I began my career in psychology providing counselling through Employee Assistance Programs, as well as workplace rehabilitation case management services for those within Worker's Compensation or Life Insurance Schemes. Starting in the dual role helped me learn the ropes and obtain a very broad base of experience in dealing with a wide range of psychological presentations, along with physical injury management.
I was then fortunate to have the opportunity to present professional training and workshops in regional areas across Australia – focusing primarily on mental health, suicide prevention, peer support, leadership and resilience. This had me travelling, meeting lots of interesting new people along the way, and returning with many stories of travel mishaps.
In 2018, my life took a turn when I noticed a few odd symptoms and underwent some medical testing. I was right to get checked, as I was diagnosed with bowel cancer. A few days of anxiety set in whilst waiting to see how far the cancer had spread, before being told it was likely treatable. I would require surgery and a six week recovery. I began the process, though after surgery, I found out the cancer had spread to local lymph nodes. Twelve rounds of chemotherapy were recommended and I underwent nine months of treatment. During this time, I had a first hand experience of the difficulties people face with persistent pain, fatigue, sleep problems, mood shifts and hormonal changes, as well as the secondary impact on my career and family.
Fortunately, I was able to use my knowledge and experience with clients to navigate this period reasonably well. My sense of humor was a huge asset and something I appreciate far more now in the context of therapy. This experience led me to re-evaluate my focus and find my way to Painless with the hope of spending more time working with those navigating pain and illness.
In my work with clients, I place a lot of focus on the link between the mind and what is experienced by the body. Our psychological mindset influences the way we experience symptoms and interact with the world. I've had personal experience with serious illness, and persistent pain and fatigue. Navigating these difficulties is a unique process for each of us, and working with someone who has been there, can help us find the best, out of a bad situation.
Unresolved trauma is also a significant factor in how we experience so much of our life. Often it can be an underlying factor that is stopping so many other treatments from working. This is because unresolved trauma can take up all the energy we have. I have experience working with many individuals navigating some of their most difficult moments in life. I find it deeply rewarding to help empower them to face the current and future challenges with more resources and abilities.
I am a great believer in making myself redundant as quickly as possible in the treatment process, and find a sense of humour to be immensely helpful in working through the difficult conversations.