Are you seeking some counselling for yourself, your relationship or your family? It can be difficult taking that first step. If you are reading this maybe this is your first step. Counselling sessions are generally 50 min and you might find it helpful to know:
- In our first session I will be interested to get to know you a little and what brings you in for counselling.
- This will be help me gaining an understanding of the difficulties you are currently facing in your life.
- Supporting you to identify the source of the difficulty and make the changes needed to improve your personal, relationship or mental health challenges
- Helping you work towards better psychological well-being and letting go of unhealthy patterns.
A warm, friendly and down-to earth professional, Debra believes in empowering her clients to develop new life tools to more effectively deal with life’s challenges. Heart Life Counselling was established in 2003 for counselling individual adults, in 2006 services were extended to include Relationship counselling, then since 2011 professional supervision has been provided.
Debra has particular expertise in supporting recovery from past trauma and abuse, anxiety, depression and relationship stresses. The different approaches used include Psychotherapy, Emotion Focused Therapy, Somatic Therapy, Schema Therapy, Existential Therapy, Creative Therapy and Mindfulness. This eclectic model is in recognition that we are all different and one counselling model doesn't suit everyone.
As a trauma-informed counsellor Debra helps clients to explore issues with a focus on identifying and dealing with the deeper root causes of their difficulties, rather than focusing on and treating symptoms alone. Counselling generally begins with conscious awareness of the symptoms a person is struggling with, the process of counselling then moves to bring into awareness deeper unconscious root causes of difficulties. When we understand where something is coming from it is much easier to begin to change. Through this process client’s gain a deeper understanding and awakening to themselves, opening up new opportunities for personal growth and empowerment.
Life is like a symphony of many experiences whereby some parts have unexpected tones when issues emerge. AlthoughI have completed accredited training and have many years’ experience, the client is the expert of their life, clients are respectfully and compassionately supported to explore their concerns and difficulties with a listening ear for clues in the story of what possibly needs to be expressed, processed and resolved through connecting more deeply with themselves.
Additional professional experience:
In 2017 Heart Life Counseling was accepted as a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) service provider.
Debra joined the team of counsellors at Relationships Australia (Vic) from 2010 - 2017 working with a wide range of personal and relationship issues which includes supporting family's experiencing relationship difficulties, affairs, family violence. Since the commencement of the Royal Commission into Institutional Child Sexual Abuse her role included being a designated counsellor working with survivors who were engaged with the Royal Commission. The focus of therapy includes individual survivors of abuse, their spouses and other family members affected by vicarious trauma.
An extension of the therapeutic work included developing & delivering a one day psycho-educational workshop for couples called "Relationship Skill Building".
Professional supervision, secondary consultation & mentoring is offered to support professional development and clinical work with clients using both educational and reflective model.
Adjunct Lecturer (3 years) for full semester modules...
- Human Lifespan Development
- Marriage & Family Counselling
teaching under- & post-graduate students at Tabor College in Victoria
Workshops and professional development training seminars saw Debra involved with co-development & lead therapist of two Trauma & Abuse Recovery Programs (9 Week program & 5 Day Residential program). (The recovery programs were specifically designed for survivors of childhood trauma resulting from abuse and neglect. Grounded in recent research showing how trauma impacts the development of the brain, the concept of self, and ways of relating to others. The program uses information and therapeutic tools to assist survivors to better understand how they have experienced life, their coping strategies and further their recovery process.)
Skype sessions can be arranged for suitable clients unable to attend conselling in my consulting room. This has been a helpful service for those with mobitily restrictions or are located in rural areas, interstate, or overseas.