Taking a compassionate, integrated approach to navigating the unique challenges and opportunities of midlife.
When life’s demands exceed our physical, emotional, and mental resources – but we choose to soldier on with no regard for our health and wellbeing – the only possible consequence is unhealthy stress.
If left unchecked, stress can easily lead to burnout and depression. Prolonged exposure to stress can also impact our physical health and wellbeing.
Anxiety & Depression
Feelings of helplessness, fear or worry can come up anytime during a period of life transition. The end of a marriage, ill health or physical changes, children leaving home, career changes, the loss of a parent etc. can bring about high levels of uncertainty. This leaves us vulnerable to anxiety and depression.
When our work culture has taught us to disregard our own body’s natural rhythms and hormone cycles, we end up with chronic stress, and burnout.
Don’t minimize the strain burnout is having on your levels of happiness, your mood and sense of wellbeing. If these feelings persist it is important to seek support.
Grief & Loss
A sense of loss can result fom the loss of a loved one, a relationship, a job, our health or any other significant thing that has meaning to you. A natural human response to loss is to experience grief. The severity of the grief we experience is dependent on the importance of the loss to you, with more significant losses resulting in more severe feelings of grief.
Grief can also bring up other feelings which may further impact your wellbeing and quality of life, including sadness, depression, anxiety, anger, lost sense of identity, overwhelm, regret or maybe even relief.
Unresolved Childhood Issues
Some of the challenges we face emerged earlier in life and become magnified in midlife. As we manage the multitude of responsibilities that are typical during this period we become more vulnerable to these issues resurfacing, intensifying or increasing.
Midlife is a pivotal period in addressing these unresolved issues as they can profoundly shape our health and well-being over the course of our life.
Parenting can be as challenging as it is rewarding, and identifying ways to communicate more effectively and deal with conflict proactively are an esential part of achieving a positive and harmonious family unit.
As parents, we can be extremely hard on ourselves, and having constructive ways to manage the issues and conflicts that parenting brings, enables us to forge a more positive relationship with our child or teenager.
Job Loss or Career Change
Confidence & Self Esteem
Midlife is full of transitions that can undermine our confidence and self-esteem. Parents passing away, career change, becoming an “empty nester,” divorce, menopause, a growing interest in one’s internal life, concerns about an aging body, desirability or a surprise health diagnosis.
Unresolved issues from our past can also resurface or become magnified at this time, and undermine how we feel about ourselves.
Achieving Full Potential
If you are feeling painfully dissatisfied with parts of your life, you may be tempted to make some dramatic changes before it feels too late.
The goals you once had – to buy a house, to climb the career ladder, or to have a family – may need an update. Midlife is a time to reassess what you want from life. It presents an opportunity to re-examine your values, priorities and sense of purpose.
Health & Wellbeing
It’s both our physical and psychological health that improve our overall sense of wellbeing.
Menopause can increase the risk of developing mental health issues. Hormone changes in the years leading to menopause (perimenopause) can cause mood swings and irritability and can contribute to depression and anxiety.
Changes in hormonal levels can also result in a range of physical challenges such as hot flushes, night sweats, interrupted sleep patterns and weight gain – all of which can affect mental health.
Menopause can occur at a stage in life where responsibilities and relationships are also under transition. For some, this involves raising young people or supporting adult children to live independently, or caring for older adults. For many this is also a time of increased work opportunities and responsibilities, and less social support.
Life Purpose & Meaning
When our current life is not meeting our deepest needs or aligning with our most genuine self, we may experience a loss of meaning or lack of purpose.
Reconnecting with our personal values and the things that really matter to us, allows us to navigate the world in a way that restores meaning and life satisfaction.
Many of the big life decisions we made in our early adulthood – choice of partner, education, career, whether to stay in a job, etc. – impact us far into the future.
At midlife we might feel a sense of being trapped by some of our decisions, whether they occurred very intentionally and deliberately, or just happened through a turn of events.
We might start to feel that these choices are much less of a fit at this stage, but the cost of making any changes may seem overwhelming or prohibitive.
If you struggled with addiction at some point in your youth, there is a greater risk of leaning on addictive behaviours and substance use in the midlife years to manage psychological pain.
Addictive behaviours are usually used as coping strategies to try and deal with unresolved issues, ongoing pressures or uncomfortable thoughts and emotions. It can be very difficult to address these problems without counselling support.
Whilst we can develop a dependence on alcohol and drugs, other addictive behaviours include: gambling, shopping, overworking, pornography dependence, compulsive use of social media, under- or over- eating behaviours, gaming dependence and other harmful and habitual behaviours.
Who I Work With
I work with midlife women who feel stuck and unsure about what’s next in their life. Our work together will help you overcome anxiety, depression, burnout and people pleasing, and the fear of forever living with regrets about unmet dreams.
Midlife can occur anywhere between 35 and 65 years of age and is a time when we often go through a period of significant change. For some of us, this may be a relatively smooth transition, but for many of us, it can be a time of emotional and physical upheaval.
You may feel called to consciously consider where you are in your life, reflect on how far you have come as well as acknowledge the things you still want to achieve. It presents an opportunity to make positive changes that will help you move forward in a way that brings more meaning, purpose and joy to your life.
I work with clients who are facing challenges that may include:
- Questioning life choices and values
- Experiencing high levels of anxiety
- Grief associated with the empty nest
- Feeling stuck in a rut and believing nothing will change
- Dissatisfied with your work or career
- Struggling with your relationship
- Getting back on your feet after divorce or adjusting to separation
- Concerned about your health, fluctuating moods and physical changes
- Holding fears about growing older
- Regretful about goals not yet achieved
- Recovering from illness and contemplation of your own mortality
I provide a warm, caring, safe space to explore all the places that are keeping you stuck. Together we will uncover your deep held desires and bring them to life so you can get excited about your next chapter. You will rediscover your joy and what helps YOUR life feel meaningful.
Whilst each person’s story and needs are unique, and my approach will differ with each client, I abide by a series of core principles. These form the basis of my approach and ensure the highest quality of care for my clients.
- Psychodynamic Therapy
- Schema Therapy
- Imagery Rescripting
- Internal Family Systems (IFS)
- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
- Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
- Motivational Interviewing
- Wellness Coaching
- Breath work
- Solution-Focused Therapy
- Art-Based Therapies
- Positive Psychology
- Grief Therapy
There are 5 pillars that underpin my therapeutic approach:
- Holistic mindbody techniques to ensure we address the physical, emotional and cognitive symptoms of stress, anxiety, overwhelm and burnout.
2. Psycho-education to allow you to make better sense of your experiences and understand why you might be feeling the way you do.
3. Skill building to enable you to feel more empowered to create change.
4. Trauma-informed approach that respects your story and prioritises emotional safety, a sense of empowerment and your healing process.
5. Strong therapeutic relationship to ensure you feel seen and heard in a comfortable and supportive space that allows you to speak openly without fear of judgement.
Deciding to get help can sometimes feel daunting, but sharing your story and personal challenges can provide a deep sense of relief.
How Do I Get Started?
Book a Discovery Call
This complimentary, 15 minute introductory call allows us to connect and discuss what you hope to gain from working together. You can ask any questions you might have and we will discuss next steps.
Book An Appointment
When booking your initial consultation online expect to receive an email with payment details and a registration form. All initial consultations are payable 48 hours in advance. If you have any further questions please contact us over here.
Frequently Asked Questions
When should I seek support?
Counselling offers a safe space to closely examine your life, and supports you in identifying and managing aspects of your life that no longer feel right. It can help you address feelings of anxiety, depression, or emptiness and dissatisfied. If you’re thinking of making any major life changes that are driven by inner turmoil or restlessness – like ending a long-term relationship, changing careers, or relocating – it’s helpful to seek professional support before taking the leap.
It’s also important to note that you don’t need to know exactly what the problem is before seeking help. Nor do you need to feel you have hit rock bottom. It’s enough to feel lost or “stuck,” or to be worried about a feeling, thought, behavior, or situation.
Do I need a referral?
No, you do not need a GP referral or a Mental Health Care Plan. You can make an appointment directly through the bookings page over here.
What are your fees?
The cost of a 60-minute online consultation is as follows:
- $150 for appointment times between 9-5pm weekdays
- $165 for appointment times from 5pm weekdays, or on weekends
Please note that you do not require a Mental Health Care Plan or a doctor’s referral to make an appointment .
Can I claim Private Health Insurance?
Some private health insurance funds provide rebates for counselling services, depending on whether you have an eligible policy and level of cover.
You may also be eligible for a 20% rebate for counselling fees when you lodge your tax return, if your annual out of pocket medical expenses (as an individual or family) are greater than $1500.
Why midlife counselling and coaching?
Midlife is a unique period of transition that brings our identity and future into question. Whilst you may feel excited or liberated by a sense of possibility, you might also feel frightened by the uncertainty of what lies ahead. You may want to shape your life differently but are not sure which path to take.
The work we do together will support you to consciously consider where you are in your life and recognise the things you still want to achieve, or address aspects of your life that are no longer fulfilling. You will discover ways to make meaningful advances in your life, relationships, career, and happiness and move forward in a way that brings more meaning, purpose and joy to the next phase of your life.
How many sessions will I need?
This is dependent on your individual needs and the nature of your concerns. In general we recommend six sessions to begin with, but some people require less, and others more. Whilst we’ll make recommendations, ultimately you will decide how many sessions you need, and you are not obliged to attend a minimum number.
Our focus is less on how long the process will take but rather on ensuring that your issues are resolved and you achieve your desired outcomes. We help you work toward meaningful life changes and genuine progress.
What is your cancellation policy?
We understand that cancellations are sometimes necessary, but we do require 48 hours notice. This allows reallocation of your appointment time, especially in waitlisted time spots. You will receive a reminder 48 hours prior to ensure enough time to reschedule.
If you miss your appointment or cancel with less than 24 hours notice, you will be charged a full session fee for the appointment time.
Do you still have questions?
What others have said about working with Michelle…
Michelle has had a huge, positive impact on my life. She is always so warm, authentic and supportive, and never once lost focus of what we were trying to achieve. Our sessions brought everything in my life into perspective and I am so much happier and more confident. She is an amazing coach and mentor.
Michelle is caring, sensitive and insightful. She provides a judgement-free, safe space in which we could identify areas that needed to be addressed. I received guidance and support and strategies that I have utilised many times over in different parts of my life. Michelle is brilliant at what she does!
Everyone needs a Michelle. I cannot recommend her highly enough. She has incredible skill and talent to help unravel confusion. I came to Michelle feeling stuck and depressed. I found that even after our first session, I was able to start turning things around. I now feel so inspired and positive. Michelle you have a gift, and you are a gift.
Get set up for an empowering and exciting new chapter of your life.