Jane is a Clinical Psychologist registered with AHPRA, member of Australian Psychological Society,  member of EMDR Association of Australia.   Jane holds:

  • Doctorate in Clinical Psychology, with distinction (University of Newcastle, U.K.)

  • Master of Science in Social Research (University of Bath, U.K.)

  • Bachelor of Science in Psychology (University of Durham, U.K.)

  • Bachelor of Science in English & Business Management (Beijing International Studies University, P.R.China)



Jane works well with adults (>25 years old),  experienced in treating anxiety and depression, with special interests in trauma, PTSD and grief. Uses Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprocessing (EMDR), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Schema Therapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Clinical Hypnosis.  

​Jane does not provide assessment reports or medical certificates.

Jane is an AHPRA-approved Clinical Supervisor.

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Therapy Methods

What is EMDR?  

EMDR is an evidence-based therapy, designed to reduce the impacts of trauma. Therapists need to receive specialist training to use this therapy. Jane received training with EMDR Institute Australia, completing Level One & Two, Structural Dissociation and Master Class.


How does it work?  

EMDR therapy proposes that the mind is like a factory continuously processing and resolving life events, traumatic experiences can overwhelm this process, causing the system to grind to a halt. EMDR appears to re-activate the brain’s self-healing process through bilateral stimulation, simulating what occurs during REM (rapid eye movement) sleep whilst clients remain awake and in control.


What problems does it help with?

For suitable clients, EMDR can accelerate the resolution of traumas, often resulting in positive changes, such as more compassionate views of self, greater sense of empowerment, and a sense of peace when recalling the trauma memories. Clinical research shows that it is effective in treating trauma, with potentials in helping with anxiety, phobia, panic disorder, OCD,  performance anxiety, depression and grief.

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What is ACT? 

ACT is an evidence-based therapy.  ACT proposes that people suffer when their thoughts or emotions pull them away from doing what is important and meaningful to their lives. 


How does ACT work? 

ACT aims to develop vital life skills of mindfulness and acceptance, which aims to reduce the power of unhelpful thoughts and to expand the capacity to handle painful emotions, so that people have more freedom to act according to their deeply- held values and move towards life goals that truly matter to them.


What problems does ACT help with?

Research has shown that ACT can be effective in treating depression, chronic pain, PTSD, trauma and addiction.

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What is Schema Therapy? 

This is an evidence-based integrative therapy, developed to help people with chronic relationship issues or personality disorders .

What are schemas? 

Schemas refer to negative patterns of thinking feeling and responding, usually formed during early life stages. Schemas are often implicit thus not in the conscious awareness but have powerful influence on how a person feel think and respond to life situations. As a result, people may found themselves falling into the same negative life patterns repeatedly and involuntarily. Some common schemas are:  fear of ‘Abandonment’, ‘Defectiveness’,  ‘Approval Seeking’ and ‘Negativism’.

How does it help?  

This therapy aims to help a person become  more aware of the schemas that may be operating in the background, and move towards establishing healthier patterns, in order to meet their needs effectively.

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What is CBT?

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a structured, practical and collaborative treatment for people suffering from depression or anxiety. CBT aims to improve moods by modifying unhelpful ways of thinking and unhelpful actions. CBT focuses on the ‘here and now’ problems and move towards specific goals, instead of exploring causes from the past.  

How effective is CBT?

Numerous research demonstrates that CBT is as effective as antidepressant or anti-anxiety medications in treating major depression and anxiety. 




What is Clinical Hypnosis?

Hypnosis is a natural, relaxed state of inner-focused attention.  Hypnosis can be used by credentialed professionals in clinical and medical settings as a technique to enhance treatment outcome.  For suitable clients and with their consent, Jane may use this technique in conjunction with other evidence-based therapy methods to enhance treatment effect.  Jane received training from Dr Michael Yapko Ph.D, Clinical Psychologist ("12-Day Intensive Training in Clinical Hypnosis and Strategic Therapy", and Two-Day "Experiential Treatment of Depression Master Class".

How does hypnosis work?

In hypnosis, your body is relaxed and mind is focused,  hypnosis thus creates a space where the learning of new ways of thinking or behaving can happen more easily . 


What issues can hypnosis help with?

Clinical research shows that hypnosis is effective in reducing acute or chronic pain, and has potential in managing stress and anxiety and improving sleep.



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(GP referral required, receiving rebates of $128.4 after paying full fees of $250 or $265)

Weekday office hours: 

Gap fee $121.6  

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What can psychologists do for you?

People regularly visit a medical doctor to maintain their physical health. These routine checkups ensure that the body is functioning properly, and can help stave off any negative symptoms that may develop. While most people understand the importance of these physical checkups, not as many people have embraced such measures for their mental health. The fact is that most people can benefit from routine mental health evaluation and support. 

Psychology is the study of thinking, emotions and behaviours.  As the relationship between these factors is explored, psychologists can help patients understand their own choices better, leading to better decisions in the future.   With the support of a psychologist you can learn to conquer the mental and emotional blocks that are holding you back, therefore more likely to live a more fulfilling life. These benefits often have profound results that impact all areas of your life.

Psychologists can play different roles based on a client's needs.  Some clients may simply wish the psychologist to give them a safe space and listen while they pour out their thoughts and feelings;  some wish the psychologist to help them explore and discover wise solutions to a life problem;  some wish the psychologist to provide an outsider/professional perspective, so they understand what has been going on;  some wish the psychologist to coach them strategies to cope with difficult feelings or people; some wish to have clearer insight about their past and heal their past trauma.

Therapy approaches used by psychologists  

Many psychologists in Brisbane use an integrative approach to maximise the treatment outcomes, whereas others specialise in a particular model of therapy.  Therapeutic approaches used for a particular client will depend on the psychologist’s skill set and training, whilst taking into consideration of the client's conditions and predisposition.  'The shoe that fits one person pinches another', a good psychologist knows what approach might be more effective with which particular client under which particular condition.

  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing: EMDR has been intensively tested, and it must be conducted by a specially trained therapist. It is used most often to treat trauma by sparking the natural healing mechanism that is believed to occur during REM sleep. 

  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy: ACT is a popular method favoured by many Brisbane psychologists. ACT therapy can help patients shift their focus from negative thoughts and emotions and redirect their energies to meaningful activities. ACT thus empowers patients to overcome the mental obstacles, and move towards living a more fulfilling life. 

  • Schema Therapy: This is a method used by some psychologists in Brisbane, usually to treat personality disorders or chronic relationship issues. This therapy focuses on identifying problematic beliefs that create habits. Many of these beliefs, referred to as schemas, are solidified in childhood, and they provide a subconscious framework that shapes the rest of life. By becoming aware of your personal schemas, you can effectively change them. This allows patients to make better, healthier choices going forward.

  • Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy: CBT is regularly used by many Brisbane psychologists, it is a very structured approach to overcoming negative life habits. In this therapy, patients learn to identify the negative thought processes that lead to unhelpful decisions. Once these thoughts are identified, practical actions are taken to change them. This therapy is very forward thinking and usually does not dwell on the past.

  • Clinical Hypnosis:  Dr Jane Zhao-O’Brien is one of the very few Brisbane psychologists who are trained in this method.    Hypnosis puts patients in a relaxed state that shifts their focus inward.  During a hypnosis session, your mind is more receptive to changes you would otherwise resist.  For clients and issues suitable for this method, Jane uses hypnosis in conjunction with other evidence-based treatment methods to maximise the effect.

How to find the best psychologist for yourself?

On your journey to find the best psychologist for you,  you may need to consider two elements: the hardware and the software. 


The hardware refers to the qualifications, training and registration of the psychologist, the location and travel time, the inner and outer environment of the clinic etc. Therapy can be powerfully beneficial but first you need to make sure that the psychologist is a safe one, and that he/she has received adequate training and is licensed and registered with regulatory bodies such as AHPRA, and that they behave in a way that is ethical and professional. If you prefer a certain type of treatment such as EMDR, you need to make sure that the therapist has been trained in that method. 


The software refers to the personal quality,  the skills and the style of the psychologist, and your direct experience and gut feelings whilst interacting with the psychologist etc. The best psychologist in the local area or the most experienced psychologist may not be the best psychologist for you.  The best psychologist for you is a psychologist who is a good match with you in terms of working style (e.g. directive or non-directive, therapy approaches),  values, their skills matching with your issues etc.  

At the core of the therapy experience is the relationship between two human beings.  Research has repeatedly demonstrated that what is crucial for good therapy outcomes is 'the therapeutic alliance'. This alliance consists of three essential elements:  the client and the psychologist have an agreement on the goals of the treatment, they also have an agreement on the tasks or what needs to be done to achieve those goals, and importantly there is a personal bond i.e. mutually positive feelings. Some study suggests that this alliance may take two to four sessions to develop.  In short, the best psychologist for you is someone whom you like and respect, whom you feel you can trust and want to open up to, who takes a keen interest in your wellbeing and have the skills to make progress with you. 

How to get the best outcome from therapy?

Some people respond to therapy quickly whereas some need more time to see the effect. Besides the psychologist’s personal qualities and skills, the outcomes and length of therapy also depend on: if the psychologist and client are a good fit and can work as a team, the severity and chronicity of the client’s difficulties, the level of the client’s motivation to change, such as, if the client is open and engaging with the explorations, and if the client is willing to apply what they learned from therapy etc.  


Therapy is much more likely to deliver good results when the psychologist and client work as a team.  This is similar to the relationship between a coach and an athlete. Good coaching is important, but the bulk of the work needs to be done by the athlete, if an athlete is not prepared to take this responsibility for change, then the outcome is unlikely to be positive.


Some statistics in the field of therapy show that people attending short-term therapy tend to use around six to eight sessions, those with chronic or complex issues may require more, but you can choose to discontinue therapy any time.  A good psychologist will observe and gauge your responses and ask for your feedback regularly in order to adjust treatment strategies. 


There are important things a client can do to maximise what they can get out of therapy, such as, taking an empowered position and make your expectation clear and specific, directly asking for what you want and not expect that psychologists should be able to read your mind or know what is best for you;  being open and assertive and share your experience often, both the positive and the negative, sharing your disappointment or questions when they are small so that the psychologist has a chance to adjust sail and move in the direction you want, but if you dismiss your disappointment or confusion as trivial,  or suppress your disappointment for fear of offending or hurting the psychologist,  frustration will eventually build up.  When you take the responsibility of guiding the psychologist to meet your needs, you will be doing your psychologists a big favour, because you are working with them like a teammate.


Out of your vulnerabilities

will come your strength

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