"We live in an age of information overload, but sometimes that bulk of information can be confusing and even misleading. The simple act of talking to an impartial professional can be very helpful and an enormous relief."
Registered Psychologist, B. Litt (Hons.) M.Litt. M.Psych (Counselling) AAAP
Hart Psychologists Certified
1. How many years’ experience do you have practicing / helping clients?
I have been practicing for 20 years.
2. What do you find most rewarding about working with people who have depression?
Helping them unravel the causes of their depression and work through those feelings until they are no longer sad and unmotivated and seeing how those changes improve their lives
3. What do you find most rewarding about working with people who have anxiety?
There are lots of ways to help people with anxiety and it is wonderful to see a person become free of crippling fear and able to make the most of their lives.
4. What do you find most rewarding about working with people who are stressed?
Stress is usually either due to external factors or due to past ways of dealing with life that mean that stress is the go to response for difficult circumstances. Usually there is anxiety or depression underlying excessive stress reactions.
5. How do you help clients feel comfortable and supported?
I listen, understand, develop ways of dealing with their immediate problems and then go on to work through more lasting ways of developing positive approaches to life.
6. What methodologies and/or approaches do you find most helpful?
I find this a very difficult question to answer. I tailor my approach to each individual or couple. Some people want more directed therapies – strategies. I attempt to offer all clients strategies and I believe there must be some good understanding of why these problems are occurring in order for them to begin to be resolved. Most people are willing to explore possible processes that they have not already thought about. Or to work on long standing dysfunctional patterns of thought and behaviour. Or to look at current dysfunctional lifestyles or relationship patterns. All of which I believe lead to these problems. Once awareness and insight occur then there are many straightforward processes that can be employed to resolve depression, anxiety and stress. Relaxation and Mindfulness are always important.
7. What have clients said about how you have helped them most?
Clients are only rarely specific about what has helped them. If they are they talk about understanding and support. The emphasis I think is on understanding. Sometimes I only know how much I have helped when they refer a relative or a close friend. This happens quite often. Recently I saw the uncle of a couple that I no longer see. The woman in the couple rang and told me that I had helped them so much that perhaps I could help their uncle. That is the only way I really knew that I had helped the couple. The uncle had severe anxiety but now he is back at work and happy, almost anxiety free. He leaves home grown vegetables in a bag at my front gate.
8. What is the best or most heart-warming feedback you’ve received from a client?
I received a showbag of presents – earrings, perfume, champagne, a plant – other things- and a card which I of course I have kept – she said “ I will never be able to convey how much of a difference you have made to myself and my family. Your counsel, support and friendship have been invaluable to me regarding a confidence I had lost so long ago. I hope that you are always abundantly blessed because you are truly so deserving.”
( I still get teary when I read this card – the journey with this young woman was long and painful and her wellness, which she maintains and develops to this day, gives me lasting joy and gratitude.)
9. List 3 strengths that you have as a psychologist…..
The ability to listen carefully, a completely non-judgemental approach and kindness.
10. Why do you love doing this work?
If we can help to enable positive change in even one person, then our job is worthwhile.
A very important and wonderful part of this work is all the amazing things we learn from our clients. Their strength, their dedication, their humour in the face of pain, and in many cases, their genuine and admirable commitment to positive change is a daily lesson and inspiration.
We live in an age of information overload, but sometimes that bulk of information can be confusing and even misleading. The simple act of talking to an impartial professional can be very helpful and an enormous relief.