Before I became a therapist, I worked in the entertainment industry. I spent a lot of time with musicians, actors, and other creatives, and many of them struggled with addiction. Non-traditional jobs can be difficult; you work long hours at strange times, spend days or weeks away from your family and friends, and work within a culture that promotes drinking, drug use and other addictive behaviours. It can be fun and exciting, but it can also be exhausting and lonely. Over time, it occurred to me I might be more helpful to these colleagues if I trained to be a therapist, but I never gave it a great deal of thought.
Then my Mum called me and said she was going to rehab.
My parents were both heavy drinkers when I was growing up, and both had a history of using various recreational drugs. At the time, it seemed normal to me. And as kids do, I adjusted to the chaos of living with addicts. So when my mother decided she needed to address her drinking by going to rehab, I was a bit shocked…but I knew it made sense.
During Mum’s stay at the treatment centre, I was invited to participate in some family therapy and psychoeducation. I spent a week learning about addiction and the impact it has on families. My Mum and I began talking about several painful issues that we had never been able to address before. It was very difficult, but it was also an incredible gift.
Spending that time with my Mum and seeing how much she gained from therapy made my mind up about becoming a therapist. Not long after, I enrolled at Jansen Newman Institute, where I completed a Bachelor of Counselling and Human Change (Applied Psychotherapy).
Since then, I have worked in public and private inpatient rehabilitation centres, as well as outpatient counselling services for drug, alcohol and gambling issues. I have experience working with people who struggle with addiction, as well as their families, in both individual and group settings.
My experiences made me passionate about supporting individuals and families through their varying encounters with addiction. I know how difficult and painful addiction can be, and I know what it's like to sit on a therapist's couch and not know how to move forward.
I was lucky enough to learn how to manage the damage addiction caused in my family, and it's my privilege to help others do the same.
QUALIFICATIONS AND FURTHER TRAINING
Bachelor of Counselling and Human Change (Applied Psychotherapy),
Jansen Newman Institute
Clinical Member (#24892) Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia
Diploma of Assessment and Treatment of Problem Gambling
Group Psychotherapy Leadership and Facilitation, Australian Institute of
Counselling in Addictions
Diploma of Animal Assisted Therapy