Psychotherapists and Counsellors Answer your Questions

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  • Nicole Kinnaird
    My choice to study Social Work initially was due to a strong interest in working with children and the idea of having fun in my job was very important and appealing. Out of rebellion I decided I didn’t want to be a teacher (like everyone else in my family it seemed! – mother, father, step father, grandfather, aunts, uncles.) As I gained experience in working therapeutically with children and the adults in their lives I increasingly enjoyed working creatively with people of all ages and also with groups of people. Continuing...
  • 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...
  • Megan Haire
    While raising a family in the outback and experiencing a lot of difficult experiences 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...
  • 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 40. 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, then in...
  • Max Rutherford
    I have always been interested in the mind and in spirituality...
  • 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...
  • Carolyn Choy
    I've always been interested in listening to different people's life stories: how they've endured and overcome challenges and pain, as well as what drives them to be so passionate and loving in life. My initial field of IT was fine as a job, but it didn't fuel my soul. I'm so grateful to have searched and taken this other path which has enabled me to offer all of my experience (life and training) to others. I am enriched in return by each connection I make with my clients....
  • Helen Basili
    Social justice has always been very important to me and counselling was a way of enacting these values....
  • Michelle Tadros
    I decided to become a psychologist at 16, it was at that age that I discovered what I enjoyed the most was talking with people. I especially enjoyed getting to know and understand people in depth. They say you should do what you love, since talking with people is what I love most, psychology was an obvious choice. ...
  • Sarah Tuckett
    Back in 2006 I spiraled down into depression and anxiety due to chronic stress at work. Thankfully I saw an Integrative GP who took into account my lifestyle, nutrition and underlying health issues instead of just prescribing me antidepressants. This started me on an exploration of mainstream and complimentary techniques for managing my depression. I found that massage had a wonderfully calming effect on my nervous system and my mood. So I studied remedial massage and started my own part-time remedial massage practice. I...
  • Brenda Rowlandson
    My own experience of psychotherapy when I found myself in a crisis situation. I became more and more intrigued as I explored my unconscious process, my dreams and 'what lies beneath' and how my life-long patterns of relating were played out (and repaired) both in life and in the therapeutic relationship. It never occurred to me that I could enter this profession, until it was suggested to me as a possibility, which I embraced with gusto!...
  • Emily Rotta
    I came into the profession after many years of volunteering my time with homeless people and street kids. This experience inspired me to study counselling formally and to use my skills to work with young people who are faced with homelessness, violence within the family and a lack of feeling connected to the school system, their family and themselves. I had over the many years' supported young people and helped them to find hope and meaning in their own lives as well as connecting them to support to assist with this....
  • Jeannene Eastaway
    Possibly the main thing that has caused me to choose this field of work is that I find people interesting and wonderful. The more I have learnt about people, their patterns and ways of survival, the more fascinated I became. The other main reason why I have chosen to be a counsellor is to understand myself. This has been an on-going and enlightening process....
  • 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...
  • Josephine Borg
    I have an interest in human behaviour, especially the science of human behaviour and helping my clients improve their life circumstances....
  • Odhette Aaronfeld
    An encounter with two people who had had open heart surgery. I wanted to sit with each person and listen to their story, their fears, understand what knowledge they lacked that was making their journey through this ordeal even harder. Having worked in aged care as a registered nurse I had been able to spend time with residents and their families and give them more holistic care. A busy cardiac ward is not a place that time moves slowly or patiently in. This made me think that there is work to be done. People need someone that...
  • 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. ...
  • 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....
  • 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....
  • Gemma Summers
    I felt called in my early twenties to enter a healing profession in order to contribute to the growth and transformation of our planet. I felt that working emotionally, psychologically and spiritually with people was the best use of my natural talents and personality. I was right about that because I've been able to maintain a successful practice mostly via word-of-mouth for three decades. I'm not right for everyone, but those who appreciate a holistic approach that's practical, grounded and well-informed, as well as gentle and...
  • 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...
  • Stefan Durlach
    For as long as I can remember I’ve been interested in how life works, its meaning and purpose, the why’s and how’s of existence. Philosophy, psychology, and spirituality deal with these issues, and psychotherapy integrates them all and applies them to actual lives. Connected with this is a passion for following the oracle at Delphi’s dictum of ‘know thyself’, a fascination with reaching my human potential through an exploration of my internal world, which would enable me to offer this process to other people. I am very...
  • Michele Watson
    I believe in people's potential and knew I wanted to help people. I studied psychology at university and then went looking for something more meaningful to me and that's when I enrolled in the transpersonal counselling diploma. I started working with a psychotherapist and through my relationship with her and looking at my dreams I learnt about Jung, dreams and the process of Individuation....
  • 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....
  • Christine Koltai
    The inner mind. It fascinated me as a child that I could actually see things and imagine things in my head. I was so curious. I have worked in the arts for many years and the creative mind can be both a gift and perplexing. It is a relief to feel the mind untangle when confused. For artists this is especially important when you lose your way. My own personal therapy was a life changing experience and inspired me to learn more and help others....
  • Deborah Schou
    It's been a long journey. I did a psychology degree in my 20s, and as a sub-major studied philosophy and religious studies subjects. I learnt so much, but had serious issues with the diagnostic and labelling approach of psychology in those days, was young, still finding my way in life, and was enjoying my working life as a Hansard reporter. After having children, I returned to study. My social work degree was a wonderful experience, allowing me to further my inclination towards helping individuals not just at the personal level but...
  • 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...
  • 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....
  • Christina Taylor
    Once a victim of incest, it took some years and excellent therapists to see myself as a strong woman, able to be a loving and sexual partner. I believe that all people, young and old, deserve to have intimacy in their lives, and I am a strong advocate in regular healthy sexual pleasures. As I aged I recognized the wisdom gained through my own journey, the learning's received from wise mentors and the extraordinary teachings I acquired as a student of psychotherapy....
  • 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...
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types of therapy

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