Hey there, my name is Liz and I moved from Sydney with my family to live here on the Gold Coast in 2015. I feel so lucky to live in this beautiful part of the world. I especially love being so close to the ocean… it is my idea of the ultimate chill out zone.
I live with my husband, my two boys and a little dog named Molly. I love music, I play guitar and sing. Music is a really important part of my life. I was in a rock band which was awesome fun, but that was at least 10 years ago!! I love to ride my bike, go to the beach with my family and draw using a special mindfulness technique called zendoodling.
I grew up down south in Newcastle, NSW. There are beautiful beaches there too, but the water is usually very cold, not like here on the GC.
What is an Occupational Therapist anyway?
When I went to University I studied a degree called Occupational Therapy. Growing up I had never heard of an Occupational Therapist. Then I had the chance to meet one and to understand the positive change that occupation based therapy can provide to people.
When most people hear about OT's, they think we help people learn how to walk up stairs or cook meals during physical rehabilitation, while this is part of some OT's role, we largely have a different role in mental health.
Occupational Therapists define “Occupations” as the everyday activities that people do as individuals, in families and with communities to occupy time and bring meaning and purpose to life. Occupations include things people need to, want to and are expected to do. This incorporates all activities from brushing your teeth (Self-Care) going to school or work (Productivity) to playing X-Box or having a coffee with friends (Leisure).
Occupational Therapists provide people with the ability to reach their goals, to be independent, and to lead productive lives. To be their best self with a focus on their strengths despite restrictive barriers or obstacles that they are facing in life due to issues with social, environmental or personal situations.
At Uni, I worked in mental health and discovered that this was an area I felt passionate about where Occupational Therapists could be of great use. My clinical career has been dedicated to working with families, children and young people who are experiencing rough times due to mental illness.
I have worked for over 10 years within public and private health services across NSW and QLD in both inpatient and community mental health settings with children aged 5 to 12 years and young people aged 12 to 30 years.
During this time, I have trained in a number of psychotherapies and can provide services which include:
Psycho-education (including motivational interviewing)
Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (including behavioural interventions and cognitive interventions)
Relaxation strategies (including progressive muscle relaxation and controlled breathing)
Skills training (including problem-solving skills and training, anger management, social skills training, communications training, stress management, and parent management)
Sensory Modulation (Understanding how our sensory preferences impact on our ability to function in various environments)
Mindfulness Skills (learning how to become present in the moment – to make space between our thoughts and feelings – to let go of the judgements we place on ourselves)
I use a holistic, client centred approach to therapy, which is goal oriented and occupation focused. I have worked with people experiencing all kinds of mental health issues and use trauma informed care within my practice.
My career has spanned over 15 years and aside from my specialist clinical work in the area of children and young people’s mental health I have also worked in management as the Assistant Director of Occupational Therapy in Mental Health for Gold Coast Health Service. In 2017, I became a Lecturer for Griffith University’s Occupational Therapy Department and continue to provide supervision and teaching to Griffith OT students, a role which I take great pride in.
If you have any further questions or would like to know more please do not hesitate to get in touch. I look forwarding to working with you and supporting you to achieve your goals!!