My name is Sarah Cole, I’m a non-aboriginal woman, born and raised in the Kulin nation and live in Wurundjeri country. I’m a certified counselling practitioner and relationship expert!
My journey to becoming a counsellor began before I even knew what counselling was. As a child and well into my early adulthood, I experienced the emotional abuse of my mother. From the age of 7, had no contact with my father. By 15, I was homeless. By 22, I was a mother myself and I was terrified.
As a young mum, after my second child was born, I went to TAFE with the intention to become qualified and work with homeless youth. After completing my studies, I moved to rural Victoria and found work in residential care with young people under DHHS care. Following that role, I became a case manager in Albury, NSW at a youth refuge. Here I worked with young people, young parents and indigenous communities experiencing homelessness and family violence and breakdown. During this time, I became a single mum myself.
I sought counselling and was enlightened by the realization that I was carrying not only the trauma of my own experience but that this trauma went back generations. With physical and emotional abuse, alcoholism, PTSD and other mental health conditions peppered (heavily!) going back multiple generations. What had happened to me, wasn’t my fault. But what I DO with what I learn about my history and how I let it inform my future IS up to me. And I want my own children to live a life free of those burdens.
Accreditation’s – Certified Divorce Coach, accredited Clinical Hypnotherapist, Counsellor and Psychotherapist. Registered member of Australian Counselling Association.
Counselling style – I studied counselling to gain further skills in being able to help and guide people on their journey to wholeness. To free themselves of the pain, anxiety, feelings of shame, guilt, unworthiness that hold them back from living a full life. What it also did, was open me up to new skills that I get to put into practice for my own personal growth.
How we relate to the people in our lives, be it at work, friendships, romantic relationships, family and even the relationship we have with ourselves is shaped by our own experiences – from the very beginning of our lives. Healthy relationships are key to happiness! This is why my additional studies have been focused on living relationally. Meaning, we live our lives consciously engaging in respectful practices within ourselves and with others.
Looking after our own wellbeing and finding strategies that allow us to centre ourselves is pivotal in maintaining a sense of identity and clearing our minds of the white noise that is others opinions and projections – or even our own negative self-talk. For me this means spending time belly laughing with my crazy kids, dancing like nobody is watching, drowning out the chaos in my mind with very loud 80s rock music all whilst ignoring the ever-growing washing pile!