“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step” – Lao Tzu

Seeing a psychologist is often compared to starting a journey. For many people, this can feel daunting. Talking about your emotions might make you feel uncomfortable at first. Sometimes, this stops people from taking the first step. It’s important that you know,  you don’t have to take this journey alone.

Research consistently shows that a positive therapeutic relationship between the psychologist and the client is what helps the healing process. Like any relationship, building trust can take some time. To help with this process, Adriana provides a safe, open and non-judgemental atmosphere.

Together, you will work toward improving your quality of life. What may start out as a straightforward issue could turn out to be a journey of self-discovery.

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Dr Adriana Ventura – BA, GDipPsych, DPsych(Health), MAPS

Adriana is a nationally registered psychologist under the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) and a member of the Australian Psychological Society (APS). She holds a Bachelor of Arts with a major in Psychology from Monash University, a Graduate Diploma in Psychology and a Doctor of Psychology (Health) from Deakin University. As well as working in private practice, Adriana is employed as a Research Fellow at the Australian Centre for Behavioural Research in Diabetes (ACBRD), a partnership between Diabetes Victoria and Deakin University. Her research has focused on the psychological, social and behavioural aspects of living with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

Although her practice is not confined to people with diabetes or other chronic health conditions, Adriana has a special interest in these groups. Living with a chronic health condition can be really tough. It is not uncommon for people to experience a range of emotions associated with their condition. For some people this can lead to the development of more serious psychological problems. For others, difficult emotions can make it even harder to take care of their health.  Adriana takes a holistic view of health, with the understanding that the mind and body work together. Adriana works with adolescents and adults.

When she isn’t working, Adriana enjoys travelling, and spending time with family and friends. In line with her values of maintaining good mental and physical health, Adriana practices yoga and meditation regularly.

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Health Psychology

“An abnormal reaction to an abnormal situation is normal behaviour”
– Viktor E. Frankl

Health psychology is one of the ten areas of psychology as specified by the Australian Psychological Society (APS). It is about the connections between physical health conditions and the psychology of the person. You can read more about Health Psychology by clicking here.

Finding a psychologist who understands the unique emotional challenges associated with having a chronic health condition is really important. Adriana understands how challenging it can be to maintain healthy behaviours and a healthy mindset when dealing with health problems.

Through counselling, Adriana can help you to overcome set-backs that are an inevitable part of managing a long-term health condition. Together, you will work to understand how past and present issues are preventing you from achieving your health-related goals, while also managing any psychological problems. Some of the concerns Adriana can help with include:

  • Adjustment issues
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Acute and chronic stress
  • Past trauma and abuse
  • Weight management
  • Pain management
  • Perfectionism
  • Grief and loss

Therapy may be short-term (6 – 10 sessions) or for some problems, may be longer-term.

The first session will involve gathering information about your mood, health, relationships and lifestyle so that Adriana can understand your needs. Following sessions will be guided by various therapeutic approaches, such as:

  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
  • Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC)
  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
  • Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT)
  • Schema Therapy
  • Motivational Interviewing (MI)

Adriana practices in Frankston every Thursday and Friday. You do not need a referral to make an appointment, however to obtain a Medicare rebate of $84.80 per session you require a Mental Health Treatment Plan from your general practitioner.


Adriana is also a service provider for the Transport Accident Commission (TAC) and Worksafe Victoria.


If you are a Diabetes Victoria member, you are entitled to receive six bulk-billed sessions when you present with a GP Mental Health Treatment Plan. This is a saving of $480. Proof of Diabetes Victoria membership is required at the first session. For more details, please email info@adrianaventura.com.au



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Adriana has a strong track-record in diabetes research. She has been involved in the world-leading program of research into diabetes-related stigma. In 2014, she was the lead Chief Investigator on a successfully funded Diabetes Australia Research Program (DARP) grant. This led to the development of diabetes-related stigma questionnaires, one of which has been published in the highly esteem journal, Diabetes Care. She also project managed a national, large-scale survey focusing on the psychosocial aspects of living with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

Her other research achievements to date include various peer-reviewed publications, national and international conference presentations, multiple collaborations, and  peer-review for journals including Primary Care Diabetes and Stigma and Health. In 2016, she was an invited speaker for the Australian Psychological Society (APS) webinar series on chronic illness and mental health. Adriana was also involved in developing mental health resources for health care professionals and people with diabetes through a National Diabetes Services Scheme (NDSS) funded program where she was the lead author on the diabetes and emotional health leaflets (below).



Browne JL, Holmes-Truscott E, Ventura AD, Hendrieckx C, Pouwer F, Speight J. (2017). Cohort profiles of the cross-sectional and prospective participant groups in the second Diabetes MILES – Australia (MILES-2) study. BMJ Open,7:e012926.doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2016-012926.

Browne JL, Ventura AD, Mosely K, Speight J. (2016). Measuring the stigma surrounding type 2 diabetes: Development and validation of the Type 2 Diabetes Stigma Assessment Scale (DSAS-2). Diabetes Care,dc160117.

Newton-John TR, Ventura AD, Mosley K, Browne JL, Speight J. (2016). ‘Are you sure you’re going to have another one of those? A qualitative analysis of the social control and social support models in type 2 diabetes. Journal of Health Psychology, doi: 10.1177/ 135910531 664200.

Handley TE, Ventura AD, Browne JL, Rich J, Attia JR, Reddy P, Pouwer F, Speight J. (2015). Suicidal ideation reported by adults with type 1 or type 2 diabetes: results from Diabetes MILES – Australia. Diabetic Medicine, 33(11), 1582-1589.

Beasley E, Brooker J, Warren N, Fletcher J, Boyle C, Ventura AD, Burney S. (2015). The lived experience of volunteering in a palliative care biography service. Palliative & Supportive Care, 13(5), 1417-25.

Browne JL, Ventura AD, Mosely K, Speight J. (2014). “I’m not a druggie, I’m just a diabetic”: a qualitative study of stigma from the perspective of adults with type 1 diabetes. BMJ Open, 4:e005625, doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2014-005625.

Browne JL, Ventura AD, Mosely K, Speight J. (2013). “I call it the blame and shame disease”: a qualitative study about perceptions of social stigma surrounding type 2 diabetes. BMJ Open, 3:e003384, doi:10,1136/bmjopen-2013-003384.

Ventura AD, Burney S, Brooker J, Fletcher J, Ricciardelli L. (2013). Home based palliative care: a systematic literature review of the self-reported unmet needs of patients and carers. Palliative Medicine, 28. 391-402.

Other Publications – Unranked Journals & Consumer Magazines 

Ventura AD, Speight J. Diabetes distress. (2017).  Be. Magazine (Medibank). Autumn edition, 90-91.

Ventura AD, Browne JL, Holmes-Truscott E, Hendrieckx C, Pouwer F, Speight J. (2016). Diabetes MILES-2 2016 Survey Report. Diabetes Victoria, Melbourne.

Ventura AD, Hendrieckx C, Halliday J, Speight J. (2016). NDSS Diabetes and Emotional Health Information Leaflets: Adjusting to life with diabetes; Diabetes distress; Fear of hypoglycaemia; Concerns about starting insulin; Diabetes and depression; Diabetes and anxiety; Diabetes and disordered eating; Peer support for diabetes. http://www.ndss.com.au (Publications & Resources).

Ventura AD. (2016). Building happiness and wellbeing. Circle (Diabetes Australia’s consumer magazine), Autumn Edition.

Ventura AD, Halliday J, Hendrieckx C. (2016).  Having the conversation about diabetes distress and depression in primary care. Diabetes Management Journal. March 2016.

Ventura AD. Staying motivated this winter. (2014). Circle (Diabetes Australia’s consumer magazine), Winter Edition, 20-22.

Ventura AD, Browne JL, Mosely K, Speight J. (2013). The diabetes stigma. Conquest (Diabetes Australia’s consumer magazine), Summer Edition, 26-27.

Consumer & Media Engagement

In 2015, Adriana was an invited speaker at the Diabetes Victoria Women’s Weekend, where she presented to women, predominately with type 1 diabetes about the emotional aspects of living with diabetes.

She has also been interviewed by various media for her expert opinion. In 2016, she was featured in an ABC news story on eating disorders among people with type 1 diabetes. You can listen to the interview here. She was also recently interviewed by the health professional editorial magazine, The Limbic, about her research into the psychological  impact of diabetes.

Adriana was quoted in the following Diabetes Victoria media releases:

  • ‘It’s time to recognise distress caused by diabetes’. Diabetes Victoria media release. 24 November, 2016.
  • ‘Psychosocial burden of diabetes revealed in 2016 MILES-2 Survey Report’. Diabetes Victoria media release.19 December, 2016.
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To make an appointment, please call:
(03) 9783 7724 (Reception)

For enquiries, please email or use the form below:


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