Hi, I'm Jess
I am an attachment-based, trauma-informed and relationship counsellor.
In my own journey of attachment trauma, grief and loss, depression, anxiety, and shame, I have found that working with old attachment wounds and underlying emotions, even those that are difficult, can help us understand the 'heart' of our emotional experience and unlock the potential of the 5C's of connection, curiosity, creativity, compassion and confidence that is already within all of us. We can be empowered to rediscover and live our strong, whole, and authentic selves, and strengthen our relationships.
Having a background in Biochemistry, I have held a fascination with human functioning and neurobiology from a young age. But, I was merely scratching the surface as neither alone provided an adequate explanation of how we make meaning of our experience. My curious mind and love for learning led me to delve deeper into exploring the connections between attachment dynamics and the traumatic effects on the human mind, emotions, and body in my work and personal life. The results have been both challenging and rewarding in helping me delve deeper into the human experience.
Outside of work, I enjoy keeping active, chasing the sunshine, reading novels, baking, and playing with my dog, Sally. In recent years, I have started dabbling in vocal training and watercolour sketching.
Being a therapist gives me profound joy and I am filled with gratitude for my clients who continually teach me about the resilience, hope and courage of the human spirit.
Registered Clinical Counsellor (PACFA)
Clinical member of Christian Counsellors Association of Australia (CCAA)
Masters of Counselling (Morling College), specialising in Relationship Counselling
Trauma counsellor at a leading non-profit organisation for complex trauma
Certified Prepare-Enrich facilitator (a pre-marriage and marriage enrichment course)
Bachelor of Commerce/Science (combined) at UNSW
I have a heart for working with adult survivors of childhood trauma and attachment wounds, as well those who are suffering with grief and loss. I am also passionate about integrating faith-based Christian counselling for Christian clients.
Other relevant extended professional development training includes areas such as:
Training in Emotionally-Focused Therapy (EFT)
Healing Childhood Sexual Abuse
Domestic Violence (Lifecare)
Trauma-Informed Care and Practice (Blue Knot Foundation)
The Body Remembers: Integrating Mind and Body for Trauma Recovery with Janina Fisher
When Words Are Not Enough: How to Engage the Body to Disrupt Entrenched Patterns with Pat Ogden
Introduction to Dissociation (Blue Knot Foundation)
Grief and Liminality: Living and Working with the State of 'In-Between' (Centre of Existential Practice)
Grief and Trauma (Centre of Existential Practice)
Grief and the Body (Centre of Existential Practice)
I maintain the highest level of ethical conduct and professional standards as a counsellor by receiving on-going professional development training and regular clinical supervision that meet PACFA requirements.
To heal is to touch with love that which we previously touched with fear.
6 ways therapy can help you
Develop self-awareness and knowledge
Knowledge is power and I empower you through psychoeducation to help you understand more of who you are, the coping mechanisms you have developed from past experiences and how they develop into patterns of feeling, thinking and functioning. The brain is highly adaptive and new information can be integrated to give you more choice on how to react, and increase your capacity to grow and transform.
Discover your unique strengths and resources
I work from a strength-based approach to discover and honour the strengths and resources you already possess, as well as develop new skills.
Strengthen the connection between heart, mind and body
Research shows that healing, especially from traumatic experiences, doesn't just occur through changing our thinking (top-down), but through learning how to mindfully tune into our body and emotions (bottom-up). I create a safe holding space to help you tune into the wisdom of the body to increase your capacity for self-regulation and healing.
Heal from old attachment wounds
We develop our own unique styles of relating from our past experiences with our early caregivers or those who were meant to provide us with unconditional love. Therapy can help you understand and work through the unique challenges you faced in those formative years and the ways you learnt to adapt and cope that might be causing some difficulties in the present. We work to strengthen your adult self to give your inner child the nurture and care that you deserve.
Communicate your feelings, emotions, needs and boundaries
Through past experiences of not having our attachment needs met, many of us have learnt that it unsafe to feel our emotions and communicate our needs. Creative therapy approaches can help undo shame and discover how to honour and assertively communicate your needs and boundaries in your relationships.
Work through grief and loss
Almost every issue, including complex trauma, can be seen through the lens of grief and loss. Therapy is a safe space for you to mourn not only the things that have happened, but also the things that should have happened and didn't.
My Values & Approach
I provide a safe holding space for you to explore, experience & express your most authentic emotions. I believe that there are no "bad emotions" -- all emotions are valid and our body's means of communication.
I respect your autonomy, values and beliefs. I enjoy working with all kinds of people. My clients include Christians and non-Christians and come from different ages, backgrounds, cultures, spiritualities, and stages of life. It makes counselling so rich and rewarding.
I uphold your value & worth as a person & see you as the expert of your own story & journey. I take the time to get to know your unique person, strengths & experience as we work collaboratively towards your goals.
Your journey is unique & there is no 'one size fits all'. I tailor counselling towards you, drawing on different modalities to provide a creative & holistic approach. Some of the theories & modalities I draw upon include: - Emotionally-focused Therapy - Attachment-based Counselling - Gestalt Therapy - Interpersonal Therapy - Art Therapy - Sensorimotor Psychotherapy
Trauma-informed care shifts the focus from “What’s wrong with you?” to “What happened to you?”. I integrate my knowledge about trauma into all areas of my practice to create a safe space for you.
Whatever your situation, I always look for hope. I do not overlook the courage to take steps towards living the life you want. I truly believe that given the right emotional support, every person is capable of and has the capacity to change, heal and thrive.