Dr Petra Skeffington
BA Hons (Psychology); Master of Counselling; MPsych (Clinical Psychology); PhD (Clinical Psychology)

Senior Lecturer

About me

I hold an Honours Degree in Psychology from the University of Western Australia, a Master of Counselling from Murdoch University and a Master of Psychology (Clinical Psychology) and PhD from Curtin University and a Masters Certificate in Global Mental Health: Trauma and Recovery from Harvard Medical School.

I currently practice as a Clinical Psychologist at Cygnet Clinic in Perth and am a Senior Lecturer in the School of Health Professions at Murdoch University, teaching Principles of Counselling and Trauma Counselling and providing group supervision to placement students at Caladenia Counselling.

My research experience includes PTSD, resilience to trauma, creative arts therapies, treatment of non-suicidal self injury, and OCD. I have worked extensively in the field of trauma, including treatment of PTSD and the impact of trauma on individuals, partners and families.

Teaching area

CSL684: Principles of Counselling 2

CSL679: Counselling Placement and Supervision Group 1

CSL674: Trauma Counselling

Research areas

Trauma, PTSD (etiology, treatment and prevention), resilience in adults, assessment of psychological interventions, post-traumatic growth, lifestyle and wellbeing, therapeutic relationship, high-risk professions, evaluation of creative therapies.

Doctoral and masters supervisions

Passed Master’s Dissertations

Zaccaria, N. (2015). Levels of Depression, Perceived Social Support, Coping Styles and Alcohol Use in Western Australian Firefighters Following Exposure to Trauma. Submitted as partial requirements for Master of Psychology (Clinical Psychology).

Senaratne, S. (2015). PTSD, Depression and Anxiety as an Outcome of Trauma Exposure mediated by Social Support and Coping Strategies in Firefighters in Western Australia. Submitted as partial requirements for Master of Psychology (Clinical Psychology).

Publications

Journals

  • Browne, A., Skeffington, P., (2014), Art therapy, trauma and substance misuse: Using imagery to explore a difficult past with a complex client, International Journal of Art Therapy, 19, 3, pages 114 - 121.

Peer Reviewed Publications

Skeffington, P., Rees. C., Mazzucchelli, T. & Kane, R. T. (2016). The primary prevention of PTSD in firefighters: Preliminary results of an RCT with 12-month follow-up. PLoS one, 11(7), e0155873.

 Skeffington, P., Rees. C., Mazzucchelli, T. & Kane, R. T. (2016). Trauma exposure and post-traumatic stress disorder within fire and emergency services in Western Australia. Australian Journal of Psychology. DOI: 10.1111/ajpy.12120

 Skeffington, P., & Browne, A. (2014) Art therapy, trauma and substance misuse: Using imagery to explore a difficult past with a complex client. International Journal of Art Therapy, DOI: 10.1080/17454832.2014.910816

Skeffington, P., Rees, C., & Kane, R. (2013) The primary prevention of PTSD: A systematic review. The Journal of Trauma & Dissociation, doi:10.1080/15299732.2012.753653.

 

Other Publications

Skeffington, P. (2016). One in five Police Officers are at risk of PTSD- here’s how we need to respond. The Conversation Article, 02/08/2016. https://theconversation.com/one-in-five-police-officers-are-at-risk-of-ptsd-heres-how-we-need-to-respond-63272

Skeffington, P. & Pettigrew, S. (2016). Evaluation of the 2015/16 “UV. It all adds up.” Campaign, WA Cancer Prevention Research Unit (WACPRU), Curtin University, Perth.

Skeffington, P. (2015). Developing a Theroy Driven and Evidence-Based Targeted Intervention for the Primary Prevention of PTSD. PhD Dissertation, Curtin University.

 

 Skeffington, P. (2012). Quality of lifestyle: Building the foundations for better mental health. InPsych, 35(1), 16-17.

Hynd. A, Skeffington P & Cooke, D. (2005) Working with Dad’s and Mum’s: A Community-Based Response to Postnatal Depression. Ngala Publication.

Conference Presentations

Skeffington, P. (2016). WA Fire & Emergency Service Workers: Vulnerable or Resilient? Australian and New Zealand Disaster & Emergency Management Conference: Gold Coast, Australia.

Skeffington, P. (2016). WA Fire & Emergency Service Workers: Vulnerable or Resilient? World Congress of Cognitive & Behavioral Therapies: Melbourne, Australia.

Skeffington, P. (2015). Evaluating an evidence-based and theory driven resilience intervention for the primary prevention of PTSD. European Society for Traumatic Stress Studies International Conference: Vilnius, Lithuania.

Skeffington, P. (2015). Evaluating an evidence-based and theory driven resilience intervention for the primary prevention of PTSD. 36th Annual Conference of the Stress and Anxiety Research Society (STAR): Tel Aviv, Israel.

Skeffington, P. (2015). “Developing a targeted resilience intervention for the Primary Prevention of PTSD” Australian Fire and Emergency Service Authorities Council (AFAC) National Conference: Adelaide, Australia.

Skeffington, P. (2015). (90-min How-to Session)  How do we build resilience to trauma? An overview in terms of the Mental Agility and Psychological Strength (MAPS) resilience program Australian Psychological Society National Conference: Gold Coast, Australia.

Skeffington, P. (2015). Developing a targeted resilience intervention for the Primary Prevention of PTSD.  PTSD Forum: Brisbane, Australia.

Skeffington, P. (2014). Trauma exposure and PTSD within Fire & Emergency Services in Western Australia. Brain, Behaviour & Mental Health Annual Conference: Perth, Australia

Skeffington, P. (2014). The theory driven and evidence-based primary prevention of PTSD. Denis Glencross Memorial Conference: Perth, Australia.

Skeffington, P. (2014) Gold-standard treatment for adults and adolescents with OCD. Mental Health First Aid CPD Seminar: Perth, Australia.

Skeffington, P. (2012). The Primary Prevention of PTSD: A Systematic Review. AACBT National Conference: Perth, Australia.

Skeffington, P. (2013). A Resiliency Program for WA Fire and Emergency Service Workers. Crisis Intervention and Management Australasia (CIMA) National Conference. Melbourne, Australia.

Skeffington, P. (2012). Can we Prevent Post-traumatic Stress Disorder? Thirteenth Humanities Postgraduate Research Conference: Perth, Australia.

Skeffington, P. (2012). The Primary Prevention of PTSD: A Systematic Review. Australian Psychological Society National Conference: Perth, Australia.

 

 Academic peer reviewer for the following academic journals: Traumatology, PLOS-ONE, Clinical Psychologist, Australian Psychologist

Abstract reviewer on the Practice Committee for the Fourth World Congress on Positive Psychology (2015) and for the Population Health Congress (2015)

Editor of the Proceedings of the Twelfth Humanities postgraduate Research Conference (2011)