and qualified, adept at understanding and meeting each individual person’s needs. Between them, many years have been devoted to studying and keeping abreast of knowledge regarding what works in therapy, and how to tailor approaches to each individual’s needs, in order to help the psychologists in the practice best help others.

Lissa’s background in terms of therapy and clinical psychology involved expertise in relationships and couples therapy, anxiety and anxiety disorders, longstanding life patterns and complex difficulties, trauma and childhood trauma, self worth and wellbeing.

With respect to couples therapy, Lissa received training from world leaders in couples therapy and research, and was dedicated to best-practice approaches to couples therapy. She had trained and supervised many psychologists and counsellors to help couples to turn their problems into vehicles for greater closeness and intimacy. As part of this process couples learn to understand what drives their problems and to gain new perspectives on the issues that divide them, and on their patterns of interaction. Ultimately partners learn to interact with each other in ways that heal wounds, open new avenues of understanding, and revive connection, trust and love.

Other relationship issues that Lissa had worked with include: relationship breakdown; recurrent patterns in relationships; difficulty forming or maintaining relationships; beginning relationships; learning to relate to others in more constructive ways; and any other difficulties in relationships with partners, colleagues, family or friends.

Lissa also had a particular affinity for helping people to come to terms with trauma, whether recent trauma or trauma experienced in childhood. She had worked with many individuals to help them process their traumatic experiences in a way that disentangles their trauma reactions from their current day-to-day experience. Her focus was helping people to heal from trauma in a way that restores equilibrium, and a sense of safety, meaning, trust, self-worth and stability.

With respect to anxiety, Lissa had extensive experience working with social anxiety, fear of public speaking, excessive worry, performance anxiety, panic attacks, phobias, sleep difficulties, health anxiety and generalised anxiety.

Other areas of interest and expertise included: grief and loss, mood difficulties, stress and work stress, meaning, self-exploration and self-understanding and navigating life transitions and challenges.

Lissa received numerous academic awards, including the University Medal and the Australian Psychological Society Prize. She has taught Psychology to undergraduate students at University, and has presented her honours and doctoral research at national and international conferences. Her PhD research involved processes of reality-perception, self-concept and interpersonal influence, and her honours research examined interactions between immunity, stress, and diet. She has co-supervised Masters level research investigating autobiographical memory processes in social phobia.

Lissa is frequently contacted for comment by the media and has written columns on topics ranging from personal health and wellbeing to social issues since 2004. Click here to view a selection of columns and articles.

She previously served on the Australian Psychological Society Public Interest Advisory Group.

Phone: Sydney (02) 9331 0756 
e-mail: enquiries@confides.com.au
Address: Suite 517, 185 Elizabeth St Sydney