Early professional experience. July Lies started working in the field of mental health in 2008. She completed her initial clinical training at the National University of Singapore. She has a breadth of experience having been placed in various contexts such as community, specialised clinics, outpatient and inpatient settings. After graduating, she worked at the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Department, and served young people from diverse ethnicities, many of them diagnosed with behavioural and emotional patterns stemming from abuse and traumatising events in their childhood.
Relocation to Australia. In 2014, July relocated to Melbourne, and continued her work with young people and families. Specifically, she provided specialised trauma-informed assessment and intervention to young people and families from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.
Move to private practice. After a decade of working in the public and non-profit sector, July started working in private practice. In private practice, she works with clients struggling with overcoming PTSD, mood and anxiety disorders, insomnia disorders, attachment and interpersonal difficulties, as well as life transition difficulties. July bore witness to recurring traumatic loops in the absence of rest, attunement, authenticity and self-compassion that plagues both minds and bodies.
Scientist-practitioner. As a keen believer of the model of a scientist-practitioner, July decided to advance her clinical skills and pursue a Doctorate degree at Monash University specialising in Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Having a great passion to understand human resilience in the midst of adversity, her research focused on understanding the risk and protective factors of people developing PTSD. Please click here to access the list of her publications.
Theories and models. She uses brain-based models to empower individuals to overcome the impact of early challenging experiences and develop a more adaptive and functional point of view. July incorporates ‘body work’ in deepening therapeutic healing. She also draws upon relational frame theory and attachment-based approaches in her practice. This helps adult clients better understand their attachment styles and patterns in order to experience healthy and corrective experiences with others.
Therapeutic alliance and safety. July believes that meaningful connections are born out of safe, genuine and emotionally attuned spaces that invite deep self-reflection leading to lasting change. As a family-inclusive and diversity-friendly therapist, she provides affirmative support for clients of all backgrounds, gender identities, and sexuality. She has a special interest in working with trans, gender diverse and non-binary people and providing assessment for adults seeking hormones or surgery.
Lifelong learning. July’s goals are to attend a number of conferences and training workshops each year to contribute to her career development. She believes that the road of learning is endless, and that by continuously improving her skills she will be able to stay updated with treatment methods for her clients.
Qualifications. July completed her Doctor of Philosophy (Clinical Psychology) at Monash University. She holds a Master of Psychology (Clinical) from the National University of Singapore, and Honours in Psychology and Gender Studies from the University of Toronto.
July is a member of the Australian Psychological Society (APS), registered clinical psychologist with Australian Health Practitioners Regulatory Agency (AHPRA), and Board-Approved Supervisor. July also serves as adjunct research fellow at Monash University.
Therapeutic modalities. As an integrative and relational therapist, July was trained in a number of therapeutic approaches, namely:
• Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
• Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (TF-CBT)
• Trauma and Tension Releasing Exercise (TRE)
• Narrative Exposure Therapy (NET)
• Prolonged Exposure Therapy (PE)
• Skills Training in Affective and Interpersonal Regulations (STAIR)
• Imagery Rescripting (ImRs)
• Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT)
• Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
• Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I)
• Transdiagnostic Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Anxiety
• Intensive Short Term Psychodynamic Psychotherapy (ISTDP)-informed approaches
Membership. July is an active member of the Australian Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ASTSS), International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS), Insomnia and Sleep Health Council of the Australian Sleep Association, and Australian GLBTIQ Multicultural Council Inc (AGMC).
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