Psychotherapists and Counsellors Answer your Questions

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  • Sue Hawkins
    I wanted people to be really listened to and to learn how to empower themselves through changing their thinking, their situation, their actions and learning how to communicate well to maximize their relationships. ...
  • Matty Silver
    After being a volunteer Life Line telephone counsellor for many years, I decided to start the ACAP counselling course. My first and second internship was with Impotence Australia - a telephone service in Surry Hills. This started my interest in Sex Therapy and I decided to attain the Master of Health Science (Sexual Health) at the University of Sydney. This started my career as a Sex Therapist and Relationship Counsellor....
  • Michele Stewart
    Difficult childhood experiences and getting 'lost' emotionally in my late teens/ twenties lead to a thirst for understanding what it means to be fully human. Training as a therapist seemed the route that offered to deepen a knowledge of myself and to assist others to embark on a journey inwards as well....
  • Bronwyn Davies Glover
    I arrived into the world of psychotherapy and counselling through a long history as an artist in social work, youth work, community engagement, violence prevention, harm reduction, trauma work and arts education. For over ten years I used the mediums of art, movement and drama to develop workshops, performances, trainings, counselling programs, festivals, and conferences innovating new approaches toward healing and growth. I worked with diverse communities, schools, community centres, theatres, families, youth, women, young men,...
  • Susan Vu
    As a therapist in Thai Massage and Bodywork, I noticed that some of my clients' pain was connected to their emotions. This led me to undertake studies relating to the connection between mind and body from which I came to understand that the root cause of many physical illnesses was emotional and spiritual. I felt it was a matter of integrity to support clients' long term solutions to their pain by addressing the root cause so I moved on to offering Energy Healing sessions and facilitating women’s circles in my family home. My...
  • Astrid de Ruiter
    I was born in the Netherlands and migrated to Australia in my late thirties. I have always had a strong drive to understand the world, and to contribute something meaningful to that world. At the tender age of 19, I did not quite realize that my real curiosity was People and Life, and I therefor did a Master in Applied Physics, with a minor in environmental science. I initially worked in the field of photo voltaic solar energy, as a consultant and policy maker. In my early thirties, my body went on strike (I developed such severe...
  • Stefanie Marris
    I have always been fascinated by people and why they do the things they do! Even after studying psychology and sociology 20 plus years ago I would find myself drawn to books and training that was people related. It took me a while to get around to actually work as a counsellor but I am thrilled to have finally ended up on this path. It is really rewarding to work with people to help them to understand themselves see them make positive changes for lives....
  • Ron Dowd
    I feel it has chosen me. Although I worked for many years as a software engineer, I was reading Jung in my 20s and was fascinated, though I didn't understand much of it. I guess I was on the common "hero's journey" path, working in I.T. but also starting to make art. At a certain point I made a serious decision to study art and undertook my MA (Hons) thesis in landscape and imaginal thinking. It was this study that opened up the world of Gestalt to me, particularly its ideas of figure / ground. It was odd how my art works...
  • Trudy Clutterbok
    Art and literature explore what it is to be a human being and some art works and books explore psychoanalysis in particular. Studying counselling and then psychoanalysis was a logical extension of my interest in these themes and practices....
  • Martin Hemsley
    I have always had a caring attitude and curiosity about people. I have a close family member with Schizophrenia and wanted to know how to be useful for people experiencing extreme states of consciousness. I wanted to find meaning in the midst of the difficulty of growing up with someone who experienced psychosis. I worked as a nurse in general and mental health fields. After undergoing profound shamanic spiritual experiences I became very interested in healing and the life paths of healers, and wrote my PhD on this. (Later I wrote...
  • Lissette Endacott
    Having personally experienced healing through engaging in creative arts therapy and seeing its impact on other peoples' lives I knew that this was the right field for me. ...
  • Helen Basili
    Social justice has always been very important to me and counselling was a way of enacting these values....
  • Carolyn Choy
    I've always been interested in listening to different people's life stories: how they've endured and overcome challenging times, as well as what drives them, what is their passion, what is it that they love about their life. My initial field of IT was just a job, one I knew I wasn't going to stay in forever. I'm so grateful to have taken this other path which enables me to offer all of my experience (life and training) to others. I am enriched in return by each client I work with....
  • Veronik Verkest
    After a difficult period in my work life, I physically became unwell and was eventually diagnosed with a chronic illness. My habitual way of pushing through difficulties and ignoring my body signals was no longer helpful. With the help of a somatic psychotherapist, I started to come back to listen to my body and process the emotional pain I had habitually pushed aside. As my relationship with my self and others transformed, I wished to share my excitement with others. This path led me to train as a relational somatic...
  • Penelope Lovegrove
    I wanted to be a psychologist since high-school always having a strong desire to help those under emotional and mental distress. I completed the undergraduate training in psychology however the Government at the time removed student loans which meant I could not afford to do post-graduate training at that time. I became a social worker and begun my career as a counselor however I always wanted the further training in treating more significant mental health issues. With the increase in anxiety and depression I have not regretted this...
  • Lisa Paul
    I saw there was a gap in the health system in supporting mothers and fathers especially with the transition to parenthood. Everybody focuses on the birth of this baby and the baby itself when it comes but how many times do YOU feel heard? How many times do people check in and ask how your going? In my experience, while having a baby is a wonderful experience, it also comes with an enormous trailer load of different feelings - which can be different for everyone. Commonly, issues around not being a good enough mother, loss of your...
  • Natasha Lawrence
    I have always loved listening to people and understanding what motivates them. This love led me to do my own therapeutic work to gain a deeper insight into myself. While depression, anxiety, loneliness, and grief may be universal human experiences, how each of us live with that experience is different and unique. I became a counsellor to support people through these hard times and helping them access their inner strength and resources....
  • Adam Szmerling
    I have never been able to think of any profession more interesting than dynamic psychotherapy, where we encounter the unconscious every day. Not that other professions or relationships are without transferences or an unconscious, but psychotherapy contains an intentional interest into the unconscious. In a sense, people pay you to interpret their unconscious. And, I have never worked with someone and not learned something new, and for this reason I would never choose another profession....
  • David Indermaur
    A deep interest in how the mind works and why people do what they do. My first concern was to understand why some people hurt other people. The deeper my explorations went I found that the way we think limits our horizons. Understanding this I am always interested in challenging assumptions, beliefs and judgments and opening up new possibilities. It is a continuous and continuing challenge, mystery and adventure which is deeply rewarding. I like being of assistance to people and my motivation for being a therapist is that I like...
  • Ernst Meyer
    After a crisis in my private life I was looking for different ways to live my life. In my search for a more meaningful life I first participated in a couple of self help courses and eventually I enrolled in a training program for psychotherapy. Being in my own personal therapy was part of my training, and I first hand experienced the gradual changes that emerge in psychotherapy. After three years of "hands on" training I continued my education with another three years of academic studies in the field. As part of my academic...
  • Janelle Wright
    I became interested in counselling and psychotherapy as a young adult when I realised that the skills and coping strategies I had learned in childhood needed refining. Learning self reflective skills has been valuable in assisting me to become aware of when I'm repeating patterns of behaviour which no longer serve me well. Learning to reflect on my thoughts, emotions and behaviour gives me more freedom and choice in how I live my life and relate to others. These realisations led me to want to continue learning about the many...
  • Ash Rehn
    I've always been interested in people and their stories. I think our identity – who we ‘are’ – isn’t produced privately and individually but through interaction with others. We need the acknowledgement of others to know ourselves. And having a listener or audience to our life stories can transport us to new places of understanding. So that gives my work purpose and meaning. I commenced my career as a counsellor and social worker because I wanted to do something worthwhile in my life that meant I would be connecting with...
  • Sandy Beech
    A breast cancer diagnosis gave me the time and space to understand what my purpose in life was and that began the journey of training in psychotherapy and counseling. I found a deep passion when working with clients to unfold and discover what makes them unique and how to develop strategies and techniques to help them thrive in this uncertain world we live in today. Studying with a holistic approach gave me insight into the human process using curiosity and how to understand the emotional, physical and spiritual relationship we...
  • Elaine Ford
    I have always enjoyed helping people find meaning in their lives. During my hospital training as a student nurse, I met many people who faced significant health challenges or struggled to adjust to their condition. I wanted to learn more to be of greater help to them, which led me to the counselling roles....
  • Mary A McIntyre
    I have a passion and curiosity for understanding people and offering lasting change and ease. My own challenges, with good therapy and various healing modalities have helped me heal and grow over the years. I am a believer in good treatment!...
  • Clarissa Mosley
    I was always that person that people opened up to. I would be talking with someone and then they would say "you know, you are the first person I have ever told that to." I went to university in my early 20's to do psychology but it was all 'rats and stats' in those days so I ended up completing my first degree with a major in philosophy; the study life, meaning and the nature of the mind. My parallel passion was natural medicine. I studied nutrition and natural therapies and started working in a gym and it was here that I came...
  • Sirini Kularatne-Samarapathi
    I have had an interest from a very young age to connect with people - to be present in their difficulties, to sit with their uncomfortable emotions. I guess that was what eventually got transpired in me becoming a professional counsellor. My Buddhist practises of compassion, loving kindness, meditation and mindful awareness practices paved the way for my internal development and my profession to be part and parcel of the same....
  • Deone Drapala
    I have a strong value of social justice. Counselling in the mental health area helps people get back on their feet and become the best versions of themselves. ...
  • Tania Djipalo
    I believe we all have a unique gift to offer the world. It was in my own pursuit of peace and purpose I became interested in therapy. Firstly I received it and then I became interested in becoming a therapist. When a close family friend committed suicide, this propelled me to join Lifeline and that's when I began to learn how to sit with someone in distress. Since then I have continued on to study a Diploma in Counselling, then a Masters in Gestalt. ...
  • Michael Vaccaro
    I first received therapy as a teenager as I suffered from insomnia, depression and anxiety. I experienced panic attacks and had no support or practical tools to deal with the massive emotions. I began to receive different types of therapy, explore personal development techniques and discovered mindfulness. This lead me on a 20 year journey of self-discovery and personal development. I was healing through my wounds and slowly coming to know my deepest authentic self. Since 2009 I became fascinated with the idea of sharing the service...
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