A place to explore
The Counselling Collective exists for times when daily life feels difficult. It is a place of acceptance, understanding, confidentiality, safety and support, where people can identify and explore their needs, problems, and goals and find growth and change. The Counselling Collective is about providing a space to be heard, to become known, to explore and to grow.
When to get counselling
Counselling may be beneficial at any time in your life when you are feeling anxious, finding the activities of daily work, school or family life difficult, finding a change in your desire to interact with others or experiencing difficulty living with intense emotions as a result of trauma. Reaching out for help and support can provide strategies to explore and improve your feelings, thoughts, relationships and sense of wellbeing.
Our counselling sessions
Counselling sessions at The Counselling Collective look different for each client as the therapeutic approach and interventions are developed in response to their uniqueness as a person, their experiences, situation, strengths and needs. Utilising an Integrative approach, the client and therapist work in collaboration across a range of traditional and creative therapies (link to approach) to discover a deeper understanding and to bring about change.
The Counselling Collective is committed to providing genuine care, understanding, acceptance and confidentiality. Where the focus is on building mutual trust and respect in a safe, supportive environment.
Michelle Thomas has established The Counselling Collective as a place of genuine care for each individual client. With a Masters of Counselling specialising in Children and Adolescents, Michelle works with clients of all ages and from all walks of life to navigate positive changes in their lives. Michelle will take the time to journey alongside each client to create a supportive environment, develop and build trust, mutual respect and understanding. Michelle views each client journey as unique and her approach is to create together in partnership with the client individualised interventions that best supports and suits their needs and situation.
To specialise in children and adolescents, Michelle completed additional elective subjects and dedicated a full year of her studies to this focus. Michelle has gained valuable practical experience working as a school counsellor with children from kindergarten through to year 12 which she now utilises with her clients.
Experienced working with adults of all ages, Michelle brings a fresh and unique approach by utilising together both creative and traditional therapies and interventions. This approach has been successful in bringing about positive change in the lives of her clients.
Recognising that there are different ways to explore and communicate, Michelle has extensively studied a wide range of creative therapies that can provide opportunities for clients to connect, engage and express themselves through art, music, storytelling and play.
Creative therapies are particularly effective in assisting younger clients engage and connect through the language of art and play.
By incorporating creative tools therapeutically, Michelle has seen children, adolescents/teens and adults of all ages empowered to find new ways to express and explore their concerns and problems, convey meaning, to be heard, and discover a deeper understanding of their situation.
Michelle uses an Integrative approach when working with her clients rather than focusing on one specific approach or intervention. Michelle works together with every client taking the time to develop a caring, confidential collaborative relationship that enables her to journey alongside each client to explore their individual needs strengths and goals. Together with the client, Michelle is able to develop a supportive plan that best suits the needs of each individual client by drawing on her experience in a range of different therapies including;
For any age
No referral required
The Counselling Collective follows strict protocols in regards to client privacy and keeping records. As a member of PACFA, these are governed by the PACFA member ethical guidelines. Client confidentiality is prioritised and a Privacy Statement is provided to all clients at their first appointment.
Working with Children, Teens and Adolescents
It is a special privilege and responsibility to work in the lives of children, teens and adolescents and their families. Here are some helpful suggestions and information to help you and your young person be more at ease with the counselling experience.
How to prepare for your child/adolescent/teen
Discuss and involve your young person in the planning and reasons why they are coming to counselling. Use words that are appropriate for their age and encourage them to ask questions before the appointment to help lessen any anxiety. Be positive about the counsellor and let them know that lots of different people choose to see counsellors – from young children to grandparents and all ages in between.
It is important for older children and adolescents/teens to be reassured that they don’t have to do or say anything they don’t want to and that what they tell their counsellor is confidential.
The importance of working with the support system of children and young people
Children, adolescents and teens are valued as individuals with their own unique strengths, goals and needs. They also are part of a broader support system – usually their family system, which is also unique. To develop collaborative, tailored support for each client, it is important to build trust and rapport with each young client, their parent(s), carers and family. This approach guides the journey of discovery and helps to identify practical solutions that are workable and acceptable for all family members.