After finishing her Honours in Psychology and spending two years working in clinical research and as a Lifeline telephone counsellor, Tania decided she wanted to change people’s lives in the most meaningful way possible – sitting across from clients, in the therapy room.
With experience developing and testing out online and phone-based treatments for people struggling with alcohol use problems, Tania also found herself drawn more and more to the area of addictions, finding a great deal of fulfilment in helping individuals break out of damaging habits and reconnect with things in life that gave them joy, enrichment and meaning.
As a member of one of the last generations to remember a life without internet and readily available technology, Tania also noticed the sudden increase and pervasiveness of digital technology, gaming and media, and concerningly, its ability to captivate and draw people in in a way that subtly (and often not so subtly) mirrored what she had seen in those battling substance addictions. Curious and concerned about this new phenomenon, Tania made it her mission to study internet and gaming addiction as the topic of her Doctoral thesis. Her research added to the growing agreement in the research and clinical community that these behaviours could, in fact, become problematic and cause symptoms similar to those seen in alcohol and gambling disorders.
After finishing her Doctorate, Tania moved to Toronto, Canada to live and work for a year before returning to settle in Brisbane. In that time, she took the opportunity to work with the world-renowned Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, helping to independently evaluate their online self-help gambling intervention, and sharing her own research and knowledge of technology addictions. Passionate about starting conversations with the wider community about the issue, Tania also contributed as an expert panellist at the premier of ‘InRealLife’, a film exposing the internet’s addictive side, at the Rendezvous with Madness Festival, one of the largest mental health-focused arts festivals in the world.
Since returning to Australia, Tania has divided her time working in a nationally renowned e-Psychology research team at QUT, where she helps develop, test and promote cutting-edge online and phone-based mental health treatments, working in a busy private practice helping numerous adults and young adults with technology and other addictions (as well as a range of other disorders), and sharing her expertise on technology addictions and screen time with parents, school staff, young people and adults the wider community through her educational seminars.
Tania is regularly sought after by the media for comment on technology and addiction issues. She has spoken numerous times on radio and television, been interviewed on multiple occasions for newspaper and web articles, and is highly regarded as one of Australia’s leading experts in the area.