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Anger is often caused by deeper hidden or vulnerable emotions such as sadness or fear. Anger is a tyrant that has a way of overruling all your other feelings. Anger can work as a defence mechanism (maybe not even consciously) to blot out the other more painful emotions – the ones that you're really feeling. There are three types of anger which help shape how we react in a situation - Passive Aggression, Open Aggression, and Assertive Anger. The goal of anger management is to get on top of your emotions and the physiological arousal that anger causes. This means not just controlling your outward behaviour, but also controlling your internal responses, taking steps to lower your heart rate, calm yourself down, and let the initial anger feelings subside.
Anxiety is a normal reaction to danger, the body’s automatic fight-or-flight response that is triggered when you feel threatened, under pressure, or are facing a challenging situation, such as a job interview, exam, or first date. In moderation, anxiety isn’t a bad thing. It can help you to stay alert and focused and motivate you to solve problems. However, when anxiety is constant or overwhelming—when worries and fears interfere with your relationships and daily life, it is advisable to seek some support to manage your anxiety. Nicole has supported patients with a range of anxiety issues including: separation anxiety disorder, specific phobias, social anxiety disorder (social phobia), panic attacks, agoraphobia and generalised anxiety disorder. Mindfulness techniques and working on unhelpful thinking styles can greatly assist to calm a worrying mind that contributes to ongoing anxiety.
Change, whether positive or negative, requires adjustment and that can be overwhelming. Learning to accept and cope with change is an essential life skill that builds resilience and enables us to bounce back from negative changes more quickly embrace positive changes with better energy management. For some individuals who need to have a strong sense of control in their lives, change can be particularly challenging to deal with. In our constantly changing world, the ability to adapt, reinvent and deal with unexpected new events is essential for positive mental health. Change Adjustment disorder requires stronger and more intense support for sudden or unwanted/unexpected major life change events such as having to learn to live with a disability/health issue, relationship breakdowns, loss of a job to name a few. Nicole has worked with a variety of clients across a number of major life change scenarios to help them navigate the unexpected challenges and optimise their ability to cope and thrive under such circumstances.
As a specific area of expertise, Nicole has supported many couples (and families) across a broad range of difficulties and challenges within their relationships and can provide client references to support her success in this area. She has helped couples to gain insight into their relationship, resolve conflict and improve relationship satisfaction utilising a variety of therapeutic interventions. This typically involves a clear understanding of treatment goals; building on any existing strengths whilst working on the issues/problems such as infidelity, trust, finances, sexual difficulties, addictions, etc. Through effective therapy, both parties feel their voices are heard and the couple gains insight into the relational dynamics maintaining the problems, whilst helping both partners understand each of their roles in the dysfunctional interactions. Behavioural interventions are used to help you change the way you perceive the relationship and communicate with each other.
At times we all feel sad, flat or low. Some people experience these feelings intensely, for long periods of time and sometimes without any apparent reason. Depression can become a serious condition that affects your physical and mental health. Many factors may contribute to depression including specific life events, a pervasive feeling of isolation/loneliness, lowered self-esteem, inability to cope/personal failure or there may be a family history of depression. It is important to determine what type of depression an individual is experiencing at any point in time to ensure the most effective therapy/support. Nicole has supported a wide range of clients dealing with situational and chronic depression.
Nicole has provided psychological support to clients of varying ages from children through to the elderly living with a disability, most of whom have NDIS & NDIA funding. Living with a disability raises many unique psychological challenges both for the individual and the family system supporting that individual. Nicole has tailored her therapeutic models to support goals identified within each client’s NDIS or NDIA plan and has provided annual progress reports to support continued funding requirements.
Family counselling involves discussion and problem-solving sessions with the family. Sessions may be as a group, in couples, or one on one. In family counselling, the mesh of interpersonal relationships is examined and communication is strengthened within the family allowing each family member’s voice to be heard. Relational dynamics are explored to understand the impact each family member has on the group. Improved communication skills, understanding differences and enhanced tolerance are achievable outcomes from this therapy.
Grief is a natural response to loss. It's the emotional suffering you feel when something or someone you love is taken away. Often, the pain of loss can feel overwhelming. There are 7 well-known stages of grieving which include: shock/denial (disbelief and numbed feelings), pain and guilt, anger and bargaining, depression and profound sadness, the upward turn (sometimes felt as moments of relief/joy), reconstruction/reconciliation and finally acceptance and hope. Everyone has to work through their own grief response at their own pace and it is not something that can be rushed through. Nicole has supported many individuals through this painful process and has directly observed the transformative changes of each stage of the grief cycle.
Due to COVID-19, this has become a major issue. Feeling alone or separate from others or just feeling empty can be extremely debilitating, much like grief and loss, and can take some time to work through. Loneliness may accompany social isolation but can be caused by other things, including pandemics, breakups or divorce, health issues, moving to a new location or the death of a close friend or loved one. Loneliness has been found to raise levels of stress, impede sleep and, in turn, harm the body. Loneliness can also augment depression or anxiety and lead people into unhealthy habits. Nicole has assisted clients with strategies and creating new routines and pathways to help manage some of the negative impacts of loneliness and isolation.
Although men have been typically more resistant to seeking psychological support, Nicole has worked with many males of all ages in both her counselling and corporate roles. The most requested areas of therapy focus for men have included: relationship & family issues, career & workplace issues, anger management, ageing, grief, PTSD, loneliness & isolation, stress management, depression, addiction and parenting. Nicole has witnessed significant breakthroughs with her male clients and enjoys tailoring a solution for each unique situation.
Mood disorders are mental health disorders that may involve emotional disturbances consisting of long periods of excessive sadness (depression), excessive joyousness or elation (mania), or both. Depression and mania represent the two extremes, or poles, of mood disorders. Psychotherapy forms part of team response where patients will typically be under the medical care/supervision of a Psychiatrist/Specialist Medical Practitioner. Nicole has worked alongside psychiatrists, responsible for therapeutic support required to treat mood disorders.
Similar to hiring a personal trainer to improve your physical fitness, working with a psychologist can enhance your overall wellbeing through building positive habits, behaviours, actions and reactions. Personal growth can help you grow emotionally and psychologically to become a more loving, compassionate and positive person which ultimately will help in all areas of your life including your work/career, family and relationships. Nicole will work with you to help define your goals, remove obstacles and to use positive psychology to enable you to reach your maximum potential.
Some people develop PTSD after experiencing or being indirectly exposed to a traumatic event. People affected may feel anxious, highly vigilant and may experience intrusive thoughts and memories of the trauma, such as nightmares. Certain career choices place individuals at a higher risk of PTSD such as emergency workers, Police, first responders. Serious car accidents and people who are exposed to repeated deliberate harm are leading causes of PTSD in Australia. With treatment, people with PTSD can make a full recovery. Nicole has worked with police, first responders, teachers and members of the public who have been directly involved in large public trauma events to support their recovery from this painful and paralysing condition.
Self-esteem is the way we perceive and value ourselves. This can be influenced by lots of different things, from our childhoods to life events. When we have low self-esteem we can see both ourselves and the world around us in a negative light. We may feel unhappy and find it more difficult to cope with challenges when they come up. Over time low self-esteem can have a negative impact on your mental health. You may also find having certain mental health conditions impacts your self-esteem. There are many causes that contribute to feelings of low self-worth including being bullied, body image issues, declining health issues, social media impacts, experiencing abuse, discrimination, loss of job, ongoing stress, difficulties at work/school, financial worries, etc. Nicole has worked with individuals of all ages to address issues impacting self-esteem and self-worth utilising the most appropriate therapeutic model on a case-by-case basis.
Stress is a natural biological and psychological reaction to life experiences. Everyone experiences stress from time to time. Anything from everyday responsibilities like work and family to major life events such as a serious health issue, relationship breakdown or the death of a loved one can trigger stress. For immediate, short-term situations, stress can be beneficial by helping you cope with potentially serious situations. Your body responds to stress by releasing hormones that increase your heart and breathing rates and ready your muscles to respond. However, if your stress response remains over-stimulated and elevated for longer than is necessary for survival, it can take a toll on your health. Chronic stress can cause a variety of symptoms and affect your overall well-being. Nicole has successfully used Cognitive behaviour therapy and Mindfulness to assist with managing stress levels.
Teenage years can be confusing, confronting, scary and challenging. Teen counselling is aimed at adolescents to help them make sense of their feelings, behaviours and thoughts. Nicole has utilised unique techniques that draw out the expressive nature of a young person, like drama/art therapy or more traditional approaches such as talking therapy. Areas that may represent significant challenges for adolescents/teens include: homelife, school pressures and friendship struggles. Symptoms parents should watch out for include: mood changes such as becoming angry, irritable or withdrawn; worrying excessively; changes in sleep habits; self-destructive behaviour; talking or thinking about death.
Family structure has changed dramatically over the past 50 years. These days our society is made up of a mix of traditional nuclear families and an ever-increasing variety of new family scenarios as our world continues to evolve. This can present many and varied issues for parents and children such as value clashes, identity and cultural issues, minority issues, etc. Adoption, permanent care, single parenting, IVF, gay couple parenting, blended families, grandparent families, childless families and traditional nuclear families each bring their own unique challenges and rewards. Nicole has first-hand experience within her own unique family model and has supported individuals and couples with the complexities, challenges and joys of the many different family systems that currently exist.
Women traditionally have been more proactive in seeking psychological support than men. Anxiety and depression rates are higher in females than in males. Nicole has worked with women to help improve their mental health in areas such as: self-acceptance building resilience and adaptability, having positive relationships with people, having a sense of purpose, removing toxicity and assertiveness skills. She has supported many women with complex issues, helping develop their confidence and self-insight to make major life-altering decisions in their careers, relationships, families, friendships and businesses.
What is the correct balance between work and life demands? Each of us will have a different answer to that question that may also depend on our age and stage of life. Life seems to be getting busier and you may feel that you are being pulled in too many different directions. If this feeling continues over a significant period of time, you may find that you are over-functioning and placing yourself at risk of suffering burnout or paying the price in your private life. The earlier you can seek support to address competing issues or determine how you want to prioritise competing demands the better the outcome will be for your mental health. Nicole has worked with individuals, executives and couples to support the changes required to achieve the optimum balance and desired outcome for each unique situation.
Most of us spend the majority of our waking hours at work. There are many issues that can impact our mental health at work – from the more obvious ones like discrimination, harassment and bullying through to toxic work environments, overly-demanding managers, struggling to get ahead within an organisation, feeling undervalued, etc. If left untreated, these issues can escalate leading to problematic symptoms impacting your ability to attend work. The earlier you seek advice and support to address issues in your workplace the more empowered and supported you will feel to take control. Nicole has worked with a range of individuals in different employment scenarios to achieve their desired goals in a time-effective manner.
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A career/executive coach's process is designed to help clients achieve results by creating behaviour change and developing the skills, thinking and competencies necessary for success. Nicole will assist with forward planning your career, helping you with promotional opportunities, defusing relationship struggles within the workplace, managing upwards, enhancing your relationships with your managers, peers, subordinates and clients and making informed strategic decisions to help you reach your professional goals. This may include identifying skill gaps or hurdles to your success and a recommended path to address these.
Effective career advice helps identify strengths and weaknesses to explore alternative career paths and options that you may not have otherwise considered. Nicole will help you identify the factors influencing your career development and will assess your interests, abilities, and values. Through this process of evaluation, Nicole will help you to determine your next steps and develop a plan to achieve your career goals. Outcomes of effective career counselling may sometimes be as simple as giving you new insights and tools to have greater impact and influence in your current role or it may result in a career epiphany leading to a change of employer, a new role within your existing employer or a radical career path change including self-employment.
Nicole has worked with individuals across a range of industries and job levels to support career goals including preparing for promotion, changing career paths, moving from paid employment to self-employment. This often requires reviewing career lifecycles. There are four career development stages through which most of us have gone through or will go through. These stages include: exploration, establishment, mid-career and late-career. Each phase can trigger overpowering emotions as so much of our identity is tied up with what we do for work. Being mindful and cleverly prepared for the various phases assists in our emotional and financial well-being.
Nicole has a proven track-record creating, implementing and monitoring a strategy to help her clients obtain a new role/new career path. There are many components to supporting Job Search Strategy which includes: defining the role you are seeking to achieve: ensuring that you have the skills and experience to realistically procure your desired new role; preparing appropriate collateral to support applying for roles/marketing yourself to the right people; resume and cover letter preparation; learning how to effectively read job advertisements (identifying and working with Key Selection Criteria); and shaping your resume, LinkedIn profile and covering letter accordingly. This service includes support with implementing your Job Search Strategy including: utlising your Network and LinkedIn contacts; applying for appropriate roles; contacting organisations you would like to work for; working with recruitment agencies; and preparing for behavioural interviews. Over her 25+ years in the corporate sector, Nicole has assisted many individuals to secure their next employment/business opportunity utlising the above approach.
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Nicole has specialised in providing Employee Assistance Counselling/Programs (EAP) for various organisations and employee types. Having access to a confidential and skilled psychology support service has assisted many employees to return to work or to proactively manage problematic situations at work resulting in reduced stress/personal leave and workers compensation payouts. Many factors impact our mental wellbeing. Organisations who invest in supporting their staff to proactively and confidentially access support early, reap the benefits with regard to productivity in the workplace. Nicole has delivered EAP programs and will be pleased to discuss the various ways such a program may benefit your organisation.
Nicole has worked with senior management teams, ‘C-suite’ executives and new/junior managers to improve their impact and influence within their roles. Her coaching skills focus on ‘soft’ leadership and management skills including delegation, how to empower your staff, how to build respect, managing high-potential and poor-performing staff, assisting with promotional opportunities, grievance handling, defusing relationship struggles and enhancing communication skills with internal stakeholders and external clients. She has worked with individuals to identify career goals and has created career development strategies, identifying skill strengths and gaps, to achieve these goals in a timely manner.
As Director of Feder Consulting Services (FCS), Nicole has specialised in providing commercially-savvy, outsourced HR support and solutions for a range of large, medium and small companies. Services offered address the entire employment lifecycle (hire to retire) including talent acquisition (search & recruitment), onboarding, talent management (career & succession planning), remuneration & incentives, employer value branding, staff terminations, OHS, updating HR policies & processes in line with the latest legislative requirements, grievance handling, Learning & Development, performance reviews and developing organisation & HR structures.
Nicole has developed and delivered a range of courses for small and large groups of managers and employees to enhance communication and leadership skills in the workplace. She has designed and delivered a range of client-tailored programs including: performance management, 360 degree feedback, team building, managing difficult conversations basic counselling skills and improved customer-service to name a few. As a licensed Myer-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) trainer, Nicole has trained managers in how to use personality types to enhance team effectiveness and to mediate conflict. As a licensed Master in DDI Targeted Behavioural Interviewing Skills, Nicole is certified to train other HR and Line Managers in this most effective technique of identifying talent. Nicole would be pleased to design and deliver a training program for your organisational needs.
Nicole is a founding member of the Australian Association of Workplace Bullying Professionals. She has gained significant experience conducting independent investigations in the workplace related to alleged bullying and discrimination grievances. She has mediated positive outcomes and has designed courses for managers and staff to educate them in their rights and responsibilities as relates to current Bullying and Discrimination OHS legislation. Nicole would be pleased to speak to your organisation about your current policies and processes in this area and to assist with any incident or training needs.
Nicole is an experienced workplace Mediator. She utilises a structured investigation and negotiation process to assist conflicting parties to identify and assess options and negotiate an agreement to resolve their dispute. Nicole will work through the stages of mediation which comprise the introduction; statement of the problem; information gathering;; further identification and review of the deeper issues; bargaining; and finally, settlement/agreement. Nicole would be pleased to discuss your mediation requirements with you to determine the best approach to move forward.
With over 25 years’ HR/Organisational Psychology experience, Nicole has been a significant contributor helping improve employees’ behaviour within the workplace. Nicole has undertaken organisation reviews and recommended/supported organisation restructures to enhance workforce effectiveness. She has developed competency and organisational values frameworks to support her clients’ vision and mission. Nicole has designed Position Descriptions, new performance management systems, introduced succession planning tools and processes to benefit employers and their staff. She has applied psychological methods to improve the overall work environment, including performance, communication, professional satisfaction and safety.
Nicole has designed and delivered tailored outplacement programs for small, medium and large corporates, supporting Managers and staff impacted by their roles being made redundant. She has advised corporates on downsizing communications and has supported Managers through this daunting process. Nicole has worked with individuals being impacted by redundancies/downsizing decisions. She has established Job Search support centres and delivered both group and individual outplacement support services.
Nicole has gained many years of public speaking and facilitation experience for a large number of Australia’s blue-chip clients. Her speaking and facilitation engagements have addressed various topics including: motivation; team building; bullying; vision and mission development; enhancing productivity; corporate strategy; HR strategy; managing culture change programs; building employer value and employer branding to name a few. Nicole would be delighted to be a Guest Speaker on a topic of your choice or to assist with facilitating your next conference.
Recruitment, Search and talent acquisition reflect an area of specialisation and expertise as reflected in Nicole’s corporate career, for example, having held the role of Australasian Group Talent Acquisition Manager for Amcor and having run her own highly successful recruitment business for many years. She has a proven track-record in filling difficult roles and has recruited across broad industry sectors from chefs through to CEO level. Nicole utilises a range of methods to fill roles tailoring her Search and Advertised recruitment strategies to the specific vacancy.