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Image by Augustine Wong


Meet your therapist,
Amber Rules

Hi, I’m Amber. I’m a psychotherapist and clinical counsellor based in Sydney, specialising in working with people who

  • use substances such as drugs, alcohol and nicotine,

  • use repetitive self-soothing behaviours, such as gambling, shopping, gaming and more,

  • experience disordered eating, body acceptance issues, or have a difficult relationship with food or exercise,

  • have complex mental health needs or have been diagnosed with psychiatric labels such as mood disorders and personality disorders,

  • have experienced trauma or painful life experiences.


In particular, I work with family members and loved ones who are impacted by someone else’s mental health difficulties or addictive behaviours.


I am the Director of Sydney Addictions Recovery, a specialist outpatient counselling clinic in Sydney’s

Inner West.


I am also the Director and Founder of Rough Patch, an affordable counselling clinic and mental health shop which utilises a unique non-profit, social enterprise model that aims to make counselling more affordable and accessible.

Experience the difference

Compassion and understanding 

Therapy can often be clinical but that's not my style.

I like to learn about you and understand your experiences so I can provide you with the right tools. I aim to understand your past, present and what you want your future to look like, in order to help you live the life you want to.

You get to decide what works for you

I offer short-term, practical ideas as well as longer-term, in-depth support.

Together, I will work with you to help you decide which is the best fit for you. There's more than one way to grow, heal and change, and I can help you understand which approach is right for you.

Professional and personal experiences

Through personal experience, I know how confronting and overwhelming these situations can be. I can help you navigate the difficulties of addiction and mental health, as well as work towards growth and healing. University-level training combined with my lived experience means I understand how tough it can be, and which approaches will help.


Organisations I've worked with

Combining personal and professional experience

I started my career working in both public and private drug and alcohol rehabilitation centres across Sydney. After learning about the impacts of severe addiction in inpatient settings, I went on to work in several specialist outpatient counselling services with individuals and families impacted by substance and gambling use. During this time, I counselled individuals and family members. I developed and facilitated psychotherapeutic and psychoeducation groups. I also ran community workshops for family members, parents, young people and people leaving the justice system.


I am trained in existential group psychotherapy facilitation, a framework developed by Professor Irvin YalomResearch has demonstrated that this style of group therapy is a highly beneficial way of creating change and developing insight and is particularly useful for people with ongoing substance use and chronic or complex mental health issues.


Before becoming a therapist, I worked in the music, film and television industries for over a decade. I have an in-depth understanding of the difficulties that come with non-traditional and high-profile jobs and I have experience supporting clients who travel frequently. I often work with high-profile clients from the creative and entertainment industries and provide specialist understanding and insight into managing addiction and mental health concerns. 


Combining education, specialist training and real-life experience

In addition to my qualifications and professional experience, I have lived experience of family addiction, complex mental health issues, domestic violence and intergenerational trauma. I understand first-hand how confronting and overwhelming these situations can be and how difficult it can be to seek help. I use both my professional and lived experiences to provide services that are evidence-based and ethical while remaining compassionate and values-led. 


Whether working one-on-one with clients, families or clinical supervisees; facilitating group therapy; running workshops and seminars; or consulting with organisations; I maintain a compassionate, person-centred, non-pathologising stance. I aim to consider a person’s identities, culture, race, gender, sexuality and experiences of marginalisation. I’m not a fan of therapy buzzwords, but my style combines the following ideas and stances;​​

  • Trauma-literate

  • Polyvagal Theory

  • Multi-disciplinary

  • Family Systems Theory

  • Attachment Theory

  • Psychodynamic Theory

  • Existentialist Theory

  • Feminist Theory

  • Harm reduction principles

  • Anti-oppressive practice principles

  • Health At Every Size principles

  • LGBTQIA+ affirming

  • Intersectionality

  • Decolonisation

  • Critical and Radical Social Work

& Memberships

Bachelor of Counselling and Human Change (Applied Psychotherapy), Jansen Newman Institute

Registered Clinical Supervisor

Clinical Member (Level 3) (#24892), Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia

Diploma: Assessment and Treatment of Problem Gambling, Centre for Community Welfare

Certificate: Group Psychotherapy Leadership and Facilitation, Australian Institute of Counselling in Addictions

Certificate: Animal Assisted Therapy

Certificate: ASIST Suicide Intervention

Member: Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and Other Drugs

Member: Harm Reduction Australia

Member: International Association for Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy Australia

Member: Health At Every Size (HAES) Australia

Member: Australia and New Zealand Mental Health Association


How can I help?

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