One lady is engaged in conversation with another lady as they sit on a couch.

COPE and their Centre for Psychological Treatment and Wellbeing

Based in Perth, COPE is an NDIS-registered psychology practice that aims to provide the highest quality of psychological and mental health care that goes beyond simply treating symptoms. They strive to decrease emotional suffering and enhance the well-being of individuals, families, and society through psychoanalytic psychotherapy. This clinical approach is widely applicable and continually evolving, providing a lasting positive impact on human experience.

It is a family-run business that is managed by their founder and director, Dr. Hugo Gonzales. COPE specialises in providing outreach psychosocial services to vulnerable groups in the community. They offer various services to NDIS participants, such as counselling, creative arts therapy, play therapy, clinical psychology, psychosocial recovery coaching, and psychosocial support workers.

How Does Arts Therapy Help?

Arts Therapy is a method that merges creative expression via visual arts media with psychotherapeutic approaches to enhance one’s mental, physical, and emotional well-being. This technique encourages self-expression and the development of novel coping strategies. Arts Therapy may encompass various creative processes such as drawing, painting, crafts, colouring, sculpting, or collage. As NDIS participants engage in these creative procedures, they can contemplate their artwork and understand how it makes them feel.

There are numerous advantages to Arts Therapy for NDIS participants, including:

  • Providing a channel for self-expression and communication beyond verbal means.
  • Modifying creative tools to suit fine motor skill difficulties.
  • Alleviating feelings of helplessness.
  • Offering relaxation for individuals dealing with chronic pain.
  • Improving cognitive function and overall quality of life.
  • Encouraging self-discovery and emotional growth.
  • Promoting emotional and physical integration.
  • Educating individuals with developmental disabilities on daily living skills.
Cope staff with participants doing yoga

How Does Play Therapy Help?

Play therapy creates a secure environment for children to explore their emotions, thoughts, and life experiences. It utilises the innate and creative aspects of play to work with children in a therapeutic manner. The therapist employs non-directive play techniques and interacts with the child using methods like sand play, storytelling, role-playing, toys, and arts and crafts.

Play therapy enables children to express their feelings and experiences in a way that is comprehensible to them. The therapeutic process is personalised and centered on the individual. Play therapy can be advantageous for various challenges that a child may face, such as behavioral problems, ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorder, family-related issues, developmental delays, or learning difficulties.

The child gains insight into their genuine emotions, thoughts, and actions through play therapy, which helps them accept themselves and move forward in their lives.

How Does Group Therapy Help?

COPE’s latest group therapy program is Psychodynamic Psychodrama, which is a psychotherapeutic technique that involves enacting inner conflicts rather than just discussing them.

Through dramatization, role-playing, and theatrical elements, individuals can explore personal problems and find solutions to them. In a group session, the person with the issue becomes the protagonist, and other group members act as auxiliaries, playing different roles in the scene. An experienced therapist guides the group and provides insights into any underlying themes that may arise during the sessions, which could be unconscious hidden issues.

Psychodrama highlights how experiences presented in the drama may repeat previous experiences in the individual’s life. Although a rare form of group therapy, Psychodrama can provide valuable insights into entrenched relational issues that individuals may experience.

What is Your Indigenous Recovery Coaching Program?

COPE is privileged to have a highly qualified aboriginal counsellor, Kylie Smith, who was brought up in Noongar Country and provides indigenous recovery coaching and counselling services. Kylie has completed her Masters in Counselling and her clinical approach is centered around the person. She may use a variety of tools during therapy, including Narrative Exposure Therapy (NET), which is a treatment approach for trauma that involves storytelling in a secure and non-critical environment. Kylie may also engage with clients about cultural aspects or involve them in creative activities during therapy.

Accessing COPE’s Services with NDIS Funding

COPE’s services can be covered by the Core and Capacity funding. Typically, budgets are allocated from Assistance with Social & Community Participation, Support Coordination (such as psychosocial recovery coaching), Increased Social & Community Participation, and Improved Daily Living (such as psychology, counselling, and art/play therapy) are commonly used.


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