"I learn just as much from my clients as they do during counselling. I am always in awe of the strength and perseverance of the human spirit to make a change."
Counselling Psychologist | B Psych, Adv Dip Rel Couns, MAPS
Hart Psychologists Certified
1. How many years’ experience do you have practicing / helping clients?
I have 19 years experience, with 13 years in Employee Assistance.
2. What do you find most rewarding about working with people who have depression?
As depression is such a passive illness that keeps clients stuck in unhelpful patterns, it is so rewarding when clients begin to actively take part in their own recovery. Empowerment to turn ideas into actions, even if they are small steps is exciting because it is a change.
3. What do you find most rewarding about working with people who have anxiety?
I find that clients discover that anxiety tends to be a lifelong issue and that it is not necessarily about eliminating anxiety; it is finding ways to effectively manage it in such a way that it doesn't interfere with their normal daily functioning and prevent them from actively engaging in enriching experiences or close connections with others.
4. What do you find most rewarding about working with people who are stressed?
Stress is needed to function in our daily lives. However when demands outweigh our resources it becomes overwhelming and can impact on our ability to make decisions, remember things and causes mistakes; exacerbating the feeling of being out of control.
The most rewarding aspect of treating stress is when clients get that sense of being back in control and feeling that they are achieving traction in completing tasks. Self-care is the key. The task of taking care of oneself and engaging in helpful coping mechanisms brings about significant and dramatic changes by engaging in simple yet meaningful actions.
5. How do you help clients feel comfortable and supported?
Whilst I can challenge clients in a therapeutic way, my approach is gentle and supportive. I inform clients that I am not here to solve their issues, nor do I believe that I am an expert in their own lives. However the ability to sit empathically with clients whilst they try to manage their challenges is such a humbling and rewarding experience. I like structure in my counselling practice so will often set homework between sessions, which most clients find useful as a way to focus on the positives, providing hope and opportunity for change.
6. What methodologies and/or approaches do you find most helpful?
I use strengths-based solution focused frameworks. I am client centred but systemic in my approach. Other useful models are Acceptance and Commitment therapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Motivational Interviewing.
7. What have clients said about how you have helped them most?
Clients appreciate having something to take away from counselling sessions. They find having practical strategies to try is most beneficial.
8. What is the best or most heart-warming feedback you’ve received from a client?
Over the past 19 years I have seen many many clients and have received lovely feedback that the counselling has been wonderful in just having someone that will listen, not judge and understand what they are going through.
9. List 3 things that your friends and family would describe you as
Caring, organised and humorous.
10. List 3 strengths that you have as a psychologist.
In the busyness of life I am present with my clients, I have a lot of experience and tools at my disposal to assist clients and I hold myself to high standards ethically.
11. Why do you love doing this work?
I learn just as much from my clients as they do during counselling. I am always in awe of the strength and perseverance of the human spirit to make a change.