Qualifications / Affiliations:
- Hand in Hand Counselling Services
- Awakening Unique Meditations
- Counsellor/Meditation Facilitator
I chose my counselling profession when I was 13 years old at a time in my life where I felt the loneliest. It wasn’t until my early 30’s that I began my career in the helping industry. I have always had a passion for people and love the idea of empowering people, by providing new information, perspectives and ideas. I understand that life is filled with many ups and downs and in the down times is when we need a helping hand to find our way.
I studied a Diploma of Counselling and worked in private practice for 3 years with individuals and couples. I then moved into the Women’s Health Sector employed as a generalist counsellor and group facilitator, while growing my private practice part-time. I have worked with a variety of issues ranging from trauma, domestic violence, grief and loss, family issues, relationship issues, stress and mental health disorders.
In December 2013, I lost my mother to pancreatic cancer 48 days after her diagnosis. Losing my mother was devastating and for the first time ever in my life, I felt grief on a level I’ve never experienced before. This grief experience has changed me forever and I now have a greater awareness of people and empathy. In 2015, I started working for a 24 hour Veterinary Hospital in a clerical position, while I was grieving the loss of my mother. I must admit as an animal lover, I found this position very difficult at first, as I was exposed to the suffering of animals and found myself in tears on a few occasions. I also witnessed the deep, intense pain that pet owner experiences when they loss their pet. This inspired me to start a Facebook private group for people to support each other during the difficult time of losing their pet and has motivated me to want to help people that are grieving the loss of their pet/s. I feel that pet loss is often silenced by others, isolating the grieving person as they suffer in silence.
In my personal and professional experience, I understand that grief is unique to each individual, yet there are many similarities when we grieve. I offer a unique style of counselling and describe myself as “alternative” Even though traditional counselling methods are part of my practice, I also find myself facilitating a deeper meaning to each person’s stories and experiences. When one can understand themselves and their experiences from a deeper perspective, it is at this point that healing takes place.
You can find out more about me at www.hih.net.au
Contact Bernadette SutherlandPhone: 0407 916 864