About Me

Background

Emma is a qualified Counsellor and Psychotherapist with a Master of Counselling (2007) and BA (Psychology) (2003) both from the University of Queensland and will be completing her Professional Doctorate in Creative Arts Practice through the MIECAT Institute at the end of 2018. Emma has recently commenced Child Psychotherapy training to further extend her expertise in working with infants, children, and families.

Emma is recognised as a clinical member with the Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia (PACFA) adhering to their code of ethics.   

Emma is also a member of the Australian Association of Infant Mental Health (AAIMHI) and ACATA.

Wearing many career hats, Emma works in private practice; lectures in Trauma Counselling and Ethics at postgraduate and Masters Level; as a Family Art Therapist in a Domestic Violence organisation; lead group facilitator of an infant mental health and attachment program. 

Emma brings a wealth of counselling experience gained from working predominantly with children, families, young people and adults in the areas of mental health, trauma, abuse, self-esteem, body image issues, and eating disorder recovery over the past decade.  She is experienced in psychological assessment, evidence-based treatments for PTSD, depression, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, and trauma, individual and family counselling, and crisis intervention.  In particular, Emma is passionate about supporting clients to recover from trauma, eating disorders and associated body image and self-esteem issues adopting a holistic and creative approach in working with clients.  Emma believes in everyone’s real potential to grow through these problems and come to better understand lived experience as the path to wellness.

Philosophy

Emma’s philosophy  to counselling has been informed and shaped over the years by different experiences she’s had both in clinical practice as well as her own life.  Emma adopts a person-centred way of working with clients.  However, it has been the incredible stories of courage, bravery, perseverance, acceptance and hope clients have generously shared which have had the most significant impact on the kind of therapist Emma aims to be.  Being in the privileged role of listening to and witnessing client’s overcome adversity has reinforced Emma’s belief that one size therapy or treatment does not fit all.  To increase the effectiveness of therapy, individually tailoring treatment to suit your own needs, preferences, and personality is an important feature of Emma’ approach.  Every person’s experience is unique, and whilst there can be similarities, understanding the context of someone’s life is vital for change to occur and be sustained.

As a counsellor, Emma adopts a holistic approach in working to resolve issues in the safety and containment of a collaborative therapeutic relationship.  Emma believes recovery and returning to wellness is a shared responsibility where the exchange of knowledge, wisdom, and experience positively nurtures a sense of personal agency, growth, and confidence.

Approach

Emma is experienced and trained in using the following therapeutic approaches and interventions.

  • Interpersonal Psychotherapy
  • Arts Psychotherapy
  • Narrative enquiry
  • Narrative Exposure Therapy
  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
  • Guided imagery and relaxation
  • Developmental trauma
  • Mental Health Coaching
  • Play therapy (children)
  • Attachment
  • Group Psychotherapy with mother-infant dyads

Research

Emma’s research titled ‘Beyond the voice of the eating disorder: Helping families to tune-in to personal narratives‘ proposes to use an arts-based enquiry with families affected by an eating disorder to develop an expressive model of family therapeutics. Informed by the many years of experience in working with families, Emma has observed the voice of the eating disorder essentially dominate the narratives of the family and interpersonal relationships with others.  Often, this means other family members are unable to make their own voices heard and relationships become strained and family life can become controlled by the eating disorder. Emma is curious to enquire into the different narratives of each family member and create the opportunity for them to be expressed and heard in the context of the family.