I am an Avalon counsellor, psychotherapist and relationship counsellor in private practice on the northern beaches of Sydney, with over 20 years experience.
I work from my consulting room in a tranquil garden setting, which clients frequently describe as safe and welcoming.
I feel very privileged to meet with couples and individuals at stressful points in their lives and join with them in finding some comfort and new understandings.
The human spirit never fails to amaze me and I frequently find myself humbled by the way in which my clients face adversity. These experiences make me increasingly dedicated to helping individuals and couples create relationships which are loving, respectful and honest – relationships which can tolerate difference and stay connected even when sorely stretched.
HOW I BECAME A PSYCHOTHERAPIST AND RELATIONSHIP COUNSELLOR
I have been drawn to the helping professions for much of my life, having started out with a strong leaning towards wanting to work with others in one way or another, trying to understand ‘how people tick’, hence my interest in drama and the characters found there!
I did an honours degree in Education, majoring in English and drama at London university many years ago, teaching in London schools before having a family and emigrating to Australia.
My interest in all things psychological was further spiked by the ‘drama’ of relocation from one side of the world to other. I decided to pursue that interest by doing a Graduate Diploma in Psychotherapy and Relationship Counselling at the Jansen Newman Institute of Counselling and Applied Psychotherapy here in Sydney. After two years of study and 50 hours of supervised clinical practice I was awarded my diploma.
NARRATIVE AND GESTALT THERAPIES
Following this I did a two-year Masters Degree at the University of Western Sydneywhere I was awarded an M. App. Sci. in Critical Pyschology majoring in Narrative Studies.
This then took me into a further two year training in Narrative Therapy at the Narrative Therapy Training Centre in Sydney with additional training down at the Dulwhich Centre in Adelaide with the late Michael White.
My Narrative training serves as the grounding for much of the work I do today, which I then supplemented with a two year intensive training in Gestalt Therapy. The latter has helped me to bring the experiences of my clients into the ‘here and now’ of the therapy room rather than simply ‘talking about’ the problems. Narrative reminds me that the ‘problem is always the problem, not the person.’
During this time I was working as a counsellor at the South Pacific Private Hospitalin Harbord for three years. This gave me a good grounding in the nature of addiction and the pain that underlies it.
Following this I worked at Therapy Works, a local clinic in Newport which brought me into contact with a wide range of issues ranging from depression and anxiety, trauma, relationship difficulties of all sorts. Along with this I worked one day a week out of the Woollahra Medical Practice in the Eastern suburbs, again helping people treat a wide range of issues.
After five years, I left to set up my own private practice and have been happily doing that ever since along with teaching at Jansen Newman from time to time and having a few articles published in Wellbeing Magazine and the Sun Herald ‘Body and Soul’ lift out.
I have a diploma in Ericksonian Hypnosis and am happy to offer that if someone specifically wants Hypnosis.
E.F.T.- EMOTIONALLY FREEDOM TECHNIQUE
I am fully trained with extensive experience in the use of Emotional Freedom Technique and have been using it with my clients for the last 13 years. Most report a great relief from the intensity of their problems. It works noticeably well with those who have had trauma of any sort.
M.B.S.R. ( MINDFULNESS BASED STRESS REDUCTION)
I trained in the use of MBSR four years ago at Openground in Sydney, based on the teachings of Jon Kabat-Zinn. This has been of enormous benefit in helping my clients reduce the effects of anxiety, to relax and become more aware of their own bodily sensations, emotions and thought processes.
BUDDHISM AND PSYCHOTHERAPY
I am passionate about my meditation practice and and have completed a two year course at AABCAP (Australian Association of Buddhist Psychotherapists)</em> in Camperdown. This course seeks to integrate Buddhist philosophies with psychotherapeutic practice and is one of the few of its kind.
- B. Ed. Hons (London University)
- Graduate Diploma Relationship counselling and Psychotherapy (JNI)
- M.App.Sci., Critical Psych. (Narrative Therapy) (UWS)
- Diploma Gestalt Psychotherapy (GPTS)
- Diploma of Learning Solutions in Hypnosis (CET)
- PACT (Psychobiological Approach to Couples Therapy) Level 1
- Registered Member of PACFA
- Clinical Member of AABCAP
Dr. Harriet Webb, Dr. Orla Tehan and Dr. Ethel Gilbert have all referred clients to me over the years.