Monthly Archives

December 2016

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Why Waste Your Time in Counselling?

By | Counselling | No Comments
      Many people think that if you go to see a counsellor, you are suffering from a mental health problem. They think you can’t cope or it may be seen as a sign of weakness. I sat back and started to think why is it that people can happily go and see a clairvoyant, pay anything up to $200.00 for 1 hour to find out about their future.

If I had a crystal ball, how easy life would be. If we had all the answers then our lives would be so much easier. Our future has not been written yet. You are the only one who has control over your life and your future.

What is Counselling?

Counselling is spending time with a highly-trained professional in either Social Work, Counselling or Psychology. These people spend years studying. Counselling is about making changes to your life, making the hard decisions, changing the way you think, act and feel with the assistance of someone who helps to facilitate these changes. You work with someone who can provide you with coping mechanisms and tools to be able to get through the difficult times. Counselling sometimes deals with complex issues. Counselling may also assist with life changes in a person’s career or relationship. The issues are endless. Counselling can be a sounding board.

How Can I Pay Someone to Just Listen to Me?

How much do you spend on your physical health? Then why wouldn’t you spend time and resources on your mental health. After all, it’s how we think, feel and act that impact our physical health. What happens in your brain will affect the rest of your body.

How do I know if the therapist is any good?

A good therapist will:

      • listen and confirm with you what they understand about your situation.
      • will maintain professional boundaries at all times.
      • know you are the expert in your life and they are they are there to facilitate.
      • not tell you what to do.
      • not spend time talking about themselves or their experiences.
      • encourage you to become as independent as possible and not dependent upon them.
      • treat you with respect and dignity at all times.
      • maintain confidentiality.

Try not to judge a therapist as to how long they have been counselling. Whilst experience does make a difference how the therapist will run a session, it does not determine their worth in being able to help you. Always check their qualifications. Anyone can call themselves a counsellor. However, not everyone can call themselves a Social Worker or Psychologist because these two professions require University Degrees. Counselling is becoming more regulated and in the future no one will be able to call themselves a counsellor without recognised qualifications.Therapists are usually members of professional organisations. They are required to spend time outside of hours, training, attending seminars, personal development, running courses and so on. They want to be the best to give you the best.

How Much Should I Expect to Pay?

It’s up to the therapist. Remember, they too have to pay rent, electricity, telephone, probably someone to maintain their website, travel and so on. Whilst they are in the profession usually because they have a passion to assist people, they are also running a business.

Why Should I Pay to See a Stranger?

It’s great to have a good social network, friends and family you can talk to. However, not knowing a person gives you the freedom to just open up without any judgement or bias. It’s a safe space to be honest with yourself. Honesty sometimes is one of the hardest things to do.

I Don’t Have Any Issues So Why Waste My Time and Money?

That’s great if you don’t have any issues. Those people who usually say they don’t have any issues are too busy taking care of everyone else’s issues. Wouldn’t it be nice for someone to focus on you even if it’s only for one hour? It can simply be about sharing and reflecting. Now, if we go to the physical side of the coin, those who are physically fit spend time on their physical health so spending a little time on your mental health is again, simply maintenance. You would be surprised at the issue/s that arise out of conversation.

Wasting Your Time?

Maintaining your mental health will improve your overall health. The evidence is clear that good mental health improves physical health. Good physical health improves mental health. You owe it to yourself, your friends and family to be the best you can.

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Gender Mixed with Ageism, Equals Equality?

By | Education and Career, Workplace | No Comments

This is about an issue I have never had to write about before. I have never had to really think about what gender I was in a place of business because it was never an issue.

When I was younger working in the corporate world, in a male dominated industry, I was always seen and treated as one of the team and judged for my knowledge and ability to get the job done. Yeah sure, there were the innuendos but I gave as good as I got and never let it bother me. The men respected me and I respected them. I never used my sexuality to gain favours. I knew how to climb the corporate ladder of my own accord.

When I was in my prime, it was the women in corporate and government managerial positions that shed a new light on gender. The men were busy doing their own thing, hanging onto their jobs. It was the women who were climbing the career ladder, kicking it out from underneath them to prevent another woman following close behind. Now let’s get one thing straight. I am a feminist in the true sense of the word. That is, I believe in equality for all genders.

I enjoyed working within a male dominated environment, it was simple. Working for women was a whole new ballgame. You spent half the time looking over your shoulder and the other half pulling out the knives. I found that being just as smart at those women in power made them uneasy and protective of their positions.

I have worked with some wonderful men who were fabulous colleagues and mentors. I have also worked with some amazing women and still do.

Now, about three weeks ago, I had the opportunity of meeting with a prominent male with my lovely group of colleagues. Well, hand me the gender card, someone has burst my balloon. Or hand me the age card. No wait, was it both? I have never in all my corporate and government years have I had to deal with an attitude of “listen to me I am great”. Seriously! It was obvious that our age, as we are just a little past our prime, set the scene for not to be taken seriously. Throw in some feminine qualities and bingo “why are you here?”

Gone are the days of taking for granted that your experience and knowledge will always be respected. Gone are the days when I never ever questioned my gender or my age in relation to my career.

What I do know is that all people, irrespective of gender or age, should be respected, treated equally and judged on merit, attitude, experience and aptitude. We should encourage individuality, be respected for life skills and experience. Forget the gender and the age. Gender and age does not define us. It is who we are as human beings and what we bring to the table.

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Every Pregnant and Post-Partum Woman Deserves Her Own Personal Counsellor

By | Perinatal Non-Directive Counselling | No Comments

I wish! Everyone could benefit from talking to someone when they needed it. More so when you are pregnant or have just had the baby.

Pregnancy is great for some, not so good for others. Some women during pregnancy, may experience continual nausea and sickness, which doesn’t make for an easy nine months. Honestly, any woman that experiences continual nausea deserves a gold medal. It’s difficult enough in the first few months but extending that for another six months, then adding that to loss of bladder control, cravings, lack of sleep, mood swings and everything else associated with pregnancy, thanks but no thanks.

Then there are some women who just glide through and feel and look incredible. Hormones are amazing. Then the baby is born and life has just done a 180 and it’s nothing like they thought it would be. This little human being, this all-consuming living creature has just consumed 100% of their life.

Then there are the ones who don’t have a smooth ride during pregnancy. Something goes wrong ‘out of the blue’, interjects bring on trauma. I remember with my third pregnancy during the 12th week I felt a lot a pressure in my lower abdomen before I went to bed. During the night, I woke up covered in blood. OMG! I’m losing my baby. I was rushed to the hospital and examined by an idiot doctor who said I will probably lose the baby. I was kept in overnight and lucky I had an amazing ob/gyn who did a scan the next day and my baby was healthy and strong. There was a problem with the placenta coming away from the wall. I took it easy for a while and all was well. Then after the birth throw in some postnatal depression and life, not so easy.

What I really needed after that would have been someone to talk to. That’s what brought me to Perinatal Non-Directive Counselling. Women, any age, to have the opportunity of sitting and talking about their expectations, their experiences and how they are feeling is worth its weight in gold.  The midwives who do an amazing job, are so run off their feet, they don’t have the time to spend with the mothers. This is applicable during the antenatal visits too.

Perinatal Non-Directive Counselling is not so much to solve a problem but to facilitate the woman with any decisions she needs to make, listen to her concerns and be that conduit between her and other services if needed. I am not there to tell person what to do. I am not there to take over the role of anyone. I am there to assist the woman in any way I can.

What is even better, they can get 3 x non-directive counselling sessions bulk billed. If more are needed after that we work out a fee. All they need is a referral from their GP.

If I had the opportunity of spending time talking about myself during and after my pregnancy, then I think I wouldn’t have felt so stupid sometimes or so lonely. Whilst I may not have been looking for any solutions as you have midwives and community nurses for the medical side, I could have used someone to lend me an ear.

Contact me for appointment

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Should Passion Determine Further Educational Choices?

By | Education and Career | No Comments

How much should passion play in choosing further education?

Educational choices for those deciding what to do after year 12 can be one of the most daunting tasks facing every young adult. There are parental expectations, comparisons with peers and then there are the expectations placed upon these kids from their teachers. Honestly, no one wants to fail or disappoint anyone, let alone themselves.

At the beginning of year 11, the students are told the next two years will determine the rest of their lives. Their HSC or OP’s are the be all and end all. If that’s not a precursor to anxiety and depression among other issues, I don’t know what is.

Well here is the news – it’s only the beginning of an incredible journey and the future hasn’t been written yet. We need to back off from these kids and encourage them to find their passion. It’s passion that is going to drive them to success. Their success will bring satisfaction and happiness.

As a parent, you always want to make sure your child can support themselves in the future, that’s a given. At the same time, you want them to be happy.  I remember telling my kids, be wise in what you choose because you have to get out of bed each day and do the job. Do what you love and love what you do.

One of my children who was destined for Law decided in year 10 they wanted to be an actor. I think at that point my brain scrambled and my heart missed a few beats. I smiled and waited for that decision to change. Why? Expectations. Where they mine? Yes. I decided that the next two years would show how determined they were to follow this new found passion. I did back off as I trusted in my child.  Little did I know that my child’s excitement for acting would just grow and grow. In year 12, I booked them into one of the best acting courses in Brisbane. By challenging them it will either ignite their passion or have them back off. Acting would be just another part of their journey. Low and behold their passion and determination to enter the world of acting only grew. It was obvious then that my child’s passion was so strong, that as a parent, it was my responsibility to relax and join them on this journey.

Other parents were saying to me “do they have a plan B?” My response was “no, why?” It was interesting to see the doubt on these people’s faces simply because my child had chosen one of the most competitive, cut throat industries. However, I knew my child well enough to be confident that their determination, passion and ability to be true to themselves, will be their safety net.

My child did get into acting after a rigorous process. What I see now is a person that is incredibly happy, content and extending themselves more and more each day. Will they make it in the field of acting? I don’t have a crystal ball. The important thing is they are living their dream. How amazing is that!

I hear of so many young adults dropping out of university and other courses because it’s not what they wanted to do. Why? It wasn’t their passion. How sad it is for so many people to reach the age of 35 and realize the career path they had chosen is destroying their soul.

In all honesty, it took me 48 years to realize what I wanted to do and it’s only now I have figured out exactly where I want to go. Hopefully I get there before they carry me out in a box.

Passion should be such a big part of educational choices. It will be the anchor that keeps you focused. It will get you out of bed every day. It will bring with it so much more than anyone can imagine.

I say to anyone, search for that passion. Sometimes we need someone else to play ‘devil’s advocate’ to dig deep enough to find it. It doesn’t matter how long it takes, the important thing is to just find it, work with it and start enjoying your journey as life should be lived.

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Who are the Real Aggressors of Domestic Violence?

By | Domestic Violence | 8 Comments

It cannot be denied that men are the main offenders in sexual violence. That is not what I am talking about here. My article is about non-sexual physical violence. I must also state that I report the research. If you want to know my opinion, then I will offer it now – I believe that all people are equal and should be treated with dignity and respect.

One of my primary reasons for entering the field of Social Work was to stand up and assist those who are unable to ‘fend for themselves.’   However, when those, who are seen as professionals within human services refuse talk about the female aggression in domestic violence, I have to wonder has Social Justice left the professions?

Research undertaken by Murray Strauss (2009) stated that “Over 200 studies have found about the same percentage of women as men physically assault partners, and that the risk factors and motivations are mostly the same as for men.”

Has society trivialized attacks against men by women as acceptable? Do we perceive attacks by women as non- violent? Strauss (2009) says that in many cultures, women are defined as the “gentle sex” which creates this false sense of security by society that women would never been seen as perpetrators of domestic violence.

The sad thing is that the media has presented much of the argument on domestic violence. Should we be asking how much research goes into what the journalists are producing? The media consistently reports domestic violence against the women but fails to report the domestic violence against the men. I found it interesting, that research undertaken by Pillemer and Finkelhor (1986), (as cited in Strauss , 2009) regarding domestic violence amongst the elderly which was reported in the magazine called “ American Association of Retired People Magazine”, stated that acts of violence instigated by wives against their husbands were “negligible.” However, the data actually showed that 43% of wives were the perpetrators and the husbands only accounted for 17%.

I sit back and read article after article and paper after paper, speak to both men and women and start to ask why? Why is the data being buried or falsified? At the end of the day, it appears that the reporting in the media is not based upon facts. Are we afraid to ask the difficult questions and face up to the undeniable facts?

If you or anyone would like to chat or make an appointment I currently work via face-to-face, via video or telephone and will be working in Brisbane in the near future Contact me now

Strauss, M. A. (2009). Why the Overwhelming Evidence on Partner Physical Violence by Women Has Not Been Perceived and Is Often Denied. Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment and Trauma, 18(6), 552-571. doi:doi.org.ezp01.library.qut.edu.au/10.1080/10926770903103081