Individual Counselling and Coaching – Michelle Sparkes

Individual Counselling and Coaching

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Individual Counselling offers clients a private space to explore the connection between their eating behaviour, self and body ‘attitudes’ and life experience. The aim of individual counselling is to help a person develop an improved state of physical and emotional health and well being.

I can work with clients in a number of ways depending on their needs and goals and this will be discussed as part of the initial assessment process. I find working with an Emotion Focused approach particularly useful with disordered eating (provided clients are medically stable)* because of the way it honours rather than dismisses, the place of emotional experience (with its concomitant relationship to cognition and beliefs) in both the development of, and recovery from a disordered eating experience.

Emotion-focused therapy (EFT) is an empirically-informed approach to the practice of psychotherapy grounded in contemporary psychological theories of functioning and the process of change. Developed by Dr Leslie Greenberg PhD and colleagues in the 1980's, it has developed into one of the recognised evidence based treatment approaches for depression and marital distress as well as showing promise for trauma, eating disorders, anxiety disorders and interpersonal problems. For more information on Emotion Focused Therapy, click here.

Individual Coaching helps clients achieve specific personal goals by providing suitable training,  guidance and mentoring as appropriate. Coaching is a particularly valuable where a client has engaged in the small group program and wishes to further develop their life skills and capacity.​

“When I arrived in Australia two years ago I had been battling anorexia for over two years. I had improved from my lowest point but it was still a daily battle. I had received various counselling in the UK but although helpful to an extent, it never really felt like it was getting to the heart of the issue. WWTW SGP really started my recovery - it addressed issues that I had not even known were roots of my problem. After the course I continued counselling with Michelle. She was able to relate to my problems and really helped me address and look at the core issues which had led to my anorexia. Without the counselling from Michelle I know I would still be struggling with issues which had been beyond my comprehension."
Fiona age 22                 

To help you decide whether the small group program (SGP) or individual counselling (IC) will best suit your needs, please consider the following:

The Small Group Program is interactive and educational in approach offering clients a valuable and cost-effective alternative to individual counselling. Many of the underlying issues and general principles of recovery (common to eating disorders/disordered eating behaviours) can begin to be explored within a small group setting. In addition, participants may benefit from the perspective, encouragement and support of other group members.

Individual Counselling is process-experiential in approach, focussing entirely on a client’s individual material thus allowing a greater level of processing and exploration than is possible (or even desirable) within a group setting

“I found counselling very helpful. We were able to look closely at how I function and what doesn't work quite right yet [sic]. We could discover where things come from. That takes time and is really personal and could have probably not been possible in a group of people. It was truly wonderful and changed my life (even in just 6 hours)."

Leone age 23

Some women find group work to be sufficient for their needs, others do a combination of group and individual work, still others prefer to participate in individual work only.