About Annabel Birmingham

Counsellor & Therapist

Becoming a Therapist

I have always had an interest in human relationships. As an adolescent it was often my inclination to understand and support the sadness experienced by those around me.

However, it wasn’t until my own children were grown that I embarked upon postgraduate studies in counselling and psychotherapy, giving me an opportunity to broaden and formalise my interest in helping others.

I relished the study of counselling and the dynamic and never-ending journey of self- discovery.

Along the way I battled physical illness – It proved to be one of my biggest teachers. I struggled “to keep all the balls in the air”, feeling guilty and constantly stressed.

Luckily my counsellor training required that I undergo my own course of therapy. This proved invaluable, helping me find more meaning and balance, less stress and more joy in my life.

Philosophy on Change and Healing

Mental health is not separate from physical health.
They are intertwined. We are not merely a physical body, separate from our minds/brain. Our biology is affected by the way we think, feel and behave (now supported by the latest studies in neuroscience and bio-chemistry) and vice versa.

We inherit certain physical strengths and weaknesses that will be impacted by our lifestyle choices; whether we exercise or not, eat healthily, smoke, etc.

Also, how we manage the emotional challenges of life, will contribute to our overall health and wellbeing.

It’s well documented now that living with unmanageable stress undermines the body’s immune system.

My aim in therapy is to work together, to understand and explore your feelings, thoughts and behaviours; to reflect on your life experiences, gaining a better understanding of your stress triggers and unconscious reactions that leave you feeling frustrated, angry and anxious, exhausted and empty,even depressed.

With greater awareness and personal reflection you are then able to make conscious choices that improve your quality of life.

Mindfulness as a Solution to Stress

I have studied and practised mindfulness for over 15 years and can personally and professionally attest to its efficacy in managing stress, anxiety and depression.

Mindfulness is a simple technique that brings your attention back from your thoughts to the present moment.

You learn to recognise when your thoughts take over, creating havoc with your peace of mind, self-confidence and quite literally your reality.

By short-circuiting your negative thinking; coming back to the present moment, you learn to take charge of your thoughts, controlling when or if you want to give them ‘air-time’.

Therapy Experience

My clients come with a range of concerns – depression, unmanageable anxiety, relationship issues, grief & loss and the consequences of being children of parents who are addicted to alcohol or other drugs.

I’ve also worked as a facilitator in a therapeutically assisted child’s playgroup, helping parents with the challenges of parenthood, assisting them in gaining a better understanding of the needs of their children, in short – taking the anxiety out of parenting!

Therapy Credentials

Graduate Diploma in Counselling & Communication from ACAP- The Australian College of Applied Psychology.
Member of CAPA – Counsellors and Psychotherapists Association, NSW.
PACFA Registered – Psychotherapists and Counsellors Federation of Australia.

Taking the First Step…

I understand that taking the first step in coming to counselling can be daunting. Asking for support is stressful in itself and may make you feel vulnerable and self-conscious.

However, taking that step maybe key to a new beginning.
Please be in touch when you are ready to begin that journey.