Lalitha is a registered psychologist who has completed a Master of Educational and Developmental Psychology/Doctor of Philosophy program at Monash University. Lalitha explored the use of music interventions to support parent–child attachment with parents and their children aged up to 5 years during her PhD (Doctor of Philosophy).
Lalitha has experience providing psychological assessment and intervention in private practice and at a University-based clinic. She particularly has expertise in assessment and intervention with neurodiverse children and adults, including those with neurodevelopmental conditions such as Autism, Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), intellectual disabilities and learning difficulties. Lalitha employs a neurodiversity-affirming approach with this population and supports individuals to build their self-understanding and individual strengths. Lalitha views assessments for neurodevelopmental conditions as an opportunity to provide meaningful guidance to parents, caregivers and other stakeholders (e.g., schools) for how to best support the young person’s unique needs and help the young person themselves to grow in self-understanding. She aims to take a holistic approach to assessment that considers the individual’s earlier developmental and current experiences, as well as the perspectives of the young person and those involved in their care throughout the assessment process.
Lalitha also has experience in psychological intervention for supporting a range of other mental health concerns, such as depression, anxiety, challenges with interpersonal relationships and mental health difficulties associated with neurodevelopmental conditions (e.g., an Autistic person experiencing anxiety) with young people and adults. She aims to tailor her approach to the individual client and draws on a range of therapeutic interventions in her clinical work, including cognitive-behavioural, schema, and acceptance and commitment therapy approaches. Lalitha’s clinical practice is also informed by attachment and systemic lenses, including the Circle of Security framework. She works closely with parents when supporting a young person and liaises with schools and teachers where appropriate to equip the adults in the young person’s life to support them effectively.
Lalitha incorporates creative techniques such as play, art and music-making into her clinical interventions where appropriate. She developed and implemented a music-based intervention with parents and their toddlers during her PhD research and she also has some training in Child Centred Play Therapy, which have given her a sound basis of knowledge and experience delivering creative interventions alongside verbal therapy techniques. Lalitha especially sees the value of creative techniques when working with young children who have limited verbal skills due to their developmental stage and/or neurodevelopmental differences, for young people who struggle to engage in talking-based therapy, and for individuals with emotional regulation difficulties and/or who have experienced trauma.
Lalitha takes a developmentally sensitive approach to psychological practice and considers a young person’s developmental age and stage during assessments and therapeutic interventions. Lalitha enjoys working with children, adolescents and young adults as well as providing parenting support. She particularly enjoys working with young children in the first few years of life, including through parent–child sessions that aim to facilitate positive interactions and thereby promote the child’s development and parent–child relationship quality.
For an overview of Lalitha’s research, see orcid.org/0000-0003-0466-8238