All posts by Gen

Counselling? Who, ME??

As I reflect on the nature of counselling and the clients I see at WholeHearted You Counselling Busselton, I am left wondering how I can change an outsider’s view of what counselling is. How can I undo the perception that it’s only for certain people who aren’t coping, who have “real issues”, or that if you have counselling you will be hauled into a world of analytical mumbo jumbo where the counsellor will judge your take on life, blame your parents for everything and dredge up every unhappy or clumsy moment since you were born?

Many of us feel that we SHOULD know, or that we DO know, how to run our own lives and we don’t need help with that… until we do and still we don’t ask for it. Crazy, isn’t it?

It never occurs to some of us that there could be an alternative way to be us, one that doesn’t mean returning over and over again to the same crime scene of ideas, patterns, behaviours, emotions or relationships that just don’t serve us.

Most people have a desire to live well and be authentic, and we kid ourselves that that would be achievable if only it wasn’t for all the obstacles in our way or our own personal character traits or family hand-me-down patterns. And we have this hazy notion that some day in the future, as if by osmosis, we will get there once we’ve wrestled control back from the hurly-burly of life. In counselling, we call that magical thinking.

Yet, the more we are exposed to this hurly-burly, the harder it becomes to put the game face on and walk out the front door.

We know when we are lying to ourselves about being okay, but we have become so expert at it that we can kid ourselves that in the bigger scheme of things lying to ourselves doesn’t matter just this one time, oh, and then the next and the one after that and so on.

We tell ourselves that change is uncomfortable and we’re too tired/numb/busy to face the challenge of going there, so we coast along until we hit the next bump in the road and the one after that and then the next one after that… you get the picture.

It does not have to be like that.

Plus, it’s not always about your head; your heart needs to be heard too.

When you gift yourself the time to press the pause button so that you can slow down or stop the momentum long enough to ask yourself a few timely questions and, perhaps more importantly, allow someone from outside your normal audience to ask those questions it’s common to find, to your immense relief, that not only is counselling helpful but it can be the gateway to living a more empowered life.

The beauty of counselling is that it can show you that you don’t have to be broken or damaged (although we can walk that path too) to desire a healthy change that can produce a more holistic and rewarding way to live your life. It doesn’t have to be long-term or drag every last bit of crud up from your past. Sometimes it is handy to have someone to validate your experience of being you and then to help you map out where to next and how best to navigate and negotiate your way there.

I liken it to finding an experienced tour guide when you are down on your luck in a foreign city and you have been going around in circles in the Ancient Quarter for days. No matter which turn you take, door you open or bus you climb on, you can’t manage to find your way out and nobody speaks your language. Then an experienced tour guide shows up.

Think about it… perhaps it’s time to press the pause button and take a chance on counselling.

Genevieve 0478 628 288

Hello To Me

“I thoroughly enjoyed attending this course. It was well presented and relevant… meeting others who all experience similar challenges was comforting” – DP (female, 50s)

Hello To Me is an 8-week group course for adults.

Over the 8 weeks we cover a range of vital life skills to help you gain an insight into the patterns and behaviours that are not serving you (in some cases you may not even be conscious of them) and to give you the awareness and confidence to change them.

Stress, anxiety and depression thrive on secrecy, shame and fear of change. Hello To Me is designed to get to the heart of that, build resilience, and give you tools to help you move beyond the trap you feel you are in right now.

Hello To Me is a closed group (max 10 people), so you’ll be working with the same people each week, which is great for building trust, sharing new insights and supporting each other.

There will be two facilitators, Genevieve Morrissey Counsellor and Karen Crutchlow Holistic Life Coach, guiding you through the program each week.

Our classes attract a wide age range – eg. the participants in our last class ranged from 20s to 50s with an even mix of men and women.

“I am confident now that this workshop has given me the tools to identify the way I feel, understand why I may be feeling this way and how I go about changing the negative feelings before it escalates into something it should never be” – AH (male, 40s)

The evenings are from 6.45pm to 8.45pm, with a break for a cuppa and cake in the middle, and all your learning material will be provided.

Every Tuesday for 8 weeks, starting on October 26th, 2021
The People Place, Busselton
6.45pm – 8.45pm
Cost: $205

With help from Lotterywest.

Booking Link

Anxiety – Let’s talk about it

Anxiety has so many forms and so many shapes that for lots of people it can be hard to put your finger on exactly when it began or maybe it’s always been there in some hidden form, yet for others it’s a crystal-clear moment that kneecapped them. I’m in the latter group. It’s an insidious condition that can strip you of self-worth, courage, spontaneity and your sense of ease in the world.

We know so much more about it now than when I first experienced it in the 1980s, thank goodness. Ironically, in this information-rich era you’d think that there should be a decrease in anxiety in the population, yet that is not the case. Perhaps it’s the downfall of this social media era that this complete overload of ‘who you think you should be’ and ‘how you present yourself to the world’ is now one of the main contributing factors for anxiety.

What we do know is that when we come together as a community and talk about our experiences, what works and what doesn’t, we gain a sense of not being alone on our journey and that in itself helps us step back on to the road to recovery. I would also say with some certainty that there is no one way to deal with anxiety; it requires a holistic approach involving the mind, body and spirit as they are synergistically linked to make and operate the best version of you.

On Tuesday, March 2nd, the non-profit The Paperbark Wellness Project is presenting Paperbark Conversations 4 at the Good Egg café in Busselton, around the topic of anxiety. I will be the MC for the evening, and there will be three well-respected local healthcare practitioners on the panel as well as an opportunity to ask questions and share your experience. Please come along and join in the conversation.

Tickets are available HERE


Counselling can help you move away from anxiety, depression, sadness, anger, numbness and isolation towards a future that feels more fulfilling. It can help you find the courage to challenge yourself and to take responsibility for who you are to help you become the best version of you. It can reconnect you to life. Start making the change today. I have sessions available. 0478 628 288

This Village Needs You – A Call For Help

The South West Wellness Symposium needs YOU!

Why a Wellness Symposium? Why are 20+ local healthcare practitioners volunteering their time for you?

This is such a beautiful part of the world and yet many of us are stressed, depressed and anxious, and that includes our partners, our kids, our parents, our neighbours – just about everybody!

These are unusual times, but a lot of us already felt stretched to the limit even before COVID came along and shook the bedrock beneath us. So, how are we as a community handling this? Where do we go to get help, or do we just struggle along doing what we’ve always done, hoping like hell that we can make it to the other side.

We know that the public health system simply does not have the capacity to be looking after us all, and nor should it as it is there to help those most in need. So, where to for the rest of us? We feel that we do not need serious help, but we do need help in the form of information, advice and knowledge that we can take away and act on. We want to be proactive with our mental health before we slide into the in-need-of-serious-help category.

But where can we find that sort of information at a local level? Who are the people in our community who know about how to live and deal with this level of stress, anxiety and depression, who want to offer a helping-hand and be an active part of the solution? They say that it takes a village to raise a child, and I would add to this that it takes a village to get us through the tough times while still feeling connected and halfway sane. Most of us chose to live here because we wanted more of a community feel as we recognised this as missing from our lives. This was something we felt that city living could no longer provide, so it’s totally ironic that many of us are still stuck in that slipstream of isolation. We wanted the village, the connection and the lifestyle, but we find ourselves still too busy or disconnected to know where to look for it.

Here’s the hard part though, the part that we often don’t want to hear… it is up to all of us to create that “village”! It’s not some magical place where we can move to and all will be well. It’s a bitch, I know, but we are all part of the fabric of that “village”, and COVID has shown us just how important we are to each other.

So, what does that have to do with the South West Wellness Symposium?

A collection of over 20 of this “village’s” health care practitioners and mental health advocates have volunteered their time and gotten together because we are passionate about health and wellbeing and about helping our community in any way we can through this tough time. The best way we know how to do this is by sharing our knowledge, expertise, life experiences, humour and wisdom, through sitting down together and having a conversation about the stuff that is getting in the way – the stuff that can be the underbelly of stress, disconnection, isolation, anxiety and depression. We know that we don’t have all the answers, but we do know that coming together and talking about the hard things and sharing our collective wisdom is a great way to start finding our way back to a more heartfelt connected life, not only for those who attend but also for the village as a whole.

But we need you to put your hand up and answer our call for help to do this! We need your support and we need you to play your part – to say yes to strengthening the bond of connection between us that will allow all of us to understand our own importance in the fabric of a healthy village and community.

This can be as simple as attending the Symposium, asking questions and sharing your own story of healing and struggle in relation to the topics being discussed or taking home something that you’ve learnt and passing it on to others. If it comes from our hearts we cannot fail to all prosper at a deep nurturing level, and this will ripple out into the rest of this village. Together we can start a process of reconnection, even with the smallest of gestures, and if we have the collective desire to do so then we can all play our part in turning the tide of stress, disconnection, isolation, anxiety, addiction and depression that is so endemic in our community. To quote Aristotle: “The whole is greater than the sum of the parts”.

That’s why we healthcare practitioners eagerly volunteered our time and collectively put our hands up because we too know that we are a part of the whole and we want to connect at a deeper level with you and help weave the fabric of our community together to the benefit of all of us.

With Love

Genevieve Morrissey

Here are some of the names of those practitioners who have put their hands up to start this ripple, will you join us?

Adam, Annie, Joanne, Jean-Michel, Mary, Rhett, Dan, David, Glen, Shannon, Aimee-Jade, Marion, Tara, Claire, Diane, Kirsten, Tony, Tricia, Sarah, Valerie, Sara, Karen, Sana, Melanie, Joanne, Monique,  Drew, Kamma, Monique, Libby, Steve, Lindy, Lee, Penny, Chelsea, Myriam, Katie and Michael.

So, please get a ticket to the South West Wellness Symposium October 31st 2020 and become a part of the solution.

Getting Through These Crazy Covid Times

What do I want from life? What is my purpose?

One of the hallmarks of COVID-19 has been its ability to unsettle even the steadiest of us, leaving us with a sense of heightened uncertainty, a lack of predictability and a threat to our sense of order – three of the core human needs that enable us to live day-to-day without apprehension or worry about our place in the world.

This can spill over into making us question our authenticity, our sense of self and the legitimacy of our relationships and our job.

Counselling can be like having a sounding board to discuss all that’s worrying you, all that you are not comfortable talking to your nearest and dearest about. It is an opportunity to get your thoughts a bit more ordered, to express those fears without your partner or family looking at you like you’ve just run over the cat and perhaps to have someone in your corner whilst you rethink your place in your relationship, your family or your job.

Give me a call if you feel like this is you and you’d like to have a chat about it. Counselling can be one or two sessions if that’s all you need to clear your chest of the weight of staying quiet. 0478 628 288

This That & The Other

Wellness Unwrapped and WholeHearted You Counselling

Genevieve and Karen invite you to join them for a roundtable chat online about the everyday this, that and the other during this time of isolation.

Over the past few weeks, we (Karen from Wellness Unwrapped and Genevieve from WholeHearted You Counselling) have found that getting together online for a chat has been invaluable in helping us to destress, balance and ground ourselves.

Would you love to join a group conversation that offers objective, compassionate support and an opportunity to connect with others in a similar boat?

Genevieve and Karen invite you to come and ‘sit at the table’ with them for informal but guided conversations about the everyday challenges and triumphs that so many of us are experiencing right now. This is a chance to tap into our collective wisdom, support, humour and love of the community around us.

“This, That and The Other” will run once a week online for 4 weeks, starting in the 1st full week of May, and there are 2 groups to choose from: Mondays at 1.30pm – 2.30pm or Tuesdays at 7.30pm – 8.30pm. Both will be small closed groups. Please book through Try Booking, and your ticket will contain your online Chatroom link. Tickets $40 for the 4 weeks.

Let’s Talk About It

Counselling can help you move away from depression, sadness, anger, numbness and isolation towards a future that feels more fulfilling. It can help you find the courage to challenge yourself and to take responsibility for who you are to help you become the best version of you.

During our sessions we will talk about the things in your life that are not working for you and why that could be so. We will look at how they serve you and how they hinder you by keeping you stuck in the same old patterns of behaviour. We will look at what gets in the way for you when you attempt change. With my help, you will learn to see yourself as someone who is on a journey doing the best you can with what you have and what you know. You will acquire fresh insights to help you move forward. We will look at your experiences and use them as your greatest tool to assimilate your past into a balanced and more wholehearted future.

My counselling is centred around five core themes:

  • Connection
  • Authenticity
  • Contribution
  • Vulnerability
  • Resilience

Having a healthy balance of these is what gives meaning, motive and sense to our lives. They validate who we are and reflect back to us our worth and our place in our community.

My work is informed from a foundation of a university degree and a background of personal healing and discovery of my own spiritual wisdom. I use my experience and intuition to help my clients learn how to discover themselves in all their complexities, to become comfortable in themselves and to celebrate the truth of who they are.

I offer 75-minute counselling sessions for both women and men  from my rooms in Busselton, Western Australia. I also offer these sessions via Skype or Zoom. Sorry I do not do couples counselling.

If you are not sure whether WholeHearted You Counselling Busselton is right for you, simply get in touch to arrange a free 10-minute chat with Genevieve on 0478 628 288

Health Care: Does It Have To Be One Or The Other?

This is a letter that I’ve sent in response to an article written by Samantha Turnbull (ABC online news) this morning. A link to the article is below the letter.

Hello Samantha,

How my heart aches just a little bit more every time I read an article like yours.

I have spent the last 14 years working as a counsellor (and most of that in addictions), and what I am seeing is a rapid decline in the general mental and physical health of our communities. What I am also witnessing is that it doesn’t matter how much more money or scientific evidence we throw at the modern systems of medicine, they just aren’t working and they are buckling under the burden of expectation we have lofted onto them for the last 70 or so years… and we will not be able to afford it for too much longer. We have never been sicker as a population.

We need to approach our health question differently, all of us that is, you included. You appear to be buying into the argument that one stream of medicine is better than the other, and this therefore assumes that people like me (who use and believe in both) are idiots for embracing anything “alternative” and that we are constantly being hoodwinked by an industry that doesn’t know its a*** from its elbow. It is so insulting! And all the while people are missing out on what will become best practice in the future, a collaboration between the two.

What I would love to see and hear from reporters like you is a story that has people who have real power in the health world, like Professor Dwyer, say “tell me more, Professor Myers, I am open to knowing what you and your colleagues have found”, not several derogatory ,disrespectful and reductionist remarks in an article with a slant that sets out to lampoon a professor and his organisation who are looking for real change and to imply that they are incompetent. This doesn’t improve our national health one iota.

How about taking up Professor Myers’ argument that there is plenty of supporting evidence that should have been included in the  NHMRC’s review of Naturopathy. WHY wasn’t it? If it was flawed, would not that become self-evident? Tens of thousands of Australians use complementary therapies, firstly because they work and secondly because they feel that the medical model can no longer see the forest for the trees and maybe, just maybe, there is something to be learnt from treating the body in an holistic manner rather than as the bits and pieces we’ve been reduced to.

I am interested in what motivates journalists like yourself to continue to ignore the huge body of evidence that is available that clearly shows that what is happening in the medical world is not working. Is it fear of stepping outside the square? What a shame, as there are thousands (yes thousands) of wonderful health professionals in Australia taking that risk every day despite the scorn, anger and lack of support associated with being outside the square. They know through experience and through positive outcomes for their patients that they are making a difference, and isn’t that the reason for being a healthcare professional? There is a fundamental truth in that.

This shouldn’t be a competition, and yet the media and this article seem intent on making it so. People’s lives are at stake every minute of the day. My colleagues (from a whole range of modalities, including medical doctors) and I could provide plenty of evidence of incompetence on both sides with life and death consequences, and I could provide plenty of evidence again on both sides of real healing and wellness because a practitioner was true to the oath they took when they cast their hat into the healthcare arena.

On a personal level, I wouldn’t be alive today were it not for some very skilled doctors when I was a young child. Equally I wouldn’t be the person I am now without the assistance of some very capable complementary practitioners who diagnosed and helped me through the resultant PTSD as an adult.

Please take a look around and catch up with what is already happening at the grassroots level in our communities, and it’s happening for a very good reason. The general population doesn’t lack intelligence. Dig deeper into the wellness side of healthcare. Thousands of us have, and we don’t have any problem marrying the two worlds together, and we are hungry for good solid truthful journalism that gives equal weight to both sides.

Yours respectfully,

Genevieve Morrissey

I am not associated with anyone in your article.

Naturopathy defended in ‘world-first’ study, but critics question university’s credibility