Counselling Services

I provide holistic counselling & psychotherapy to people of all ages, genders, sexualities, and cultural backgrounds. I offer a safe, welcoming space for you to share your personal story without judgement, so that together we can explore and understand what you are currently experiencing.  Read more about my counselling approach here.      

I provide counselling for people who are experiencing a range of issues or difficult life circumstances such as:

I also provide counselling for people who are experiencing:

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  • Abuse     

  • Adjusting to a new culture 

  • Anxiety

  • Burnout   

  • Cancer Diagnosis/Treatment 

  • Caring for a Loved One

  • Childhood Trauma 

  • Chronic Illness & Pain

  • Covid Anxiety

  • Depression

  • Disability

  • End of Life   

  • Grief                            

  • Health anxiety

  • Life changes & transitions

  • Living with Metastatic Cancer

  • Loneliness & Isolation

  • Loss

  • Panic Attacks​

  • Parenting

  • Perfectionism

  • Recovery from Natural Disaster

  • Recovering from a Cancer Experience

  • Relationship Breakdown

  • Retirement

  • Separation or Divorce

  • Social Anxiety

  • Stress Management

  • Study-Related Stress

  • Trauma

  • Vicarious Trauma

  • Work-Related Stress

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The wound is the place where the light enters you.

Rumi

 
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Grief & Loss

Grief is our natural response to loss. Loss can take many forms. It may be due to the death of a loved one; a major injury or illness; separation or divorce; the loss of a pregnancy, a pet, a job, a home, or our way of life as we knew it. Other experiences of loss may be due to children leaving home, infertility, loss of capacity due to ill health, or separation from friends and family.

 

The pain of loss can be overwhelming, and it can affect our emotions, thoughts, beliefs, physical health, sense of identity and relationships. I can give you a safe space to process the range of emotions you may be feeling, help you to come to terms with the reality of your loss, and assist you to develop strategies for coping with your loss and grief.

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Anxiety

Anxiety is our body’s natural response to stress. It is a feeling of fear or apprehension about what is to come. It can cause a pounding heart, shortness of breath, sweaty palms, butterflies in the stomach – as well as excessive worries. Anxiety may affect our ability to concentrate, sleep & function throughout the day at work, home or school. It can also lead to people feeling that they have to avoid certain stressful situations.

 

I can help you to more fully understand anxiety, as well as to teach you tools & strategies to better manage anxiety when it occurs.

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Depression

Depression can cause a low mood that doesn’t go away. It affects everyone differently but may cause you to feel withdrawn, sad, numb, irritable, alone, hopeless or negative about yourself and others, amongst other feelings. It affects how we feel, think, and behave. It may cause us to lose interest in things, interferes with how we go about our lives and can make it difficult to cope.

 

We know that a range of factors may be involved in the development of depression. These include biological factors (such as genetic predisposition, brain chemistry & personality type) as well as life experiences & psycho-social factors (such as the death of a loved one; long term stress; being exposed to physical, sexual or emotional abuse; long term illness; divorce; chronic pain and ageing).

 

I can help identify and work through the psychosocial factors which may be triggering the depression and can help you to learn helpful coping strategies and potential lifestyle changes.

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Chronic Illness

An unexpected diagnosis of a chronic health condition such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, multiple sclerosis or such can lead to feelings of shock, anger, grief, loss and sadness for both the person diagnosed and their loved ones.

 

I can help you to process the shock of the diagnosis, come to terms with the reality of your new normal, and teach you strategies for managing difficult thoughts and emotions.

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Injury and Disability

When faced with a disabling illness or injury it can trigger a range of emotions and fears about how we will work, manage relationships and function in the world. You are likely to go through a range of feelings from anger and sadness to disbelief.

 

I can help you to process the pain of your loss - not only of your healthy body but also the loss of the life you imagined, before you can begin to work towards a place of peace and acceptance.

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Trauma

Trauma is our response to a deeply distressing or disturbing event, or series of events that overwhelms our ability to cope, causes feelings of helplessness, and diminishes our sense of self. If you have endured any kind of abuse, childhood neglect, serious loss, life-threatening experience or adverse life events which caused significant emotional distress, it may have lasting effects on the way you see yourself, other people and the world.

 

Trauma generates emotions, and unless we are able to process these emotions at the time the trauma occurs, they become stuck in our mind and body. Our trauma can impact our lives in all kinds of ways we don’t expect. It can cause us to feel alarmed and triggered in moments for reasons we don’t understand, and can impact our mental, physical, emotional, social & spiritual well-being. The first step to healing from trauma is to acknowledge and name the trauma.

 

I can then use a number of approaches to gently help you to process what you have been through in a safe and supported way to begin the process of healing.

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Stress

A stress response occurs in our body when we perceive any “threat” to our safety and well-being. Originally this reflex response was designed to keep us alive when faced with physical threats such as a sabre-toothed tiger running at us – so that we could run away quickly or fight if we had to! These days, we experience different forms of stress such as those related to family breakdown, isolation, social media, job insecurity, financial stress, being diagnosed with serious illness, domestic violence, world pandemics or world unease. Our primitive “flight or flight” reaction kicks in and automatically floods our body with adrenalin and cortisol which causes those familiar responses such as an increase in our heart rate, blood pressure & breathing rate, sweaty palms or upset stomach. Being in this state can make it difficult to relax or sleep and makes us very reactive and emotional.

 

I can help you to learn mindfulness-based skills which will allow you to recognise when you are triggered into this response, and enable you to calm the nervous system’s automatic response.

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Chronic Pain

Chronic pain can make it hard to work, take care of yourself and do the things you enjoy. It can also affect your sleep, your mood, and if not well managed, may lead to anxiety or depression. Just as pain can affect your mood, improving your emotional health and well-being can also help you manage your pain.  

 

I can help you to use mindfulness strategies to approach pain in a different way. They can also help you to gently process any unresolved trauma in a safe, supportive environment if this is applicable – as research suggests that there may be a connection between some types of chronic pain and unresolved early childhood trauma.

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Major Life Changes

Major life changes such as:

  • Diagnosis of a serious illness or disability for yourself or your partner

  • Retirement

  • Divorce

  • Loss of a job

  • Death of a loved one

  • Moving away from home

  • Having a baby

  • Aging

  • Your children leaving home/moving away

 

are all major life transitions which can be difficult to deal with emotionally. We know that change is an inevitable part of life, but it can often be a difficult adjustment as we deal with intense feelings of fear and uncertainty.

 

A major life transition closes one chapter of our life and opens a new one – but we can feel challenged by transitions that take us away from what is familiar and comfortable and may feel overwhelmed, disillusioned, sad or angry.  With every life transition, there can be a sense of grief at the loss you are experiencing. It’s important to deal with that sense of loss and fear of the unknown before you’re ready to embrace your new reality.  I can help you to process that grief and loss and learn new coping strategies to help you transition to this next phase of your life.

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Just offering a listening ear and an understanding heart for his/her suffering can be a big comfort.

Roy T. Bennett

Qualifications & Accreditations

Bachelor of Education (B.H.M.S.Ed), Certificate of Gifted Education (C.O.G.E), Master of Counselling (M. Couns.)

Member of the Australian Counselling Association  Membership Number:  15044

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