• Monique Harding

Trauma counselling options for those impacted by the bushfire crisis

Updated: Jan 15, 2020

Amidst the trauma of the ongoing bushfire crisis, I recently circulated an offer of free trauma counselling for those affected. I was inundated with responses and have now reached capacity in the amount of pro bono clients I can take on.

Luckily, the shares and circulation of the post on social media also resulted in a number of other professionals reaching out to offer their services. The below professionals have all extended the offer of free online/telephone counselling and have capacity to take on between two and five clients each.

Please note - I am not affiliated with any of the following practitioners in any way nor have I checked qualifications. You will need to make contact with them directly to coordinate support.

Emma Woodridge

Bachelor of Social Work

Emma is a story seeker / social worker living on Larrakia Land. Experienced in Mental Health, Crisis response, Community resilience and trauma-informed practice. Emma Is passionate about the healing power of stories and works with people in a holistic way, supporting recovery and wellbeing.

Contact via

Whitney O’Neill

Bachelor of Applied Psychology, Bachelor of Counselling

Whitney is a registered Counsellor practicing holistically on the Gold Coast. Whitney works predominantly with mental health from an emotionally focused perspective, while also utilising a range of counselling and therapy approaches. Whitney is both passionate and committed in her work and is wanting to be of service to those affected by the Fires throughout Australia. Whitney can offer online and over the phone counselling for those in need.

IG: the.soul.centre

Contact via

Jackson Goding

Bachelor of Psychology, Masters in Counselling and Psychotherapy

Jackson is the owner of Find Reason Counselling practice based in Sydney. He is offering online counselling to those affected by the bushfire crisis.

Contact via

Gillian Hurding

Psychodynamic Therapist

PgDip: Human Relations and Counselling

I am a qualified and professionally registered psychodynamic therapist trained at Human Development Scotland with a focus on the adverse effects of climate change on mental health. I work in a way that allows my clients to safely explore and gain insight of their current and lived experiences at a pace that feels manageable to them. As well as engaging with a wide range of individuals in a one-to-one therapy setting, I also work in renewable energy-related industries and therefore have personal experience of some of the unique challenges that come from living and working in Australia's rural and outback landscapes.

Contact via

Ximena Banales

Clinical Psychologist

HI! I’m Ximena, I’m a Clinical Psychologist from Montevideo, Uruguay (South America). I have a degree in psychology and a degree in Spanish<>English translation so I can support both English and Spanish speakers. I’ve worked with both children and adult from different backgrounds but lately have been focused on adults only.

Contact via

Alternative health providers;

Megan Colby

Energy and Intuitive Healer

I am Megan, 33 years young who lives in Hervey Bay and I am an Energy and Intuitive Healer. I can help you through pain – past, present and future, stale energy and assisting you to become the best version of yourself after any life-affecting situations. This is accomplished by many mediums and I assist with your state of being in a holistic and natural nature.

Contact via instagram @_lovenlight_bymegan

Other support options;


Telephone support via 13 11 14

Beyond Blue

24/7 support service on 1300 224 636

Dedicated online ‘coping with bushfires’ forum

Kids Helpline (under 12's)

1800 551 800

North Coast PHN

Free counselling. No GP referral required.

Medicare Better Access to Mental Health

Speak to your GP regarding your eligibility for a mental health care plan to see a local provider.

Additional Resources;

Guide on talking with children about natural disasters guide

Looking after yourself and your family after a natural disaster resource

Emotional Freedom Technique - The Tapping Solution APP (available free) has a specific tapping sequence for the Australian bushfires.

Insight timer has a range of guided mediations and mindfulness practices. Check out some of their sleep meditations if you are struggling to get to sleep in the evenings.

Smiling mind is another great resource of guided meditations. Lots of kid friendly ones on here too.

Sending love, care and kindness during these difficult times.

- Monique

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