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Mental health and wellbeing for adolescents and executives

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Wellbeing is something to be conscious of everyday, it's contagious.

Dr Charlotte Keating is a psychologist, with a PhD in neuroscience, specialising in adolescents and executives. She is a passionate advocate for mental health, particularly for young people. Charlotte is a Member of the Australian Psychological Society and an Associate Member of the College of Clinical Psychologists.

She is uniquely placed as a result of her expertise in psychology and neuroscience to understand the needs of young people and adults and effectively communicate about them as a media personality, psychologist and researcher.

Charlotte is an insightful, compassionate and engaging presenter. Her scientific understanding of how the brain behaves enables her to provide accessible, intriguing insights into why we respond as we do as humans, that truly resonates with audiences.

Current Work

Charlotte presents regularly to schools on various topics including bullying, wellbeing and education. Charlotte has been a panel member for a bi-annual seminar for the Victorian Bar Readers Course: A bad day in court. She has also presented a seminar as part of the professional development program at the Victorian Bar on the role of perfectionism and self-sabotage at work. She speaks at law firms regarding tools for client and self-management.

She is a Member of the National Centre Against Bullying, an initiative of the Alannah and Madeline Foundation that aims to keep young people safe in the community, on the Advisory Board for Dolly's Dream and an Advisor to The Alannah and Madeline Foundation. Charlotte is an Associate Editor and Member of the Editorial Board at the journal, Neuroscience & Biobehavioural Reviews.

Previous experience

Media: She is recognised for her segments as the Resident psychologiston ABC Radio Afternoons in 2016-2018. She has regularly appeared on Radio National and ABC podcasts related to mental health. She has appeared on channel 10’s The Project and was featured as the psychologist for the ABC documentary “Surviving Schools: My Year 7 Life” where she discussed the challenges and triumphs faced by young people in transitioning from primary to secondary school.

Education: Charlotte has a Masters in Clinical Psychology and held a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Neuroimaging at Swinburne University of Technology (2012-2015) and remains and Adjunct Research Fellow, researching social difficulties in eating disorders and body image disorders.

Dr Keating has a PhD in Neuroscience from Monash University. She obtained an international award for her research into understanding the mechanisms involved in response to antidepressant therapy. She has published 16 papers, including book chapters and filed two Australian Patents.

Talking Points

How Does the Teen Brain Work?

For parents, teachers and young people.
From the perspective of young people, this talk gives parents the understanding they need to choose how they parent the emerging young adults in their care, to be independent, capable, considerate and kind, happy young people. The content covered is an accessible neuroscience perspective from this stage of development on the most common difficulties parents and their teens bring into my practice. This talk relates to a book currently being written.

Managing the transition into High School

For parents, teachers, and young people.
This talk discusses with parents, the ways that they can prepare their young people to effectively manage the transition into High School. Earlier in 2017, I was the psychologist on the documentary: Surviving My Year 7 Life. It documented the journey of a group of young people and their parents, generously sharing some of the most common stressors of this life transition. Radio podcast -

How to prepare your child for VCE, and life beyond

For parents, teachers and young people.
Managing one of the most stressful years of a young person’s life with balance, optimism and compassion. Strategies on how you can study smarter not harder and sustaining a marathon rather than a sprint. Key to this talk is preparing young people for how their ongoing development can best be supported in the year following school, and beyond. It is not a one size fits all, and that’s a good thing!

Dealing with Perfectionism

For parents, teachers, and young people.
Striving for perfection isn’t necessarily a problem - pursuing our best, setting flexible, realistic, achievable goals where we celebrate our successes and accept that our mistakes are part of learning (and move on from them without dwelling in distress), is healthy. Unhealthy perfectionism involves the relentless pursuit for extremely high, unrealistic standards, despite the personal cost. Individuals often judge their self-worth based on the outcome, which can be highly distressing (and exhausting) when the outcome falls short of expectations. This talk discusses what you can do to help a young person that may experience perfectionism.

Bullying: what to do if your child is being bullied, or your child is bullying others

For parents, teachers and young people.
As a psychologist working with young people, I work with families where a young person may have been bullied, or may have engaged in bullying someone, or both. Bullying can occur both online and offline. As a parent, teacher or student, having the knowledge and strategies on how to manage either situation involving a young person is critical given 1 in 4 children have reported experiencing bullying, and the short, and longer-term mental health consequences of either can be significant.

How to develop body positivity and confidence in young people

For adults/parents and students.
Four out of five young women experience ‘fat talk’ about their own appearance or someone else’s during an average week, which has a negative impact on body image, as was discussed at the recent 2017 APS College of Health Psychology and the Australasian Society of Health and Behavioural Medicine Conference, Gold Coast, 13-15 July, and on radio national interview. This talk discusses cutting edge neuroscience that delves into whether how we see ourselves, is actually as we are, and a broader discussion on how we can develop a more positive relationship with ourselves, and hopefully inspire the same in others, whether it be our children, partner or friends.

How to manage screen time and online safety

For parents and young people.
Is your young person addicted to technology? Chances are, they’re not, but chances are, it is a challenge managing how much time their spending online, and what they’re spending their time on. This talk will discuss the brain mechanisms involved in reward, reinforcement and addiction. When to worry about your or their screen use, and how to create a positive culture around screen use and technology in your family.

Alcohol and substance use in young people: What you need to know

For parents and young people.
The developing brain is vulnerable to the effects of alcohol and substance use, yet, paradoxically the young brain is more prone to seeking pleasure, risk taking and engaging in such activities. While not a problem for many young people, as parents, or young people, it is important to understand the facts. This talk provides parents and young people with the knowledge about the developing brain, the effects, and consequences of substance use on it, and behaviour.

Fostering positive identity development in your young people

For parents.
The changes occurring in the human brain during the adolescent stage of development are some of the most dramatic and dynamic that a person will experience in their lifetime. They impact how we perceive ourselves, experience and interpret relationships, process and cope with stress and with emotions generally, how we interpret the world, how we see and feel about ourselves and others, what we are motivated by, what we are interested in, how we learn, how we make decisions, who we are comfortable speaking to and what we are prepared to share, who and what we avoid, who and what we approach - our fears and our hopes; about ourselves, the world and our future. This talk helps parents understand the developing brain and how to help young people navigate the bigger questions of “who am I?” “am I okay?” and “where am I going?” as they forge their independence.

Managing Anxiety Across the Life Span: Worries in your 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s

Do you often find that the things you worry about outside of work are on your mind when you’re at work, or what you’re worried about at work, is on your mind at home? Women experience anxiety more often than men. Our biological make-up means that we are more likely to experience it. This topic is about understanding what anxiety is in the brain. What we worry about over different decades, and what you can do to manage it, whether you are in your 20s and transitioning into a career, building a business or a family, in your 30s, sustaining a professional life, or re-entering the work force, the changing nature of your family and work relationships and having the ability and courage to re-calibrate when things are challenging.

Resilient entrepreneurs: How to not be resilient when it comes to your health

When you’re on a path of creating new things, it can be very lonely - there are times when no one understands what you’re doing - sometimes they can’t hear you, and sometimes they don’t want to. There’s little room for self-doubt, even when those around you may be doubting you.
Emotional ups and downs: resilience is getting through the downs because you feel your career is over, or your business sucks because someone just gave you that frank feedback. The ups and downs of creating your own destiny and having the structures, so that you can manage the ups and downs. Even in the ups, entrepreneurs can go overboard. This topic is about how to manage your mental health in the often lonely landscape of innovation. Your brain is your greatest asset. Know how to take care of it - know when you need to change your approach, without sacrificing your priorities, your health, or your business.

How to recognise self-sabotage in your relationships and career: Managing team dynamics in a gig economy

For entrepreneurs.
Do you ever have “Why on earth did I do that?” moments in meetings? Have difficulty tolerating disappointment when expectations haven’t been met, and act impulsively on it by emotionally laying the blame? Do you ever speak your mind in a way that makes a tough situation even worse, even though you felt justified? Do you find it hard communicating from a calm place - letting anger and frustration rule the conversation and words used. Or, are you a co-Founder who always puts the needs of others first, only to experience frustration and a sense of disappointment that you’re being taken advantage of?
You might be self-sabotaging. It’s often worse when we’re stressed, and our coping mechanisms are already compromised. Learn how to identify patterns of relating or behaving towards others that are no longer serving you and how to manage your relationships so that they don’t end up sabotaging what’s important to you.

How to deal with self-doubt

Everyone experiences self-doubt. It comes from our constant striving to improve ourselves. Often, when we are riding a wave this inner doubter or critic can become pretty quiet. When we feel insecure because of how others relate to us, work-politics, or working with people who have views that are more dominant than ours, it can lead to significant self-doubt, and undermine our confidence. This topic will cover the latest in neuroscience relating to self-doubt, and self-confidence, and mental strategies that help you let go of fear and irrational worry that leads to self-doubt.

Managing perfectionism

Striving for perfection isn’t necessarily a problem - pursuing our best, setting flexible, realistic, achievable goals where we celebrate our successes and accept that our mistakes are part of learning (and move on from them without dwelling in distress), is healthy. Unhealthy perfectionism involves the relentless pursuit for extremely high, unrealistic standards, despite the personal cost. Individuals often judge their self-worth based on the outcome, which can be highly distressing (and exhausting) when the outcome falls short of expectations. You will learn key strategies that help shift your mindset from perfectionism to one that pursues excellence.

Modern Parenting

Are you a person returning to, or currently in the workforce who wonders whether they’re being a good parent? What do your children need in order to thrive? What is ‘Good enough parenting’ and is it good enough? The fundamentals of a modern family are different. Often, both parents need to work. How can you make technology complimentary to your life rather than a distraction? How to know when your is child being bullied. Are you tapped into their developing identities? How to diffuse arguments and tension. How to manage technology limits at home.
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