In 2003 I spent 28 days in intensive treatment at the Phoenix Unit at Manly for addiction to alcohol and drugs including anti-depressants. Following this, I went into long-term treatment where I stayed for 10 months until October 2003. Since then I have maintained total abstinence from all mood and mind altering substances.
At the time I entered rehab I was a high school teacher but after this experience I completed a Graduate Diploma in Counselling at the Australian College of Applied Psychology specializing in Addiction, Self-esteem and Group Work. I then completed a four-year Masters qualification in Gestalt Psychotherapy at the "Sydney Gestalt Institute" and “Gestalt Therapy Sydney.” At that time I also worked as a Community Support Worker and Group Facilitator at The WHOS Therapeutic Community for men (Gunyah) for 6 years as well as working for two years as a Crisis Counsellor and Group Therapist at South Pacific Private Hospital in Sydney.
In 2008 I started my own private practice with a focus on addictions called “Practical Power” in Kings Cross and Surry Hills, Sydney. I moved to Melbourne in 2013 and have continued working with private clients in Armadale. I also continue to work in treatment centres – Malvern Private Hospital as a Senior Addiction Counsellor and I have worked for the last 6 months as a Youth Outreach Counsellor with chemically addicted people in Ballarat two days a week.
I have through my own experience become able to see which model of therapy will suit a particular individual – Harm Reduction or Abstinence and I have the skill set that enables me to get the addict to determine where they are in terms of their readiness for treatment. Because of my background I am totally familiar with the arguments the alcoholic or addict will make as to why they cannot get clean or sober and I am often able to work with them patiently through their layers of denial until they choose willingly to surrender to the avenue of treatment that is going to help the most.
I have also recently joined the Lakescope Team of Interventionists, I have developed a tremendous passion for family intervention work. It provides the opportunity for all family members to receive the help they so badly need. Even more importantly it opens up the pathway to loving communication for all family members and reduces stress.
I started studying codependence in 2008 when I worked at South Pacific private Hospital in Sydney and was introduced to the Developmental Immaturity Model oe PIT Model created by Pia Melody. Since then I have studied with Pia Melody and Sarah Bridge in Scottsdale, Arizona consecutively in 2015 and 2016. At the beginning of 2015 I began facilitating a codependence women's group at Lorne, Victoria which is still currently running and in July, 2016 I began another women's codependence group set up in Armadale, Melbourne which runs fortnightly on Saturday mornings.
When I first started out as a psychotherapist nine years ago my work was predominantly working with drug addicts and alcoholics however over time having worked mostly with the families and partners of addicts my work has now grown to include codependent family members on a large scale.
- Cert. in Group Psychotherapy – Leadership and Facilitation – The Australian Institute of Counselling Addictions, 2013
- Masters in Gestalt Therapy at ‘Gestalt Therapy Sydney.’ Final Year 2012
- Certificate of Gestalt Counselling – Sydney Gestalt Institute 2010
- Certificate IV in Mental Health – 2010
- Family Constellation Training – Maria Dolenc -2010
- Graduate Diploma in Counselling – Australian College of Applied Psychology, 2008
- Diploma of Education U.N.S.W, 2001
- Bachelor of Arts UNSW, 2000 – Majoring in Theatre, Film and English Literature
- Current First Aid Certificate -The Australian Red Cross
- (PIT) Developmental Immaturity Training – Pia Melody & Sarah Bridge. Phoenix, Arizona 2015
- Developing your Presence as a Group Leader – CCWT Sydney
- Suicide Assist – Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Trainer
- Keeping Current in Child Protection – CCWT
- South Pacific Private – Therapeutic Fundamentals – 2008
- South Pacific Private – Integration of Therapeutic Fundamentals – 2008
- Certificate in Fitness Instruction -Fitness Institute Australia – 2009
- UNION MEMBER:
- Intern Member CAPA – The Counsellors and Psychotherpists Association of N.S.W.
- Membership Number 38908
- Guest speaker at the Ausmed Education Conference: Breaking Point: Ice and Methamphetamine Use.For Nurses & Other Health Professionals 1/11/15 Novotel Forest Resort Creswick (Topic: Withdrawal & Support.)
- Guest Speaker at the Ballarat & District Law Association - “The Ballarat Hypothetical – An ethical discussion on ICE.” 21/10/15
"Creating Synergy" - " From Addiction to a New Life." - Meth Amphetamine Conference, Wollongong, N.S.W. 23/03/16.
Guest Speaker "Sober Poz" Retreat Occidental, California. 23/04/16.
Ausmed Conference IBIS Hotel, Melbourne 29/04/16 Talk on Meth Amphetamine Recovery - "A Personal Perspective".
Ausmed Conference IBIS Hotel, Melbourne 24/06/16 Talk on The Effects of Alcohol on the Body."
Ausmed Workshops for Nurses:
Hobart - January 2017
Adelaide - February 2017
Perth - March 2017
Stu has returned from Thailand and working in Victoria now and can see people in Malvern or Hawthorn as well as online/Skype meetings and in Ballarat. Feel free to call Stu
Phone: (M) 0410324384 or email Stu to set up a Skype appointment.