Dr Phil Watts


Clinical and Forensic Psychologist

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Dr Phil Watts

Dr Phil Watts has been working as a psychologist since 1990, and has since gained extensive experience in treating a range of issues including:

  • Trauma
  • Internet pornography
  • Addiction
  • Legal issues
  • Shared care
  • Parenting arrangements.

Dr Watts is trained and experienced in using a range of techniques, including Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), hypnosis, and neurofeedback. He is an author of 7 self-help books including topics of “How to find love and not a psycho” and “Shared care or divided lives: What’s best for children when parents separate”. With 30 years’ experience, especially in areas related to legal skills, subpoenas, giving evidence, report writing, psychometrics, and assessment he is available for either one-off or ongoing supervision with psychologists.

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I am registered to practice as a psychologist in Australia. I hold the endorsements of Clinical Psychology and Forensic Psychology with the National Registration Board (an endorsement means that a psychologist has additional qualifications and supervised experience in an area of practice). I am an adjunct associate professor in clinical psychology at Canberra University (2011 - ongoing) and I supervise clinical master’s students at Murdoch University (2014 - 2021).

I am a member of the Australian Psychological Society (APS) and a past chairman of the WA Branch of their Forensic College. I am a member of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC) and Pacifica Congress.

I am a member of Applied Neuroscience Society of Australasia (ANSA) and the International Society for Neurofeedback & Research (ISNR). I am certified by Biofeedback Certification International Alliance – Australia (BCIA-A). BCIA is recognized as the certification body for the clinical practice of biofeedback. I am a certified QEEG Diplomat with the QEEG Certification Board of America.

My tertiary education includes a Bachelor of Applied Science - Psychology (Curtin, 1987) and Graduate Diploma - Psychology (1988); Murdoch University for a Master of Applied Psychology - Clinical (1990). My master’s thesis topic was on couple relationships. I completed, on a part-time basis, a Doctor of Philosophy by thesis at Curtin University (1996). The title of the thesis was “suicidal behaviour of youth in custody”.

I have worked full-time as a clinical psychologist in juvenile detention and had part-time involvement in Care and Protection assessments (1990 - 1993) and Ministry of Justice (1993 - 1994). In these positions I have gained extensive experience in child-development, substance abuse, forensic psychology, mental illness, welfare issues, sexual abuse issues and sex offender treatment, suicide, and other specialist areas. I left the public service as a senior clinical psychologist.

I am currently the director of Mindstate Psychology. This practice includes the treatment of clinical clients, neurofeedback, and forensic assessment. I have been in full-time private practice since June 1994. I was a consultant clinical psychologist, on a part-time basis, to Heathcote Psychiatric Hospital in the 6 months prior to its closure in 1994. Between 1986 and 1995 I taught introductory psychology at Curtin University. On an occasional basis I currently lecture on specialist subjects at UWA, Curtin, and Murdoch universities in both the psychology and law departments.

Through experience and training, I have obtained specialist knowledge in the area of assessment. I have completed a 2-year training course in psychodynamic assessment (projective testing) through the Health Department of WA. In my work with offenders I have interviewed in excess of 1000 juvenile offenders, completed over 360 comprehensive psychological assessments of juveniles (some included an assessment of their families), and over 1200 comprehensive assessments of adults, for the various courts of Western Australia. I have particular interest in violent crime including murder, sex offenders, domestic violence, and other forms of serious offending. I have previously conducted Wardship, Placement, and Adoption Assessments for Department of Community Protection (DCP) or the Children’s Court. I have been Court appointed Expert in over 2200 Family Court Custody assessments. I have conducted assessments of various factors (neuropsychological, differential diagnosis etc.) of children, adolescents and adults. I have also conducted over 500 criminal injuries compensation assessments and 120 immigration assessments.

As part of my professional development I have attended numerous training courses and seminars. Among the more significant courses are a Diploma in Hypnotherapy (1994), Eye-Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing - EMDR (1993/6), neuropsychological assessment (1994), and projective assessment. I have attended two-day workshops on forensic assessment of children (Martine Powell 2011); Advanced uses of the PAI (Morey 2011); and Psychopathic Checklist PCL-SV training (Doug Beor 2015). I have attended various training course in Neurotherapy including ERP, QEEG, and neurofeedback. I am current with the Professional Development training requirements of the APHRA which requires that I attend training relevant to my expertise.

I am actively involved in professional training and community education. I have been involved in conducting training presentations locally, nationally, and internationally. The following is not a complete list but reflect some highlights. These presentations include:

  • Contextual factors in sexual abuse investigations (for the Family Court of Western Australia);
  • Critiquing Psychological Reports (Family Law Practitioners Association state conference);
  • Fitness to plead and other psychological problems (ANZAPPL state conference);
  • Brainwashing, Alienation, and emotional alignment in child custody disputes (National Forensic Conference);
  • A Reliable Witness (National training);
  • Risk assessment in Clinical practice (day long workshop on risk assessment);
  • Understanding Internet Pornography Addiction;
  • Assessing lies malingering and deceit in clinical practice;
  • workshops on practical psychological assessment;
  • Bullet-proofing psychology, writing case-notes;
  • Invited guest presenter on impact of domestic violence on Children at the African forum;
  • and presented a paper and workshop at the 3rd International Congress of Psychology and Law (2007).

I was an invited presenter at the Australian Parenting Conference (2011) and co-presented a workshop on assessing families for the Family Court at the Forensic College Conference (2011). I presented a paper at the South Australian Bar Association Conference in 2012 on false memories in sexual abuse cases (and Family Law Practitioner’s Association of WA conference in 2015). I was an invited presenter at the Clinical College Conferences (2011/12/14/15) running master classes on psychological testing (especially PAI or MMPI). I presented at the AFCC-A conference in Melbourne in 2014 /2017, Sydney 2015 / 2019, Brisbane 2016; and Adelaide 2018. I presented at the AFCC 2015 conference in New Orleans on pornography and risk assessment, AFCC 2016 in Seattle on the voice of the child, AFCC in Boston on Self-care and Risk; AFCC in Washington on The four Traumas in the family court (2018). I have presented at the 4th Johannesburg Family law conference as an invited keynote speaker (2017) and I presented at the World Congress on Family Law and Children’s rights in Dublin (2017). I have recently presented in NZ, and invited to Present in both South Africa and Singapore. I have run interstate workshops for the National Judicial College (training Judges) on the impact of family violence on children. I have run training for lawyers, Judges and psychologists on addictions (including Methamphetamine, sexual addictions, gambling, alcohol, and other drugs). I have written papers on a variety of topics including offending behaviour, suicidal behaviour, drug use, forgiveness in trauma resolution, and risk-taking behaviour.

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I have written papers on a variety of topics including offending behaviour, suicidal behaviour, drug use, forgiveness in trauma resolution, and risk-taking behaviour. I have published or co-authored seven books (available here):

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