Frequently
Asked
Questions

“The first step to receiving an answer, is being brave enough to ask a question.  If your question has not been answered here, do ask.” 

General

In our first session, we will do a brief assessment of where you are at in your life and make a tentative plan that will identify where you want to go and how we might get there.  The basis for the work that I do comes from the establishment of a therapeutic relationship, which provides the framework for a secure base from which you will then hopefully feel comfortable to lean into our work together.  My approach is collaborative and I understand that everybody has a different journey, so my focus is on meeting you where you are at on your journey.  Saying this, whilst it is important that you feel comfortable and accepted in the session, we also want to get to a place where you feel safe to extend yourself.  This is where growth and transformation occurs.

In counselling, the focus is on exploring and processing the events and influences from the past, and how those experiences may be shaping your behaviour in the present.  I explore limiting beliefs and scripts, along with looking at the issues through a systemic lens to understand what may be hindering movement.  As a counsellor, I support clients experiencing psychological illnesses such as anxiety and depression, and can also help people work through emotional problems, self-esteem issues, and relationship challenges. The process is orientated around healing.  A variety of evidence-based interventions may be used including CBT, ACT, Systemic Therapy, Positive Psychology and Solutions-Focused Therapy to move people toward baseline mental health and wellness. Counselling would be the best option if there are specific issues hindering your emotional wellness.

In coaching, there is an assumption that you have a baseline of emotional wellness, and so in our sessions we would focus on moving you from a place of coping to thriving.  It is focused on the present and future.  As part of this process, we would explore your innate strengths, your values, your beliefs and your future vision.  Together we would develop goals and an action plan to achieve your identified goals.  Positive psychology, MBTI™, NLP and traditional coaching methodologies are used in coaching sessions.

In both counselling and coaching, Brene Brown’s methodology is often used as a framework for intervention.

“A goal without a plan is just a wish.”

If you have engaged my services in a coaching capacity, then it would be unethical for me to conduct therapy in a coaching relationship.  We will set out the conditions around coaching in a client agreement during our first session so that the limits of coaching are clear.

If you engage me to work with you in a counselling or therapeutic capacity, then I may bring coaching techniques into the work that we do.   Many of my clients come to me initially seeking counselling support and then move into coaching once a baseline of emotional wellness has been established.

A therapist explores the question “How did you get here?”
The coach will ask: “Where are you headed?”

It is important that there is a clear delineation between coaching and counselling.  If you are unsure as to which path to take, we can discuss this during the first session and together decide the best approach.

This really depends on your individual needs in terms of where you are on the scale of emotional wellness.  Your motivation also plays a part in the duration of treatment. Each journey is unique and this is about you getting what it is that you need out of the therapeutic or coaching relationship.

Typically I ask coaching clients to commit to a minimum of 8 sessions, whilst counselling may be shorter (or longer) in duration depending on your specific needs.

Keep in mind that my availability is limited, so it is important that I am able to accommodate your frequency of appointments.  This will be discussed during the initial consultation.

Regardless of whether you are a Coaching or Counselling client, this is a collaborative process between you and me.  I will do everything I can to maximise your results and demonstrate that I am committed to your success.  These are a few things that you can do to support your progress in the work we do together:

  • Keeping your phone on silent (or maybe even airplane mode) during our sessions.
  • Being as honest and open as you can — both with me and with yourself.
  • Spending a little time before each session centering yourself and reflecting on what you would like to focus on. If you realize you are not sure what to focus on, that’s ok too! We will identify top priorities and root issues together.
  • Spending a little time after each session to absorb what you have discovered about yourself and your life. I often suggest jotting down the most important insights from our session or going for a walk around the block before returning to the rest of your day.
  • Journaling between sessions to capture your thoughts, feelings, and changes in experience. You do not need to share your journal with me, but you are certainly welcome to do so if you feel it might enhance your progress.

Regardless of the location of my client, as a certified member of the Australian Counselling Association (ACA), I am bound to maintain at least the standards of the ACA code of conduct.  This includes strict guidelines on maintaining confidentiality, with a few exceptions required by law.

For teenage clients, I will openly discuss boundaries around confidentiality during the intake session to ensure that all parties are clear on this.

In family therapy, there is a clear understanding that I cannot be the ‘bearer of secrets’ as that would warrant my role ineffective.  We will discuss this openly with all family members involved in the family sessions.

In Coaching, if I have been engaged by an organisation to coach an employee, I would ensure that an agreement was in place between the client and myself that covers topics around disclosure.

For Walk & Talk Therapy, I have a separate set of guidelines our confidentiality which I will discuss with you if we decide this is the best approach.

It is important that you treat the online sessions in the same way you would an in-person session.  That is, you need to ensure that you have a private space free of distractions and that you arrive on time ready for your session.

You will need a reliable internet connection and computer with camera and microphone.  I will also need a back up mobile number in case the connection does not work and we need to revert to phone.

After the initial complimentary consultation, I will provide you with a link to book online or we can make an appointment during the consultation.  To book a complimentary 20 minute consultation now, please contact me via email.

Like you, I have many roles in my life; not only am I a counsellor and coach, I am also a daughter, a sister, a mother, a spouse, a trainer, a student, and a writer.  This means that there are many demands on my time.  Thus, I have a strict no show policy;  I charge 100% for no call / no shows.

If you do need to reschedule an appointment, I do require at least 24 hours advance notice so that I can reallocate my time.  Of course, emergencies arise and if this is the case, I would ask that you do reach out to me as soon as possible to advise of the situation and I will do my best to accommodate rescheduling.  I also ask for your understanding if ever emergencies arise at my end that result in the need to reschedule.  This is about mutual respect for each other’s valuable time.

Whilst I do speak languages other than English, I only consult in English at this time.  Saying this, I am culturally diverse and work with many clients for whom English is not their native language.

At this time, all sessions are conducted online.  However, once restrictions have eased I will start to do some sessions in person in Melbourne, Australia.  I also regularly visit Hong Kong, London and New York in order to see clients in person in combination with online sessions.

Counselling

It is not necessary for you to have a referral from your GP or Specialist, unless you are transferring from another therapist.  In this case, it would be helpful for me to have some background information on treatment.

Each session is typically 50 minutes in duration, however for the initial intake session this is typically scheduled for 75 minutes.  On occasion, clients may prefer to do longer sessions less frequently.  This will be discussed and determined after the first session.

For many people, they are just going through the motions on a daily basis and essentially have a “blah” feeling.  The question I often ask is, “in the absence of illness, does that mean we have wellness?”  My work with my clients focuses on moving them from beyond just ‘ticking the boxes’ and coping, to a place where they are truly living wholeheartedly and flourishing.

As a licensed Counsellor, I do not fall under the Medicare plan.  However, depending on your private health insurance you may be able to claim for counselling services.  However, this would not be applicable to coaching sessions.

Family Therapy

Family Therapy focuses on the issues within a family system (primary support group), which range from parental concerns to family conflict and communication.  Symptoms are identified within the context of the family and treatment focuses on addressing family functioning as a whole through improving relational awareness, problems solving methods, and changing communication patterns.

“A family member who is motivated to learn and control his own responsiveness can influence relationships in the entire family system.”  FTCP, 349

Walk & Talk Therapy

“We must become the change we want to see.” — Mahatma Gandhi