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Leigh. Australian Psychologist and Director of Therapy in Barcelona.

Leigh

Leigh

I aim to help you develop resilience and well being with intention and care.

NOT ACCEPTING NEW CLIENTS IN 2023

Hi

I’m Leigh, an Australian
Registered Psychologist and Founder of Therapy in Barcelona.

I moved to Barcelona in 2011 after falling in love with my husband, a city native. Since then, I have become a partner in an intercultural marriage and a mama to a Third Culture Kid.

I know what it feels like to adapt to a new city and country. I’ve experienced how being an expat makes life messier. 

That’s why I founded Therapy in Barcelona, to provide therapy services that speak to the international community.

I contributed my expertise in working with expat concerns to the 2021 anthology of expat women’s stories #LivingTheDream: Expat Life Stripped Bare

English

Adults

Founder and Director of Therapy in Barcelona

Registered Australian Psychologist offering services as a Therapist, Counsellor and Coach in Barcelona.

Mindfulness; Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy; Cognitive Behavioural Therapy; Acceptance and Commitment Therapy; Solution Focused and Client Centred Approaches

B.A.Psychology (Hons), University of Sydney Australia; Post Grad Cert.Psych Practice, ACAP; MAPS; AHPRA PSY0000965562

What does working with me feel like?

I am direct and honest with you in a gentle way. To create a real connection that will allow me to help you.

I create a non-judgmental space. So you can feel comfortable sharing thoughts and feelings with me.

I go out of my way to help you. I take your well being very seriously and go the extra mile to support you.

I steer you in the direction you need. I ask questions and give you space to find the answers.

I set optional “homework”. I send tasks, articles to read and videos to watch that will allow you to continue working at home.

I share tools and strategies. They will enhance your strengths and help you navigate life’s challenges.

Who do I help?

Expats and immigrants from all over the world with a wide range of issues such as:

Depression  |  Anxiety  | Stress management  |  Burnout  |  Relationships  |  Assertive Communication  |  Adjustment to living abroad  |  Self-acceptance  |  Work-life balance  |  Building wellness  |  Communication issues  |  Grief and Loss

From an early age I felt things deeply. This triggered the need to understand my feelings and those of the people around me. 

At 13, I read my first psychology book and was immediately fascinated by the brain. 

Over the 20 years of my career to date, I have worked with clients of diverse ages, cultures and backgrounds. Of these, in the last 12 years, I’ve invested in helping Barcelona’s international community. 

Previously, I worked in private and government hospitals, with psychiatric and cancer patients, twin research, and in a non-government organisation working with the LGBTQI community and people living with HIV/AIDs.

I was Supervisor to Masters in Counselling Psychology students for the University of Queensland and Psychologists-in-Training for the Australian College of Applied Psychology. 

I opened my first private practice at the age of 29.

I accompany my clients with care and teach skills and strategies that help them cope with adversity and transitions, find meaning, and develop resilience and well being.

I accompany therapists who collaborate with Therapy in Barcelona in a supportive way and aim to help them hone and refine their skills. In this way, I help many more people than I can on my own.

See my LinkedIn profile.

So, how did I know psychology was my vocation?

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details that shape me as a person and therapist

I love documentaries. I enjoy gaining deeper insights into other people, historical situations and current affairs. I am really interested in humans and our world. 

 

I have lots of ideas all the time. So I have to choose. To do so, I measure my energy levels, discover how passionate I am about the matter, and whether it will leave a positive legacy behind me.

I am a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP). It allows me to be deeply connected to others’ feelings and needs, be creative and conscientious, make thoughtful choices, and bring great ideas to the table.

Read Leigh's Commentary on Expat Women's Stories

In my clients own words... therapy with me

Leigh is absolutely amazing. She has helped me get through a really rough period and I am so so grateful for that.

Leigh is like a wise friend that comes with great feedback. My time with Leigh has helped me a lot!

I got the tools to help myself and realise what I need to do to not get stressed. My time with Leigh has helped me a lot! Every time I came from a session I had such a big smile and felt really powerful and strong!

I have been seeing Leigh for a couple of years now for a variety of things – depression, major grief and a few other issues… In all cases I have found her to be extremely helpful. I am far stronger now. I have worked on many issues with her that have been holding me back and am now working on getting going with my own business

I found Leigh Matthews through the Therapy in Barcelona website. Therapy with her has helped me through a difficult time and has been a very positive and beneficial experience in my life

Leigh cares about YOU and YOUR problems. When you’re feeling bad it’s can be hard to wait for a weekly visit so she will send you little tasks or things to read. She hasn’t forgotten about you or is just there to take the money. She is certainly the best therapist I have had , although I hadn’t thought that I had had bad therapists before meeting Leigh. Therapists in my past had just listened while I cried and moaned but Leigh wanted to point me in the right direction so that I would heal myself without having to rely on others.

Leigh was, and is, a Guardian Angel for a little fish out of water. Leigh was there for our daughter in time of need, in a foreign country making her feel more confortable and not alone and helping her get through her time in Barcelona. We are ever so grateful for her help, wisdom and professionalism and support. Keep up the good work Leigh and all those who work with you and around you and again thank you... You will always be in our thoughts.

Environment was non-judgmental. Assistance was practical and able to be implemented immediately. Gentle but firm. A life saver – literally. I really didn’t know what I wanted, I just knew I needed help. I had spent years [seeking help] with little real improvement. Leigh could see what I couldn’t and has helped me to find out what I needed and what I needed to do to achieve it. I have become a new person and I actually like that person. Others have noticed and are also happy.

Therapy with you has transformed my life and I am so grateful! I really valued our sessions. Thank you for always practicing non-judgment and reminding me to practice self-care. Truly, my relationships with others and myself have improved tenfold. I feel like I draw more meaning from experiences that would have irritated me, or gone unnoticed before. I look at situations that challenge me as opportunities for growth now, and I feel like I take more accountability for my actions.

Leigh is very approachable and it’s clear from everything she does (even outwith the session itself e.g. taking the time to write emails, search for other practitioners where needed for referrals) that she genuinely wants to help. I think seeing Leigh is definitely helping me to start to put into action concrete steps to improve which on my own I had sort of contemplated but couldn’t bring myself to do anything about.

Leigh is an incredible listener. I could talk to her about anything, from the specific to the general, without judgement and always leave feeling 100 times better. I came with a couple of specific problems that are now, fortunately, significantly diminished. I’m delighted by the progress I’ve been able to make with Leigh. [The tools I have accrued are] a perfect mixture of immediate coping mechanisms and long-term mindfulness.

Very comfortable environment and consultations. Very high commitment from Leigh. Professional and respectful. I achieved anxiety reduction and general overall happiness.

Leigh was just what I needed to see my way through my problems. Pleasant environment. Relaxed atmosphere. I was very pleased I made the decision to seek help especially since Leigh and I seemed to be very compatible.

Just by talking things over has been already a great help. Preparing for the sessions by reflecting on things and note them down also helped. I also like the additional things you have offered, especially the positive psychology course and the links to watch videos about mindfulness. I will never forget my first session, how sad and hopeless I felt, and all the doubts I had, that therapy is not a bad or shameful thing to do. Each session was a relief and you taught me and shared so many things that I know I will always remember and will help me to face any difficulties. Thank you for listening and all your help.

For many years I have felt anxious, overwhelmed, and in a pit. So I go to the doctor for what seemed the millionth time and she suggests I see you. The picture of you and your psych service referral sheet sat in my bedside drawer for two years. Then I build the courage to see you. You have helped me find a much better me… I have strategies now.I have a better belief in myself and my abilities.I’m still a work in progress but I wanted to tell you how much I appreciate you, and I want to thank you for all you have said, done, listened to, written down..and helped me with. Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you. Like at the end of each of our sessions, just as I enter the lift to go home, here is a big sigh, but also a big smile as I feel confident that I can continue from where we have finished.

Very flexible – my sessions were conducted via telephone. Also an appropriate amount of time between sessions to reflect on the discussion. Leigh sent additional material for me to read and set “homework” which helped me to work through some major issues “in my own time” and “at my own pace”. Thank you again! I achieved the primary reason for seeking assistance.

Leigh approaches psychological practice with energy and enthusiasm, empathy and professionalism. A valuable asset to any health team, I look forward to future opportunities of working with her. – Gabriel Ruddy Psychologist/Colleague

I experienced Leigh’s commitment and professionalism to her work, her clients and her colleagues. ACON primarily works with people who are affected by HIV and AIDS, an area of work that requires a deep level of sensitivity towards clients and self-care on the behalf of the health professional. Leigh not only embodied these qualities she modelled them within the team. Leigh Mathews brings with her a wealth of experience and a passion for her role. – Curt Mason Volunteer Counselling Co-ordinator, and Counsellor, ACON / Colleague

Considering I would never have previously organised to speak with someone, the rapport and connecting I had with Leigh was better than I expected which made it easier for me to come back after the first session, and keep coming back. [I achieved] many changes, too many to list.

I didn’t know what to expect. I just wanted to solve my problems. I thought that we would focus more on my youth but the CBT focuses more on the here and now, which I like. I feel that I’m progressing. Leigh is very non-judgmental and I always feel comfortable sharing my concerns. Leigh is very professional and she knows what she’s talking about

The atmosphere was very relaxing and I felt immediately comfortable once in the session room. I found Leigh easy to talk to and she was respectful and non-judgmental regarding the issues I discussed.

The past few months have been so wonderful…more than I could have hoped for. When I get the urge to be a “rescuer” I pause and reflect on the repercussions. I have become a great “helper” and occasionally DO say no. Even my husband commented today that things were now better than he could have possibly imagined. I now have my daughter back…. Life is wonderful! I have come to terms with my shortcomings and those closest to me still think I am okay despite the few “rough edges”. I cannot thank you enough for saving me from what could have been a disastrous path.

I wanted to say thanks again for all your help this year. I started counselling not really expecting much, thinking that I wasn’t really ‘fixable’ but if I could just get a few coping strategies, that would be ok. You’ve given me plenty of these, and it’s helped more than I could have realised. So thank you!

My time with this therapist has changed my life. It sounds like one of those statements that someone might make up to look good on a website or blog but this really is the case. I was literally saved from darkness and despair that was slowly consuming my soul, and I can’t thank you enough for your patience and understanding and for giving me the tools to face my demons and what life throws at me every day. Its a work in progress and there is still much to do on my part, but myself and my family are grateful for all you do.

Leigh was someone I could talk to and felt completely safe with when I didn’t have anybody else to turn to. She is caring, intuitive, and steers you in the directions you need to go.

I feel significantly different compared to how I felt when I started. I feel relaxed because of your friendly approach.

Where do I start? I have many positive aspects of my experience of working with you. My depression has been reduced a great deal due to Leigh.

As her supervisor and now as her colleague, I would have no hesitation in referring Leigh to you as a committed professional… From her high academic achievements to her work history, covering government, NGO, and private practice settings – she has continually shown a high aptitude for work as a psychologist. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, Leigh has consistently reported enjoying working with all the client groups she has encountered and it is this motivation and inspiration that she would bring to you. – Meaghan Poulton Psychologist/Supervisor

If you need help to face your challenges or maximise wellness, reach out

Fill in the intake form and our Intake Coordinator will contact you within 24-48 hours.

I believe in people’s capacity to effect change in their lives. Our brain can change and so can we!