CR Directory of Counselling Service Providers

This “CR Directory” should be shared with members seeking or needing counselling to review the profiles of counselling professionals and select the person they are comfortable to work with and who is able to meet their treatment needs (encouraging self-reliance and personal revelation on their part). The counselling professionals in this CR Directory are qualified and active members of the Church who have been vetted by Family Services (Brisbane) to provide counselling services to members of the Church, throughout Queensland, via face-to-face counselling or Online. They are not employees of the Church or Family Services (FS) but work independently in their own private practice. They have all signed an operational agreement with FS and participate in regular training, mentoring and cooperation with FS to enhance alignment with Church standards and values. Please note: This CR Directory is provided as a service to assist members and leaders, but FS will not be held liable or responsible for any damage or harm incurred as a result of services provided by any of the listed service providers. 

The majority of general counselling needs such as depression, anxiety, grief and loss, marriage, infidelity, divorce, parenting, autistic spectrum, historical sexual abuse, domestic violence, addictions (drugs, alcohol, gambling, pornography), eating disorders, self-harm, suicide, self- esteem, relationship difficulties and ADD/ADHD, etc. should be directed to a CR Directory counsellor of their choice. Members, with the help of family, friends, ministering brothers and sisters or church leaders, should refer to this CR Directory to prayerfully select the most appropriate counsellor for their needs and contact the counsellor directly to discuss services, costs and to arrange counselling appointments. If Bishops are assisting with payment for counselling, they will need to contact the counsellor directly to authorise fast offering payment. See “5 Steps to Selecting a Counsellor” below. 

Services and counselling needs associated with Missionary Service (pre-mission assessment, early release), current sexual abuse, complex or sensitive sexual/gender matters, church leader and member training, presentations, firesides and consultation (advice to church leaders) should continue to be directed to the FS Brisbane office. 

We trust that this process will help to increase self-reliance in the Church and enable members and leaders to exercise faith and receive inspiration about which counsellor can best assist and meet their specific individualised counselling needs. We urge church leaders to not simply default to using the same counsellors they know but to rather seek inspiration, along with the members, to guide their choice of counsellors. By so doing, the outcomes will be magnified as members and leaders partner with the Lord to determine the best resource for their specific needs. 

The following flow diagram illustrates how the counselling referral process works. 

diagram

5 Steps to Selecting a Counsellor

  1. When researching possible counsellors, make sure they have the tools to help you solve your concerns. It is important to read all the directory profiles to understand each person’s areas of expertise before you choose a counsellor.
  2. There are many different approaches to counselling and it is important to ask the counsellor about their approach and whether that is best suited to your counselling needs and personality style. Good counsellors will refer clients who are not a good match to another more appropriate resource.
  3. Be cautious about what others say about their counselling experiences with individual counsellors, as counselling is a very subjective and personal experience. The counsellor that works well for one person or situation might not work as well for you.
  4. Once you’ve prayerfully and thoughtfully narrowed your choice down to a few counsellors of interest to you, you may wish to make a call or email them to ensure that they can help you with your specific needs. You’ll want to share a bit about your background, the specific issues you’re struggling with, and what your goals are with therapy and ask whether they are able to meet that need. This is a good time to ask about fees, appointment availability and payment options. Explore the availability of different 3rd party payment options you may be eligible to use, such as your Private Health Fund, an Employee Assistance Program, Medicare (Mental Health Care Plans), Workers Compensation, Veterans Affairs, Victims of Crime, NDIS and other sources of financial support to cover the costs of counselling.
  5. When you have all the information at hand you may wish to consult with your Bishop or Branch President, especially if you will need financial assistance, and prayerfully consider which counsellor you should work with.

The research has been clear — a good rapport with the counsellor is vital to counselling success. It is ok to seek a referral to another counsellor if your first choice it is not working well for you.

How long therapy lasts will vary depending on the person and their treatment needs. Most counselling may last 6-12 sessions, but more complex issues may require considerably more sessions. Ultimately, counselling is complete when you or the counsellor feel confident that you’ve developed the skills and tools to cope with the most significant emotional/ behavioural challenges of your situation.

Whilst convenient, your nearest counsellor may not necessarily be the best fit for your needs and you should be willing to travel a distance to find a practitioner that meets your specific needs. Some counselling may be available via the internet, for example using Skype or Zoom, etc., although at least some face-to-face counselling sessions would be encouraged, where possible, to best develop a stronger therapeutic relationship.

List of Counselling Professionals

These counselling professionals are qualified and active members of the Church who have been vetted by Family Services (Brisbane) to provide counselling services to members of the Church, throughout Queensland, via face-to-face counselling or Online. They are not employees of the Church or Family Services (FS) but work independently in their own private practice.

Please click on the name to view detailed profiles, treatment areas, service information and contact details:

Angela Virdis
Counsellor
Bundaberg, Online

ABOUT ME 

10 years experience in community counselling including domestic and family violence, informed counselling, relationship and family counselling, and general counselling.


Dr Daniel Biddle
Clinical Psychologist
Scarborough, Online

ABOUT ME

Dan is a psychologist with experience working in primary mental health care, university clinic, specialist anxiety clinic, and inpatient private hospital settings. He has a particular interest in working with anxiety and trauma, but has experience working with a wide range of difficulties.

Dan is a strong believer in the value of evidence-based practice and is familiar with a number of well-validated therapies. However, ultimately his counselling philosophy is “do what works”. He will work with you as you determine what will be effective in your pursuit of a more rich, full, and meaningful life. Dan recognises that difficulties with thoughts, emotions, and unhelpful behaviours are common and firmly believes there is always hope for positive change.

 


Heidi Clark
Counsellor
Toowoomba and surrounds, Online

ABOUT ME

As well as academic and professional qualifications I am the mother of 5 children and have been married for 25 years. I have a real-life understanding of children, adolescents, young adults and adults managing life and relationships with high functioning Asperger’s/autism. When life has become difficult, overwhelming or exhausting I assist individuals (children, adolescents and adults) and families to recognise unhelpful patterns of thought, language and behaviour.

By providing support, education and skills training, individuals and families gain the tools needed to create new personal and family cultures. Learning life skills is normalised, meaningful action is taken and more helpful patterns established. My approach is gentle, non-judgemental and action-oriented. Homeschool friendly.


Jared Ardern
Counsellor
North Lakes, Mount Gravatt, Online

ABOUT ME

I have over 10 year of experience in counselling anxiety, depression, addictions, loss and specialize in relationship counselling. I’m able to help create a space where clients are heard and validated. I form ways for individuals and couples and get to the root causes of their conflict and address them rather than going around in circles of blame.


Karen Maurer
Social Worker
Mount Gravatt, Online

ABOUT ME

I have worked with parents, children and families in the Qld Department of Family Services Special Needs Unit and in Adoption and Fostering. I have completed and taught parenting and marriage classes. We have 6 children and so have engaged in a diverse range of learning over many years to find strategies that build strong families. I have a keen interest in supporting individuals, couples, parents and children. I have been a volunteer women’s resource person linking many women and their families with community resources to suit their needs.

I have a broad understanding and knowledge of working with clients in a non-judgemental and caring way. My particular interest is in helping individuals and families find the strategies and tools that can assist them in bringing peace and harmony to their lives. Helping clients process and let go of past traumas to enable growth and fulfilment of hopes and dreams. Also how to use the gospel framework to overcome dysfunctional patterns and disruptions to life and relationships. I have a keen focus on assisting with relational issues. I use an eclectic range of therapies according to individuals needs and issues. A major focus is on psychodynamic therapy to gain understanding of the unconscious processes as they are manifest in a persons present behaviour and understanding the influence of the past on present behaviour. Also CBT and ACT providing tools of change and new directions. I believe it is important for each person to be listened to and understood as sessions progress. Also providing tools for managing life routines, family routines and parenting support. Providing self-esteem building and positive self-talk as part of mental health wellbeing assistance. I believe each individual needs an approach specific to their needs.


Dr Kim Sherriffs
Clinical and Mental Health Social Worker
Cleveland, Mount Gravatt, Online

ABOUT ME

I have completed specialist psychological training and I primarily work with individuals (men and women) and couples (dating, married, separated and where infidelity has occurred). I help my clients to recognise their unhelpful patterns of behaviours, thoughts and emotional- regulation challenges and how these patterns impact their relationships. Being strongly solution-focused, I teach my clients a personalised toolbox of skills, strategies and techniques to promote value-driven changes; clients get copies of notes/new skills from all working sessions that they can refer to between appointments.

Homework is a big part of my therapeutic process and is where clients practice and incorporate the new skills into their daily life. While my counselling is directed by research and an evidence-base, I like to be very practical, down to earth, simple and real. I never forget that I am working with real people, who are addressing real challenges and are looking for real solutions and changes. I carefully incorporate gospel principles into my work with church members to reinforce the therapeutic skills taught. I use a wide range of theoretical approaches, depending upon the client’s situation, including CBT, ACT, Systems theory, Solutions-focused theory, Gottman Method of couple counselling, to name a few. I have over 20 years clinical experience in providing diagnosis, treatment and counselling services to individuals, couples and families. I have been trained to provide service for the more complex mental health conditions as well as the more day-to-day challenges that come from the complexities of life.


Dr Lee-Ann Wilson
Psychologist
Burpengary, North Lakes, Caboolture, Deception Bay, Online

ABOUT ME

I lectured psychology and worked as a researcher for several years before completing my Master of Applied Psychology and registering as a psychologist. As a registered psychologist I initially worked as a wellbeing manager at a Special Assistance School for young people from trauma backgrounds. However, I soon followed my passion and began a nature based private practice – seeing clients in natural settings such as environmental centers or the beach front.

My practical experience has included clients of all ages, from three years to 80 years. I am particularly focused on working with clients who are experiencing Anxiety, Grief, Trauma, Low mood, Relationship Concerns, or Parenting Challenges.

I am trained in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, and Conscious Discipline and have completed additional Professional Development training in a wide range of therapeutic approaches including Play Therapy, Rhythm Therapy, Meditation, Weight Loss Interventions and Mind/Body Connection. My approach is to empower individuals, couples and families to develop a sense of safety and positive wellbeing through enhanced communication, mindfulness, clear life boundaries and emotional self-regulation.


Dr Louise Blundell
Clinical Psychologist
Brisbane City

ABOUT ME

I have worked as a Clinical Psychologist and Neuropsychologist, predominantly with adults and adolescents. I work with PTSD – including Extreme Trauma/DID, Couples Therapy, Adolescents and Adults with Autistic Spectrum Disorders and ADHD, Depression, Anxiety, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Eating Disorders.


Mike Maire
Occupational Therapist
Beaudesert, Logan, Brisbane south, Home visits, Online

ABOUT ME

I am a private practice occupational therapist. My experience includes working with people of all ages who have varying degrees of mental, emotional, developmental, social, physical and intellectual capabilities.

My vision statement is enabling individuals and families to function at an optimal level within their sphere. This is achieved through a focus on maintaining an individual’s self-reliance in whatever form that may take – physical, mental, cultural, mindfulness and providing resources to empower an individual to function.

I have been an OT for 22 years, initially in NZ but the last 10 years in Australia. I have worked with migrants, refugees and in the homeless sector and I have a passion for Polynesian cultural health, particularly mental health.


Peggy Wong
Psychologist
Cleveland, Online

ABOUT ME

I worked as a school psychologist in the United States, in both primary and secondary schools, providing educational support and psychological treatment to children, adolescents, and their families. I currently work in private practice and at Child’s Play Qld, a non-profit organisation providing affordable counselling services to the community.

I have broad experience in the psychological treatment of children, adolescents, and adults experiencing mental health and emotional/behavioural difficulties. I also have extensive experience working with people who are on the autism spectrum.

Based on the individual needs, attributes, and strengths of my clients, I utilize techniques from a number of modalities including cognitive behavioural therapy, mindfulness, play therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy and solution-focused therapy to enhance therapeutic outcomes.


Rachel Garcia
Psychotherapist
Springwood, Online

ABOUT ME

I have a deeply-held belief that people don’t damage their lives on purpose, and that we are usually doing the very best we can.

So I approach counselling with the idea that we are doing what we do, for very good reasons. In my style of counselling, we do deeper work - I believe that when you treat the cause, rather than the symptoms, then often the symptoms just take care of themselves. I’ve seen this happen so many times.

My approach is warm, compassionate, and very calm and gentle. Also, we often laugh during my sessions.

I specialise in complex work, and love it when I see people healing and growing. That’s when I do my counsellor happy dance :)


Suzanne Utai
Mental Health Social Worker
Brisbane surrounds, Online

ABOUT ME

I have worked for the past 20 years in Hawaii, San Francisco, Samoa and Australia as a Youth Worker, Case Manager, Social Worker and Counsellor and the past 8 years across the Mental Health sector. I take a holistic approach using Fonofale Model of care. I work across mainstream, however specialise in working with Maori, Pacifica and Indigenous individuals, couples and families.


Wayne Dumbrell
Counsellor
Mount Gravatt, Albany Creek
Gold Coast, Online

ABOUT ME

I have worked in private practice for 5 years after previously working part time for LDSFS. I have a special interest in working with marital and family relationships and sexual addictions. My approach is to empower husbands and wives to develop effective communication patterns, helping them to understand each other to achieve their goals through consensus rather than conflict.

In counselling generally, I utilize a multi-faceted approach applying solution focused, experiential and cognitive behavioural therapies. I have served in the Church as an Addiction Recovery Program Church Service Missionary (current), Bishop (twice), Councillor in the Stake Presidency (11 years) and Seminary teacher.


Manuel Iakopo
AOD Counsellor
Online, Phone, Home Visits

ABOUT ME

'Addiction is a human response to pain and suffering. Dedicated Drug and Alcohol Counsellor with vast experience providing treatment and support for those struggling with Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) addictions in both individual and group therapy sessions. As an AOD specialist, I adopt an integrative approach in my therapeutic work to meet my clients' unique individual needs and preferences, bringing forth knowledge of coping mechanisms and relapse treatment. In my view, no one is the same and there is no 'one size fits all' approach. My main focus of counselling is to listen deeply, and to empower my clients with the confidence and the tools that they need to make positive changes in their life'.