- Bachelor of Social Work with first class honours
- Member of the Australian Association of Social Workers
- Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW)
- Accredited Mental Health Social Worker (Medicare rebates available with a GP referral)
- Certified Imago Relationship Therapist
- Level 1, 2, and 3 trained Gottman Relationship Therapist (currently attending to certification)
Areas of Expertise
- Assessment and treatment of mental health issues
- Depression and anxiety
- Debriefing complex trauma, including PTSD
- Suicide assessment and intervention
- Adjustment and personality disorders
- General health issues
- Relationships and family conflict
- Grief and loss
- Longer-term therapy for improvement in personal coping
- Self-esteem issues.
I have used many different therapies for individual and relationship enhancement, including Family Therapy, Group Therapy and Facilitation Solution Focused Therapy, Interpersonal Therapies, and anxiety and stress management.
I am also trained in the effective use of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), and Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT), which is extremely useful in the treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and also Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT).
I have worked in a variety of mental health contexts, including general hospitals (13 years as a registered nurse), at Lifeline (as a Training Officer and face-to-face counsellor), for a large psychiatric hospital (as the Senior Psychiatric Social Worker), and with The Department of Veterans’ Affairs as a counsellor and caseworker.
I have extensive experience working with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and I am acutely aware of it’s effects on sufferers and their families. I can provide appropriate and effective crisis intervention, counselling, personal support, and help with relationship issues associated with PTSD.
I believe in the power of a constant and reliable therapeutic relationship in treatment of all trauma related issues. I also firmly believe that emotional and psychological healing can occur within an intimate adult relationship, so I trained in Imago Relationship Therapy to help me to work more effectively in that way.
Counselling is a rewarding and humbling experience for me, especially my work with combat veterans, Defence Force personnel, and their families. I really appreciate the opportunity to work at a deeply personal level with clients, and to help them to change their lives for the better. Private practice is both a joy and a challenge.
I acknowledge that when courageous people allow us to enter into and share their very personal experiences, we “grow” as therapists and human beings. When I am able to assist an individual to reach their full potential, I too am enriched by the experience as my personal capacity for empathy and change grows.
I was born and raised a country kid in a regional Queensland city. The majority of my undergraduate and post-graduate training was undertaken at the University of Queensland.
I have had the responsibility and privilege to work as a social worker for over 35 years, in varying roles and workplaces. My travels have allowed me to see the good, the bad, and sometimes – the truly inspirational, in the ordinary lived lives of those with whom I have had the opportunity to share part of the journey.
I am married. My husband and I have two adult children.
- Bachelor of Social Work. University of Qld. 1979
- Master of Social Welfare Administration and Planning (MSWAP). UQ. 1998
- Full member, Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW)
- Level 1, 2, and 3 Gottman Method Relationship Therapist – 2013/2015
- Accreditation Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and advanced EIR – 2000
- Certificate Mediation & Alternative Dispute Resolution. QUT Law School
Continuing Professional Development (recent)
- Mental Health Academy – membership
- Gottman Couple and Relationship Training – Levels 1, 2 and 3.
- PTSD/Trauma training – Dr John Briere; Janina Fisher & Dr Debra Kaysen; Phoenix/ACPMH, and others.
- Annual CPD requirements as part of AASW membership e.g., Grief & Loss
Areas of Employment
The focus of my recent employment is in therapeutic and organizational settings, including:
- Private practice
- Individual counselling
- Couple counselling via Gottman Method Couples Therapy
- Government and Community Agencies
- Counselling service for Australian veterans/peacekeepers, their wives/partners and family members
- Facilitate psychoeducational groups around mental health issues e.g., Anxiety conditions (including PTSD); Depression; Anger; Improving sleep; Mindfulness; Women’s Health
- Provide high level clinical social work and policy advice to a leading veterans’ service provider
- Academic and teaching settings
- Current clinical social work supervisor, Queensland University campuses
- Tutor and Lecturer – University undergraduate and post-graduate teaching streams
My approach is to use sound, evidenced-based approaches to facilitate person-centred change. Counselling is not about advice giving. Rather it is about supporting positive change through such things as –
- An individual’s growth through their own unique lived experience of e.g., a crisis; critical life stage or event
- Survival, adaptation and emerging resilience in the face of abuse; bereavement/loss; critical incident or trauma
- The work of couples as they prepare for; or attempt to repair; and/or revitalize their relationship
- Group facilitated training – providing peer support, new insights, group and individual learning,
- Mentoring, challenging and supervising, new and experienced social worker practitioners
In mental health counselling and education, I am trained and experienced in the use of psychological focused approaches, such as – Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT); Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) and Exposure Therapy; Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT); Mindfulness; Strengths Based, and Solution focussed therapies; as well as general approaches to crisis intervention, problem solving, goal setting and planning.
I seek to use such approaches as an adjunct to the general principles of person centred counselling and in accordance with the AASW documented social work practice standards.[i] As a social worker, my intention is to respond to the expressed needs of the individual; the couple, or a group; while developing an appreciation and understanding of the wider social system, their network of relationships, their context.
[i] AASW Social Work Practice Standard downloaded April 2016 from URL http://www.aasw.asn.au/document/item/4551