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About Me

For as long as I remember, I felt like a square peg in a round hole. I was an active and determined toddler who grew up to become a misfit at school, eventually falling into a midwifery career that allowed me to utilise my deep empathy within a backdrop of black and white guidelines.

In my 20’s, I occasionally wondered if I was autistic, but because the information I found online was so generic and I had spent my entire life masking so I could not even recognise my own autistic qualities, I would give up and let the thought slip by.

When I had my two spectacular kids and I realised that they are Autistic/ADHD/PDA, that lifelong feeling that I was different suddenly made sense.

I am, quite simply, neurodivergent.

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I cannot describe the relief and validation I felt upon realising I was Autistic/ADHD/PDA. Over time, this feeling has only been matched by my gratitude at being able to re-shape myself around my neurotype. My life and those of my children are no longer dictated by what is expected by neurotypical society, but by theirs and my own unique needs.

This lived experience as an Autistic/ADHD/PDA individual is central to the core of who I am, and as it should, has had a profound impact on my framework for practise as a counsellor. It has given me the permission to explore and practise neurodiversity affirmative counselling, where each individual’s sensory needs, beliefs, past history and current lifestyle form the foundation for therapy. It gives me such joy to work with people in the process of unmasking, and gently guide them as they discover what living authentically can be like.

Because of the fear and stigma surrounding neurodivergence, I would like to celebrate what is one of my biggest achievements with you as a neurodivergent person, so we can slowly turn the tide around the harsh stereotype.

“My Journey From Black and White to Grey: A Student Counsellor’s Perspective on Training in Post-modernism Following a Career Working within a Modernist Model” was published in 2022 after many years of hard work. I was undiagnosed whilst completing the Masters of Counselling, and I feel so much sadness and empathy for myself when I read it back. I was so confused, disappointed and sad as to why I simply could not gel with the course content, and did not understand how I could feel so different to my peers who seemed to breeze through.

In the future, I hope to publish more articles on my experience working as an Autistic counsellor, so my neurokin do not have to feel quite as alone.

This article is free to read, and can be found here [My Journey From Black and White to Grey: A Student Counsellor’s Perspective on Training in Post‐modernism Following a Career Working within a Modernist Model1 – Schwarz – 2022 – Australian and New Zealand Journal of Family Therapy – Wiley Online Library].

Lastly, I am fully insured, a Level 2 member of the Australian Counselling Association, I hold a valid Blue Card and strongly adhere to a strict code of ethics and confidentiality.

I hope to see you soon.