Michael’s approach is integrative and grounded in evidence based practice. Michael avoids a ‘one size fits all’ attitude and tends to draw on a range of approaches including trauma-informed, systemic, narrative, attachment, CBT, RET, mindfulness and interpersonal psychotherapy. Ultimately his priority is to do what works for his client group. Michael’s intent is to be respectful, action orientated, resource focused, collaborative, reflective, creative and sometimes a little unorthodox. Michael is known to be curious, playful, intuitive and adaptable. Michael avoids psychobabble and talks with people in ways that makes sense to them. From Michael’s experience, change for people he meets comes from feeling heard and validated, gaining new and fresh perspectives that come from our session and/or trying out different ideas and behaviours within relationships during and in between sessions.
- Bachelor of Social Work – University of Queensland 2000
- Masters of Systemic Family Psychotherapy – Tavistock and Portman/Kensington Consultation Centre – 2010
- Accredited Mental Health Social Worker 2015
Michael has been trained as a Family Therapist at the internationally renowned Tavistock and Portman Clinic and Kensington Consultation Centre (London – UK). Family Therapy, also referred to as systemic psychotherapy, is an evidence base branch of psychotherapy that works with children, young people, families and couples to nurture change and development. The approach is very effective with individuals too. The approach places importance on working with people and not on them. Clients, young and old are seen as both participants and partners in the therapeutic process with the therapist. Family Therapy focuses on the relational aspects of human problems with an interest in understanding the specific contexts in which difficulties and solutions occur. Issues of culture, class, gender, sexuality and spirituality are considered important in how people live their lives. The approach emphasises that family relationships are viewed as an important factor in psychological health, well-being and recovery. Who attends sessions together depends on a variety of factors including: the presenting concerns, quality of relationships and goals of the work. I find meeting the ‘family’ in different ways to be valuable. Sessions therefore can vary from parent/adult sessions; child/parent sessions; child sessions; sibling sessions and family sessions.
Helping Children who have experiences of Relational Trauma
Relational trauma is any trauma, harm and/or loss that happens between people in close relationship. This can include, but not limited to sexual abuse, domestic violence, ambiguous loss, family conflict, separation and divorce. Experiences of shame, humiliation, being left out, bullied and not fitting in at school can also be sources of relational trauma. The effects of relational trauma on children and young people can be profound and can challenge any parent/carer, also impacted and trying to figure out how to respond. As a child and family therapist, my approach is not only to help the child recover but help utilise and grow the family’s resources and abilities to respond, repair and recover together over time.
Helping Adults with experiences of Trauma
Radical Exposure Tapping (RET) is a form of exposure therapy that can effectively help people resolve and recover from traumatic memories and disturbing events. RET works rapidly at reducing distress and helping to bring about positive changes in clients lives, often accomplishing in one to two sessions what takes ten sessions of ordinary talk therapy. I have successfully used RET with a diverse client group including helping people who have symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Anxiety and Depression. RET has been very helpful for people who have experienced abuse and trauma, domestic violence, victims of crime, intrusive medical interventions, unresolved grief and loss, separation and divorce, and parents whose ‘buttons’ get pushed by their children and others in their life. RET was created and developed by Dr Laurie Mackinnon, an internationally renowned therapist and expert in the field. RET is a scientifically proven approach that effectively combines approaches such as Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) and hypnotic imagery work. For more information about RET visit www.radical exposure.com. For stories about my use of RET and what difference RET can make to clients visit the ‘Therapy in Action’ section on the Homepage.
Helping people to achieve more meaningful, equatable and satisfying lives
Enabling people in close relationship to help each other
Helping to build family relationships, understanding, communication, strengths and resilience
Discovering with people, solutions to problems and positive ways forward
Expanding ways to improve mental health, well-being and recovery