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THE WHOLISTIC BRAIN & MIND APPROACH

"The root of all health is in the brain. The trunk of it is emotion. The branches and leaves are the body. The flower of health blooms when all parts work together"

Your brain is the most important part of you. It controls everything you do, from breathing, walking, talking, thinking and learning, to making friends, storing memories, and making you the unique person you are today. Unfortunately, we can often forget about our brains, because unlike our bodies or our bad habits/behaviour, we cannot see our brains. However, success in almost anything you do starts with your brain! At the Wholistic Brain & Mind we focus on discovering your brain's unique profile of strengths and differences to help make sense of patterns of behaviour, and tailor interventions to help strengthen new pathways and create strategies/workarounds for challenges.

It has only been in the past few decades that scientists have realised that we are not stuck with the brains we are born with, and have discovered the concept of neuroplasticity. Not only can we build new neural connections, but evidence has shown that even adults can grow new neural cells (i.e. grey matter) and pathways (i.e. white matter) through various practices including learning new skills, exercise, meditation, and brain stimulation. Cara is passionate about teaching clients about neuroplasticity and to understand and work with their own unique brain profile. 

 

Cara has a special interest in the links between lifestyle and brain health (e.g. impact of nutrition on brain functioning), and Therapeutic Assessment - the use of assessment to help people understand themselves better, explore their identity, and find solutions to their persistent problems. She is well placed to support and guide clients with a range of neurological, developmental and neurodivergent conditions to answer diagnostic questions, identify their cognitive  strengths and weaknesses, and understand brain-behaviour relationships to make successful and sustainable behaviour changes. 

WHAT IS A NEUROPSYCHOLOGIST?

A neuropsychologist is a type of psychologist who has specialist training in the connection between the brain and behaviour. They mainly focus on assessing cognitive functions (i.e. thinking skills like attention, memory, learning, language, executive function) — especially functions impacted on by the presence of a disease, developmental condition, or injury that affects the brain. A neuropsychologist would typically be seen if there is concern about a neurodevelopmental condition (i.e. a difference in the brain or learning processing style such as in ADHD, learning disorder, autism), cognitive impairment, brain injury, or neurological condition affecting cognitive function (e.g. dementia, epilepsy, Parkinson's disease, stroke). A neuropsychology assessment can assist in differential diagnosis, track cognitive recovery, and provide an understanding of cognitive strengths and weaknesses so that treatment and intervention can be targeted to the individual.  

In addition to providing neuropsychology assessments, Cara's interest in neuroplasticity led to previous research and current clinical offerings in cognitive rehabilitation and brain stimulation. Her PhD thesis used transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to examine areas of the brain involved in social cognition, and her honours research looked into the relationship between executive function and health behaviours. She continues to use non-invasive brain stimulation techniques (tDCS) in her clinical practice for treating clients with depression and chronic pain. Cara also previously worked in research settings collecting evidence for a memory training program in neurology patients, which has now become the MEMO program

Disclaimer: Dr Cara Wong, PhD is a neuropsychologist, not a medical practitioner. She does not prescribe medications, specific diets or treatment programs. All strategies and recommendations provided are advisory. Symptoms that might warrant further investigation will be referred to other practitioners or doctors where necessary.

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