Psychotherapists and Counsellors Answer your Questions

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  • 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...
  • Anna Petinsky
    Psychotherapy is what my heart always knew it wanted to do. From the moment I read my first psychology book, I knew this is my passion. No specific event led me here, just an innate curiosity for mental health....
  • Katharine Northall
    My Mother died very suddenly and unexpectedly. I sought some bereavement counselling and it changed my life. Going through a grieving process like this gave me a different perspective. My counsellor pointed out to me that I was self-aware and that I might make a good counsellor one day. After a long time of coming to terms with my loss I started taking counselling courses. My teacher encouraged me to take it further and complete a Master's Degree in Psychotherapy and I never looked back....
  • Mary A McIntyre
    I have a passion for understanding people and offering lasting change and ease. My own life challenges, with fortunate good therapy in various healing modalities have helped me heal and grow over the years. I am a believer in effective work....
  • Sara Beresford Terry
    I trained in Social Work in the UK (1982) and was passionate about my work with children and families in various government and non-government agencies. I continued this work when I first migrated to Australia, but began to feel I wanted to do more focused 'therapeutic' work at a deeper level, than my social work roles sometimes allowed. I studied a Masters in Counselling and have since enjoyed the opportunity to develop deeper therapeutic relationships, with children, teens, adults and sometimes whole families. I truly enjoy the...
  • Vassilka Dimitrova-Isbell
    I have always been interested in understanding the human condition. All my endeavors, all my studies, and everything I've done is related to that. On reflection, it seems that the profession of psychotherapy choose me. ...
  • Robyn Price
    Psychotherapy eventually found me. The seed was planted many years ago as I recovered from a bout of depression in my university days. The catalyst for recovery was a creative dance class run by a woman who would become one of Australia's Dance Therapy pioneers, Hanny Exiner. Through her classes, I discovered the healing power of movement, creativity and connection. I continued to dance, study and teach dance, at the same time as building a career in marketing communications, I began my Dance Movement Therapy (DMT) training in 2002....
  • Donald Marmara
    I was motivated to train as a somatic psychotherapist following my own experience of anxiety and depression, and the frustration I felt with my lack of success in overcoming them via limited methods of counselling and psychotherapy. My search for healing led me to London, where I discovered a form of psychotherapy called somatic psychotherapy, or body psychotherapy, and by having individual sessions myself I was able to transform my life....
  • Megan Haire
    While raising a family in the outback and experiencing a lot of difficulties first hand or through close friends, I became interested in what makes some people vulnerable and other people resilient in the face of hardship. The outback experience heightened my awareness of the issue of isolation, both geographical and emotional, and how important human connection is in keeping us sane and happy. After my local community suffered a series of suicides during a drought, I wanted to do something to help make a difference to the lives of...
  • Chris Chicoteau
    Having for as long as I remember an ability to help people make sense of and respond to life's challenges I decided to make a career of it. ...
  • Karen Rushbrook
    I began my career as a teacher and quickly realised that children and adolescents need a more holistic approach to their well-being. Often, children who struggle at school have other issues in their lives that impact their ability to learn or to fit in with the school system. I believe the same as Einstien who says "If you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid"....
  • Mark McMahon
    I have been a listener and observer all of my life, and find that fits well with the values of trust, empathy and compassion needed when in the privileged position of working with clients. I am passionate believer that people deserve to enjoy optimum mental health and wellbeing....
  • Gregg Palmer
    My own personal journey through the landscape of trauma and spirituality....
  • Carol Marando
    My own serious mental health issues (a result of early trauma) drove me to find a way to change and heal myself. After trying around 10 different therapists I finally found the right one for me at that time. Therapy was a life saver for me, giving me a way to understand myself and others. It allowed me to live a far more conscious existence, I felt like I had some control over my life for the first time. When I came to a point in my life where I needed a career change I had no doubt what I should do. I am so passionate about the...
  • Michelle Lin
    I had a hard childhood. It's a cliche I know. I shaped myself to fill that niche - to be what I would have wanted my therapists to be like. I specialise in attachment theory, trauma-informed practice, and diversity because that was the mix I needed....
  • Tim Clark
    In my work as a teacher, I was finding more and more that people (students and colleagues alike) would come to me seeking guidance on things other than curriculum. I found I really enjoyed helping people talk through their problems and they seemed to walk away feeling better. It just seemed a natural progression to do it full-time. ...
  • Lara Petrulis
    As I reflect on this question, I’m not sure if I can say that it was a definite choice that I made. Given my supportive family environment, it seemed a natural progression to continue offering care to others. I can remember as a young child facilitating discussions with my siblings - encouraging them to “communicate openly and express their feelings…” – I just needed to understand the theory behind the practice and perhaps refine my skills a tad! ...
  • Fenella Hansen
    It was something I had always considered, but initially I went down the IT path. After the death of my Mother I decided to pursue becoming a counsellor. I'd always been interested in what makes humans act and react the way they do, so studying it was fascinating. ...
  • Michael Booth
    My own experience of trauma and chronic pain and how inadequately they are treated in Australia set me on the path to discovering which approaches are effective. Having found what can work, I was highly motivated to share these with others....
  • 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....
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • Helen Basili
    Social justice has always been very important to me and counselling was a way of enacting these values....
  • 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...
  • 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....
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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. ...
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