metabolic

mental health

PERRI CARLSON-HAWKE

clinical psychologist

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Transform your ​life

Prioritising your mental health can lead to ​transformative change. Talking to a psychologist ​doesn't mean something's wrong with you. It's about ​improving your life with specialist help.


Services Offered

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Online Therapy

Individualised, effective therapy ​with a clinical psychologist

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Metabolic Psychology

A metabolic approach to the ​treatment of anxiety and mood ​disorders

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Online CBT-e course

12-week online CBT-e ​treatment for binge eating

COMING SOON

Online Therapy

My unique, holistic approach integrates formal psychological ​therapies with a metabolic health approach. I believe in ​treating the whole person. I use evidence-based approaches, ​including cognitive behavioural therapies (CBT), integrating ​mindfulness and dialectical therapy-based interventions, ​interpersonal psychotherapy, prolonged imaginal exposure ​therapy, and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing ​(EMDR). I am an eating disorder credentialed clinician, trained ​in the Maudsley model for anorexia nervosa treatment for ​adults (MANTRA) and family-based therapy (Maudsley model).


My interests and expertise extend beyond traditional clinical ​psychology. I’m trained in neuropsychological assessment for ​concerns such as memory loss, dementia, brain injury, or ​intellectual impairments. I hold additional qualifications in ​therapeutic ketogenic diets for mental disorders, coaching ​psychology, neuropsychology, animal-assisted therapies, and ​metabolic health treatments.



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Metabolic Psychology

Unlocking the Power of Metabolic Health for Mental Wellness


Metabolic psychology is an emerging field that explores the connection between metabolism and ​mental health. It emphasises the impact of metabolism on brain function and mood, highlighting ​how interventions including nutrition, sleep and exercise can influence mental health and ​potentially play a role in preventing or managing mental health disorders.


Emerging research highlights how metabolic processes influence brain function, mood, and overall ​mental health. An increasing number of psychiatrists, psychologists and medical professionals are ​recognising that inflammation, oxidative stress and insulin resistance may be important root ​causes of many chronic brain illnesses, including depression, anxiety, ADHD, binge eating, bipolar ​and schizophrenia. By improving metabolic and mitochondrial health, we can enhance the ​effectiveness of traditional therapeutic approaches and offer new pathways to healing.


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Integrating Metabolic Health into Mental ​Health Treatment


At my practice, I integrate metabolic health strategies, ​including the therapeutic ketogenic diet, with evidence-​based psychological therapies to provide a holistic ​approach to mental health treatment.


This integration aims to address both the mind and body, ​promoting comprehensive healing and well-being.


Whether you’re dealing with depression, ​anxiety, disordered eating, or other ​mental health issues, optimising your ​metabolic health can be a game-changer ​in your recovery journey.


Personalised Assessments:


I conduct thorough assessments to understand your ​unique metabolic profile and mental health needs.

Customised Treatment Plans:


Based on your assessment, I create tailored ​treatment plans that may include dietary ​interventions, such as the therapeutic ketogenic ​diet, alongside traditional therapies like CBT, ​mindfulness, and MANTRA. I work with your ​healthcare team, dietitians, GP’s and specialist ​physicians.

Ongoing Support:


I offer continuous support and monitoring to ensure ​the effectiveness of your treatment plan, making ​adjustments as needed to help you achieve optimal ​results.

Ready to take the first ​step towards better ​mental and physical ​health?

Schedule your telehealth appointment today here and ​experience the benefits of my integrated approach to ​mental health. With Medicare rebates available, expert care ​is more accessible than ever.

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Understanding Metabolic Health


Metabolic health refers to how well your body processes and uses energy. Factors such as blood ​sugar levels, cholesterol, blood pressure, and body weight play crucial roles in your metabolic ​state. When these factors are out of balance, they can contribute to various physical and mental ​health issues, including anxiety, depression, and cognitive decline.


Improving brain energy typically includes exploring how nutrition impacts the brain, with a ​specific focus on minimising sugar, processed foods, and refined carbohydrates to elevate both ​mental and physical wellbeing. The journey toward enhanced metabolic and mental health, ​tailored to individual needs, may involve strategies like personalised nutritional guidance, ​medication management, and psychotherapy.


Click here for more resources on metabolic therapies in mental health.



Therapeutic ​Keto Diet


A therapeutic ketogenic diet is a ​high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet that ​shifts the body’s primary energy ​source from glucose to ketones, a ​process known as ketosis. This ​dietary approach has been shown ​to have numerous benefits for ​brain health and mental well-being, ​including:


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Stabilising Blood Sugar Levels

By reducing carbohydrate intake, the ​ketogenic diet helps stabilise blood sugar ​levels, which can alleviate mood swings ​and anxiety.

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Reducing Inflammation

Ketones have anti-inflammatory ​properties that can help reduce ​inflammation in the brain, which is often ​linked to depression and other mental ​health disorders.

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Enhancing Brain Function

Ketones provide a more efficient and ​steady energy source for the brain, ​improving cognitive function, clarity, and ​focus.

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Regulating Neurotransmitters

The ketogenic diet can help balance ​neurotransmitters, such as serotonin and ​dopamine, which play key roles in mood ​regulation and mental health.

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Understanding the Ketogenic Diet for Mental Wellness


Imagine your brain as a high-performance car. Usually, it runs on regular gasoline (carbs), which leaves behind a lot of soot and gunk, ​clogging up the engine over time and causing problems. Switching to a ketogenic diet is like switching to a cleaner-burning fuel (fat). This ​new fuel burns more efficiently, producing fewer waste products (advanced glycation end products). As a result, the engine (your brain) ​stays cleaner, runs smoother, and performs optimally. The ketogenic diet is the premium fuel that keeps your brain at its best.


How the Keto Diet Helps the Brain

For your car to run smoothly, it needs a steady power supply. Ketones, produced by the liver when you're on a keto diet, provide this ​steady energy. This helps your brain work better, leading to clearer thinking and improved mood.


Keto Diet and Epilepsy

For people with epilepsy, the keto diet can be a lifesaver. Imagine your brain's electrical system is like a city's power grid. In epilepsy, there ​are frequent power surges (seizures). The keto diet helps stabilise the brain's electrical activity, reducing these surges and making the brain ​function more smoothly.


Epilepsy and Psychiatric Disorders: A Shared Link

Both epilepsy and psychiatric disorders, like depression and anxiety, involve problems with brain signalling. A therapeutic keto diet helps by ​providing a consistent energy source, allowing the brain to conduct electrical signals smoothly and efficiently.


Beyond Epilepsy: Other Brain Conditions

Researchers are now exploring how a therapeutic keto diet might help with other brain conditions like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson's disease, ​schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.


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Biochemical Targets in Psychiatric Disorders

Psychiatric conditions involve imbalances in brain chemicals, inflammation and energy disruption. The keto diet can help address ​these issues by balancing neurotransmitters (brain chemicals), reducing inflammation, and improving energy production, much like a ​comprehensive maintenance check-up for a car.


High Blood Sugar and Mental Health

High blood sugar is toxic to cells and can disrupt brain function. A keto diet is low in carbohydrates, helping to regulate blood sugar ​levels, preventing these disruptions.


Role of the Keto Diet in Correcting Imbalances

The keto diet acts like a multi-tool, addressing several brain health issues at once. It balances neurotransmitters, reduces ​inflammation, supports energy production, improves glucose metabolism, and enhances brain flexibility, much like a tool that can fix ​various parts of a machine.

Insulin Resistance and Psychiatric Conditions

Insulin resistance, when the body doesn’t respond well to insulin, affects brain health too. It’s like having a faulty fuel pump that affects ​the whole car’s performance. The keto diet helps improve this condition, supporting better brain function.


Ketogenic Diet and Specific Psychiatric Conditions

Case studies have shown the keto diet can help with conditions like bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, anxiety, OCD and autism.



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Start Your Journey Today


Discover how metabolic health and the therapeutic ketogenic diet can transform your mental ​wellness. Contact me to learn more about my innovative approach and schedule your ​telehealth appointment. Together, we can pave the way to a healthier, happier you.



Click here for more resources on metabolic therapies in mental health.



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Fees & Rebates

Therapy sessions cost $250 and you can access a Medicare rebate of $137.05 if you have an eligible Mental ​Health Care Plan or Eating Disorder Plan from your GP.


I also accept all major private health insurance providers in Australia. Your private fund rebate will depend ​on your coverage, and you may be eligible to claim full cover. Ask your private health insurer for more ​details. No GP referral required.



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Work with Me

Originally from Queensland, I moved to Orange, NSW in 2012 where I ​completed my Honours in Psychology at Charles Sturt University. I went ​on to study Coaching Psychology at the University of Sydney before ​obtaining my MPsych(Clinical) in 2016.


I am a board-approved clinical psychologist and supervisor. I am ​registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency and ​the Psychology Board of Australia. I am also a member of the Australian ​Psychological Society, Australian & New Zealand Academy for Eating ​Disorders and Fellow of the College of Clinical Psychologists.

Mailing Address

Central West Neurology & Neurosurgery

93 Byng St, ORANGE NSW, 2800

AUSTRALIA

Email Address