Colby Pearce

Colby Pearce PsychologistColby Pearce is the Principal Clinical Psychologist at Secure Start®. Across a career spanning more than twenty years as a researcher and clinician, Colby has worked tirelessly for the promotion of the mental health and wellbeing of children, teens and families and the advancement of Psychology and other ‘helping professions’.

Colby overcame significant adversity to achieve his aspiration to be a Clinical Psychologist. In his first year at university he was diagnosed with Temporal Lobe Epilepsy and advised to withdraw from his studies. Colby went against specialist medical advice and pushed on with his university education, notwithstanding the adverse effects of the medication he took over the next four years to manage his condition.

Colby’s early achievements included a series of papers published in Psychiatry journals concerning the early identification of teens at-risk of suicide. One particular paper, Predicting Suicide Attempts Among Adolescents, formed the basis of the assessment framework in an Australia-wide General Medical Practitioner education program; Youth Suicide: Recognising the Signs. The same framework has been added to the American Psychological Society’s PsychTESTS Database.

Colby has practised continuously as a Clinical Psychologist since 1995. He began this phase of his career working with children and teens who had experienced abuse, neglect and family trauma in one of Adelaide’s most disadvantaged communities. This role left an indelible mark on Colby and he has continued to work with disadvantaged groups in their own communities throughout his career.

Since his early career as a researcher, Colby has maintained his commitment to the advancement of clinical practice among Psychologists and other ‘helping professionals’. Colby has provided more than fifty supervised training placements in child, teen and family mental health to aspiring Psychologists since 1997. Colby has delivered dozens of training workshops, seminars and lectures and in 2006 he taught the Child Clinical Psychology component of a Masters and Doctoral Degree program at a South Australian university. In 2005 Colby established the first postgraduate psychology training clinics that operated as a joint initiative between the university sector and child welfare authorities in South Australia.

Across a long career Colby has continued to write and is known internationally for his accessible, thoughtful advice to parents and professionals regarding evidence-based caregiving practices that promote the welfare, wellbeing and resilience of all children. Colby’s bestselling book, A Short Introduction to Attachment and Attachment Disorder, was chosen as recommended reading for all aspiring Psychologists in Australia who must sit the National Psychology Examination. Colby is also the author of the Triple-A Model of Therapeutic Care, which is currently being implemented as the preferred model of care for TUSLA foster carers in Donegal, Ireland.

In recent years Colby has focused primarily on providing expert clinical services to children, teens and families in clinic and school settings and appreciates the faith and trust invested by those who consult with him and those who refer to him.

In 2010, Colby’s broad expertise and knowledge of clinical psychology practice was acknowledged in his appointment to the Health Practitioner’s Tribunal of South Australia. In 2012, Colby was appointed to the Psychology Board of Australia’s National Psychology Examination Committee. In 2015, Colby was appointed as a practitioner member to the NT/SA/WA Regional Board of the Psychology Board of Australia.

More recently, in June 2017 Colby was awarded the tender to produce a new pre- (and post) approval foster care training package for the Republic of Ireland following a competitive international tendering process. The project for the development of this package incorporates:

  1. Review of current packages, relevant legislation, practice guidelines and literature, conduct of stakeholder consultations, and the development of a quality assurance and evaluation methodology (Stage One);
  2. Preparation of a pre-approval foster care training modules for foster and relative carers, ‘children who foster’, a train-the-trainer module and a post-approval module (Stage Two);
  3. Training of trainers in the new packages, pilot implementation of the foster carer training package, and review (Stage Three); and
  4. Development and publication of the final product (Stage 4).

Away from psychology, Colby enjoys family life with his wife, Rebecca, three sons and pet dog. Colby is a keen gardener, home renovator, and recycler of building materials. He loves the South Australian outback and is a keen four-wheel-driver. Colby is also a motor racing enthusiast and avid follower of Formula One.

Click here to view Colby’s curriculum vitae.

If you are a representative of an organisation wishing to collaborate with Colby, click here for more information about Colby.

Colby can be contacted via e-mail

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Inke Jones

Inke is an Intern Provisional Psychologist at Secure Start. She completed a Graduate Diploma in Psychology followed by an Honours degree in Social Sciences (Psychology) at Charles Sturt University, graduating in late 2013. In order to fulfil the requirements of professional registration, Inke will be training at Secure Start under Colby’s supervision for the next few years.

Before deciding to take a career change into Psychology, Inke completed her undergraduate studies in Medical Science and Biomedical Engineering in Germany. After moving to Australia and having two children of her own, she developed a strong interest in child development and the issues many parents face while raising their children. Inke’s goal is to develop effective therapeutic skills to help children and young people to overcome adverse life events and to improve their relationships with their families.

To relax, Inke enjoys spending time her husband, their two young sons and their pet cat. She also loves watching movies, reading, running and playing Touch Football.

Click here to see an article about restoring calm and parenting effectively in the face of your children’s emotions and behaviours.

AAA Model of Therapeutic Care