Can you fix me?

I completely understand the desire to be fixed. So often we can be led to think our emotional responses are wrong in some way, either based on what others tell us, or how intense our emotions are. Wanting to feel like you are whole, or that your emotional responses are valid, is a perfectly natural drive.

However, if I were to "fix" you, then that would mean you need fixing, and I don't think that is true. Instead, what I often find is that due to various circumstances, such as parents who don't respond well to emotion, or a culture which tells us that we need to be positive and mentally strong, we can start to reject and to resist our own emotions.

Imagine if we were to resist hunger by "pushing through" or ignoring it, rather than acknowledging the role it plays, and acting on the information it is giving us. Hunger may be unpleasant, but it is not something that indicates a pathology, and it makes more sense to meet the need that hunger brings our attention to, rather than to find ways to suppress the hunger.

Emotions are very similar - we evolved a mind which generates emotions to help us. If we resist and invalidate our own emotions, this doesn't always give us more control over them, as we might hope. Instead, we often become disconnected from their reason for being, and are therefore unable to act on them constructively. Being unable to address the very reason they are being generated may lead to a cycle of internal conflict between a disconnected part of our mind trying to give us messages it feels are important, and the rest of our mind rejecting those messages. Of course the strength of the message will intensify, and of course the resistance to that message will intensify.

So, I cannot fix you. But, I hope that I can create a safe and supportive space for you to explore and understand your mind, and perhaps in doing so, start to resolve internal conflict, accept yourself and your emotional experience, and feel more at peace within yourself.

What is your policy regarding diversity and inclusion?

I acknowledge the Ngunnawal people as the traditional custodians of the land on which I operate in Canberra, and pay my respects to their elders past, present, and emerging. I recognise the deep spiritual and cultural connection they have with their ancestral lands, and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.

I firmly believe in the inherent dignity and worth of all individuals and am committed to providing a space of safety, respect, and confidentiality. This commitment extends across a multitude of aspects of personal identity, including but not limited to race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, neurodivergence, and physical or mental disabilities.

Recognising that diversity also extends to relationship structure and personal lifestyle, I openly welcome individuals involved in polyamorous, ethically non-monogamous relationships, and those who identify with the kink/BDSM community. I also offer my services to individuals across various professions, including the sex work industry, as well as individuals of all religious and political beliefs.

I aim to understand and respect each client's unique experiences, providing care that is sensitive, informed, and catered to their individual identities and life journeys. The core of my practice is a safe, supportive, and non-discriminatory space, where the richness and diversity of the human experience is not only respected, but appreciated and celebrated. Everyone, with all their complexities, is warmly welcomed to my practice.

How do I make an appointment with your practice?

You can book directly into my calendar using the booking page.

How much is a Medicare rebate, and how do I access Medicare rebates?

Medicare rebates for clinical psychologists are currently $137.05, which means that a valid mental health treatment referral will entitle you to this amount back from Medicare if a session has been paid for and attended.

A valid mental health treatment plan is a plan written by your GP which involves a recommendation to see a psychologist.

Currently, rebates are available for up to 10 appointments per calendar year, in groups of 6 and then 4. This number is related to the calendar year, rather than the treatment plan, and unused rebates in one calendar year do not carry over. See this clarification on mental health treatment plans for more information.

How do rebates work for eating disorder treatment and management plans?

The Medicare rebate for sessions with a clinical psychologist under this plan is also $137.05, but the referral structure is a bit different. If your GP refers you to a psychologist under an Eating Disorder Treatment and Management Plan, you are initially entitled to 10 Medicare rebated sessions. You can access up to 40 Medicare rebated sessions in a calendar year, with a GP review after every 10 sessions, and a psychiatrist review after 20 total sessions.

An Eating Disorder Treatment and Management Plan will also entitle you to Medicare rebated sessions with a dietician.

Similarly to Mental Health Treatment Plans, sessions under this plan refresh at the start of the calendar year, and unused sessions do not carry over. See this faq on eating disorder treatment and management plans from the InsideOut Institute for more information on eligibility and the referral process.

What is your cancellation policy?

In order to maintain the sustainability of my business, cancellations with less than 24 hours' notice will be charged the full fee. This fee is unfortunately not eligible for a Medicare rebate.

Is online or telehealth therapy available?

Yes, telehealth is available.

How long does therapy usually last? How frequently should sessions be?

Therapy can last for as long as it is helpful. This will depend on the individual and their goals. Some people find a few sessions helpful to explore a few topics, while other people are more interested in longer term support and more thorough exploration.

The frequency of sessions is also dependent on the individual. Sessions can be too close together if it feels like you haven't had a chance to reflect on the previous session. Sessions can be too far apart if it feels like you have had too much happen in the interim that you would like to discuss, and there isn't much room for addressing longer-term patterns.

What if I feel my issues are too complex for therapy?

It's my belief that no matter how complex or daunting your issues may seem, they can be worked through in a safe, supportive, and non-judgmental therapeutic setting. The journey may be challenging, but you don't have to walk it alone. Therapy is about understanding and healing, not judgment or comparison. Everyone is worthy of help and healing, and that absolutely includes you.

What if I feel my issues are too basic for therapy?

It is also very normal to feel like your issues are too small or basic for therapy. I think this is a result of a culture which encourages us to minimise our own suffering, either so we feel less affected by it, or so we don't invalidate the suffering of people in an objectively worse situation than us.

However, I believe that all issues, no matter how small, are valid and worthy of attention in therapy. If we were to make comparisons based on how objectively bad our situation is, and decide that only the people in the worst objective situation were deserving of therapy, then therapy would be reserved for a handful of people in the world.

I also don't believe that acknowledging our suffering invalidates the suffering of others, as again, there doesn't have to be a comparison.

We also tend to adapt to our environment, so what might seem minor to one person might be more profound to another. Everyone is unique and has a unique experience, and I believe all issues are valid and worthy of exploring.

Does seeking therapy mean I am mentally weak?

I don't think so. Everyone experiences danger or loss, and strong emotions in these situations are normal and adaptive. We also have a great capacity to distance or numb ourselves from the pain, which can be useful in some situations and not in others. I think therapy can involve sitting with strong emotions, which seems like a brave thing to do, and being open to change, which again can take a lot of bravery.

To me, someone who is willing to dive into the workings of their mind doesn't seem to fit with the phrase "mentally weak".

Can I contact you out of session if I'm in crisis?

I'm unable to provide crisis support outside of our scheduled sessions. If you find yourself in crisis, it's very important to get in touch with professionals who are equipped to provide immediate assistance. Please refer to the alternatives page on my website for a list of available crisis support services.

Please remember that our scheduled sessions are your designated time to discuss and process your experiences, and I am fully present and committed to supporting you during these times. However, due to the structure of my practice, it is not possible for me to provide the level of availability required for crisis situations. Your safety and wellbeing are of utmost importance, and I strongly encourage you to reach out to the recommended crisis support services if you're in immediate need.

What happens if therapy isn't working, or if I'm not making progress?

Progress in therapy can often be nonlinear, with peaks and troughs rather than a steady, continuous climb. It's important to remember that some discomfort can be a normal part of the therapeutic process, especially when delving into deeper emotional territories. In these cases, it can feel as though things are getting worse before they get better, but this is often a sign of significant internal work being done.

However, it's also crucial that you feel you're benefiting from the therapy and moving in a direction that feels right for you. If you're concerned that you're not making progress, I encourage open discussion about these feelings. This can provide valuable feedback and allow us to collaboratively reassess our approach or explore different focus areas.

Should you continue to feel that therapy isn't working after these discussions and adjustments, it might be beneficial to consider another therapist or a different therapeutic service. Therapeutic fit is crucial, and different therapists have different styles, modalities, and areas of focus. Just as every client is unique, so is every therapeutic relationship. Sometimes, finding the right therapist or therapeutic approach may take a few tries, and that's completely okay.

How will I know when I'm ready to end therapy?

Knowing when to end therapy can depend on a range of factors and will differ for each person. Often, a natural point for ending therapy might come when you feel you've reached the goals that you set out to achieve at the beginning of your therapeutic journey. You might notice that the issues you initially sought help for have become more manageable, or that you've developed new insights into or ways of responding to your thoughts and feelings.

On the other hand, therapy might come to an end when it becomes financially more burdensome than beneficial, especially considering the limits on rebated sessions per calendar year under the Medicare model in Australia. Making a decision that respects your financial situation is important, and sometimes this means that therapy needs to come to a pause or close earlier than might be ideal in other circumstances.

Therapy could also conclude if you feel it's not working for you, or if you have doubts about the therapeutic process. If this is the case, it could be beneficial to discuss these feelings with me. We can then collaboratively explore what might be contributing to these feelings and reassess the approach to therapy. This would provide an opportunity to delve into why it doesn't seem to be working, to gain deeper insight, and to contemplate potential adjustments that align more closely with your needs and experiences.

It's also worth noting that the ending of therapy does not necessarily mean a complete cessation of all therapeutic activities. Many of the insights gained during therapy can continue to be refined in your day-to-day life. Furthermore, ending therapy doesn't preclude the possibility of returning in the future, should you feel the need for further support at another time.

As with all aspects of therapy, the decision to end therapy is highly personal and should be made in a way that feels right for you. I'm here to support you in that process, ensuring that the conclusion of our therapeutic relationship is respectful, supportive, and empowering.

Is everything I discuss during therapy sessions confidential? What are the exceptions to confidentiality?

Client information is protected by confidentiality, and won't be released to anyone unless:

Which funding bodies do you accept payment from?

I currently accept privately funded clients, with or without Medicare rebates, as well as self-managed NDIS participants. At this time I am not accepting worker's compensation, DVA, Open Arms, or agency-managed or fund-managed NDIS participants.

What types of clients do you work with, and what sort of services do you provide?

I currently focus on providing therapeutic services to adults. I do not provide assessments or medico-legal reports.