How will counselling help?

Counselling will allow you to:

1. Gain a better understanding of your problems and their impact on your l

2. Learn practical strategies for managing your problems.

3. Practise the techniques taught during consultations for use in your everyday life.

4. Learn how to maintain the gains you have made during counselling.

What is an Occupational Therapist (OT)?

An Occupational Therapist (OT) has specialist knowledge about emotional and mental health issues and the potential impact on occupational functioning in everyday life, at work, study and recreational pursuits.

Occupational Therapists receive significant training in the Focused Psychological Strategies on which the Better Access to Mental Health Initiative (BAMH) is based (BAMH Manual, Australian Psychological Association, 2007).

Who do Occupational Therapists work with?

Individuals diagnosed with mental health and other conditions including:

· Anxiety

· Depression

· Schizophrenia

· Bipolar affective disorder

· Coping with a difficult physical or  mental health condition

· change in life situation e.g. retirement, caring for a family member, loss of an important life role

· Stress related illnesses

These conditions can lead to the following problems:

· Difficulty coping with stressful situations

· Social isolation & loneliness

· Difficulty completing everyday life skills e.g. cooking, cleaning, shopping

· Low motivation

· Lack of routine leading to boredom

· Lack of meaning or purpose

· Problems with family and social relationships

· Low self confidence & self esteem

How does Occupational Therapy help?

Occupational Therapy can help you to carry out the things you need to do and want to do, such as work, study, recreational pursuits and household tasks.

An Occupational Therapist will make suggestions to modify your situation or give you strategies to improve your lifestyle and wellbeing.

These education and strategies may include:

· Stress management & coping skills  

· Relaxation

· Anxiety management

· Prevention of relapse of mental health condition

· Problem solving and goal setting

· Being more assertive

· Self esteem

· Healthy & balanced lifestyle counselling

· Relating to others

Community & Support Services Information

Information may be given about community support services for your individual needs including:

· Home help (cleaning, shopping, cooking, meal planning, budgeting)

· Leisure, work and further study options based on your individual life goals

· Support, disability and community services to provide ongoing support for you

       and your family

Counselling Methods Used

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive behaviour therapy is a focused, evidence-based approach that is based on the concept that cognitions (thoughts) influence feelings and behaviours, and that subsequent behaviours and emotions can influence cognitions. The therapist helps individuals identify unhelpful irrational thoughts, emotions and behaviours.

CBT has two aspects: behaviour therapy and cognitive therapy.  Behaviour therapy is based on the theory that behaviour is learned and therefore can be changed. Cognitive therapy is based on the theory that distressing emotions and maladaptive behaviours are the result of faulty or irrational patterns of thinking. Therefore, therapeutic interventions are aimed at replacing such dysfunctional thoughts with more rational cognitions (thoughts), which leads to an alleviation of problem thoughts, emotions and behaviour.

Narrative Therapy

Narrative Therapy is based on the therapist understanding the unique ‘stories’ that individuals use to describe their lives. The therapist listens to how people describe their problems as stories and helps the person to consider how the stories may restrict them from overcoming their present difficulties.  Narrative Therapy sees problems as being separate from people and assists the individual to recognise the range of skills, beliefs and abilities that they already have and have successfully used (but may not recognise), and that they can apply these to the problems in their lives.

Narrative Therapy aims to reframe the ‘stories’ people tell about their lives and put a major emphasis on identifying people’s strengths, particularly as they have mastered situations in the past. 

(Adapted from the Better Access to Mental Health Initiative Manual,

Australian Psychological Association, 2007)

Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT)

Solution Focused Brief Therapy is for individuals who want to achieve through therapy rather than focus on the problem or problems that made them to seek help. The approach does not focus on the past, but instead, focuses on the present and future. The therapist/counselor uses respectful curiosity to invite the individual to visualize and describe their preferred future and then therapist and individual start attending to any moves towards it whether these are small increments or large changes. To support this, questions are asked about the individual’s story, strengths and resources, and about exceptions to the problem.

Solution focused therapists believe that change is constant. By helping people identify the things that they wish to have change in their life and also to attend to those things that are currently happening that they wish to continue happening, SFBT therapists help their clients to construct a concrete vision of a preferred future for themselves.

The SFBT therapist then helps the individual to identify times in their current life that are closer to this future, and examines what is different on these occasions. By bringing these small successes to their awareness, and helping them to repeat these successful things they do when the problem is not there or less severe, the therapists helps the individual to move towards the preferred future they have identified.


Counselling For Adults & Young People

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Occupational Therapy


 “Skills For Living”

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Play Therapy for Children

Counselling for Adults & Children