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Sharon has been engaged in the areas of counselling, social work, psychology and psychotherapy for twenty-nine years - in NSW and Queensland (Australia) and England (UK). She completed her first degree in 1987, became a Registered Psychologist in 1998, and a Member of the Australian Psychological Society in 2000. Sharon has worked both privately and within a broad range of organisations, with thousands of children, young people and adults to date, on a diverse range of issues.
"I feel deeply honoured as I support and guide children, young people, adults and couples towards finding resolution of their difficulties, and a greater sense of wellbeing, joy and 'wakefulness' in their lives. I feel privileged and grateful to be able to attune with people in their distress and confusion, to support them in their courage, honesty, openness and self-love, and to be profoundly involved in their process of finding the insights and wisdom, inner strength and calmness they seek to improve their lives and wellbeing, connect more consciously within themselves and in their relationships, and more easily experience and release the effects of transitions, conflict, stress, anxiety, depression, grief and trauma.
I have been in private practice since 2008, and have worked with many wonderful and inspiring children, young people, adults, couples and families over these years.
In recent years I have also written and facilitated part of an Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) qualification required by NSW Funeral Industry staff, on working with grief and trauma.
From 2005 I worked at a tertiary educational institution, providing personal, educational and vocational counselling and psychological support to students of all ages, walks of life, cultures, and from many overseas countries. As well as helping them with stress management, personal and mental health concerns and crises, I assisted students with study skills, course completion management, and to gain clarity re their educational pathways, career options and directions.
Between 2002 and 2004, I had the privilege of supporting families connected with East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH), Milton, Cambridge, England. I counselled and gave therapeutic support to life-limited, life-threatened and dying (those receiving palliative care) children and young people, their siblings, parents and extended family members. I supported bereaved children, young people and their parents; facilitated regular therapeutic and creative group activity days for siblings; participated in the education of Cambridge University medical students re the psycho-spiritual support needs of families; researched and wrote a report for EACH with a colleague, “The Psychological and Spiritual Needs of Life-Limited and Life-Threatened Children”, and helped develop awareness of ill-children’s and siblings needs within the children’s hospice movement in the United Kingdom and Russia via conference presentations.
For many years, I worked in the child protection field in Southeast Queensland, where I provided crisis intervention, assessment, court reports, counselling and support to children, young people and families in relation to investigations of physical, emotional and sexual abuse and neglect. I also provided supervision of and counselling to 'young offenders', adoption processing and support, and assessment and training of alternative (foster) care-providers. I case-managed many children and young people under the care of the state, advised in their care and management, and supported their return home to their birth families where possible.
Early in my career, I worked as a crisis telephone counsellor for Lifeline, NSW. I counselled clients in crisis with such issues as depression, suicidal intent, marriage breakdown, domestic violence, personal problems and financial stress.
During this time, I also worked as a weight loss counsellor and healthy lifestyle teacher. I counselled and motivated clients to achieve healthy weight loss and maintenance, and to understand and (hopefully!) embrace healthy eating and lifestyle behaviours. I taught educational classes on various aspects of health and wellbeing. I also participated in a number of health and wellbeing retreats, organised by the Ku-ring-gai Yoga School (Sydney), and facilitated guided deep relaxation to large groups on occasion.
I bring a vast background of professional, personal and holistic experience and insight to the work I undertake with my clients, and truly enjoy supporting and guiding people through challenging situations and phases in their lives.”
Qualifications and Professional Memberships
- Graduate Diploma of Counselling (Psychology) - Charles Sturt University, NSW, Australia (1998)
- Bachelor of Arts (Major in Psychology) - Macquarie University, NSW, Australia (1987)
- Registered Psychologist - Psychology Board of Australia (AHPRA)
- Member of the Australian Psychological Society (MAPS) 2000, 2005-2019
- Trained Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) Practitioner
- Advanced Brainspotting (BSP) Practitioner
- Presentation of two papers, The Needs of Dying Children and The Needs of Siblings of Life-Limited Children at the Russian–British Children’s Palliative Care Conference, Moscow, Russia, May 2004, with the support of East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices, Milton, Cambridge, England, and the Department of International Development, UK.
- Presentation of the paper, The Psycho-Spiritual Support Needs of Dying Children with co-author, Jayne Newman, at the Association of Children’s Hospices Palliative Care Forum Annual Conference, Manchester, England, May 2003.