Dr. Maala Lal (MAPS, Ph.D., M.Psych.Clin, PGD.Sports.Psych, BA.Psych) is a clinical psychologist with over 15 years’ experience. She has a special interest in eating disorders, having attained a Doctor of Philosophy from The University of Sydney. She also likes to work with expectant or new mothers, who may be finding the adjustment to motherhood difficult, including depression and anxiety in the perinatal period.
She has consulted at a private psychiatric hospital in the north shore for almost 6 years amongst reputable, world-known, pioneers in the treatment and research of eating disorders as the senior clinical psychologist in an inpatient unit. She has completed her PhD in eating disorders, in particular working to create links between Australia and India. She worked with hospitals and schools in India undertaking original research to complete her thesis titled ‘Cultural and developmental factors relating to eating disorder pathology in Indian and Australian females’.
Dr Maala Lal provides counselling to adults, children and adolescents. She offers assessment, treatment and management of a range of problems, including:
- Eating disorders
- Body image problems
- Depression and mood disorders
- Anxiety disorders and panic
- Postnatal depression and anxiety
- Anger management
- Relationship issues
- Domestic violence
- Stress, conflict and tension
- Grief and loss
- Separation and divorce
She brings with her a variety of experience from different levels of psychology. She has worked with the Department of Juvenile Justice in counselling young female offenders, crisis intervention, liaison with external agencies, to improve the mental health of this often misunderstood population, to cease patterns of offending. Similarly she has worked with the Salvation Army, where she was involved with case managing, advocating and counselling of 12-18 year old adolescents at risk of alcohol/drug abuse and homelessness, as the coordinator of the program called Helping Young People Achieve. She coordinated small to very large group programs and activities for clients, offered immediate crisis intervention, liaised with many external community agencies and conducted budgeting for program needs and expenses
She has worked closely with the managing director of Napoleon Perdis in an organisational consulting role to review recruitment and selection strategies, provide new employment policy and procedures, recommend suitable psychometric/behavioural instruments, and conduct exit interview and competency testing. She has also been positioned as a learning and development consultant with McKesson Asia-Pacific, where she trained other professionals to conduct in-depth assessment and formulate management plans for patients with post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, psychosis, sexual assault and drug and alcohol abuse.
She has a strong commitment to volunteer and give back to charities. She has been involved with the Australian Psychological Society as a committee member for the Sydney Branch, the ‘Big Sister Little Sister’ program, as a member of the executive advisory board, Lifeline and supports organisations, such as, the Cancer Council.
Dr Maala Lal is trained in various leading and evidence based therapeutic approaches to treatment: Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT), Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), Motivational Interviewing, Mindfulness and Relaxation.
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Publications and Presentations
- Published paper: Indian Journal of Psychiatry (2015) A comparison of eating disorder patients in India and Australia
- Published paper: Eating Behaviors (2011) Translation of the Quality of Life for Eating Disorders questionnaire into Hindi
- Published paper: Eating and Weight Disorders (2011) Adolescent development and eating disorder related quality of life in Indian females
- Published paper: Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynecology (2009) Time since menarche, weight gain and body image awareness among adolescent girls: onset of eating disorders?
- Published paper: Medimond (2007) “Cultural differences in Menarche, BMI, Tanner and Eating Attitudes of Girls in India and Australia”
- Presentation of research at 35th Annual Scientific Conference of The Australian Society for Psychosocial Obstetrics and Gynaecology in August 2009, Sydney.
- Seminar presentation at XV International Congress of The International Society of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynecology in May 2007, Japan.
- Presentation at Australia & New Zealand Academy for Eating Disorders 2005.
Awards and Achievements
- Member of The Australian Psychological Society since 2001. Membership number: 107759
- Registered Clinical Psychologist in Australia since May 2004. AHPRA membership number: PSY0001334899
- Runner Up-Mixed Soccer in North Sydney Competition Summer 2010 Semi-Finalist-Women’s Soccer Burwood Football Club 2013
- Youth Ambassador, India Australia Business and Community Awards 2014
- Women in Business Chapter Member, Australian India Business Council NSW 2014
- Committee Member Sydney Branch of the Australian Psychological Society (APS) 2017