WHO IS IT FOR? Addiction brings with it huge emotional pain such as shame, fear, guilt and remorse and when the time is right we need to learn to uncover and deal with these emotions in order move forward. As a Specialist Addiction Psychotherapist with many years experience in this field as well as personal experience in addiction, I will work with you on every stage of your journey into recovery, Whether you are looking to recover from addiction to alcohol, drugs, cigarettes, gambling, pornography, sugar, shopping, eating disorders or social media - I want you to know there is hope, and I am here to help. Family counselling is an area I’m particularly fond of. I fully understand the excruciating pain and fear families experience as they watch a loved one self-destruct. Please know that it is not your fault - and there is help available. I offer a special programme for families which includes challenging how we’ve been taught to think about addiction and what it takes to create lasting sobriety.
Mental health counselling. At Golden Mend it is important to de-stigmatise addiction and mental health issues. You are not a label. I have had great success working with people with anxiety and panic attacks, stress, depression and suicide prevention. It’s important to find a therapist who makes you feel understood, empowered and accepted for who you are and where you are at in your life.
We all experience loss in our life and Grief counselling provides a gentle and respectful space to be heard. Grief and sadness are exhausting and we need to learn how to release our pain, instead of burying it. Grief is the normal and natural reaction to loss. Incomplete recovery from grief can have a lifelong negative effect on your capacity for happiness. Any loss, not just death, has grief attached to it and it’s important for all losses to be validated so that healing can come.
We might choose to see a therapist for relationship issues – The key to relationships is to be more aware of the part you’re playing in it – are you living according to your values, are you communicating clearly about what you want. Counselling will help you understand what is triggering you and how you can change the situation.
Counselling is a safe place for you to explore your pain and to discover options on how to life your life free from unwanted behaviours.
If you feel you will benefit from counselling, I look forward to hearing from you.
A standard session runs for 50 minutes and costs $120
One on one private counselling is provided in the safety and comfort of my room at the 2 Lahore Street, The Gap, Qld 4061. I work on Thursday and Friday between the hours of 10 – 6. If you would like to see me outside these times, please email or ring me.
If you wish to come and see me, no referral is necessary from a GP and no rebates are available from Medicare at this time.
Please see below for my Late Policy, Payment Policy and Cancellation Policy.
If you are late for your appointment, please bear in mind that I will still need to finish your appointment on time for my next appointment.
Full payment is due at the end of each session. You can pay by cash or direct deposit.
I request that you please give me a minimum of 24 hours notice for all changes and cancellations to your appointment.
HOW I WORK WITH ANXIETY
In The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive, Stephen Fry wrote ‘behind the mask of security, ease, confidence and assurance I wear is the real condition of anxiety, self-doubt, self-disgust and fear in which much of my life then and now is lived’.
We are all wearing masks. It’s a relief to know that and to see them slip on others. We’re not alone, we’re in this together.
We need to feel less lonely in our pain. When we’re anxious, it’s terribly lonely.
As we get older we realise there is no guidebook to life. No one gets it. None of us knows what we’re doing.
Anxiety is future oriented. The fear is in the future, so you are constantly trying to make the future safe.
How do I work with anxiety?
First I draw you your own personal cycle of anxiety so you can identify your own triggers.
We look at your triggers (a trigger is simply a feared thing or event that causes an anxious response). This could be stress, change, crowds, unresolved trauma and many other things. Then we look at your thinking. The mind figures your triggers are a threat. We think things like ‘I’ll embarrass myself’, ‘No-one will talk to me’, ‘I’m a loser’.
This is often called first fear.
These thoughts go around and around in our mind which is called ruminating.
If this continues we can go into second fear thinking ‘I’m dying’, ‘I’m having a heart attack’, ‘I can’t breathe’. In this stage we can’t make rational decisions and this can lead to full-blown panic attacks.
We then look at your feelings as you recall the trigger. Feelings can include confusion, feeling inferior, inadequate, doubt and of course, fear.
Continuing the cycle we look at the physical symptoms or how your body reacts to stress. You make shake, have cold hands and feet, feel nauseous, experience gut problem, you jaw might feel tight, your hands and feet cold.
We will then look at your avoidant behaviours (which are a result of the previous process). You may isolate/withdraw, escape, freeze, use drugs and alcohol, shopping, social media, pornography to numb your feelings.
And finally you experience shame. Shame is the great disconnector where you feel disconnected from yourself, others and the world around you.
The brain reads shame as stress and unless you work on this root cause your anxiety cycle will keep repeating itself.
We then work on the following (please note that everyone experiences anxiety differently and I work with each client according to their needs and wishes).
Getting out of the cycle of addiction
How to go from stress to bliss and from shame to ‘I am enough’.
Mindfulness and breathing techniques – including music for anxiety
Learning how to break the anxiety habit
The importance of sleep hygiene
The relationship between gut health, inflammation and anxiety
Learning to let go of control
The importance of routine
How to AVOID avoidance (to avoid this natural tendency to get rid of what’s uncomfortable for us).
I love working with people with anxiety and depression, and I believe that with guidance and practise you will learn another way of coping.
how i work with DEPRESSION
There is so much information about depression that sometimes we get confused and don’t know where to start
Whether depression descends gradually or suddenly it is one of the worst phases of nervous illness because it robs so many of the wish to recover. Depression is a body’s expression of emotional exhaustion.
When you hear the word antidepressant, you probably think of a pill: a medication used to treat your illness. Medications are one kind of antidepressant. But they’re not the only kind.
Science is now showing that we also have natural antidepressants within our brains - (our mindsets - thoughts and behaviours) that build us up instead of tearing us down and allow us to help ourselves improve our own moods.
These natural antidepressants can be gathered into four main categories: mindful self-compassion, purpose, play and mastery. By developing these natural antidepressants, you can strengthen your brain’s ability to act as its own antidepressant that can be as powerful as—or even more powerful than—the antidepressant medications.
Whether you are on antidepressants and they’re working for you, you’re on them and want to get off of them, or you are not on antidepressants at all, cultivating natural antidepressants can support your ability to get better at overcoming the depressive cycles. Whatever your experience with depression has been—whether you just have the blues, you have chronic low-grade unhappiness, or you’ve experienced one or more major depressive episodes—you have the power to change the way you feel.
By getting help in understanding how depression works and making the choice to nurture your natural antidepressants, you can become stronger and more resilient.
How I work with people with depression
I love working with people with depression and our sessions may include the following (please note that everyone has individual experiences of depression, so this will change according to your needs).
Developing natural antidepressants
Education on the root causes of depression.
The importance of gut health
What is cellular inflammation and how we can change it?
Information on the Vagus nerve and its importance in tackling depression
Looking at your unhealed emotional trauma
Dealing with shame
Identifying your unmet needs and learning how to give them to yourself instead of outsourcing to others
Learning the importance of connection – in all areas of your life
Finding meaning and purpose in your life
For more information see Dear Margie. ‘I’ve been diagnosed with depression: I feel so ashamed’