Shelagh is a qualified and professionally registered counsellor with the Australian Counselling Association. Shelagh supports a vast range of clients that includes individuals, children, teenagers, parents, and couples. Shelagh has a particular interest in depression, anxiety, grief and loss, anger-related issues, relationship difficulties, addiction and helping people to navigate uncertainty and readjust to changes in life.
Shelagh employs a variety of evidence-based techniques to help to empower her clients to find solutions to their own problems. Through this gentle collaborative work, Shelagh encourages her clients to cultivate a sense of independence, optimism, and courage, and to nurture the self-confidence to explore new pathways. Shelagh believes that counselling is different for each individual and a few basic principles guide her counselling work. She works transparently within an ethical framework based on trust, to create a strong and equal relationship between her clients and herself, which she believes creates the solid foundation for effective therapy to take place.
Shelagh believes in listening both to your true self and to your body’s reactions. Often psychological distress comes from not knowing how to listen and compassionately and respond to oneself. Shelagh believes that this lack of understanding is often rooted in early childhood and past experiences, and can cause us to doubt our true selves and to lack authentic self-expression, which can impede our decision making. Shelagh’s empathic approach underpins her work and helps people to heal old wounds, develop healthy coping strategies to tolerate distress and regulate emotions and to gain confidence to cope with adverse life experiences. When adverse life experiences overwhelm us, sometimes we can shut down and feel numb. Shelagh is able to help clients to link their bodily responses to specific emotions, narratives, and their own lived experiences, so as to better understand and inhabit themselves with self-compassion, new awareness and purpose.
Shelagh employs a variety of treatment modalities which she tailors to each client’s individual needs - they include using a Genogram to better understand the family dynamics of her clients, CBT (Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy), ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy), Narrative Therapy and Mindfulness Therapy.