An Interview With Karen Gosling from Marriage Counselling Gold Coast
In this Gold Coast Counsellor Test Drive interview, Karen Gosling answers some common questions about her, her counselling practice, and the tools and techniques she uses in her counselling sessions.
What are your areas of counseling and why did you choose this specialty?
My specialty is in helping people end emotional pain and find healing in every life. I conduct face-to-face counselling with individuals, couples and family groups who are dealing with marriage problems, relationship issues, adult add healing, and traumatic incidents.
Clients who come to me for help will most often be experiencing one or other of the following issues: emotional distress, severe sensitivity, generalized anxiety, panic attacks, problems managing anger, marriage problems, communication difficulties in their relationship, grief and loss, depression, drug and alcohol related problems, family conflict, separation or divorce, teenage behaviour problems, gender differences, lowered self esteem, adult ADD, and work place trauma.
What makes your training unique?
In my career as a counsellor, mental health social worker and medical social worker I learned to recognise the very real physical illnesses people get because of their emotional problems. What I have incorporated in my training over the years is a biological model. I teach about the brain and how it functions, how it instructs the body to kick off stress responses when it is under pressure or under threat. Once people identify in counselling sessions the events that trigger these physical responses, they are able to manage their emotional pain more effectively.
I explain to people that they will have initial stress responses to many things, and they can then use the cortex part of the brain to override that. For example, if a sensitive person feels they have just been criticised by the boss, he or she can use the thinking part of the brain and say, “The boss was just trying to make me a better worker and he does value me.” Or if a reactive person feels irritable and frustrated and lashes out at someone, he or she can learn to identify the triggers for his or her angry response and nip it in the bud before it impacts badly on family, friends or work mates.
How much does a session cost?
My standard counselling fee is AUD$180 per hour, for individuals, couples or family groups. But many clients will buy a pre-paid counseling plan to lower their cost, such as for 6 hours for $900 ($150/hr), 10 hours for $1,350 ($135/hr) or 15 hours for $1,800 ($120/hr). Often the costs are often recoverable through personal insurance. Australian clients referred to me by their doctor through a mental health treatment plan are able to claim part of their counseling fee through Medicare.
How will your training benefit your clients?
My clients will take away knowledge about psychosocial data that they can identify with and they leave my counseling room and seminars knowing how to manage their feelings better, and ready to build good relationships.
What companies have you worked with?
I have worked in Australia and South East Asia with 43 corporations, including DBS Bank, Visa International, Qantas, Nokia, Intercontinental Hotel Group and Davidson Trahaire Corpsych.
How long have you been a trainer for?
I have been in counselling for more than 30 years now, and have helped more than 3,500 individual clients from 83 nationalities in Australia and Singapore. I have developed public and corporate training seminars over the past 12 years in Australia and Singapore.
What was your profession before you started as a trainer?
I was a medical social worker in a major teaching hospital in Adelaide, South Australia before moving to private practice as a professional counsellor and teaching medical social work as a subject for the National University of Singapore.
What made you decide to be a trainer?
Over the years in doing individual counselling, I realised I was repeating myself again and again and teaching the same thing to people in the counselling room. It made me realise that people were finding this information valuable and that I should be broadcasting to more people.
What school did you graduate from?
I graduated from the University of South Australia with a Bachelor of Social Work and Adelaide University with a Masters of Public Health.
How can people contact you?
Visit my website www.karengosling.com or call me at 0413 750 699 (International +61 413 750 699).