Renowned psychologist Dr Andrew Fuller drops by Edmund Rice College

TALKING SHOP: Well-known clinical psychologist and family therapist Dr Andrew Fuller talking to Edmund Rice College students on Monday, February 17. Picture: Adam McLean.
TALKING SHOP: Well-known clinical psychologist and family therapist Dr Andrew Fuller talking to Edmund Rice College students on Monday, February 17. Picture: Adam McLean.

Dr Andrew Fuller is happy that he has been described as an "interesting mixture of Billy Connolly, Tim Winton and Frasier Crane".

The well-known clinical psychologist and family therapist also takes great pride in "putting the heart back into psychology".

That's exactly what Dr Fuller did when he dropped by Edmund Rice College on Monday.

The Fellow of the Department of Psychiatry and the Department of Learning and Educational Development at the University of Melbourne, also told students they needed to reshape their game plan or resilience throughout their lives.

"What works when you are 16 is a bit different when you are 46. It is an important thing to kind of reshape your game plan or your resilience if you like through your life," he said.

Dr Fuller, who has worked with thousands of students across the country, specialising in the wellbeing of young people and their families, said there had been an enormous surge in neuroscience in the last year or so.

TALKING SHOP: Well-known clinical psychologist and family therapist Dr Andrew Fuller talking to Edmund Rice College students on Monday, February 17. Picture: Adam McLean.

TALKING SHOP: Well-known clinical psychologist and family therapist Dr Andrew Fuller talking to Edmund Rice College students on Monday, February 17. Picture: Adam McLean.

"What this means is that research has changed now into how the brain communicates within itself and that's led us down the track of information processing within brains," he said.

"We know all of us have different pathways that are more developed and some that are less and they basically convert into learning strengths.

"So your brain is as individual as your fingerprint and we know that some areas will come very easily to you, others will be a struggle.

"Now kids don't know that. Most kids think either I'm really smart or I'm really dumb. Lots of kids think they are really dumb and they're not.

"So really the aim is to basically to try and build schools and communities where the message is here everyone gets smart.

"Everyone is smart in different ways because everyone has a different brain."

Dr Fuller has set up website www.mylearningstrengths.com to help kids learn this.

Some 11,000 kids across the world have used it successfully in the last six months.

"It is remarkably popular because once you know your learning strengths you can call upon them and use them at any time," he said.

Edmund Rice College school captain Roarke Curry said it was outstanding to hear from someone so knowledgeable.

"To be able to learn how to best succeed in Year 12 and apply your own strengths and weaknesses to do that, was fascinating," the 17-year-old said.

"He focused a lot on memorization and a lot on learning strengths. It was a great talk."

Dr Fuller was also set to speak on Identifying and Building Learning Strengths at a community event on Monday evening.

The inspirational author, speaker and educator said the message to parents was different.

"The message is a bit different because we often assume as parents that our kids will learn in the same way as we did but that's not good. You don't want to transmit your limitations onto your kids because that's unfair," Dr Fuller said.

"The idea that we are just good at everything is just a crazy idea."

This story Expert builds learning strengths and resilience at Wollongong school first appeared on Illawarra Mercury.