0405 526 963 ppolhill@me.com

Psychologist Ryde

Paula Polhill is a passionate and skilled Psychologist with a difference. Paula operates her private practice near Ryde, in Sydney’s Inner West, with a special interest in treating anxiety and marriage counselling.

Counselling Ryde

Over many years of counselling experience, Paula has noticed some common themes emerge in her Client’s suffering. When people get ‘fused’ in the following areas, they can feel psychologically distressed, stuck and hopeless.

  • Past
  • Future
  • Judgments
  • Reasons
  • Rules
  • Self


Change in life is not always welcome but inevitable. Some changes create more stress than others. Whether we’ve been recently bereaved, separated, experienced infidelity, lost our job or adjusting to retirement; instead of moving forward by taking action, we can find ourselves stuck in a place of trying to ‘fix’ the past, replaying the “If onlys” and spending countless hours in our head trying understand ‘why’.


Some of us have the resilience to adjust to events beyond our control and problem solve in the moment, when necessary. Many of us, however, have thoughts that are dominated by problem solving every possible outcome the future could bring. Living with constant worry and anxiety is a life of unnecessary suffering.


The human mind is designed to judge. However, if we become fused with our judgemental thinking, our life becomes small and miserable. We can either judge others too harshly, often feeling frustrated, angry and disappointed, making relationships difficult to sustain. Or we can worry too much about how others’ may judge us negatively. This stops us living an authentic life.


We can all very easily get stuck here. Reason-governed thinking consists of making excuses as to why we should or shouldn’t do X or why change isn’t possible. For example, It’s too hard, I’m not strong enough, I’m too lazy or my craving (anxiety, depression) is too powerful to overcome. When we become attached to reason-governed thinking, it stops us from making the necessary changes that connect us to vitality and meaning.


Rules are not preferences, they’re demands. Rule governed thinking sounds like  “shoulds”, “musts” and “oughts”. Some rules can be helpful, for example, “I shouldn’t drink and drive”. However, if we constantly hold ourselves and others to high expectations, we live with frustration, anger and disappointment. Moreover, the people around us tend to feel anxious and believe they can’t do anything right.


Thoughts about our-‘self’ are ideas and stories that we’ve made up about our identity, based on our experiences from birth to now. Our stories are usually negative and start with I am. E.g., I’m different, I’m a failure, I’m not a social person. These stories become rigid labels. Labels are for jam jars, not complex human beings. Our stories can drive our life leaving little room for growth, and discovery. Instead, we repeat old patterns of thinking, feelings and behaviours, creating a life of dirty-pain.

When we become ‘fused’ in any of the above areas, we struggle to live in the present moment, lack self-awareness and focus on people we can’t change or things that are beyond our control. Are you ready to learn some simple and powerful skills to get you taking action; to open up your life and creating more vitality and meaning? Call Paula today.

Marriage Counselling Ryde

Paula is a skilled Marriage Counsellor near Ryde who understands the many factors that contribute to relationship strain and breakdown. Teaching couples to communicate effectively, is one of the first steps in helping couples feel more connected and understood. Call today for an after-hours appointment!

For an after-hours appointment, call Paula today on M: 0405 526 963

Help is just a phone-call away

%d bloggers like this: