ABOUT US

We are a collective of highly experienced, qualified counselling professionals who specialise in the field of occupational fatigue and trauma. We take a broad and diverse therapeutic approach that values hearing the employees stories of workplace stress and trauma. Each team member has the skills to be able to hear and engage with what clients say and respond effectively in a trauma informed way.

All of our counsellors are registered providers with Medicare and can accept referrals via an individual’s Local Doctor through a Mental Health Care Plan. If you would like to seek counselling support you can contact any of our counsellors direct and discuss what you would need to do to make an appointment.

The Counselling Collective

Bruce Perham

Bruce is a Social Worker, Family and Narrative Therapist. After thirty years of working in the not-for-profit sector, Bruce left the sector in 2008 and established his own business Let’s Talk Differently. Over the last thirteen years Bruce has, through his connection with several Employee Assistance Programs [EAP], specialized in working with First Responders and Prison officers around the psychological impact of their constant exposure to traumatic incidents through their occupation. In 2016 Bruce developed a training program ‘Managing Stress and Dealing with Trauma’ which was rolled out to the four high-security prisons in Melbourne. Throughout the course of 2016 over 450 prison officers attended the training which gave Bruce a clear insight into the enormity of, firstly the trauma experienced by the officers and secondly the significant psychological trauma reactions many were experiencing in response. Bruce currently provides onsite counselling to prison officers at three of these high-security prisons and has facilitated critical incident debriefing at Prisons throughout Victoria.

In 2017 Bruce was directed to the work of Dr Caterina Spinaris Executive Director of Desert Waters Correctional Outreach Service in Florence, Colorado USA. Dr Spinaris has worked in the Corrections field for more than twenty years and has developed a training course for Correction Officers called ‘From Correction Fatigue to Fulfillment’. In September 2017 Bruce travelled to Florence Colorado and successfully completed Dr Spinaris’s four-day instructor training. Bruce is now licensed to teach this course in Australia and New Zealand. A positive collegiate relationship now exists between Let’s Talk Differently and Desert Waters Correctional Outreach Service to further the mental well being of all who work in the Corrections industry.

In 2021 Bruce published his book ‘Code Blue-Prison Officer in Danger’ which captures his experiences of working in the prison system for more than ten years. More can be found in the Resources – Code Blue section of our website.

Marcel Kopel

MHSW, Post Grad Dip Gestalt Therapy, Dip Alcohol+ Other Drugs, Counsellor and Mental Health First Aide Trainer

Marcel has over 20 years experience in the helping profession in a vast array of settings including Counselling, Management, Teaching, Supervision, Training and Critical Incident trauma debriefing. Marcel spent 10 years working in the Drug and Alcohol fields and has a deep understanding of the connections between high stress/trauma and reliance on drugs/alcohol as a way of coping. Marcel is an Accredited Mental Health First Aide Trainer and has conducted workshops all over Victoria. Marcel has established his own counselling and training business Awareness Centre. Marcel operates from two locations Balwyn North and Knoxfield and can be contacted on 0422 955 084.

Kristine Thompson

BBSc, MA[Psych], MAPS, Consultant Psychologist

Kristine is a registered psychologist who has worked for over 20 years in the field of organisational psychology, Employee Assistance Programs and workplace training. In particular Kristine specializes in executive coaching and workplace support services, corporate training delivery and clinical counselling services.

Kristine has delivered training programs in assertiveness and communication skills, stress management, managing addictions, mindfulness, work life balance, mental illness, White Ribbon Accreditation [family violence training] and leadership. Kristine currently works as an independent psychologist in clinical and organisational settings, undertaking corporate training delivery, leadership development, EAP counselling and critical incident trauma management services. Kristine is primarily interested in supporting individuals, teams and organisations to reach their potential using the latest evidence-based psychological techniques.

For appointments contact Kristine at kmtpsychology@optusnet.com.au

Suzanne Doorakkers

BA, BSW, MSW, AMAASW, AMHSW Counsellor

Suzanne established Emerald Tree Counselling services 12 years ago and now has a team of 10 staff covering Geelong and the Surf Coast Region. Suzanne, and her team are professionally registered and accredited clinical counsellors providing specialist counselling around anxiety, depression, injury, illness and disability, work place issues including critical incident debriefing/counselling for employees who experience trauma as a part of their occupational role [Front Line Responders]. Suzanne has over 25 year’s experience in the counselling industry.

To make an appointment email us at hello@emeraldtreecounselling.com.au and we will call you back. Please remember to include your phone number.