DR ANDREW ROBERTS
Psychiatrist, Child and Adolescent specialist
MBBS, RANZCP, Cert C&A Psych, BA/BSc
Hi and thanks for dropping by. A little information about me. I have worked as a doctor in a wide variety of settings with a very broad age range of people. This includes neurodivergent children and adolescents, infants and their parents, children in the care of the Adult Guardian, people of all ages with a history of trauma, schizophrenia, bipolar illness, depression and anxiety. There are now over 500 disorders described (too many!) and I don't intend to list them all. In addition to my private practice, I work for Children's Health Queensland.
Our biology, including our temperament, interacts with our early (and ongoing) experiences to shape the person we are today. The relatively new science of brain development now clearly demonstrates that safety, close connection and playfulness in our early relationships are foundational to healthy brain development and are one of the most important factors in prevention of mental health problems. Conversely, chronic stressful experiences disrupt brain development and increase the risk of mental health problems. Work in the field of epigenetics has given us clues as to how this process unfolds. And while early relationships not only clearly affect the physical structure of the brain, they just as importantly affect our psychology and determine to a large degree the stories we tell ourselves about who we are and who we should be.
The relationship between mental health problems and a sense of belonging, healthy relationships and a sense of direction in life goes both ways. That is to say that an underlying mental health problem can disrupt the development of healthy relationships, a sense of belonging and a sense or direction and visa versa. This is the major reason that psychiatrists and other clinicians who treat young people also work with the important people in their life. In speaking of important people, I am referring not just to parents but every significant person and system that surrounds a child as they grow.
Through my training, I have been influenced by neurodevelopmental, evolutionary, attachment, mentalization, cognitive-behavioural, ACT, existential and psychodynamic models but ultimately I come to my work through a humanist perspective. I enjoy the privilege of having important conversations with people of all ages that provide an opportunity to explore and reflect on difficulties. Every person and every family is different in a myriad of ways so I aim to individualize treatment and to also take a wholistic stance. I enjoy using expressive and play based approaches at times to explore difficulties from a different perspective. I am happy to use medication when indicated in a cautious and considered manner.