I approach therapy from a position of optimism – life, despite its many challenges, is well worth living, and can be more enjoyable if we learn new ways of relating to ourselves and the world around us.
My approach is holistic; I take time to form a thorough understanding of what is going on for the people I work with, so that we can develop a therapeutic plan that will get to the heart of the matter, and help them to generate lasting changes in their life.
I work in a warm and supportive way to help people decide what therapy and what strategies are most suitable to their personal tastes and circumstances.
What Does Wellbeing Look Like?
Many of us have unrealistic ideas about what good mental health actually looks and feels like. Some of the people I have worked with, people who have struggled through enormous hardships, have confessed that they imagine other people's lives as simple, easy and without difficulty. It may look like this from the outside, but this is definitely a myth.
No matter how much wellbeing you enjoy, you cannot shelter yourself from the unpredictable challenges of existence.
Reality in the adult world involves change and uncertainty. Even the most balanced, stable person will eventually encounter a problem they struggle to solve. This may take the form of an illness, an accident or a hardship, losing a loved one, or having conflict with an important person. Nothing that we do internally can protect us from the random external difficulties of existence, and we shouldn't expect to live without challenges.
Wellbeing is not a state of affairs. While it is true that given enough hardship, we would all struggle to maintain our wellbeing, generally, wellbeing is maintained through a balancing act between our attitudes and choices, our habits and actions, and our external circumstances.
I am using the word balancing act on purpose; we do not exist in a static balance, frozen in time and circumstance – we are beings, we do things. In the dynamic world of experience, everything is changing all around us, and we create balance by adjusting to new circumstances, shifting our behaviour and perspective, shifting it back, adjusting, checking and shifting again. Even people who continuously enjoy wellbeing are changing all the time.
There is no one path to wellbeing; we are individuals, and different things work for different people. Nonetheless, here are some things you can attend to that have been shown through research to enhance your wellbeing:
In 2018, I cofounded the Brisbane Harmony Centre with fellow psychologists Ainsley Salsbury and Amanda Hansen. Our aim has been to establish a Centre built on a solid foundation of shared values, including:
- Treating people with empathy, compassion and respect (always);
- Applying the most proven and effective therapeutic techniques;
- Curiousity and openness to new insights and understandings;
- Working together with others to achieve better outcomes and solutions;
- Ensuring the highest standards of responsibility for good, safe, well-handled outcomes; and
- Being true to ourselves and our values.
I am extremely proud of the Centre, and the work we each do in supporting the wellbeing, recovery and aspirations of our clients.