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JOHN DODWELL

Hope & Resilience Counselling

Qualifications

Master of Counselling (Monash University).

Advanced Diploma in Community Sector Management.

Diploma of Community Services (Case Management).

Graduate Diploma in Remote Health Practice (Nursing).

Bachelor of Nursing.

My Focus

My focus with clients is to help them identify their strengths - strengths they may have used in the past to overcome crises.  I will support them to build on those strengths, to be resilient and find hope for their future. 

Since opening my office in Wagga, the issues I have supported clients in, have included:

  • Anger management,

  • Relationship breakdown and Relationship goals,

  • Workplace stress and bullying,

  • Communication skills – developing non-judgemental and non-accusative communication styles,

  • PTSD flashbacks – developing calming exercises,

  • Setting Boundaries and Self-Care.

Counselling Services

Within the context of Counselling Services, my specialist interests areas include:

  • Advocacy and care for vulnerable and marginalised people;

  • Social justice;

  • Human rights;   

  • Working with Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Peoples;

  • Supporting Our First Nation People;

  • Supporting Asylum seekers and refugees; and

  • Supporting all people who are struggling with mental health wellbeing. 


Counselling in Wagga Wagga and across the Riverina

Within the Wagga context I especially want to be available to:

  • farmers and other members of rural communities who are doing it tough;

  • veterans who have been impacted by PTSD;

  • refugees and asylum seekers settling in Wagga; and

  • Aboriginal people impacted by intergenerational poverty, marginalisation and disadvantage.

My Background

  • Nursing (1992-2014)

  • Working with Aboriginal Communities (2008-2013)

  • Disability Sector (2014-2016)

  • Australian Red Cross Migrant Support Program

  • Red Cross Social Connectedness Program

  • National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)

  • Red Cross Telecross

  • Australian Red Cross Migrant Supports Program (MSP) Status Resolution Support Service (SRSS)

  • Headspace (Liverpool, Sydney)

  • NSW Service for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Sufferers (STARTTS)

Nursing (1992 to 2014). My nursing experience included working in several public and private hospitals in Melbourne and in Community Health, Queanbeyan.

I worked in remote Aboriginal Communities from 2008 to 2013.  

I worked in the disability sector part-time as a support worker from 2014 to 2016, while I completed a Diploma of Community Services (Case Management) and Advanced Diploma in Community Sector Management. 

In the 2nd half of 2015, I worked as a student intern with the Australian Red Cross Migrant Support Program in Canberra. 

For the first half of 2016, I worked in the Red Cross’ Social Connectedness program assisting people with a disability to transition into the NDIS as it was being rolled out in the ACT. 

In the 2nd half of 2016, I worked with Red Cross Telecross as a Safety Officer supervising a team of volunteers who phone elderly and socially isolated vulnerable people daily, to do safety and welfare checks.

In November 2016, I moved to Wagga to take a job as Case Manager with the Australian Red Cross Migrant Supports Program (MSP) Status Resolution Support Service (SRSS).  I case managed asylum seekers as they waited for an outcome decision on their application for refugee status. 

While I was employed as a case manager, I was developing my experience as a counsellor. Many clients were impacted by anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).  Some of my clients had attempted suicide or had self-harmed.  Many struggled with suicidal ideations. 

Throughout this time, I worked closely with mental health services and became a counsellor by default.

In 2018, the Red Cross lost its Commonwealth Government contract to provide the SRSS program.  I was retrenched along with other SRSS workers. 

I enrolled in a Master of Counselling online through Monash University and completed the Masters in July 2019.  As a requirement of my Master of Counselling degree, I completed two supervised clinical placements – one at Headspace in Liverpool, Sydney (three and a half months), and the other at the NSW Service for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Sufferers (STARTTS) (four and a half months), in their Auburn and Fairfield offices, Sydney.

At Headspace I provided intake assessment and face to face counselling, responding to the needs of young people between 12 and 25.  Issues addressed included anxiety, depression, bullying, poor self-esteem, family violence and breakdown, parental/carer abuse, parental expectations, self-harm and suicidal ideations, alcohol and other drugs, and sexuality/sexual identity.

At STARTTS, I provided counselling and casework support to refugees and asylum seekers with complex biopsychosocial needs.  All were traumatised: from fleeing danger in their country of origin; from living in refugee camps before being accepted as refugees to come to Australia; from coming to Australia if they came by boat; and from settling in a strange land where the culture and language were different.  To help overcome trauma and flashbacks from the past and anxiety regarding the future, I used aspects of cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) and Narrative Exposure Therapy (NET).

After I finished my clinical placement with STARTTS in July 2019, I decided to open my own counselling business in Wagga Wagga.