Key Tools I Use in Therapy
The therapy methods I use are not only effective; they’re empowering.
I help you heal past pain and re-train your brain so that you can function more fully and freely in the present.
The approaches I am trained in help you connect with a life force that is larger than yourself.
You may call this your soul, the divine, Buddha nature, your authentic Self, your inner wisdom – or whatever makes sense to you. When you feel more connected to your own centre, life unfolds with more ease, balance and flow.
Internal Family Systems Therapy (IFS)
One of the most revolutionary and transformative psychotherapy models I use is called Internal Family Systems Therapy (IFS).
IFS is an accelerated approach for psychological healing for individuals – which offers a non-pathologizing, compassionate, empowering method for resolving a wide range of issues at their emotional roots.
Grounded in neuroscience, IFS facilitates the permanent dissolving of negative patterns, feelings and beliefs – allowing clients to reclaim life after difficulties or trauma – and to begin to feel good again: lighter, safer, freer and more open.
IFS is an evidence-based practice as posted on the National Registry for Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP). It has shown remarkable effectiveness in treating anxiety, depression, panic attacks, self-esteem issues, trauma and PTSD.
Through my personal and professional journey with IFS therapy, I have come to firmly believe that every human pain can be healed at its core. That we each possess a true Self that remains untouched by life’s traumas – innate with spaciousness, courage and love. And that with self-compassion and as we embody the true Self, we can transform even our deepest wounds into powerful resources of clarity, strength and personal growth.
Over the years I have completed extensive specialist training in IFS – including Level 1 and Level 2 training on neuroscience & trauma, and Level 3 practitioner training with IFS founding developer Dr. Richard Schwartz. I also regularly work as a program assistant on IFS trainings around Australia in order to continually deepen my skills in the model and what I can offer my clients through this transformational approach.
Mindful self-compassion is a life-changing tool for enhancing emotional wellbeing. Based on neuroscience, it trains your brain to become more accepting and kind towards yourself – and therefore more emotionally balanced and strong – especially when difficult things happen.
The skills of mindful self-compassion are particularly useful if you struggle with guilt or self-blame in some way, when we bump up against our limitations, fall short of our ideals, or encounter a disappointment or loss.
Unfortunately, self-criticism is the automatic reaction for most of us in these situations – and it is one of the greatest derailers of emotional wellbeing.
Intense criticism of yourself can cause you to feel even more stressed, anxious, and depressed. It creates a negative downward spiral that makes it very difficult to accomplish anything.
Self-compassion is the direct antidote to self-judgment and self-criticism – and the good news is that it is a skill that you can learn and develop – once you know how.
With self-compassion you practice giving yourself the same kindness and care you’d give to a good friend. And this provides the emotional resilience to help you make the positive, worthwhile, and long-lasting changes you want and deserve in your life.
Through 20 years of working with people, I’ve become convinced that self-compassion is perhaps the most powerful coping strategy and life skill you may ever develop.
Mindful self-compassion re-trains your brain to be calmer, more resilient and more self-loving, on an enduring basis.
Emotion-Focused Couples Therapy (EFT)
EFT is a well-established, research-proven method of couples or marriage counselling.
Research on EFT shows that 70-75% of couples who attend Emotion-Focused Couples Therapy move from distress to recovery, and approximately 90% show significant improvements as the result of therapy.
EFT’s focus is on helping you to understand the emotional reactions that exist between you and your partner. These reactions come from emotional wounds that stem from early experiences you had as a child with your parents.
Once you understand the deeper meanings of each of your reactions, you can work to heal these past wounds and strengthen your bond with your partner.
Gottman Method of Couples Counselling
John Gottman, the founder of the Gottman Method of Couples Therapy has been studying couples for over 40 years. His approach to couples therapy draws on his extensive leading-edge research.
The Gottman method is practical and pro-active – focusing on skills for managing conflict and communication effectively, strengthening the friendship at the core your relationship, and creating a sense of shared meaning and purpose in life with your partner.
Gottman’s approach equips you with new insights and tools for developing greater trust and connection with your partner. This helps you grow closer, deepen your loving bond, and feel a renewed sense of hope, strength, and commitment together.
Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP) and Time Line Therapy
I primarily use an NLP technique called Time Line Therapy and Deep State Re-patterning.
This approach helps facilitate growth and transformational change – allowing you to clear unhelpful sub-conscious programming, behavioural patterns, beliefs and negative emotions that have held you back.
With Time Line Therapy you can find resolution to underlying causes of problems at a root level – producing positive results rapidly, safely, and effectively.
You can then have more influence over your mind and your life, and feel empowered to move towards the dreams and goals that matter most to you.
Meditation & Guided Imagery
The use of guided imagery in psychotherapy is a simple, yet powerful tool to assist you in setting goals, changing self-image, and re-processing traumatic material.
Research suggests the brain responds to an imagined experience almost the same as it does to a real-life experience. So, by invoking an imagined experience in a counselling session, we can dramatically change the way you feel about a situation, a relationship, or your identity.
I often integrate imagery as a meditative process for creating a desired vision for the future, cultivating self-compassion, or crafting compelling stories that inspire positive change.
Clients often report this part of our session to be particularly uplifting and transformative, something they continue to draw on between sessions, and as an inner resource long after our work together is complete.
Petrea King Quest for Life Counselling
I have worked with the Petrea King Quest for Life Foundation for over eight years providing counselling services on Quest’s residential programs for cultivating resilience, peace of mind and wellbeing.
I offer follow-up counselling and psychotherapy sessions via Skype or Zoom to past program participants all over Australia – a gentle and supportive way to more fully integrate the skills & tools, emotional healing and positive changes achieved through the Quest program experience.
Life Coaching and Positive Psychology
The life coaching strategies and methods I use are informed by Positive Psychology – an evidence-based approach to helping you achieve a fuller sense of authentic happiness, while reaching for your true potential towards your dreams and goals.
With the assumption that people are basically healthy, resourceful and motivated to grow – Positive Psychology aims to foster inner strengths that enable individuals to not just survive but truly thrive.
Positive Psychology Coaching is particularly helpful if you’re stuck in an area of your life – health, relationships or sense of direction – and want to propel yourself forward.
My style of coaching is gentle and empowering, equipping you with mind-sets and skill-sets to overcome the thinking patterns that have held you back so you can step up more fully to a meaningful and positive life.
Coaching reconnects you with what intrinsically motivates and inspires you so can you can realise your goals while staying firmly on the path to greater well-being.
Unlike most therapists who offer 50-60 minute counselling sessions, I offer 75-90 minute sessions. This longer time frame allows us to go deeper into the issues in our meetings and achieve real breakthroughs each time we meet.
You can book counselling sessions in my office or we can meet on Skype/Zoom if you live outside Coffs Harbour, including other areas of the country and all over the world.