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Ms Debbie O'Connor

Ms Debbie O'Connor

Mobile 0408 390 599
Psychotherapist, Counsellor

Debbie O'Connor (Petersen)

Mobile 0408 390 599

I am passionate about helping people to grow, overcome the pain in their lives, and make the changes they need to flourish. I work with people to form a strong and supportive relationship based on an empathic understanding of their emotional life, experiences and important relationships. This understanding forms a basis for helping clients to heal, and find and develop personal direction and an authentic self.

PHONEPRACTICE LOCATIONS

  • 4/474 High Street, Penrith, NSW 2750 0408 390 599 PHONE 0408 390 599

Services

  • Counselling, Psychotherapy, Family Therapy, Coaching / Mentoring, Clinical Supervision, Phone Consultations, Internet Consultations 
  • I provide Counselling, Psychotherapy and Life Coaching in the Penrith and Blue Mountains area.

    Areas of Special Interest

  • Anger Related Issues, Anxiety / Panic Attacks, Borderline Personality, Childhood Issues, Communication Issues, Depression, Divorce / Separation, Eating Disorders, Emotional Crisis, Family / Parenting, Grief / Bereavement, Postnatal Depression, Relationship Issues, Self Injury, Sexual Abuse, Trauma Recovery  
  • MODALITIES / Approach

    Conversational Model, Dream Work, Existential, Marriage and Family, Mindfulness, Person Centred, Psychodynamic, Self Psychology

    My work is informed by my training in 'The Conversational Model of Psychotherapy;' a Psychodynamic approach to Psychotherapy, as well as Person Centered approaches, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Systemic Couples and Family Therapy, Neurobiology, and Self Psychology. I also have a strong understanding of Trauma Theory, and the way that traumatic experiences can effect people's ongoing experiences and functioning in life, and therapeutic strategies to heal and integrate traumatic experiences.

    ACCREDITATIONS

    • Dip Adult Psychotherapy (ANZAP) - 2008 - ANZAP
    • Grad Dip Systemic Family Therapy - Candidate - Relationships Australia
    • Accreditation in CRM Mental Health - 2005 - University Wollongong
    • Advanced Certificate Domestic Violence Counselling - 2003 - CCWT

    Professional Associations

    • Australian and New Zealand Association of Psychotherapy (NSW)
    • International Association for Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy

    Quality Provision

    I am a clinical member of ANZAP and IARPP, and as such abide by a strict code of ethics. I also engage in regular professional development and professional supervision.

    Background

    I have over 10 years experience working in the mental health, counseling and psychotherapeutic field. As well as working in private practice, I have worked in the NGO sector with people recovering from mental health issues, in child protection and family counselling services and domestic violence counselling services. Currently I also work in a specialist Eating Disorders clinic and have specialist training in this area. I am also a mother of 5 children.

    Appointments

    Monday - Friday
    After hours

    Transport and Parking

    There is 2 hour (no charge) parking available behind my office, in the Judges car park.

    Fees

    $130 for a 50 min session. I also offer sliding scale depending on individual circumstances.

    Payment Options

    Cash, cheque and direct deposit.



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    10 Questions with Debbie O'Connor

    • What led you to choose psychotherapy or counselling as a profession?

    • Since I was a child I have always been interested and curious about people, what makes them the unique individuals they are, and have always had a keen desire to help people in distress. I began my career in the helping professions in the field of nursing, however after the death of a close relative through suicide, I became increasingly aware of the distress that so many people feel as a result of traumatic life experiences and mental health concerns. At this time I also embarked on my own personal development and therapy, and became personally aware of the relief therapy can bring, and that people can find freedom from distress, and live productive and joyful lives.

      The passion I feel about helping others, and the honour I experience when walking with people on their journey of self discovery and unfolding, has lead me to psychotherapy and counselling as a profession.
    • Which philosophical approaches have influenced your professional/personal development?

    • I am influenced by many philosophies, but in particular those that emphasise our human connectedness, and the profound effect that relationships have on the way that we experience each other, the world and life itself.

      Attachment Theory, Trauma Theory, Systemic Family Theory, The Conversational Model of Psychotherapy, and humanistic therapeutic theories have given me a deep understanding of an individual's development, potential and the conditions needed to create a safe and therapeutic place where one can overcome the barriers that may be stopping us from flourishing and experiencing the peace and happiness that is our birthright.
    • Which particular aspects of health or the human journey are you interested in?

    • I am interested in all aspects of the human journey, and am constantly moved and inspired by what I learn about people's ability to make meaning, grow and mature emotionally and spiritually in their lives.

      I am particularly interested in helping people recover from complex trauma, and form more satisfying relationships with themselves and others. Also, to overcome the barriers they experience in achieving their life goals and actualizing their full potential.
    • What method/s do you use?

    • Therapeutic Conversation involving deep listening and empathic understanding of a client's experience, situation and relationships is the most powerful tool used in psychotherapy. In particular I am trained in the Conversational Model of Psychotherapy, and I incorporate an understanding of Family Systems Theory, Collaborative Recovery techniques and Mindfulness Techniques in my work with my clients.

      When helpful I also use techniques such as visualisation, relaxation techniques, art and drawing, and I will also work with client's with their pets where therapeutically appropriate and through prior arrangement.
    • When do you think the client will start to feel that progress is being made?

    • Clients often report a sense of being heard and supported in a non-judgmental manner, and consequently a sense of relief after their first session. This is especially true when they have had long standing issues that they have felt unable to speak about with others in their lives, due to fear, shame or judgement,

      The time taken to make progress varies with the client's presenting issues, what they wish to achieve from counselling and therapy, and the complexity of any trauma in their lives. Sometimes clients require only a few sessions to help re-focus and implement strategies to help navigate their lives. Others require a longer period due to more complex needs. Client's often report a feeling of progress and increased freedom, as they begin to understand their relationship's, experiences and patterns of behaviour, and feel more able to make more informed choices in their lives.
    • How has therapy made you a better person?

    • My own personal therapy has given me a greater understanding of, and compassion for myself. It has increased my capacity to parent well, understand my children's needs, and also made me a more patient and compassionate person on the whole. As I have worked through my own life challenges, it has also made me more emotionally available, and more understanding and accepting, of others in my life.
    • What do you like most about being a therapist?

    • I feel great satisfaction in providing a safe and nurturing space for people to find relief and understanding during times of distress. I find it a privilege to be with people, and witness their strength as they face painful and distressing experiences or issues in their lives, and also to journey with them through life transitions and change. I find great satisfaction to see people live more satisfying and happier lives. It is not unusual for people to say that therapy is the first time that they have felt understood in their lives.
    • Do you ever have 'bad hair' days?

    • Of course I have bad hair days! Like everyone I have days where I am not at my best, due to life pressures, just not feeling 100%, family needs or other pressing matters. On these days I know that I have to be a little gentler with myself, and take time to centre myself so that I can be effective in my work with people. This is where my training comes in as it gives me a solid framework and foundation to guide me on those days. I also always remember 'this too shall pass!'
    • What do you think is the most significant problem we face, in the world today?

    • I think that the pace at which we live in our society at this point in history leaves us without time to give to our most profound needs, that is, connection with the people we are most intimate with as well as strangers we meet along the way and also with ourselves. This leaves us feeling disconnected and isolated, and looking to materialism and media to fulfill our need for connection and purpose. This presents us with a great challenge, to re-evaluate our priorities in life, to make time for more soulfulness and connection with others in our lives.
    • Can you share the name of a book, film, song, event or work of art that inspires you?

    • There are many works that inspire me, too many to mention! I have recently viewed a television series called 'Six Feet Under' which I have found particularly engaging and inspiring. It presents a whole gamut of life transitions and changes the characters have to face in a very rich, humane and sympathetic manner.
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    Ms Debbie O'Connor

    Debbie O'Connor

    Psychotherapist, Counsellor

    I am passionate about helping people to grow, overcome the pain in their lives, and make the changes they need to flourish. I work with people to form a strong and supportive relationship based on an empathic understanding of their emotional life, experiences and important relationships. This understanding forms a basis for helping clients to heal, and find and develop personal direction and an authentic self....

    • Penrith
    • Conversational Model, Dream Work, Existential, Marriage and Family, Mindfulness, Person Centred, Psychodynamic, Self Psychology