Psychotherapists and Counsellors Answer your Questions

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  • Anna Petinsky
    Psychotherapy is what my heart always knew it wanted to do. For a long time I didn't follow my heart and pursued a corporate career. After having children and experiencing some serious illness in our family I finally changed my path. ...
  • Debby Heath
    Like most people who enter this profession, I want to be of service and I know that counselling and psychotherapy can support profound growth and healing that has a 'ripple effect' in the world. I believe this work is a 'calling' more than a job and I feel grateful to be able to be of service in this way....
  • Joanne Marsh
    After attending a number of personal development programs to help me understand the patterns and traumas that controlled my life, it was a logical step for me to undertake study to refine what I had learnt and take that knowledge to others. I have always been a bit of a study 'nerd', always wanting to learn more. Studying somatic psychotherapy was like coming home. I had finally found what it was I wanted to do 'when I grew up"....
  • 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....
  • 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...
  • Andrea Szasz
    The term Brave Therapy is in honor of the bravery of my clients; the courage they have shown to change their lives is truly inspirational. I’ve been a therapist for 10 years helping hundreds of people to change their lives for the better. I specialize in the treatment of underlying trauma, and been personally involved with people who have suffered intensely. I have undergone my own personal therapy. I understand what it feels like when life is unmanageable. My own experiences have fuelled my passion to find the best treatments...
  • 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...
  • 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....
  • Benjamin Shields
    It is a cliche, but I was one of those kids who wanted to 'help people' when he grew up. I couldn't think of any other profession that was as direct in this sense, as the work of a psychologist. So, that's what I pursued. As an 18-year-old, the long journey required to become a psychologist was difficult to comprehend. I studied for four years initially before undertaking a two-year internship, which involved regular supervision and study. After that, I completed a further two years of study for a masters program. Then still,...
  • Stacey McCraw
    I hold personal values centered around making positive contributions to the community in meaningful ways. I have always believed that mental health is just as important as physical health and should be given more attention. Often it doesn't really feel like work! ...
  • 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...
  • 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! ...
  • Max Rutherford
    I have always been interested in the mind and in spirituality...
  • 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....
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • Amber Rules
    I have family experience with addiction and mental illness, and as a young adult, I received support and care from some incredible therapists who helped me make sense of it all. I was always so grateful for these counsellors, and admired them for choosing the profession. Before I became a therapist, I worked in the entertainment industry. I spent a lot of time with musicians, actors, and other creatives, and many of them struggled with addiction as well. All of my experiences with addiction ultimately led me to becoming a...
  • Mary A McIntyre
    Ever since I was a child i have had a passion and curiosity for understanding people and what makes us tick ! My own challenges, good therapy and healing modalities have helped me heal and grow over the years. I am a believer in good therapy....
  • 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. ...
  • Helen Basili
    Social justice has always been very important to me and counselling was a way of enacting these values....
  • 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....
  • Liz Scarfe
    I'd like to think I knew what led me here, but really, life and the directions it takes us is such a mystery, I probably don't know the full story. I started studying Process Oriented Psychology because I saw the depth of insight and awareness about life that it could give me - which is a deep kind of power. So was at first a very personal healing journey because Process Oriented Psychology demands the student do a significant amount of their own therapy, in part because therapy is so much about our capacity to connect with...
  • 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...
  • 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....
  • Karen Druce
    My family of origin experiences growing up formed the bedrock of my desire to understand individual differences, personal temperament, human suffering and resilience in the face of life’s storms. ...
  • Matt Dale
    As a Psychologist I am driven by the desire to help individuals navigate their way through complex human challenges. I chose psychology as a profession because of my passion to learn more about the impact of human emotions, listen and guide others with the insights I have gained over the last twenty years. But most importantly, I chose psychology because I wanted to help people to make real, practical and applicable change in their everyday lives....
  • Jonathan Tandos
    Most of my life people have been coming to me to share their stories and issues. In my first experience as a client in counselling I felt very inspired and began to consider whether I wanted to be a therapist myself. When I first started studying psychology it fit me, which was in stark contrast to what I'd studied before. It feels like its genuinely me....
  • Brian Whiter
    For as long as I can remember, I have wondered about the meaning of life. My curiosity about why and how we slip into unstable mental health, and then remain in those unhealthy patterns for indefinite periods, got me interested in the study of the various psychotherapies. I decided to pursue psychotherapy as a profession as it gradually began to point to ways in which I could understand what it meant to be human, and in relationship, and how to better understand myself in these relational dimensions....
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