Survey Response: James Alexander, PhD

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This survey was last updated in December 2012.

Degrees/Licenses Held: B.Arts (psychology); Post Grad Dip in Counseling Psychology; PhD (clinical health psychology); EMDR Master level. Licensed Psychologist with the Australian Psychologist Registration Board

Contact Information:
PO Box 829, Lismore NSW 2480. Australia
Telephone: 0410836690

Number of years in practice: 25 years

Number of years in practice with patients who have TMS: 15 years

Number of patients you have seen who have had TMS: Many hundreds<

What is your association to the TMS community?
Recently getting involved in both TMS Wiki as well as TMS Help on the net. I have corresponded with Dr Sarno, going back around 12 years until recently; correspondence with David Schechter at various times over the years. I am one of the few health practitioners in Australia that have been working with psycho-physiological disorders for many years. I have recently had a book published addressing this problem, ‘The Hidden Psychology of Pain: the use of understanding to heal chronic pain’ (2012)

Have you ever suffered from TMS?
Yes - 18 years of groin pain (nerve affected by TMS)- now cured; various episodes of back pain; chronic rhinitis for 15 years (now cured).

Are you able to conduct therapy sessions over the phone?
For long distance consults, Skype is my preferred option- I have conducted many Skype consults re TMS pain.

What insurance plans do you currently accept?
For Australian residents, I can work with GP referrals under a Mental Health Care Plan, attracting Medicare rebates. Rebates are also available from most health insurance funds. In addition, I can provide services in worker’s compensation and MVA cases, Victims of Crimes bodies, veterans services, and EAP services provided by employers.

Do you have a sliding scale of payment for people who are not covered by insurance?
Yes, I use a sliding fee scale for people who have a Mental Health Care Plan referral from a GP as I do generally charge a gap fee (depending on people’s ability to pay).

What have you done to educate yourself about TMS, and what plans do you have for further education about TMS?
I have immersed myself in the relevant scientific literature regarding psycho-physiological disorders for the last 15 years, including a PhD focused on mind/body health issues; have read dozens of relevant books, journal articles, attended many workshops; and have written my own book as a result. When able, I would like to spend more time on the TMS Wiki site looking at the resources for professionals.

As we are going to post your answers on the TMS Wiki, feel free to write some text to introduce yourself:
I became a psychologist after the harrowing experience of being nearly killed by a drunk driver in a head-on car accident as an 18 year old. This included being trapped in the car wreck, severely injured and bleeding profusely for 2 1/2 hours before being freed. The ensuing psychological trauma saw me sink into the pits of despair before discovering self-help psychology books in my father’s bookshelf. From reading these, I managed to halt my psychological ‘free-fall’, and within the year decided to become a psychologist so that I could help other similarly traumatized people. I undertook the required years of study and training,, and for the last two and a half decades, have been providing counseling/clinical services to those in need. Despite my emotional recovery, I spent 18 years in chronic groin pain which was not responsive to various forms of physical therapy. It wasn’t until I came across the role which psychology plays in chronic pain that I overcame my pain. As a result, I began introducing these notions to chronic pain clients that I was treating, and as a result, saw many of them overcome their syndromes as well. Observations from years of treating people, as well as other approaches which complement the psycho-educational approach have culminated in me publishing a book in 2012, ‘The Hidden Psychology of Pain: the use of understanding to heal chronic pain’. In this book, I attempt to combine my own experiences, case studies of clients who I have treated, relevant medical research, evidence from neuroscience, and a range of strategies which have proven effective in helping people with the many challenges which chronic pain presents.

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