I have always been a helper,
a listener.

I was the one in my group of school friends who people gravitated to when they had a problem or when they needed someone to hear them.

I liked to listen. I liked to listen to people’s stories. I liked to be able to make a difference in someone’s life by just being there for them.

Some people were good at maths, or sport, or music – I was good at people. A reference letter from my Principal in my final year of high school talks about how I have “a good sense of humour and like helping people”. It seemed my path was set from early on.

I have now been listening to, and helping people in a professional way for the past 20 years as a clinical social worker.

I have worked with people in crisis and following traumatic events

I have worked with people who have been physically and sexually assaulted

I have worked with people going through the court process as witnesses and victims of a crime

I have worked with people following a significant injury that has altered the course of their life

I have worked with people experiencing grief following the death of a child, a partner, a family member or a friend

I have advocated for people struggling to navigate systems and organisations in our community

I have worked with people who have a mental illness such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder and personality disorders

I have worked with adults, children, teenagers, parents, couples and families

I have supported people who feel isolated, alone or lost

I have worked to support people going through a period of change in their lives

Coming to a counselling appointment and telling a stranger about some of your deepest fears or toughest problems can be really hard – I truly understand that and I work with you to make sure that our counselling sessions are a place where you feel welcomed and supported.

I offer my clients a warm and genuine space – I listen without judgement but I am also honest and straightforward – what you see is what you get!

I will listen to you and take the time to really hear what it is you need to talk about. I don’t offer advice or quick fix solutions (I don’t believe they really work in the long run anyway) but I do support you and work with you to think through ideas and solutions for the issues that you need help with. It’s a team effort.

I’m always on your side but that doesn’t mean I won’t gently challenge you at times when I feel you might need to try and think about something in a different way or from a different perspective – that’s my job!

While there will be some initial paperwork and questions before we can get down to the nitty gritty I don’t take you through endless “tick-a-box” forms and pages of assessments. The majority of our time will always be spent with you talking and me listening – it is your time.

I want to take the time to get to know you and what is happening in your life that you feel you need support and assistance with. I will take the time to build up our working relationship – to build trust and confidence.

And, if at any time you decide I’m not the right fit counsellor for you that is totally ok – you have to click with the person you are going to work with and if that’s not me there are no hard feelings at all.

I obtained my Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) from The University of Newcastle in 1998 and I have over 19 years experience in the Australian health and welfare sectors both as a social work clinician and supervisor.

The majority of my work has been in the areas of trauma, grief and loss and mental health. I have held counselling and social work positions in NSW Health, The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, SIDS and Kids, The Newcastle Department of Forensic Medicine, NSW Mental Health Services, a tertiary level parenting service working with families with children aged 0 – 5 and now private practice.

I am trained in CBT, DBT and ACT therapies and have experience using mindfulness practices andstrategies in all of my clinical work. As well as my direct client work I have a passion for working with, and supporting, social work clinicians, students and other health professionals with their clinical work, health and wellbeing and professional development.

Contact Me

If you would like to discuss counselling or supervision appointments please contact me on 0413 653 409 or email karenbarrettsocialworker@gmail.com