Kate is a clinical social worker and a certified neuropsychotherapy practitioner.
She has over 20 years’ experience working with young people and adults who have experienced the broad impacts of trauma and mental illness. Kate has worked broadly and extensively across mental health and trauma service settings, in both the public and private sector. She is an Accredited Mental Health Social Worker with Medicare.
Kate primarily works with adolescents, young people and adults across the gender, sexuality and age spectrum, who have experienced:
- Childhood and adolescent developmental/attachment trauma;
- Sexual abuse and sexual assault;
- Domestic and family violence;
- Single-incident trauma;
- Mental health challenges;
- Medical trauma;
- Grief and loss;
- Parenting challenges, as a survivor of trauma;
- Workplace-oriented vicarious trauma, stress and burnout.
Kate is passionate about working with her clients to facilitate recovery and healing from the effects of trauma and adversity in their varied forms. She works in partnership with her clients, and tailors the therapeutic process to the needs of the individual. She works from a variety of clinical treatment modalities including (but not limited to): Trauma-Informed Stabilisation Model, Structural Dissociation Model, and Attachment-Focussed Therapy. She has obtained training and professional development in these therapeutic models.
Kate integrates a neurobiologically-informed understanding of trauma and attachment with a practical approach to therapeutic work. She recognises that individuals who endure trauma frequently experience deep shame, the absence of a sense of bodily safety and a fractured sense of self. She deeply acknowledges that trauma is frequently experienced somatically (within the body and emotional memory), and that the work of re-establishing a sense of safety and connection is critical in trauma therapy. She also appreciates that attention to repair of early attachment wounds is important for many of her client’s recovery. She recognises that just as trauma occurs in the context of relationship, healing also occurs in relationship.
Kate views her clients as the experts in their own lives, and works from a strengths perspective. She enjoys working in partnership with her clients to transform the legacies of their current and/or past life experiences and relationships.
Kate began her career working in a broad range of mental health clinical settings with individuals and groups who had experienced significant impacts of mental illness, substance abuse and childhood adversity.
Over the course of her first decade in clinical practice, her interest in working with young people and adults who had experienced complex trauma emerged. Kate then developed specialist skills, knowledge and experience in working with individuals who had experienced recent sexual assault and/or earlier life sexual, emotional and physical abuse, via a seven year period in counselling and management roles within a trauma-specialised NSW Health service.
She later gained extensive and invaluable knowledge and experience in understanding broad individual and systemic responses to trauma, working as a senior counsellor for the Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse over a four year period. Here, she worked as a lead counsellor for survivor and family witnesses giving evidence in Royal Commission public hearings. She was also privileged to provide counselling services to sexual abuse survivors engaged in Royal Commission private sessions.
In addition to direct client work at Birchtree Centre, Kate continues to provide consultation and clinical services to human-service Commissions of Inquiry within her private practice. She also provides regular consultation, training and direct clinical services to legal organisations, health services and non-government organisations regarding Vicarious Trauma, Trauma-Informed Care and staff wellbeing.
Kate also provides extensive individual and group clinical supervision to mental health and trauma practitioners, sexual assault and sexual abuse counselling services, trauma-specific counselling services and trauma-informed family services within NSW.
Kate has worked as a guest speaker regarding clinical practice for mental health and trauma-specific professional education events, and for ABC Radio.
- Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW)
- International Association of Applied Neuroscience (IAAN)
- Australian Mental Health Professionals Network