I am a qualified Counsellor and Psychotherapist with a bachelor degree from The Australian College of Applied Psychology.
My specific areas of interest are Family of Origin, trauma, depression and anxiety, self-esteem, and parenting. A large focus of my work is in guiding Carers and families dealing with autism diagnosis.
The parenting arena so far, has almost always taken me to the area of special needs… My own child was diagnosed with ASD at age 3 – and so far I’ve found that my experience as a mother provides me with invaluable insight and understanding that I bring to my work with clients.
Many of us have to juggle multiple roles, and no matter our skills in multi-tasking… throwing a child with extra needs into the mix can be really challenging.
Having spent almost 20 years as a television producer, I also understand the pressures of office politics and the difficulties in striving for life balance.
When my son was first diagnosed, I tackled my new job as I once did my deadlines – head on and with a vengeance, and though it makes perfect sense to take this stance when one’s child has urgent needs… I discovered pretty quickly that this job needed some new skills. I had to learn to regulate myself as never before, and differently.
As parents of children with additional needs, we instantly become not just nurturers, but also Advocates and Carers. It took me a while to understand the ‘Carer’ aspect. After all, why call a mother a carer? Isn’t that a natural part of the job? Don’t we simply do whatever needs to be done to meet our child’s needs?
Yes. But the job of an ASD mother is bigger. It has been likened to running a small business and I think that’s a fair analogy – except that in a business, one has the benefit of perspective. When the business is one’s child… there is so much more at stake. It’s emotional work and therefore more stressful – and so much more tiring. It is harder than just any old business.
A big focus in my work is on self-care… how do we accept that we need it? And how do we factor it into what is almost always an already full plate?
If you have just received a diagnosis, please go to my After the Diagnosis page and take a look at the chart there.
I was raised by extraordinarily resilient parents who had each endured very harsh circumstances through post-war Europe before migrating to Australia; this of course impacted on their parenting styles, and on my upbringing. I have come to feel very grateful for the lifelong fascination I’ve had with human existence and our ability to overcome traumas.
I believe, and have seen first hand, that anything is possible!