a bit about me

I am a psychologist with fifteen years' experience in a wide variety of settings. After gaining a Masters of Counselling Psychology at Macquarie University in 2007, I began working in drug and alcohol rehabilitation where I developed an understanding of how trauma can affect people’s lives, and how resilient people can be regardless of all sorts of horrible events. 

 

As I was enthusiastic to understand the lived experience of my clients, I chose to work in places where people were marginalised and largely rejected by society.  So I worked in prisons, and in hospitals where people had suffered from mental illness for years. The people I helped often reported to me that they felt abused by the health system, and were often given diagnoses that “doomed” them to be ill for their whole lives. This work taught me humility, the value of human connection, and that we all deserve to pursue our hopes and dreams. I learned the effectiveness of working with families, and the whole system that someone lives in — whether that be a school, institution, or workplace. My exposure to entrenched mental health issues sparked my desire for early intervention. This passion, as well as having an adept facility with creative therapy techniques, turned my work towards children, youth adolescents/young people, and families. I have spent more than six years working with children in schools, NGOs and private clinics, conducting family therapy, education programs, and groupwork. I have found that teenagers and their families are challenged by the changing social climate, information technology, trauma from bullying and risk from self-harm and eating disorders. I have helped many who have found it hard to fit in, given labels of ADHD, anxiety disorders, autism. I work with them in a practical way, collaborating with teachers, doctors and occupational therapists in order to help them build a positive picture of themselves and thus an identity of strength and social connection.

 

In the past two years, I have carried my breadth of clinical experience and knowledge of working in organisations to work in EAP (Employee Assistance Program) counselling. EAP provides employees with an opportunity to benefit from counselling — some for the very first time. It’s a joy to help resource those who suffer workplace bullying, or help alleviate anxiety or depression, or to help couples improve their relationships.

 

I am very creative in my therapy. I have experienced the benefits of using creative methods for my own mental health and have explored extensively in different techniques. In helping others, I draw from many years of experience in meditation, yoga, tai chi, massage, body and breath awareness, ritual and trance states, energy work and connection with spirit. 

 

I adhere to a rigorous set of professional ethics and believe psychologists need to continually study to benefit their work. In my Masters degree, I gained a strong grounding in self-psychology, systemic analysis, narrative therapy, and trauma-based interventions. My post-university studies have included solution-focused therapy, motivational interviewing, psychodrama, conflict-resolution, mindfulness training, and process-oriented psychology.

 

In my life outside being a therapist, I have several interests that keep life exciting for me. I am an actor, performing in a type of improvised theatre called Playback. Performances involve audience members telling their personal stories, which the actors then try to capture and play back the essence of the teller’s experience. When it is done well, the effects are quite validating and therapeutic and carried out in a way that the whole audience is able to relate to facets of the enactment.

 

Apart from acting, I am a keen surfer and a dancer; I belong to a group of dancers who practice Contact Improvisation, a method of dance that trains people to move in pathways that play with balance and spatial awareness between individuals. 

 

I am also a musician. I play didgeridoo and piano. I love nature, sport, visual art and philosophy. I believe therapy is about two human beings who both grow from their meeting. I am humble in that I am not the expert on anyone’s life.

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Warren Werksman

Masters of Counselling Psychology 2007 | Medicare Provider 4992151H | Registration PSY0001584944