I remember my first significant experience of helping another human being as a moment that grounded me with a sense of identity; it felt good and right. Since then there were many times when I felt I was being my most authentic self by being present with people during significant experiences in their lives: suffering, struggling, growing. It is liberating to me to be engaged in the important matters of life, it helps me feel connected and truly alive.
People sometimes ask me how I can work with people experiencing difficulties, illness or struggles; and I believe this is why: working with people therapeutically makes life meaningful for me, and I have tremendous respect for people that are willing to face, and grapple with, their most intense thoughts and emotions.
Throughout my life I have studied various forms of therapy, with approaches ranging from the physical, to the social and the psychological. I have had the privilege to witness many peoples’ healing journeys, and this has been a gift for my own unfolding development, as a human being and as a therapist. At each step of my journey, I have applied what I have learned to my own life, and the lives of people around me.
As a result of these studies and experiences, I feel that the term ‘integrative therapist’ is really the perfect description of my work. I integrate my formal learning, my personal journey, the journeys of others I have witnessed, and my own sense of meaning and purpose in life, into the work I do.
When I work with people, I approach my work with a keen awareness of the need to balance what I bring to the meeting with what the other person brings. My effort is to:
Be present, listen and understand what the person is communicating;
Draw on knowledge or tools that are the most relevant for them;
Share these in a way that is accurate and harmonious.
Having found my own way through struggles with emotions, grief, relationship challenges and searching for my place in life and society, I believe the way to work with people is to respect and nurture their own sense of what is meaningful to them. I feel passionate about people finding their own voice, their own sense of direction. Part of this can be about developing the tools and capacities that we need to get there. As much as there is a therapist in me, there is also a teacher, and I enjoy combining these roles to empower people to move forward on their path.
Most fundamentally, my experiences have taught me that the journey to healing is about knowing ourselves, accepting ourselves, and having the courage to live life on our own terms. This is what I feel is the ultimate destination of therapy.
My Qualifications & Experience
Since 1996, I have worked as a counsellor and psychotherapist in private practice and in the fields of community services, mental health, and addictions. I have also worked as an educator in counselling and community work in the VET and Higher Education sectors.
My qualifications include:
- Master of Counselling and Psychotherapy
- Bachelor of Social Work (Honours)
- Bachelor of Health Science
I am an accredited member of the Australian Association of Social Workers, and registered as a provider with Medicare.