Open Colleges: Thoughts for Better Living


Can a single thought for the day inspire you and change your life? Open Colleges has spoken to 25 of the web’s top counsellors to hear their thoughts for better living. What inspires you?


Paul Gale-Baker — Specialist in Relationship Counselling

Paul has been a relationship and marriage counsellor and therapist in private practice in the suburb of Macleod, Melbourne for over 20 years. He uses a range of approaches in his work, including  emotion focused therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy and other couple therapies. He is a certified psychological type practitioner and uses voice dialogue in coaching clients in business and personal issues.

He also works with issues of chronic illnesses, as it affects both the sufferer and their carers, especially relationships partners. Paul has professional counseling and personal experience of motor neurone disease, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia and sleep disorders and the ways in which they affect relationships.


Lisa Phillips — Specialist in Life Coaching

Lisa is an experienced and certified life and confidence coach with over 14 years’ experience. Lisa appears regularly on television, print and media and has her own coaching column in the UK press.

Lisa works with her clients to become their authentic selves, be true to themselves and free themselves from negative programming and beliefs. Her formal training both in neurolinguistic programming and life coaching have enabled her to develop a holistic approach that is tailored to individuals allowing them to make an effortless transformation to their lives.


Dr. Marian Kratzing — Specialist in Career Counselling

Marian is the principal of Career Avenues, a practice which offers individual career counselling for school students as well as young and older adults in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne. Career Avenues was established in 1991 and aims to help people find career directions that match their aptitude, personality, values and interests.

Marian has specialised in careers psychology since the 1970s and worked for the coonselling centre at the University of Queensland, was coordinator of counselling and careers at the Queensland University of Technology, and director of the career development office at Macquarie University. She has Bachelor and PhD from the University of Queensland.


Susie Tuckwell — Specialist in Marriage Counselling

Susie is a sex and relationship therapist in private practice in Sidney. In the communication field all her working life, including lecturing in communication at university, she specialises in helping people as individuals and in relationships with a wide range of issues, including intimacy and sexual problems, communication and gender. She supervises other therapists, consults to industry on improving communications in the workplace, and gives workshops on counselling and communication to a wide range of organisations. She regularly appears in media.


Karen Phillip — Specialist in Individual and Relationship Counselling

Karen is a family psychotherapist with nearly two decades of experience working with diverse family situations. She has a PhD in Sociology in Parenting; she often works with couples experiencing relationship and communication problems with their young children. She has worked as the family therapist on the Today Show on Channel 9 and regularly appears on the Nine Network. She conducts presentations to parent groups and speaks regularly on many radio networks throughout the country. Karen is currently working with high profile business and celebrity clients assisting them to balance their family and work life more productively.


Desiree Spierings — Sex Therapist and Relationship Counsellor

Desiree is the director of Sexual Health Australia and is a qualified and experienced sex therapist and relationship counsellor. Desiree was the co-host on the ABC1 television series ‘Making Couples Happy’, where she was the relationship counsellor and sex therapist of the four couples on the show. She makes regular appearances on television programmes or radio shows as an expert in relationships and sex.

She is a Bachelor in Psychology from Macquarie University, a postgraduate diploma in Psychology from Macquarie University and a Master of Health Sciences and Sexual Health from the University of Sydney. Her postgraduate diploma research was on rejection and she is currently conducting a literature review on infidelity for her PhD.


Dan Auerbach — Specialist in Relationship, Anxiety and Depression Counselling

Dan is a psychotherapist  and relationship counsellor with Associated Counsellors & Psychologists Sydney. He works with individual and couple to help them improve their sense of wellbeing and their relationships with others. His focus is on providing treatment for psychological issues including depression, anxiety, panic, addiction,  sexuality issues, relationship difficulties, eating disorders, trauma, abuse and other issues. He works closely with clients to explore their lives and help them safely develop the capacity to reflect on and deal with their emotions. This enable them relief from inner turbulence or self-limiting experience.


Leslee Hughes — Specialist in Anxiety and Depression Counselling

Leslee is one of the most senior members of Core Energetics in Australia and an experienced body-mind psychotherapist with a private practice in Sydney and the Central Coast. Leslee is a passionate therapist wishing to inspire others to wholeness. She has extensive experience having studied a wide range of modalities over the years such as systematic or family constellation, trauma resolution and relationship counselling. Leslee brings a blend of modalities to enrich her clients’ lives. She works one on one with individuals, couples, families and groups and is able to do phone or Skype sessions.


Denise Sullivan — Specialist in Couples Counselling

Denise is a moderator and counsellor with over 30 years of experience in legal practice, mediation, arbitration and counselling. She holds a Bachelor of Arts and Laws and a Master of Counselling degree and is a nationally accredited mediator. Denise is well known for the professional and expert quality service she has provided to her clients over many years. She is highly experienced in mediation and dispute resolution and has assisted many clients clients to achieve workable solutions to their problems.


Jacqueline Potter — Specialist in Counselling for Women and Girls

Jacqueline is a qualified psychotherapist based in Brisbane providing mindfulness-based cognitive behavioural therapy and life coaching for people Australia-wide, whether in person, phone or online. She has completed a Bachelor of Science in Psychology at the University os Southern Queensland and done postgraduate studies in domestic violence counselling and neuroplasticity.  Jacqueline’s practice, The Avidity Association came about through a passion to help people believe in themselves and their worth. Jacqueline herself struggled with poor self-image and anxiety for years, and so provides help not just from a theoretical perspective but a true passion for ensuring people find their own resilience, happiness and motivation.


Joan Hamilton-Roberts — Counselling Psychologist and Psychodramatist

Joan has worked with individuals and couples for over twenty years and has experience in private enterprise, non-profits, community, hospital, government and tertiary organisations. Her areas of specialty include anxiety, depression, loss and grief, illness, life transition, identity, relationship issues, sexuality, post-traumatic stress disorder, childhood trauma including sexual abuse for both men and women. She offers consultation and supervision and runs groups.

Joan is a registered counselling psychologist with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency, a member of the Australian Psychological Society and an accredited psychodramatist with the Australian Aotearoa and New Zealand Psychodrama Association.


Tina Monk — Specialist in Career Guidance Counselling

Tina has 26 years’ experience in transformational leadership and as an executive coach and group facilitator. Her focus is on leadership and executive development, often using 360-degree assessments to provide clients with valuable feedback. Tina coaches emerging leaders and develops current executives and leaders, coaching them in strategic leadership and people management skills. She is widely featured across popular publications including the Sydney Morning Herald, Cleo, Women’s Agenda and more. 

Tina guides her clients to higher levels of awareness and performance. They report improved relationships, increased productivity and an enhanced ability to deal with rapid change and increasing complexity and ambiguity.


Jacqueline Stone — Specialist in Stress Counselling

Jacqueline specialises in helping people to master stress. She completed the Graduate Diploma in Counselling at the Australian College of Applied Psychology and worked as a counsellor for a community counselling service and a health service. Jacqueline gained clinical membership with the Counsellors and Psychotherapists Association of New South Wales and became registered with the Psychotherapists and Counsellors Federation of Australia.

Jacqueline is founder of Wise Stress Mastery where you can find her blog and other resources. She also writes, facilitates and speaks about stress mastery for other blogs and organisations. Jacqueline’s private counselling and therapy practice of 12 years is based in the Sydney CBD.


Jill Henry — Specialist in Individual and Relationship Counselling

Jill works as a counsellor and psychotherapist in her private practice in Bondi Junction and Lane Cove. She does volunteer counselling, training, and supervision in a non-profit organisation called the Mandala Community Counselling Service. She is also the vice-president of Cult Information and Family Support.

Jill is a member of the Counsellors and Psychotherapists Association of New South Wales as well as a on the National Register of the Psychotherapists and Counselling Federation of Australia.


Sherry Wright — Specialist in Relationship Counselling

Sherry has worked as a relationship and family counsellor for over 22 years with Relationships Australia Queensland. She also worked as a relationship educator, trainer and advanced clinical leader during that time. Currently, Sherry works with high conflict parents after separation with Uniting Care Community Queensland.

She is a clinical member of the Australian Association of Relationship Counsellors, the Marriage Educators Association of Australia and the Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia.


Jane Oakley-Lohm — Specialist in Grief and Loss Counselling

Jane is a listener and makes no judgements and ascertains where you will need support in your life by guiding, supporting and building self-esteem. She treats each person as an individual and tailors sessions to suit personal needs.

Jane has worked in case management, business management, team supervision, corporate, government and private sectors with experience in all areas. She specialises in workplace issues, abuse, relationship and conflict resolution, grief and loss, mediation and sandplay therapy. Jane has been specialising in grief and loss and psychological abuse for many years.


Margie Ulbrick — Specialist in Relationship Counselling

Margie is a relationship counsellor, collaborative family lawyer and writer. She has been working helping people for many years and brings a wealth of experience to support those on their journey for greater happiness and wellbeing in their lives and relationships.

She has qualifications in family therapy at post graduate level as well as in somatic psychotherapy. She has also done training in various models of therapy and counselling including but not limited to psychodynamic therapy, solutions therapy, narrative therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy.


Gia Pyrlis — Specialist in Depression and Anxiety Counselling

Gia is an experienced and qualified counsellor, therapeutic and remedial massage therapist, and educator. For the first fifteen years of working life she was a primary school teacher and language teacher in South Australia.

Prior to working as a therapist, at the age of 33, Gia experienced breast cancer. This urged her on a journey of self-discovery, studying more about the mind, body and spirit, which lead her to complete a Masters in Social Science (Counselling Studies) and a Diploma of Remedial Massage. She then started her own business as a therapist to help and support others with their health and wellbeing. She is now studying nutritional medicine part time.


Amanda Lambros — Specialist in Grief anf Loss Counselling

Amanda is a leading expert in the area of grief and loss. She is the executive director of Grief Recovery Method Australia and New Zealand, with more than a decade of experience working in the counselling, education and training fields. Amanda assists people to positively action their losses and help grievers heal their broken hearts. The Grief Recovery Method is a seven step evidence-based process that helps people understand loss. It aims to help them apply the principles in their lives and allows the participants to start moving through their losses so that the memories remain but the pain of the losses is reduced.


Kati Britton — Specialist in Adolescent and Family Counselling

Kati is a registered counsellor and a registered art and play clinician working with children, adolescents and adults who are experiencing anxiety, anger, depression, self-esteem and behavioural issues. Kati has previously worked with youth at Point Zero Youth Services, as well as becoming an educational group facilitator in interactive workshops throughout Sydney’s metropolitan high schools. Kati has also previously worked at South Pacific Private hospital in their intake and client care departments. Kati believes that children as young as age four will benefit from art and play therapy techniques that are used to achieve specific treatment and assessment goals, alongside theoretical models of therapeutic interventions for best practice.


Talia Steed — Specialist in Counselling for Women and Children

Talia started out as a doctor, commencing psychiatry training before shifting to counselling. She is also a Gestalt therapist in training, due to her fascination with the human mind and view of learning as a lifelong pursuit. She also volunteers as a speaker for Beyond Blue, and is a passionate advocate for raising awareness and eliminating the stigma surrounding mental health. Talia is dedicated to assisting clients to enrich their lives. She provides the support and guidance to allow her clients to develop a greater awareness of themselves and to discover how to live in a more authentic and meaningful way.


Cait Wotherspoon — Specialist in Grief Counselling

Cait’s passion is to help people who have suffered loss. As a leading specialist in her field she has helped people move through their unresolved grief, to feel less isolated and alone. Using her training Cait seeks to empower her clients to breakthrough and rediscover the joys of a full and rewarding life. She offers grief, loss and bereavement counselling for adults, adolescents, children and families in the Penrith CBD. Her first-hand experience with grief and loss has given her the tools to help others in similar situations.


Colleen Morris — Specialist in Family Counselling

Colleen Morris is a clinical family therapist and counsellor in Geelong, Victoria. With over 30 years of experience, Colleen works with individuals, couples and families, to promote growth, wellness and potential. Her greatest achievement is a strong and happy marriage relationship to her best friend and her two beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and joy. Colleen has extensive training and certification across a wide range of areas including family therapy, mental health and relationships.


Gabrielle Gawne-Kelnar — Specialist in Psychotherapy and Counselling

Gabrielle is a psychotherapist and writer who focuses on the very heart of living – life, death, love and loss. She works with clients all over the world via email. She is also a writer for Psych Central’s The Therapist Within. She is fully qualified in psychotherapy with accredited counselling experience. She is a member of The Australian Counselling Association and the International Society for Mental Health Online. She has been published in the Sydney Morning Herald and among other major publications.


Kim Bailey — Specialist in Relationship Counselling

Kim Bailey is the director and founder of All Relationship Matters. She is also a lead counsellor and psychotherapist. Kim is a warm, personable and understanding therapist. She has a unique ability to quickly identify the issues behind a person’s struggle. She is deeply passionate about her work with couples, individuals and families. Kim is also trained as a specialist couples therapist and has additional postgraduate qualifications in family therapy. Comprehensive training in these different counselling frameworks sets Kim apart from other counsellors and psychotherapists.

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Source: Open Colleges: Thoughts for Better Living

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