Our Principal Counselor is Beth McHugh. She received the Dean's Commendation for Outstanding Achievement while gaining her undergraduate degree in Psychology from the University of Southern Queensland (Australia). Beth also holds a First Class Honors Degree in Science from the University of Newcastle (Australia).
Beth chose to make a career change, switching from science researcher to counselor, as a result of encountering life problems of her own. Her personal journey of self-discovery, involvement in support networks and academic training have all made unique contributions to the ideas and methods she employs as a counselor.
Beth's Healing Philosophy
My belief is that we can all improve our lives and that we already possess the ability to do so. My role as your counselor is to facilitate your own healing and awaken and activate the inner strength that lies within you.
Whatever the nature of the pain you currently experience, it can be changed for the better. I believe this, and, when you believe it too, change will be possible. I firmly believe there are better methods of achieving personal happiness than taking endless rounds of medication. I am not totally against medication, but my experience has taught me that while drugs can be lifesavers in the short term, they are not the ultimate answer to life's problems.
In fact, researchers are now coming forward and admitting that the commonly accepted idea that depression and some other emotional illnesses are caused by a "chemical imbalance" is simply a myth. Even experts as respected as the chairman of the United States FDA have come to this conclusion. Read more.
I believe in getting to the root of the problem rather than relying solely on the band-aid approach that drugs provide. Therefore, my aim as a therapist is to look at areas in your life that can be improved and then to look at unhelpful beliefs and thoughts that may be contributing to your ongoing distress. By slowly reclaiming your own personal power, the need for medication is lessened as you learn to develop your own permanent coping skills skills that you can then apply to any situation that occurs in the future. In a way, you will slowly learn to stress-proof your life!
I can best sum up my professional conviction, and consequently my hope for you and your recovery, in the words of Helen Keller:
All the world is full of suffering. It is also full of overcoming.