Our Staff

Colby Pearce

Colby Pearce is the Principal Clinical Psychologist at Secure Start®. Across a career spanning thirty-two 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 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, and the CARE Curriculum, which is currently being implemented in South Australia in support of carers of Aboriginal Children supported through Martinthi – a joint initiative of InComPro Aboriginal Association and Uniting Care Wesley Bowden (UCWB).

In addition, Colby provides consultation and supervision to the child welfare sector in South Australia.

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 colby@securestart.com.au

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Important Information:

Secure Start is a psychology service that consults from 9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday. All contact with our service outside of these times will be responded to as soon as we are able to during normal business hours. If you need urgent help outside of these hours, we suggest that you consider contacting the following services:

Kids Helpline: 1800 55 1800

Mental Health Triage Service (SA) – 13 14 65 (Adults)