Coaching & counselling helps clients to develop more satisfying and resourceful ways of living. People choose to talk to a coach or a counsellor for many reasons; because they are unhappy, or confused, or stuck in old patterns and are fed up with making the same mistakes. Others may be lonely, frightened or angry, or feel sad and lost or uncomfortably anxious. Many people are involved in problem situations they are not handling well and realise they want to manage things more effectively.
I have worked with people from a variety of cultures and ages, from young adolescence through to retirement. I specialise in three main fields of counselling and their associated outcomes including Trauma, and ADHD. My personal experience and education strengthens my ability to empathise with and support my clients across these areas of expertise.
TRAUMA: Resulting from: neglect, bullying or medical issues; abuse (sexual, physical, emotional or vicarious); disaster (natural, man-made or technological); war or terrorism; complex trauma (multiple or prolonged exposure)
INVISIBLE DIAGNOSIS: ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), ASD (Autistic Spectrum Disorder / Aspergers), dyslexia, etc
OTHER ISSUES: Anxiety, depression, relationships, family and more
I am a trained counsellor with a degree in psychology and education, and masters in counselling in my home country of New Zealand. My approach is personable and empathetic. I pride myself on being down-to-earth and unpretentious. Clients have commented on how comfortable they feel working with me, trusting that I have their best interests at heart. When appropriate I am also known to have a spring in my step and smile on my face.
To date I have worked with people from a variety of cultures and ages, from young adolescence through to retirement. In New Zealand I have had counselling roles at: Massey University, CSS Auckland, Takapuna Grammar School, Westlake Boys Grammar School, Odyssey House, and in private practice at Fillan Healthcare. In the United States I have worked at the Family Violence Law Centre in California.
Prior to re-training in my mid 30’s, I had a successful career as a Corporate Client Manager in the Information Communications and Technologies (ICT) industry. Over almost 20 years I worked my way from entry level work as a young adult through to the high pressure environment of corporate business. This has given me a greater appreciation for workplace stresses.
I offer both Coaching and/or Counselling services, integrating them seamlessly into each session as and when is required. I am adept at adapting different therapeutic tools to the personality and needs of each client, ensuring effective outcomes. Following are simple descriptions of the tools I have learnt to support my clients in their journey to obtain their goals. All approaches are evidence based.
EMDR: EYE MOVEMENT DESENSITISATION AND REINTEGRATION: The theory behind EMDR is that traumatic or difficult memories make changes in the brain. These changes stop the mind processing information properly and may cause issues such such as anxiety, depression, intrusive thoughts & memories, PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder). and Complex Trauma/C-PTSD.Experts believe that processing thoughts, feelings, emotions, and/or memories in a safe and measured environment, while performing rapid eye movements, helps a person begin to tolerate and co-exist more peacefully with disquieting feelings and physical sensations. EMDR can help “rewire” the way people experience their problems reducing their impact, freeing the person to heal and experience a more full life. Initially used for people experiencing traumatic memories/PTSD and CPTSD. It’s use now is extended to support people experiencing phobias, anxiety, chronic pain, depression and more
ACCEPTANCE & COMMITMENT THERAPY (ACT): ACT gets it name from one of its core messages: accept what is out of our personal control, and commit to actions that improve and enrich your life. ACT achieves this by supporting clients to develop skills to deal with painful thoughts and feelings, in such a way that they have much less impact and influence (these are known as mindfulness skills – see below). It also helps to clarify what is truly important and meaningful to the client – through understanding their values – then using that knowledge to guide, inspire and motivate change in their life for the better.
COGNITIVE BEHAVIOURAL THERAPY (CBT): CBT was designed to go deep into a client’s underlying thought process in order to better understand how their thoughts affect their behavior. The purpose of this form of therapy is to change the thought processes therefore changing negative behavior. Often this approach may incorporate techniques such as role playing and journaling in order to help the client get some insight into their thoughts.
DIALECTICAL BEHAVIOUR THERAPY (DBT): DBT is an approach that supports clients who have struggled learning self management skills through other methods. It has evolved into a process in which the therapist and client work to ultimately balance and incorporate acceptance and change-oriented strategies. This approach is designed to help people increase their emotional and cognitive regulation by learning about the triggers that lead to reactive states and helping to assess which coping skills to apply in the sequence of events, thoughts, feelings, and behaviors to help avoid undesired reactions.
NARRATIVE THERAPY: views people as separate from their problems. This allows clients to get some distance from the issue to see how it might actually be helping them, or protecting them, more than it is hurting them. With this new perspective, individuals feel more empowered to make changes in their thought patterns and behavior and “rewrite” their life story for a future that reflects who they are, what they are capable of, and what their purpose is, separate from their problems.
SOLUTION-FOCUSED BRIEF THERAPY: Unlike traditional forms of therapy that take time to analyze problems, pathology and past life events, SFBT concentrates on finding solutions in the present time and exploring one’s hope for the future to find quicker resolution of one’s problems. This method takes the approach that you know what you need to do to improve your own life and, with the appropriate coaching and questioning, are capable of finding the best solutions.
TRAUMA THERAPY: can mean many things in terms of what will happen in a therapy session since there are numerous approaches to helping people overcome traumatic experience and PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder). In all instances, the term applies to undertaking therapeutic endeavors aimed at relieving the aftereffects of trauma.
MINDFULNESS: is developing an ability to take a step back and notice what the mind is thinking and the body is feeling as though the client were watching them, rather than being mindlessly involved in them. Learning to do this, allows the client to decide how they wish to experience these processes and change if they choose. Meditation is one action of many that enables a client to develop the skill mindfulness.
INTEGRATED DRAWING THERAPY: IDT is a creative process of disclosure and discovery that allows the client to express themselves through drawing. It is especially helpful if they struggle or can’t articulate their thoughts and feelings. With the guidance of their therapist, clients can “decode” the nonverbal messages, symbols, and metaphors often found in these art forms, which should lead to a better understanding of their feelings and behavior so they can move on to resolve deeper issues.
GENOGRAM: A genogram is a visual relationship mapping tool. They allow therapists and clients to diagram a client’s relationships. Traditionally, a genogram maps out up to three generations of family connections, but can also include awider current and past, romantic and social relationships. Like family tree’s, a genogram documents history, but goes beyond to capture in-depth details about relational functioning and processes. It is a useful assessment tool to foster a clients’ understanding of historical patterns that might impact current issues, behaviors, relationships, and functioning.