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 Yulia Bondarenko

Yulia Bondarenko

Counselling Psychologist

Nexus Psychology

Our lives, just like our difficulties, do not occur in a vacuum. Humans are relational beings who develop throughout their lives. One must understand the context to understand people, their goals and dreams, their psychic pain, in order to help them develop strategies to cope. When I have a client in front of me, I don’t just see a ‘problem’ that needs addressing or fixing, I see a person with a wealth of knowledge and life experience who possesses an infinite capacity to develop.


  • Level 4 Suite 4, 517 St Kilda Road, Melbourne, VIC 3004 03 9500 0751 PHONE 03 9500 0751


  • Counselling, Family Therapy 
  • Areas of Special Interest

  • ADD / ADHD, Adolescent Issues, Anxiety / Panic Attacks, Behavioural Issues, Depression, Family / Parenting, PTSD, Relationship Issues, Trauma Recovery  
  • MODALITIES / Approach

    ACT, CBT, Mindfulness

    In my work I utilise Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Cognitive Analytic Therapy, and Mindfulness-based interventions.


    • Postgraduate Diploma in Counselling Psychology - 2011 - Auckland University of Technology
    • Master of Health Science in Psychology - 2009 - Auckland University of Technology
    • Bachelor of Health Science (Honours) in Psychology - 2008 - Auckland University of Technology
    • Bachelor of Arts - 2005 - University of Auckland


    For the last four years I have been working with youth and their families, doing both individual and family therapy. Most of my early professional career was focussed on working with adolescents with a forensic history in the social services system. A lot of the work was focused on trauma, rebuilding attachments, and systems work. Later I worked with children and adolescents presenting with severe behavioural problems, neurodevelopment disorders (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism, intellectual disabilities), as well as attachment difficulties and trauma.


    Daytime as well as after-hours
    Monday to Wednesday


    $160 per 50 minute session

    Payment Options

    Funding through Medicare; private health insurance


  • English
  • Russian

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    10 Questions with Yulia Bondarenko

    • What led you to choose psychotherapy or counselling as a profession?

    • In my late teens I began to realise that people differed in how they dealt with challenges they faced in life. Some forged on and learned from what happened or from their reactions, others became incapacitated to one degree or the other and struggled to bounce back. I saw psychology as a tool that could be used to help people cope with difficulties, to provide a corrective experience to those who had a hard time growing up, and to improve people’s lives. All of us, at some point or another, struggle to cope with what life throws our way. In those times, going to a skilled professional who has the benefit of experience and neutrality is invaluable.
    • Which philosophical approaches have influenced your professional/personal development?

    • Two approaches in particular have influenced my development, both professionally and personally – relational constructivism and social constructionism. Here are brief and somewhat simplified definitions of both. The former sees individuals as relational beings, embedded in the social world of persons, while acknowledging their ability to be active, self-reflexive agents, creating their own psychology. The latter sees reality, or rather what we perceive as reality, as a construct. We attribute a co-constructed meaning to various phenomena, which are bound by time, culture, and context. Thus words we use to describe the world and those in the world are loaded with meaning that goes beyond the simple phonetics. What does it mean to be a woman or a man? What did it mean to be a woman in times where university education or voting was not allowed, and thus what did it say about being a woman then, versus now?
    • Which particular aspects of health or the human journey are you interested in?

    • I am particularly interested in childhood development and developmental stages, forming of attachment and its profound impact on the person’s future relationships with both themselves and others. The nature/nurture debate also represents an interest. In particular, how the social, rather than the biological factors have a significant impact on shaping the development of personality, resilience and coping, and can ultimately alter our neurodevelopment.
      I gain insight into the genesis of the person’s individual coping style, strengths and difficulties through a holistic assessment, incorporating the bio psychosocial model as well as family assessment (particularly with children and adolescents). This process is invaluable in tailoring treatment methods and modalities to individual clients.
    • What method/s do you use?

    • I favour a flexible, eclectic approach over strictly manualised treatments, as it allows tailoring and individualising interventions to the individual client, ensuring the best results in the shortest time frame. With an eclectic approach the clinician draws on their experience with a range of different but complementary modalities and uses various tools that would be of use to each individual client. During the therapy process I monitor the client’s progress together with them. This ongoing assessment with an open dialogue between the therapist and the client ensures that the client is getting the most out of therapy
    • When do you think the client will start to feel that progress is being made?

    • Individual results could vary, but generally most clients will feel that some progress is being made within the first 2-4 sessions.
    • How has therapy made you a better person?

    • It taught me patience, and to be able to suspend my personal expectations so I can be fully engaged with another person.
    • What do you like most about being a therapist?

    • Through therapy with clients, witnessing their empowerment in making positive changes in their wellbeing, lives, and relationships.
    • Do you ever have 'bad hair' days?

    • Absolutely (as well as the occasional Mondayitis)! These small and not so small annoyances are a part of life and no matter how much we may wish them away they will be there. I try to accept that (not always successfully!) and refocus on what is actually happening around me in that moment in time.
    • What do you think is the most significant problem we face, in the world today?

    • Separating ‘us’ and ‘them’ is a problem that has always existed it seems. ‘They’ are always less deserving of help and compassion, less capable physically or/and intellectually, often feared, pitied or viewed with contempt. These attitudes create and maintain inequality, fear and hate. I am optimistic that these attitudes are changing, albeit slowly, and will continue to improve.
    • Can you share the name of a book, film, song, event or work of art that inspires you?

    • I am a big film buff and although it is hard to pinpoint just one inspirational film, Billy Elliot is definitely one of them.
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     Yulia Bondarenko

    Yulia Bondarenko

    Counselling Psychologist

    I am a counselling psychologist specialising in work with adolescents and families around issues pertaining to behavioural problems, neurodevelopment disorders, attachment and trauma and associated difficulties (depression, anxiety, self-esteem, relational problems). Although I received my training in New Zealand, I come from a Russian/Ukrainian family. I was born and spent my formative years in Uzbekistan, a beautiful country in Central Asia, with a rich history and culture....

    • Melbourne
    • ACT, CBT, Mindfulness