My husband and I have been married for 41 years. We have five daughters and eight sons. Sadly, one of our sons died as a baby. However, he is doing a good job looking after his siblings from Heaven! Our eldest child is 40 and our youngest is 22. We raised our family in Sydney, Australia and moved to the United States in 2012 with four of our children. Eight are now married and we currently have 23 grandchildren and counting!
I have been writing about our family for years in little books we affectionately call ‘The Red and Black Books’. They are filled with details of my pregnancies, the birth of our children and everyday events that make up their unique lives. Just reading the stories takes me back in time as I relive those moments and remember my thoughts and feelings.
Over the years many of my family and friends have encouraged me to write a book about parenting and how my husband and I raised such a large family. At long last the book is finished and on its way to being published. In the meantime, I decided to share some of the crazy, funny, sad and happy events in my life as a mum and how I managed to remain relatively sane!
Qualifications and Experience
I have a Bachelor of Arts (Psychology), Bachelor of Community Welfare and Counselling and a Bachelor of Education. I also have a lot of experience as the mother of thirteen children. I am a member of the Australian Counselling Association and dedicated to ongoing education in the field of psychology, counselling and education. I am currently studying a Masters in Positive Psychology. I am committed to a positive psychological approach by empowering my clients to focus on their inner strengths – including mind, body and soul. My vision and mission is to inspire them to build self-confidence, self-esteem and lead happy and fruitful lives.
What I offer in Counselling and Therapy
The interventions I use offer a context for change, challenge patterns of thoughts and behaviours and help build self-reliance. I focus on motivational interviewing skills to bring a sense of warmth, compassion, encouragement and humour to my practice. It’s about supporting clients, being non-judgmental and working through issues together. The strong attachments we have with significant others in our lives can affect us positively or negatively. These attachments are known as schemas (core beliefs about ourselves). I help clients to identify and modify their schemas through Attachment Focused and Schema Therapies. Familial relationships are challenging at the best of times but sometimes we need help to heal and strengthen them. Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) can provide the tools to make sense of an overwhelming situation. We grieve in many ways over things we lose in life such as the death of a loved one, loss or our health, wealth, prestige or even our reputation. Grieving Therapy gently teaches clients to be aware of the difference between releasing grief and replaying traumatic events; knowing the triggers and learning how to address them, so healing can begin. I believe strongly in the motto…
Perceived failure plants the seed for greater success down the road
I am employed as a counsellor for students and staff at Kenvale College of Hospitality Cookery and Events, Sydney Australia. I have my own Private Counselling Practice. I have worked as a teacher at Tangara School for Girls, Sydney, NSW, Australia and have been a mentor and advisor at Oakcrest School, McLean, Virginia, USA providing academic, social and personal advice and direction to students. I also home schooled one of my children until it was psychologically healthier for both of us that he return to school.
Conferences and Public Appearances
I have been a Keynote Speaker at events and conferences and have made several media appearances on family matters including:
- LifeZette Magazine “Building Better Mother-Daughter Bonds”
- Fox Television Network: “Babies vs. Bosses”
- Channel Ten Television Network: “Switching Lives”
- Channel Seven Network – Today Tonight: “Effect of TV Watching on Young Children”
- 2UE Radio: “Inappropriate Parenting Behaviors in Support of Children’s Sport”
- Motherhood Conference – Breakout Speaker. Sponsored by ‘Yuma Study Center’, Washington, DC, 2020
- Work & Life Conference – Keynote Speaker. Sponsored by ‘Yuma Study Center’ Washington, DC 2019
- Parenting with Purpose – Panelist. Sponsored by ‘The Family Institute of Washington’, Washington DC, 2018
- Family Summer: Effective Communication in Marriage – sponsored by ‘Family Enrichment’, Beaver Creek, Colorado, 2016
Perspective Magazine – contributing author on family issues including:
- “The Death of a Child”
- “Time Management for Holiday Periods”
- “Dinnertime Management for the Large Family”
I have written a autobiographical book on parenting that will be published shortly.