Toni Jackson

Why The Best Counsellor For You, May Be Someone Your Doctor’s Never Heard Of

That’s not strictly true. There are definitely a lot of amazing therapists referred by General Practitioners.

However, almost without exception in Australia, GPs refer only to mental health professionals who are eligible to work with Medicare. This includes Psychologists, Occupational Therapists and Mental Health Social Workers, leaving out an entire field of highly trained, skilled, experienced and specialised therapists who do not fit the above categories.

That’s great if your concern involves a diagnosis, or some guidance in managing unhelpful thoughts or behaviours; or if your psychologist has chosen to do further training in areas such as attachment theory, trauma, body work or depth psychotherapy.

Choosing to work with the therapist your GP refers you to, could be the best thing you’ve ever done. It also means you’ll get a partial rebate for your first 6-10 sessions. If you’ve used this system and been happy with it, then that’s fantastic.

The Mental Health Care Plan Has Its Limits

As Jodie Gale, Soul-Centred Psychotherapist, Counsellor and Eating Disorder Therapist states, “Mental health treatment in Australia is dominated by the medical model via the Medicare Better Access Mental Health Care system.”
This system has allowed thousands upon thousands of Australians who could not afford counselling, to receive subsidised sessions. From a social justice perspective, this is a brilliant thing.

However, what this system leaves out, are all the exceptional, professional therapists who have trained long, hard and well in areas other than the narrow disciplines of psychology, occupational therapy or mental health social work.

Beyond Your GP’s List

The purpose of this article is to let you know that your choices go far beyond the limited list of your GP. Read More

8 Brilliant Tips For Surviving Family Christmas Anxiety

Christmas can be an incredibly stressful time for many people.

If you struggle with anxiety or overwhelm during family Christmas, here are 8 effective ways to take care of yourself.

1. Check in with yourself.

Periodically throughout the day, stop for a minute or two.
• Sit quietly and notice your breathing. What quality does it have? Is it short, fast and shallow, or long, slow and deep?
• Experiment with deepening and slowing your breath. Do you feel the same or different after doing this?
• Feel the floor beneath your feet.
• Then say something like this to yourself: “Hi. How are you?”
• Spend a moment checking out exactly how you do feel right now.
• For example, you might be stressed, overwhelmed, busy, sad, agitated, angry, tense, confused, happy, satisfied, or resentful.
• Now ask yourself what you need.
• For example, maybe you need to communicate something, or go for a walk around the block, or delegate some tasks, or make some tea. Maybe what you need is to carve out some time for yourself later, by deciding to it now.
• Check with yourself. What feels true and right for you? Read More

Expert Tips on Accepting Weight Gain in Eating Disorder Recovery

When in recovery from an eating disorder, the fear of gaining weight can feel overwhelming.

Part of you may really want to recover and another part of you is trapped in feeling incredibly critical and scared of your changing body.

For many of my clients, this aspect of recovery is immensely confronting.

Some of the comments I have heard in my therapy room about accepting weight gain are:

“I worry my body will never stop growing.”

“These pants used to be too big and now they’re too tight.”

“I’ve used being skinny as a way to feel good about myself for so long, that I don’t know how to feel good in this body.”

“It feels scary to not be in control of my body size.”

“I believe in body positivity and HAES, but I still feel gross in this growing body.”

“I believe in body positivity and HAES, but the rest of society doesn’t and I don’t want to be stigmatised.”

Following are a number of articles and books that address the fear of gaining weight in eating disorder recovery. Read More