I started off my career as a general nurse, knowing that I was drawn to help people. I quickly learnt that my interest lay in people; their struggles and their experiences and how these shaped their lives, and this realisation led me to enrol in a three-year Mental Health Nurse training.
I was very lucky to study at a mental health nursing school that took a very non-pathologising, humanistic approach to mental health. Through this course, I trained in person-centred therapy, a counselling approach that is non-judgmental, inclusive, warm and respectful. This modality considers that the client is best situated to resolve their difficulties for themselves when provided with the right therapeutic support.
Later in my career, I studied Gestalt Psychotherapy, a modality that fitted well with Person-centred therapy and my own core values of compassion, tolerance and acceptance. Most people that seek counselling or psychotherapy do so because they are wanting something to fundamentally change within their lives. Gestalt therapy provides a therapeutic framework that allows the client to feel fully seen, heard and validated and which supports them to discover the parts of themselves that are not yet known to them. Through greater self-knowledge, individuals are able to understand their difficulties from a new perspective that enables positive change to organically occur.
These approaches have formed the backbone of my work throughout my career. This work has taken place within a range of different in-patient, out-patient and community settings, with people experiencing a diverse range of mental health challenges and life difficulties. I also have experience facilitating day program groups, support groups and therapy groups within the community. Today, my work is mostly within my private practice and a gestalt training institute where I support and supervise trainee therapists.
I am registered with AHPRA as a registered nurse (Division 1) and with the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses (ACMHN) as a Credentialed Mental Health Nurse.
I am a psychotherapist registered with PACFA.
I have a Masters in Gestalt Therapy and an Advanced Clinical Training in Relational Gestalt Psychotherapy.
I am a Medicare Provider and am able to offer Medicare rebates to those eligible for A Chronic Disease Management Plan provided by their GP, or to women seeking non-directive pregnancy counselling.
I have additional training in:
- Neurodiversity Affirming Therapy
- Dialectical Behavioural Therapy
- Trauma Informed Therapy and Trauma Integration Therapy
- Non-directive Pregnancy Counselling
I am passionate about my therapeutic work with individuals and am welcoming of people from all walks of life and experiencing all types of difficulties. I also have several areas of particular interest.
I have an interest in supporting those that have had or are having experiences of trauma, in all its forms. Many people believe that trauma is related to shocking events or experiences of violence. This is certainly one type of trauma and a very distressing form. However, trauma can also arise from repeated invalidating experiences over time, such as within the family environment, growing up.
Trauma can change our brains and train them to be hypervigilant to potential threat, leading to anxiety, depression and difficulty in relationships. Fortunately, our brains are very elastic and trauma responses can be reversed over time. Recovery involves reconnecting with safety in a supportive, therapeutic environment and this is where I come in.
My trauma work is carefully titrated to each client and focuses on re-establishing a sense of safety so that the brain can stand down from being on permanent alert. Once this begins to happen, the way is paved to begin exploring how the experience of trauma may be derailing the client’s current life, enabling them to get back on track.
I have lived and professional experience of supporting people who live with physical, mental and intellectual disability. This has led me to have some understanding of the difficulties that are faced by people who have experience of disability, either directly or through supporting someone who has direct experience. I have lived experience with supporting a family member with complex communication and physical challenges and I can be flexible in the way I work to accommodate different challenges. I have experience with AAC.
I am acutely aware of the stigma and discrimination that is experienced by those connected to this community and I am strongly drawn to offer community members an inclusive and validating therapy experience. I warmly welcome people to my practice who identify as having a disability or who are supporting someone who does.
Having worked in mental health settings for much of my career, I am all too familiar with how invalidating these services can be to those labelled with a mental illness. I believe that we all have mental health just as we all have physical health and that anyone can experience difficulties with either type of health through no fault of their own.
It is possible to improve our health through education and changes in selfcare, but nothing changes our health more than being accepted and valued for who we are and learning to accept and value ourselves. I feel passionately about removing the stigma from mental health and offering those with a mental health diagnosis wholistic, inclusive and non-pathologising support.
Chronic Illness and Pain
I have lived experience of chronic fatigue syndrome and chronic pain and was fortunate to recover after many years of living with this condition. I understand all too well the shame of having a condition that others don’t understand.
I now have an interest in helping others to reclaim their lives and to recover from debilitating conditions in the same way that I did, using the principles of neuroplasticity. Our brains are the drivers of these conditions even if they didn’t start out that way and if the brain can learn to fail then it can also learn to thrive with the right conditions.
I have a desire to share with others what I have learned through study and my own recovery.
Loss and grief
Mindfulness and guided imagery