Clinical Psychotherapist & Relationship Therapist
MCouns (UQ), Grad Dip Psych (Monash), B. Biomed. Sci. Hons (Griffith)
PACFA Reg. 27171
Completed an Anti-Oppressive Practice Mentorship with Ansara Psychotherapy from August 2020-December 2022
As a white settler living and working on the stolen land of the Giabal, Turrbal, and Jagera people, I acknowledge the Traditional Custodians and Owners of the land I inhabit, and of all the lands colonially known as Australia. I bear witness to their diversity and resilience, and honour the Elders past, present, and emerging. I acknowledge that colonisation is not just our history; it is an ongoing, present day lived experience, and that I benefit from the brutal dispossession of First Nations people. I offer myself and my efforts to the ongoing processes of closing the gap, reconciliation and repair, truth telling, justice, and treaty. This is, was, and always will be Aboriginal land.
Life has taught me the importance of acknowledging and addressing both privilege and oppression. I carry much privilege as I move through life. I am a cisgender, sighted, hearing, mostly able-bodied, educated, white-anglo person in a culture which centres white-anglo experiences. I am also openly queer, polyamorous, kinky, and neurodivergent, and I have experienced painful marginalisation, discrimination, and hate while navigating a world not designed for these core aspects of who I am. But I am blessed to be a parent of transgender, asexual, bi, pan, and neurodivergent children; they are my greatest teachers of courage, resilience, connectedness, and radical authenticity, regardless of what the world expects us to be. As a result of all this, I have become passionate about centring my work on those of us who are often pathologised, invalidated, or erased because of our ways of being, living, and loving. And as my intersectional awareness grows, I am actively educating myself on the profound oppression and marginalisation experienced by so many on the basis of culture, religion, skin colour, and racialised identity and community.
Because of all this, I have chosen to focus my psychotherapy career on working with people who don’t adhere to society’s heteronormative, cisnormative, mononormative, and anglonormative expectations. My aim is to support you to be fully and completely who you are, moment to moment, and to live a rich, full, and meaningful life in alignment with your values. Alongside Dr Gávi Ansara, I am also working to promote meaningful change within the psychotherapy profession, by facilitating professional development among therapists that focuses on honouring diversity, examining privilege, and challenging oppression.
I have a Bachelor’s degree in biomedical science with honours, and my first career was in research neurobiology. I subsequently completed a Graduate Diploma in Psychology and a Master’s degree in counselling and psychotherapy. All three of these qualifications bring different strengths to my therapeutic practice. My neurobiology background can help us work together to notice and understand what is happening in your brain and the rest of your body in various situations. My psychology training helps with noticing and understanding what’s happening in your mind, emotions, and behaviour. And my therapeutic training helps us to figure out which parts of this can be improved, and how. During my psychotherapy training I was part of a team which set up a pandemic telehealth community counselling service from the ground up, and I subsequently worked as a therapist in that service. I also completed a community counselling placement in Varanasi, India, and have ongoing ties to the community there. I now work closely with Dr Gávi Ansara, and we consider Firebird Psychotherapy and Ansara Psychotherapy to be sister practices. I am committed to ongoing learning and am currently focussing my professional development on emotionally focussed therapy, person-centred therapy, and working towards becoming an accredited climate-aware practitioner. In addition, I have been active in the queer, polyamorous, and kink communities since 2007, giving me valuable insight into some of the unique issues we face collectively, individually, and in relationships.
I work from an integrative theoretical perspective. That is, I have been trained in many different styles of therapy, and I don’t take a “one size fits all” approach. Rather, if we agree to work together, we will figure out what approach to therapy feels right for you and how to best meet your needs. I prioritise building a collaborative therapeutic relationship; you are the expert on you and your life, and your insight and self-knowledge will guide the therapeutic process at every step. I work from a trauma-informed perspective, which means I place a high value on safety, trust, collaboration, and choice in the therapeutic relationship, and I practice according to current guidelines in the field of trauma therapy.
I work with a wide variety of people and problems, with a focus on solo and relationship therapy (including polycules, dyads, or couples). I prioritise providing supportive, affirming, and non-pathologising psychotherapy services for people who are:
Some of the experiences we can explore together include:
Currently, I provide psychotherapy exclusively online via Zoom. This is partly to keep my therapy participants safe from COVID-19. However, even before the pandemic I aspired to practice primarily online, because in my experience, it is a powerful therapeutic modality (and recent research confirms this). Firstly, it allows you to connect with the very best therapist for you, rather than your choices being limited by geographical area. Secondly, it makes it easier for you to fit sessions into your day, without needing to worry about transport, travel time, or parking. And most importantly, for many people online therapy can facilitate therapeutic safety much more readily than visiting a therapist’s physical office. Talking about difficult things is sometimes much easier in your own home (or another safe place of your choosing) surrounded by familiarity, with comfort items easily available. But at the same time, we will work together to ensure that you disclose and explore your experiences at a pace that feels safe and right for you.
Some of you may be familiar with the legend of the phoenix. This mythical bird is repeatedly burned away to nothing, only to rise up from the ashes, stronger and more brilliant than before. As a survivor of complex trauma, my life has reflected this phoenix-cycle; I have kept rising up, every time life seemed to destroy me, and I am fundamentally changed by each iteration. Now it is my purpose and privilege to facilitate and guide this journey for other people. This is such a core part of who I am that I adopted Phoenix as my legal name. Should you choose to work with me, I look forward to meeting the phoenix in you, and to support you to rise in whatever way you need.