I am a registered Counselling Psychologist working in private practice and in a school environment. I also enjoy research and am passionate about community work.
My early career was in journalism, which taught me how to listen. I enjoyed documenting people’s stories and always felt humbled by accounts of resilience and personal triumph. Studying psychology has given me the opportunity to do more meaningful work. I now walk a narrative path side-by-side with my client as we apply our two minds to the same problem.
I have experience in a wide range of areas including depression, anxiety, substance abuse, grief counselling, trauma, and divorce. When necessary I do refer to a trusted network of professionals who are experts in their field, for example: lawyer, social worker, mediator, etc.
I follow an integrated approach as I believe everyone is different and their personalities and life circumstances require flexibility. However, my training is psychodynamic, which means I look at unconscious motivators of behaviour, plus the early history of that behaviour and old emotional responses which have become problematic.
I see children, adolescents and adults for different issues.
Children are still deeply imbedded in their family systems, so I believe it is necessary to involve parents in the process and examine family dynamics.
Adolescents are beginning the difficult process of individuation; separating from their family and finding their own identity. This can put a strain on family relationships, but it is a necessary and psychologically healthy process.
Adult problems may involve a myriad of difficulties from work to relationship crises. Many people find childhood issues with their parents resurface once they have their own children and begin parenting. It can be enormously healing to look at your childhood through adult eyes.
Therapy can be supportive, for example: Assisting someone to adjust to challenging life circumstances like divorce, bereavement or burnout. It may involve trauma debriefing in which traumatic events like a highjacking are acknowledged and processed. More in-depth work is required with clinical disorders like depression and anxiety, and this is typically longer term. For this reason, the duration of sessions can vary greatly, from a few appointments to a year or longer.
I am practical and believe that in certain instances the best results come about through a combination of psychiatric medication and therapy. I am also open to homeopathic or naturopathic alternatives if that suits the client. I believe it is important to work within the client’s frame of reference in a way that makes them feel comfortable.
WHEN TO SEEK HELP
It takes a lot of courage to ask for help and sometimes it is hard to muster the hope that things can get better. When you’re feeling stuck, talking to someone close to you may be difficult. You may be feeling angry, hurt, defensive or worried about offending them. A psychologist is a trained professional who is non-judgemental and objective. Therapy provides a way to gently unpack complex emotions and examine them at your own pace. It is a safe space where you can learn new emotional skills to help you cope better with life.