Hi .. I’m Deborah, I’m a Registered Psychologist and Trauma Therapist.
I work with people experiencing complex, developmental and relational trauma .. when the stuff from back then impacts your life now, through nervous system dysregulation driving difficult emotions, looping life experiences, relationship drama, poor sleep, health, energy, focus, sense of self and expectations of the world.
I have a private practice on the Gold Coast in Australia, near the sunshine and ocean that I love so much. Over more than 30 years I have worked as a consultant and psychologist in corporate, university, community, health and wellbeing settings.
For the last decade of my working life, I’ve been very focussed on understanding and supporting people to heal (become more whole) following the fragmentation of Complex PTSD.
It’s an exciting time as rapid advances in neuroscience bring more understanding about what happens in the brain, body and nervous system during developmental years, and how trauma impacts that. We are also much clearer now about which human experiences our nervous system takes in as traumatic threat and how the nervous system adaptations and psychological adaptations we make as children impact our experience of ourselves and the world all through life.
In particular, we know a lot more now about …
… the neurochemistry of attachment, and the interplay of attachment experiences with the shape our nervous system takes and the way it functions in the world.
The field is called Interpersonal Neurobiology and it can explain so very many things.
how i understand what helps complex ptsd
For most of my life, I have lived with complex trauma impacts. I didn’t always know it. That was for ‘other’ people. I was strong and intelligent and resourceful.
I was also living inside a nervous system that could become deeply chaotic and was highly sensitised to so many things, sometimes shutting the whole system down on impact. Trauma, I later discovered, passes down through generations, both through nature and anti-nurture.
I have always been curious about life, the nature of consciousness and immersed myself over several decades in meditation, integral healing approaches and energy science. The symbiotic relationship we have with our environment became very clear to me, how it shapes us and we influence it in turn, as a rhythmic dance within a unified field.
I journeyed with severe ME-CFS over this time. As my previous internal and external resources disappeared, I became super skilled at utilising any available resource, to nourish myself, stabilise and open through my breath and being, into the medicine and ecstatic state of being available through connection with the natural world.
I had a burst cerebral aneurysm at one stage and was one of the lucky 10% who survive. Difficult as this experience was, the inherent social validation provided a stark contrast to the pervasive invalidation associated with having an invisible chronic illness, like ME-CFS.
Over time, poor health meant fractured workplace participation, fractured finances, cultural, social, medical and family invalidation, social isolation, ongoing survival pressures and ultimately impacts on my psychological wellbeing. And round again. It was bizarre and alienating for me to find myself so sick I could barely move, broke, homeless, alone and terrified over a cold Sydney winter, in a city where previously I’d been such a part of it all.
I held a larger knowing, but my world got very small.
I learned about the importance of genuine attunement, validation and connection for true healing and rich living. And how hard these things can be to access, especially for someone with a traumatised nervous system.
Around 10 years ago I joined some dots between my professional explorations into Complex PTSD and my personal journey. Understanding the neuroscience of trauma and attachment was powerful and validating.
The clarity brought me forward from disillusionment and helped me utilise integrative healing approaches learned earlier, in very specific, neuroscientifically informed ways.
As things crystalised for me, I wanted to work more deeply with traumatised people to free up system resources … energy, attention, brain space, curiousity, social capacity, safety and space for love and empathy, in-the-body felt sense living … from trauma’s endless looping, so more of us can bring and experience what we’re here to.
I have been honing this in session work with clients over the last 10 years and am making these understandings, frameworks and processes available through my blog and online course-work, as well as a limited number of one-on-one sessions.
what lights me
is helping you access your true and authentic self and to connect and create in the world from there – EVEN WHEN YOU ARE TRAUMA IMPACTED. Complex PTSD symptoms and adaptations can get in the way of this big time.
Our world is changing rapidly as out-dated institutions and practices fall away and global environmental, financial and social concerns more insistently call upon and impact us all.
Collective wisdom is needed.
The world needs you and what you bring.
In your home, your workplace, your social circle, your creative projects, your online and ‘real life’ communities. Your vision, your purpose, your inspired take on things, your care and connection.
On a personal level, you have a right to a wonderful life that is an expression and reflection of your true nature. You have a right to secure and confident engagement with the world around you. To feel all the pleasure, purpose and wholeness that can come from safe and open experiencing of life, nature, people, animals, love, art, music, community and achievement through your unique strengths and talents.
I can help you.
Learn more about trauma informed therapeutic approaches here.
Book a session
A limited number of personal sessions become available on an ongoing basis.
get my blog
Articles, videos and resources for healing complex and relational trauma.
complete your cptsd checklist
Find out if the hard stuff in your life now relates to nervous system impacts from back then.
register for 'rewire for life: first principles 12 week program'
Through my research and clinical practice, I have developed a framework for healing Complex PTSD – Rewire for Life. It provides the structure, insights, resources and processes needed to evolve your implicit trauma memories, triggered responding and repeating patterns to allow for more of your true self to show up and create your life experiences.
You can access this framework and begin your trauma informed healing journey through the Rewire for Life: FIRST PRINICPLES program due for release this April. I draw on the key concepts in my one-on-one therapy sessions, and write and speak about them in my blog.
Join me in building the REWIRE 4 LIFE community for healing complex trauma impacts.