Psychotherapists and Counsellors Answer your Questions

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  • 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. ...
  • Hope Michaelson
    The journey started when I applied to become a nurse and was advised I needed further education. The application process showed me I also had a penchant for mental health as well as physical health, so I originally completed my psychology and my education qualification with the goal of becoming a school counsellor in response to my personal experience of being a member of a large family of migrant parents, and the education system. My first post graduate position was working for Consulting Clinical Psychologists which involved...
  • 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....
  • Corina Johns
    It's the only thing I've wanted to do since the age of about 15 when the idea first came to me. I've always had a gift for listening to and helping people, and genuinely love getting to know and understand others. Being a part of a positive change in someone's life is incredibly rewarding, and I would never want to do anything else....
  • 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...
  • Jacquie Flecknoe-Brown
    I was always interested in communication, and the more experienced I became in my profession, the deeper I wanted to explore the therapy modalities. I worked for some time in an acute psychiatric ward where I learned family therapy (Milan school) and realised that even in psychosis, every act and statement was symbolic and had a meaning for the person, and even if it was difficult to decipher, with persistence one could understand the message the person was trying to communicate. This lead me to the master analyst of symbolic...
  • Irene Rose
    I am passionate about working with the human condition and consider it a great privilege to be able to help individuals, couples and families to create a better life, relationships and future for themselves. It brings me tremendous satisfaction to witness people overcome their difficulties and grow and change for the better. ...
  • 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...
  • 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, I've always searched for the ingredients of a successful relationship and family....
  • Sally Walsh
    we all deserve to give ourselves more choice and to live a fulfilling life...
  • Amanda Dounis
    As a young girl still in high school I was always reading books surrounding mental wellness and anything motivational. As it turned out, as an adult all the education and training that I did surrounded helping individuals mentally and emotionally. It is what I can call; a life long passion, and my persistence for learning continues to grow....
  • Tim Hill
    I chose to become a psychotherapist through my own experience of receiving psychotherapy. It was a fascinating process, unlike anything else I had done before, and it changed my life....
  • 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....
  • Jacinta Franich
    I have always been drawn to psychotherapy and counselling and initially started training to be a counsellor when I was 28 years old. I found that I didn't have the life experience or maturity at that stage, so put my study on hold until later in life. After I had children, I was again drawn to helping others and went back to studying, now fully ready to embrace the life of a counsellor and help others when they are struggling with life issues....
  • Lauren Sokolski
    I was interested in working with people and being part of their journey towards wellness and wholeness. I discovered that the work enabled me to do my own work on my personal issues through supervision with mentors, professional and personal development courses and workshops, and through my own counselling experience....
  • Grace Lee
    I reached a point a few years ago, and having raised a family and learned to help my kids through their tough times, I thought I might be able to use those experiences to help others. So I applied to study counselling and I found I loved it. I also developed a much deeper understanding of myself in the process....
  • Carolyn Spillett
    My childhood experiences and my curiosity about human interactions formed the basis of my decision to become a counsellor/psychotherapist....
  • Sharon Snir
    One can often remember a moment in their own childhood when somethng calls to you and you know that is who I am. When I was aout 5 years old I watched a Christmas movie on television about a husband and wife who opened their home to troubled children. I knew at that moment I wanted many children of my own and that I would help people with problems. As it turned out I have five adult children now and a number of grandchildren. Of course I had to have and heal my own problems before I stepped into the healing profession but that is...
  • Michael Grunwald
    I studied General Psychology in my undergraduate degree, specialising later in Work & Organisational Psychology during my time abroad, with a real focus on Cross-Cultural Psychology. However, my interest and passion for counselling/psychotherapy emerged from our family's decision to adopt a baby girl from China and I began to prepare for dealing with the trauma experience she would bring with her into our lives. This inevitably led me to also examine my own family of origin and attachment history. ...
  • Stephanie Thompson
    I had a most wonderful Organisational Psychology professor at university who was also a highly effective counsellor. He got tangible, fast results for people. This was against a backdrop of extremely poor outcomes achieved by the psychological counselling profession as a whole at that time (circa 1990) - actually zero net benefit shown in our research. My professor was stridently critical of this, and rightly so. I found his pragmatic and empathic dedication to 'doing what works' - evidence-based therapy - very inspiring. I...
  • Julie Catt
    I found that thinking psychologically came easily to me, even as a kid. When I started working in the field at the tender age of 21, the awe and privilege I felt in participating in another's growth made it clear that this was the right path for me....
  • Nerine Strachan
    I noticed a natural ability to converse with, and understand others. People seem to trust me very quickly and open up, naturally feeling safe in my presence. This combined with personal challenging experiences, led me to study counselling. This study was not only theoretical but a process of self discovery, which developed my natural abilities further so that I can effectively help others through the therapeutic relationship....
  • Annie Gurton
    After years of living a rich, full life, I found myself at a cross-roads around the year 2000. Unsure how to proceed or which path to follow, I tentatively explored the role of therapist and counsellor. I found that people responded well to my listening and interventions. Since then I have trained in Human Givens, which is now my main modality. In addition I have several other approaches in my toolbox including Freudian, Adlerian, Rogerian Person-centred, Attachment Theory, Family Constellations, Imago Dialogue, NLP, and I am a...
  • 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. ...
  • Loretta Pederson
    Connecting with people and offering care has been important to me since I was quite young. I am also interested in finding ways to address injustice, and see my professional and volunteer work as part of living out this commitment....
  • Geoff Heard
    I first studied massage, and was intrigued at the way people would, week after week, re-create in their bodies the tensions I had massaged away the week before. This led me to investigate the mind-body connection, and eventually to study Somatic Psychotherapy, in which mental, emotional and physical experience are seen as not only connected but as facets of a greater whole....
  • Philipa Thornton
    Thinking back, it was most likely my uncles suicide when I was a teenager. I wished I would have been able to help him more. This lead me to the helping field. I worked for many years to become a licensed psychologist to be of service to others in a meaningful way....
  • Arna Stewart
    I have always been a curious observer of others so psychology made sense because it is a study of human experience and behaviour. Becoming a psychologist and counsellor has been a natural and enjoyable progression for me. ...
  • Sarah Harwood
    Since I was a little girl I have always been the person that people would confide in. When I started teaching music at the age of 16 my students would often talk to me about difficulties at home or school. This inspired me years later to complete a Master of Arts in Counselling, specialising in marriage, children, and families. Since then I have enjoyed helping people discover their strengths to lead contented and fulfilling lives....
  • Judy Christian
    I originally (back in the 70s) studied Social Work, but then returned a couple of years later to study Psychology. I have always enjoyed helping people to solve problems and improve their life, and it's great to see people learning to be more proactive and managing issues in their life more effectively. I still really enjoy my job and hope to continue for several more years!...
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