Psychotherapists and Counsellors Answer your Questions

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  • Kate McMaugh
    I originally chose to study psychology as an 18 year old who was interested in "brains and behaviour" but I did not come from an academic family at all and really had little idea what a psychologist did and I don't think I had ever met one! However it turned out though my choice all those years ago was a lucky one, as I love what I do. As I got older and more aware of my profession it was the mind-body connection and the huge potential of the human being to heal that really hooked me into counselling. Psychology is such a broad...
  • 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...
  • Michelle Lam
    I grew up in a family dedicated to assisting others through the provision of medical and health services to the community so it is hardly surprising that I developed a strong interest in helping others from an early age. In spite of this, I ended up working in the investment banking and finance industry specialising in mergers and acquisitions. After ten years of working in "the industry" I realised that something was missing and I wanted my life to be different. So I took what was for me a very brave step - I started my personal...
  • Jean Gamble
    I found such understanding and relief during my own therapy and was able to change unhelpful patterns of behaviour and find more harmony, joy and purpose in life. This success led me to train and work in the field of psychotherapy and couples counselling. Every one is whole at their core and "healing" involves letting go of what is not you and reconnecting to the true you underneath the hurt, protection and adaptation that you have used to get through life. ...
  • Claire Stephensen
    As a child I dreamed of being a dancer or musician and in my teens, I was drawn to health. It was during my early 20s that I realised that it is impossible to separate mental health from the arts – which led me to studying a little bit of psychology before undertaking a Masters of Music Therapy. ...
  • Emmaline Golding
    I moved around a lot growing up, and was always meeting new people and having to make new friends, so I became interested in people, and why we do what we do. I wasn't sure what I wanted to be when I grew up, so I decided to follow my passions and interests and see what happens! Now, I'm very glad that I chose psychology - I get to meet so many different people and help people who are often going through a rough time....
  • Clara Luxford
    I have always had a deep interest in who we are as human beings and how we live our lives, how we see ourselves in each of our worlds and how we present ourselves to others. This fascination lead me to study psychology at Sydney University. After a year I realised this subject could not (for me) fully account for the nuances in human nature. I switched to Italian language and literature. In the post graduate world I ambled through several degrees until I came upon psychotherapy. It was here I found more meaningful ways to talk about...
  • Judith Withers
    I discovered the importance of understanding why people do certain things, why they feel in certain ways, what to do about it, and how to improve their quality of life....
  • 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...
  • Fiona Halse
    Since I was a teenager I have been interested in meditation, therapy and personal development, yet didn’t think to work as a psychotherapist till I was nearly forty. I was attracted by the level of integrity and “whole human beingness” required in this work and passionately wanted to learn how to do it well. I have since come to realise how much it is about being rather that doing. At that time I wanted to be what the work would require of me, and I still do. In my journey I had met and been a client of many counsellors,...
  • Vivian Baruch
    I've had a life-long fascination with what makes people tick. Growing up in a dysfunctional family with a father who had PTSD/complex trauma, I've always searched for the ingredients of a successful relationship and family....
  • 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...
  • Joanne Taylor
    An early interest in psychology during my first degree. ...
  • Tessa Ipp
    I was going through some issues of my own in my 20's. A good friend suggested I see a wise and insightful Clinical Social Worker, Bev. She had such a profound impact on my life that I decided to change professions. I enrolled to study Social Work at Sydney University and began volunteering as phone counsellor. My field placement with Relationships Australia was another important influence as was meeting a gifted body-mind psychotherapist in 1999. This lead me to study a more holistic approach to psychotherapy involving the...
  • Julia McKenzie Palmer
    For some of us it is a calling. Not where we purposefully started but where we find ourselves. ...
  • 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...
  • Mariana Trapera
    I began studying Psychology some 20 years before I eventually returned to University and retrained as a Counsellor as I have had a deep interest in people, what makes us do what we do - the choices we make and the paths we take. Given my life experience, choices, mistakes and journey of my soul, I have felt called to 'midwife' others, and support them on their journeys to wellness....
  • 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...
  • Michelle Morris
    From a young age I have been very interested in people and fascinated by people’s stories. I remember when I was around 10 years old being very moved by the film The Three Faces of Eve, about a woman with disociative identity disorder, and from that time being drawn to this vocation. I deeply believe in the healing capacity of therapeutic work and offering what I can to help catalyse the self-healing process....
  • Kate Mikhailouskaya
    Many personal and professional experiences contributed to my choice of becoming a therapist. It's a life-long process and it's ongoing, but what remains unchangeable is my passion to witness the growth and transformation with my clients in the moments of psycho-therapeutic or psychoanalytic journey. It is fascinating and very rewarding work, and I am committed to it fully. This includes ongoing professional development, group and individual supervision as well as my capacity and willingness to self-explore and reflect on my...
  • Jane Faulkner
    My own journey, I was looking to heal my physical and personal issues. I kept getting stuck and didn't know what to do with my feelings when they came up so I decided to study Gestalt therapy. Also, I was a nurse and realised that many illnesses were linked to a person's thoughts and beliefs....
  • 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....
  • 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. ...
  • Bridie Fitzgerald
    Years spent working as a music therapist working with clients who had a range of issues, I found that I was constantly required to adapt to my clients needs and take on new challenges to help them reach their therapy goals. This lead to a natural transition into psychotherapy and counselling as helping others gain insight into their issues and my own personal journey along the way has always been important to me....
  • Loretta Bell
    Many things probably led me to be a therapist, but my most motivating force was wanting to find a job that fitted within my humanistic values. ...
  • Heather Adams
    Life has certainly taught me much and having overcome significant personal and professional challenges, led me to want to support and encourage others who were also struggling and in need of assistance. I obtained a Bachelor of Social Science - Counselling degree as a mature age student, to equip myself with the necessary skills to become a well trained, accredited, passionate and compassionate psychotherapist and counsellor....
  • Lisa Champion
    My career started in the field of exercise science. I specialised as an exercise therapist, helping people overcome chronic pain issues through movement and postural awareness, recognition of habits, re-connecting of brain and body and support to achieve their physical goals. I became increasingly aware of the emotional toll of chronic pain and decided to study counselling to better support my clients with their emotional experience. I loved the counselling so much, that I decided to make a career shift and focus on working more with...
  • Dalit Bar
    My counselling career began when I studied Art Therapy in Melbourne to overcome my own relationship problems. I worked at an organization called Jewish Care as an art therapist for 4 years. However I wanted to learn more, so I began studying counselling....
  • Sigrid O'Callaghan
    Raised by war traumatised parents my search for meaning began as a young woman. I was attracted by the ideas of existential philosophy, feminism, Buddhism and Jungian Psychoanalysis. ...
  • Ted Graham
    A deep seated interest in what psychology can offer...
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