mental health Sep 02, 2021

Our Asian Australian mental health practitioner list continues to be a highly utilised resource for many Asian Australians seeking therapeutic support, so we're now trying to bring a bit more life to the list through these short interviews.

We know that it's not always easy trying to work out which psychologist we might like to work with. Because the decision is not just about where they're located and when they're available, but there's a bit more of a human, relational element to the decision too.

So here at Shapes and Sounds, we want to help make that process just a little easier.

Every month, we'll be introducing a psychologist from the Asian Australian Mental Health Practitioner List to help you gain a bit more insight into who you feel might be a good fit for you or someone that you know.

This month we're excited to introduce Ghassani Swaryandini who is a registered psychologist based in Brisbane who has extensive experience working with young people between the ages of 12-25, and has recently moved into private practice to also support adults. Scroll down for Ghassani's interview!


Shapes and Sounds does not recommend or endorse any of the psychologists on the list, however we're excited that we're able to provide insight into their personalities so that you can make an informed choice in your mental health care.

Please make sure to speak with your GP before making changes to your mental health care and please continue to share this resource to others who may benefit from further therapeutic support!


1. What made you choose psychology as a career?

I’ve wanted to become a psychologist since the age of 14. Back then, I was struggling with own mental health, and I went through depression during middle school. In Indonesia, and especially so around that time, mental health was an unspoken issue, so my personal experience made me interested in mental health and psychology.

I really wanted to become the psychologist I needed back then, so this provided me with the very strong motivation to help me complete the full process of studying psychology. As a side note, I studied counselling first, so it took me 10 years to become a psychologist!

2. What is your unique cultural heritage?

I was born and raised in Indonesia, so I’m full Indonesian and specifically, Javanese. I moved to Brisbane in 2011 and have been living here ever since.

3. What are your areas of specialty and what kind of frameworks do you work from?

I use a combination of ACT, solution focused therapy, motivational interviewing, and CBT. The combination depends on the client’s personality and needs so the frameworks I use are always different. Regardless of the frameworks, I’m always tapping into the client’s strengths to enhance their ways of coping. I also love using humour and incorporating pop culture references too where possible!

I also have a strong interest in working with anxiety, stress, body image issues, and interpersonal issues, both in terms of relationships and friends.

4. What kind of clients are you best able to support?

I’ve spent five years working at Headspace so I’m open to working with both adolescents and adults.

I’m able to support clients who are wanting to improve their ways of dealing with life’s problems, and those wanting to live a more rich and meaningful life. Regardless of their age, I like working with people who are motivated to make changes and approach life in different ways.

I also have a strong interest in working with men and in men’s mental health. This stems from my time working at headspace and noticing the need to provide greater support for male clients.

5. If you could be your own therapist right now, what do you think you would say to yourself?

In the face of pain and adversity, we always have a choice to either suffer or to change.

Reminding myself that I always have that choice and that we always have the freedom to change, helps me to feel better. I feel like reminding ourselves of this is the most empowering thing we can do for ourselves.

And, “if things go out of hand, go back to your values and what’s important to you.”


Connect with Ghassani via our Asian Australian Mental Health Practitioner List HERE. Alternatively, if Ghassani's words make you think of anyone in your life, be sure to forward this page on to them too. Let us continue to not only support ourselves but all those around us too!

Lastly, if you require urgent assistance, please do not contact Ghassani or any of the psychologists on this list. Instead, please call emergency services on 000 or call Lifeline on 13 11 14.

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