About Me

Karen has professional experience working in the areas of domestic violence, forensic psychotherapy, suicide bereavement, sudden death and loss, developmental trauma, parenting and behaviour management, out of home care, single incident trauma, special needs learning assistance, general wellbeing and relationship counselling (for full details see Professional Work History below).

With the combination of a sharp analytical mind and a sensitive and creative personality, Karen is a compassionate and effective psychotherapist.

After mature age entry post-graduate study in Social Research in 2013, Karen chose to pursue a clinical qualification in Counselling.

Karen developed an interest in relational psychotherapy and has read widely in associated areas – including Somatic Movement and Body Focused Therapies, Self Psychology, Emotion Focused Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Jungian thought. Karen has an interest in Trauma and its resolution and integration within a person. She has participated in movement workshops and explored trauma theory and its links with body awareness, and movement, combined with verbal psychotherapy.

Karen continues to read and learn about psychotherapy inclusive of the mind, body and spirit. Karen receives regular professional supervision from a supervisor with over 20 years private practice experience  as a body and movement focused psychotherapist with Self Psychology training.

Karen’s journey of Self Knowledge

… began with her interest in getting to know the self and what life is all about consciously from about age 16. She spent time trying with her keenest ear to be open and still enough to hear what God had to say to her. Karen asked questions and tried to understand what it was all about, and what it was all for, whilst questioning any attempts at indoctrination from schooling and church and any other source!

Karen began her journey of self discovery from a base of Christian theory and practice in her schooling and family life. Later, from age 19, meditation and chanting in the Vedic tradition became a regular part of her life. She was in regular attendance at the early 90’s Siddha Yoga centre in Canberra, and later in Sydney. Siddha Yoga is a type of meditation and chanting Yoga based in the ancient Vedic tradition – a spirituality that came before Buddhism. Karen continued to attend intensive meditation weekends, participate in chanting recitations and Siddha yoga workshops until the birth of her first child. Since then she has explored Buddhism also, attending classes in Tibetan Buddhism with a Lay Monk in Canberra in 2012 – 2013. Currently, Karen attends a Contemplative Christian church in Canberra when she can.

Professional Work History

Karen began her working life as an auditor and financial accountant, and then as a business and finance manager across 18 years from 1994.

Karen trained and volunteered as a foster carer with Barnardos Australia from 2006 – 2016, participating in many training opportunities regarding understanding and responding to problematic behaviours, trauma informed parenting and trauma informed out of home care. Karen worked with the children as well as the parents of the children in her care. The work was at times difficult, yet also highly rewarding. A foster carers role is a restorative and mentoring one, providing trauma informed care and providing reparative experiences to the children and working with the parents in an inclusive and compassionate way.

During this time, while being the primary carer for 3 children and looking for the right work path for her to continue on with, she worked as a swimming teacher for several years, and as a learning support teacher, supporting a class with several special needs children for a couple of years.

In 2013, Karen studied study Social Research at the ANU. After deciding Social Research was still too removed from working one on one with people, she began her Post Grad. qualifications in Counselling at the University of Canberra in 2014. This decision was informed by her work with parents who have had their children removed from their care as well as a desire to share her self and her work in the most useful way to people in our community.

In 2015, Karen moved from working with parents and families, to working with individual clients who have experienced trauma at the ACT Trauma and Support Service. Her role also included working with Standby Support Service (a suicide bereavement service) and within the ACTAS (ACT Ambulance Service) Wellbeing program. Karen worked with ambulance officers, National Parks rangers and the general public who had experienced trauma.  This included sudden deaths, work related incidents, motor vehicle accidents and  other traumatic incidents, past and recent, as well as general counselling (relationships, drug and alcohol, career).

In late 2016 Karen participated in her University placement at the ACT adult correctional facility (the Alexander Maconochie Centre). At the AMC she was a Mental Health Professional conducting intake and risk assessments, as well as providing ongoing therapeutic intervention for detainees referred for psychological support. Following on from that placement, Karen was offered paid contracts at the prison, working for 6 months primarily as an individual therapist (forensic psychotherapist).

Since 2016 Karen has worked as a Crisis Intervention worker and Court Advocate for the Domestic Violence Crisis Service (DVCS). With the encouragement of her peers, Karen began to see clients privately in 2017.

Karen expects to complete her Masters in Counselling by 2019, and will continue to study Somatic Movement Psychotherapy and Self- Psychology and with participation in workshops and further study opportunites as well as receiving mentorship and regular supervision from qualified professionals. Her learning is an ongoing personal and professional process that will cease when she does!

Qualifications

B.Commerce (from the ANU). Grad Cert. (Business Admin. from UC) Grad Cert (Soc. Research from the ANU), Grad Dip. (Counselling from UC).
PACFA Prov. Registrant 24364.
Registered NDIS Provider.
Candidate for Master of Counselling, University of Canberra (UC).
Awarded the Deans Excellence Award 2017 at UC.

Professional Memberships

  • Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia (PACFA)
  • International Association for Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy (IARPP)
  • International Association for Psychodynamic Self-Psychology (IAPSP)