I understand that talking about sensitive issues and especially sexual ones, can be difficult. I provide a relaxed environment for people to speak openly about sex and their sexuality. My approach is non-judgemental and accepting of all experiences, expressions, identities, orientations and faiths. I identify as a kink friendly practitioner who understands that sexuality can be experienced in unique and complex ways. I have a strong commitment to helping people develop improved awareness of their own unique sexuality and explore ways to have more pleasurable and empowering experiences.
My approach is both client-centered and strength-based. I believe that each individual has the internal capacity for healing and recovery and I see my role as walking along beside you in your growth. My focus is on building a consensual and trusting therapeutic relationship with my clients and so we progress through therapy at the client’s pace and comfort level. During the therapeutic process we may talk about your body and sexual function, however you are not required to talk about anything that you are not comfortable with and there is never any touch exchanged between therapist and client.
In our first session together, it is important that we both get to know each other and talk about your therapeutic expectations. It is essential that you feel comfortable with your therapist and so it is ok to use this first session to decide whether it will be a good fit for you, for us to continue working together. It is also helpful for me to get to know who you are and how you like to learn, so that together we can create a supportive and empowering space for you to work through the issues that are most important to you.
I believe that the best clinical outcomes are achieved through interdisciplinary practice and so I seek to maintain professional and confidential connections with other health providers including Gynaecologists, Urologists, Oncologists, Physiotherapists, Psychologists, Psychiatrists and General Practitioners.
I have special interest and experience in working with PTSD and sexual function, which was the topic of my final Master’s project where I was embedded in a Trauma Recovery Program. As well as managing sexuality during significant life transitions (such as parenthood, menopause & ageing, cancer treatment, surgery and chronic illness), I have completed significant professional development around trauma and understand the complexities of sexual function when recovering from trauma and abuse.
I practice an integrative approach to therapy and combine aspects of the following to assist clients to reach their individual therapeutic goals: CBT, ACT, DBT, Mindfulness Therapies, Art Therapy and Internal Family Systems.
I have trained in the Internal Family Systems modality because I believe that this approach provides a respectful, client-empowering way to work with sexually traumatic events, deeply embedded unhelpful beliefs about the body and sex, as well as intense feelings of shame and humiliation around sexuality. I completed my Level 1 training in 2017/18 and am currently completing the Level 2 IFIO training in 2021. I am listed on the IFS Institute website in the “Find a Professional” section, under the Australian Practitioner Directory. If you would like to learn more about the Internal Family Systems model, you can find a lot of information on the IFS Institutes website.
In addition to seeing clients privately, I believe in the importance of education and am deeply committed to community connection. As part of fulfilling this philosophy, I am currently delivering Psychosexual Education as an embedded contractor within one of Phoenix Australia’s Trauma Recovery Programs in Townsville, for people diagnosed with PTSD. As part of my Masters study at the University of Sydney, I designed and wrote a module titled “Sexual Function and PTSD” which forms the basis of this work.
As I am a registered teacher, I like to maintain my connection with young people and schools. I am available to conduct staff professional development sessions or run student workshops on a variety of issues around sexuality. I am also available to assist schools with curriculum development for Sexuality Education where needed. Please contact us for more details.
I maintain a connection with both the Cancer Council Australia and Breast Cancer Network Australia (BCNA) as a regular financial donor. I participated in BCNA’s 2019 Journey through Nepal to raise money for breast cancer awareness and research, along with an inspiring group of other breast cancer survivors from around Australia. From my personal experience of breast cancer recovery has come a deep awareness of managing sexual function in the face of illness, surgery and medication. I am available to speak about managing sexual function through cancer recovery and am committed to supporting people going through this journey.
I identify as an ally for the LGBTIQA+ community and am available for support and community connection where needed.
I commenced my education by receiving a scholarship to study Marine Biology at James Cook University in Townsville, North Queensland. In my second year of study, I realised that my personality deeply desired connecting with people and that I was not destined for a career of scientific research and laboratory work. However, I was so in love with Mother Nature that I completed my undergraduate Science degree with majors in Marine Biology and Zoology but turned down an offer of an Honours placement.
My volunteer work with the Department of Environment involved educating young people about the various ecological habitats of the North Queensland region, and it was this experience of working with groups that developed my passion for education, and led me back to university to become a registered teacher. I completed a Bachelor of Education with a major in Chemistry, which opened a wonderful teaching career both in Australia and England as a senior Biology and Chemistry teacher. I worked in middle-management positions for curriculum development and pastoral care both in Australia and England.
It was through a decade of working with adolescents that I realised our Sexuality Education programs had major gaps and were not meeting the needs of our young people. My conversations and work with young people and their families, developed my personal interest and passion for human sexuality, along with my love of counselling.
It was when I paused my career in 2009 to start a family, that I used this transition time to embark on a new career path as a Sexologist. I completed my postgraduate studies part-time while our children were at primary school and completed a Master of Science in Medicine (HIV, STI and Sexual Health) Counselling through the University of Sydney. I started my private practice in Townsville in 2020, where I provide therapeutic services to individuals and couples experiencing difficulties in sexual function, identity, orientation, behaviour and relationships.
I am also available to see national and international clients (excluding USA and Canada) via teleconference and for specific IFS therapy for sexual issues.
Proudly a member of:
Australian Counselling Association
Queensland College of Teachers
Society of Australian Sexologists
European Society of Sexual Medicine
International Society of Sexual Medicine