Frequently Asked Questions

General FAQs

What can I expect from a consultation?

My priority is helping you make positive changes that last. We will gently explore to uncover specific goals, responses, thoughts, attitudes, behaviours and feelings, empowering you to shift old beliefs and find strategies for lasting change.

I will gather information to help evaluate your situation, and together we will make a plan for treatment.

I take a holistic and solution-focused approach to help you transform your life. Sessions are tailored to suit your goals and the changes you wish to make. I may draw upon various modalities including mindfulness, hypnosis and NLP, depending on your needs.

How can I prepare for my session?

Be prepared to discuss what you would like to change in depth. Think about the reasons why you want to change, and also the reasons why you might want to stay the same. The clearer you are about your goals and what you want to achieve, the more likely you are to make lasting changes.

It’s also a good idea to wear comfortable clothes as you may be sitting or reclining for up to 90 minutes.

Where are you located?

Connexion Therapies is located in Suffolk Park with clients coming from the greater Byron Bay area including Alstonville, Ballina, Bangalow, Brunswick Heads, Lennox Head, Lismore, Mullumbimby and Ocean Shores, and beyond.

Do you offer sessions over Skype or Zoom?

Yes, if you can't get to my office, for instance, if you live interstate, you can still access my services online using Skype or Zoom. You will need an internet connection and a webcam with a microphone enabled. Make sure you are somewhere you won't be disturbed for the duration, and where you can sit comfortably facing the webcam.

What if I am on holiday or passing through Byron Bay?

Many people visit Byron Bay and the Northern Rivers region. This is a beautiful part of the world and a place of health and healing. Even if you are just passing through, I may be able to see you at short notice. Most people only need a few sessions to make substantial changes. Many of my clients have quit smoking in a single session, for instance. If you need support beyond your stay, we can continue by Skype or Zoom. We can discuss this when you get in contact.

Are your services covered by Medicare?

Medicare does not presently cover hypnotherapy, couples counselling or sex therapy services.

Some Private Health Funds offer rebates for hypnotherapy, however, so if we use hypnosis in our sessions, you may be able to obtain a rebate for this service. Please check with your health insurer or ask for details.

I also offer discount rates for concession-card holders, pensioners, and those experiencing financial hardship.

Are our sessions confidential?

I maintain your information in the strictest confidence in accordance with the law and Codes of Ethics of my professional associations.

Legally, I may be required to break confidentiality, for instance, if I believe you or another person is at risk or if a court requests my files.

Additionally, you may grant me permission to share your information with another professional (such as a GP or lawyer), or another person (for instance, your partner).

I also seek regular clinical supervision to ensure the quality and effectiveness of my work. As part of this process, I may discuss your case anonymously.

What are your qualifications?

Rest assured, I am a fully qualified clinical hypnotherapist and sex and relationships counsellor. 

I studied Sexology at Curtin University and hold a Master of Science in Medicine specialising in Sexual Health Counselling at the University of Sydney, and I have  completed Levels 1 and 2 Training in Gottman Method Couples Therapy.

I trained at the Academy of Hypnotic Science, studied process-oriented hypnosis and depression under Michael D. Yapko, PhD, and hold a Certificate of Applied Psychotherapy (Human Givens) with Human Givens Australia.

I am accredited Clinical Member of the Australian Hypnotherapists Association (AHA), a Professional Clinical Member of the Australian Association of Clinical Hypnotherapists and Psychotherapists (AACHP), and member of the Society of Australian Sexologists (SAS).

I abide by the codes of ethics and practice as set out by my professional organisations, maintain professional indemnity insurance and undergo regular professional supervision and professional development.

Do you offer group sessions or workshops?

Yes, private coaching and workshops are available in the areas of emotional wellbeing, effective communication and mindfulness meditation.

Keep an eye on our Workshops page for details of upcoming workshops, or get in touch to see how I can help.

What if I need to change or cancel my appointment?

Appointments are limited, so please let me know as soon as possible if you need to reschedule so your spot can be offered to someone else, and we can make an alternative time for you.

I usually send a reminder by text message or email prior to your appointment. Let me know when booking if you do not wish to receive this.

Cancellations within 24 hours of your appointment time may incur a cancellation fee. If you fail to give notice of a cancellation you may be charged the cost for the session.

For short-notice bookings and cancellations, I may request pre-payment of a deposit or payment-in-full to secure your booking.

When do you have appointments available?

Appointments are available during the day and some evenings.

For specific cases, such as 'marathon therapy' and workshops I offer appointments over the weekend on an as-needs basis.

Check Google or my Facebook page for the most up-to-date listing of my opening hours.

How much does it cost?

Fees (effective 1 January 2019)

Individual therapy session (up to 2 hours) $185
Subsequent therapy sessions (60 to 90 minutes) $165
Relationship Therapy / Couples Counselling sessions $135 per hour

Free 20-minute consultation available.
Pre-paid therapy plans are available.

Discount rates are available for concession-card holders, pensioners, and those experiencing financial hardship.

Many Private Health Funds offer rebates for hypnotherapy. Please ask for details.

Do I need a referral?

You do not need a referral, however, if referred by another practitioner or health provider, please bring your referral with you to your appointment.

Relationships Counselling

What can I expect from relationship counselling?

I work using the Gottman Method for relationship therapy, which is evidence-based (i.e. scientifically tested). This method involves an assessment phase prior to treatment, with treatment based on proven methods to help improve your relationships.

Assessment

The assessment phase involves an initial interview to understand what brings you to therapy, how you view the relationship and your goals for therapy. I also use this session to observe how you interact with one another.

You will each be invited to complete an online questionnaire about various aspects of your relationship. This online assessment helps us quickly and easily target your relationship strengths and opportunities.

I will then meet with each of you separately to gain a fuller picture of your family and relationship histories, and an insight into your hopes, expectations and commitment to the relationship. Occasionally at this point, I may recommend individual therapy before (or concurrently with) commencing relationship counselling.

We then come back together to discuss the results of the assessment and make a plan for therapy.

Treatment

Therapy sessions involve learning skills to help you interact more effectively in your relationships. I coach you through challenging conversations and teach you how to manage conflict.

You will leave with the tools to build healthier and stronger relationships, based on commitment and trust.

Maintenance and Follow Up

My goal is not to keep you in therapy, but to support you to get the help you need. We all know life gets in the way and we can slip back into old routines and habits, so my door is always open for couples to check in and revisit what they have learned, or to work on specific issues as they arise.

Is relationship counselling only for couples?

The tools and techniques I use are useful for ALL relationships. Whether you want to resolve an old hurt, mediate a difficult partnership or friendship, relationship counselling can help you learn to communicate more effectively and to manage conflict in a way that deepens understanding.

I coach people through difficult conversations so that each person leaves feeling heard and understood, and so that each person understands and hears the other. 

Sex Therapy

What is sex therapy?

Sex therapy is a specialised form of counselling that focuses on sexual health, that is:

  • Sexual function
  • Gender identity and roles
  • Sexual orientation
  • Eroticism
  • Pleasure
  • Intimacy
  • Reproduction

Sex therapy often focuses on a particular sexual problem, for example, with sexual function, or a sexual communication difficulty between sexual partners.

What happens in a sex therapy session?

The first step is to understand the presenting problem: what brought you to therapy? How is it affecting you? What would you like to change? How did the problem begin? Has it changed or developed over time? What else is going on that might be contributing to the problem, or preventing change from occurring?

We need to consider medical and historical information alongside your life circumstances. If in a relationship, this will involve taking a sexual history from each partner.

We can then formulate and agree upon the goals for therapy and devise a treatment plan. The plan may involve exercises or ‘homework’ for the individual or couple. Sex therapy is about education, re-framing, and learning new ways to approach sex and sexuality.

How many sessions will I need and how often should I attend?

This will depend upon your situation. My goal is not to keep you in therapy but to ensure you get the help you need to reach your goals, and that will vary according to your individual circumstances.

People typically attend sessions weekly. Depending upon your needs, you may reduce the frequency of appointments as you progress.

Where appropriate, I also offer more intensive therapy sessions (sometimes referred to as 'marathon therapy') where we conduct longer sessions in a short period of time, for example over a weekend. This mode of therapy often suits couples working on relationship and communication goals. If you are interested in working more intensively, let me know and we will evaluate whether marathon therapy is suitable to meet your needs.

Can I come for individual sex therapy?

My goal is to tailor the therapy to your situation and needs. You do not need to be in a relationship or to bring your partners to therapy.

However, individuals presenting for therapy who are in a committed relationship will often benefit from bringing their partner to at least one therapy session. Your partner will then be in a position to assist with your treatment goals and to understand their role in the therapeutic process.

I also offer relationship counselling and may recommend this course of therapy for you and your partner(s) as needed.

Conversely, I may recommend individual therapy where one relationship partner requires additional assistance or support.

Is your practice LGBTIQA friendly?

Yes, I work with a diverse range of people, in many styles of relationship, and with diverse sexual interests.

Mindfulness

What is mindfulness?

Mindfulness has been described as "the intentional, accepting and non-judgemental focus of one's attention on the emotions, thoughts and sensations occurring in the present moment." It is a mental state achieved by focusing your awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting any feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations.

Mindfulness has its origins in Buddhist meditation, with proven benefits for reducing anxiety and depression, managing chronic pain and health conditions such as IBS. Mindfulness can help increase your ability to cope and build emotional resilience in all aspects of your life.

Christine can help you get in touch with your present experience and provide practical strategies to incorporate mindfulness into your everyday life. Learn to relax, to be present, and experience the life-long benefits of mindful meditation.

Hypnotherapy

What is hypnotherapy?

Hypnosis is a natural state of deep relaxation. Therapy under hypnosis ('hypnotherapy') can help you make lasting changes by creating new responses, thoughts, attitudes, behaviours or feelings.

Hypnotherapy can help you:

  • Explore and resolve issues
  • Find creative solutions to problems
  • Achieve effective change.

Why use hypnosis?

Clinical and scientific studies have shown hypnosis changes the way we process information and memory. It provides an opportunity to learn experientially. While under hypnosis, we can take on new ideas and experience a shift in perception more easily. At a basic level, it is much easier to learn while focused and relaxed.

Hypnotherapy is goal-focused. It is about giving you the tools you need to make material changes, and hypnosis is a fast and effective way to achieve this.

Can I be hypnotised?

Around 20% of people are considered highly hypnotisable, around 20% find it difficult to experience hypnosis, and 60% are somewhere in between. This figure can shift, however, as most people find it gets easier to experience hypnosis over time. That is, the more you are hypnotised, the more easily you can experience hypnosis.

As I draw upon a range of modalities that do not require hypnosis, the degree to which you can experience hypnosis and your depth of trance will not affect the work we do or effectiveness of treatment. We will simply adapt the therapy to suit your needs.

Can you help me without hypnosis?

Yes, I draw on a range of modalities that do not require hypnosis. We can discuss your needs and tailor sessions according to what you want to achieve.

What will I experience under hypnosis?

Though everyone experiences hypnosis differently, most people find the experience very relaxing. People often lose a sense of time; they may feel disconnected from their body, lose sensation temporarily or experience a feeling of heaviness. Some people find it difficult to move parts of the body. Some people have limited recollection of the therapy, while others recall every word. You won't know until you try!

Is hypnosis similar to meditation?

Hypnosis is similar to meditation in that it creates a deeply relaxed and focused state. As in guided meditation, the hypnotherapist will assist you to focus your imagination and direct your attention. Hypnotherapy uses guided imagery to help you in therapeutic ways.

Will I lose control under hypnosis?

During hypnosis, you remain in control at all times. The hypnotherapist's role is to guide you safely into trance and help you make the changes you desire. We will agree upon the therapy approach beforehand, and at all times you have the ability to accept or reject therapeutic suggestions.

Can I be stuck in hypnosis?

No, you can't be stuck in hypnosis. Hypnosis is a naturally occurring state, like daydreaming, that people go in and out of all the time. Just as you can pull yourself out of a daydream, you can pull yourself out of trance at any time.

Are there people who shouldn't be hypnotised?

My priority is ensuring people get the right help. Hypnosis is not appropriate for everyone.

If you have a pre-existing mental health issue or a history of psychosis or delusions, I may request a referral from your treating doctor or psychologist/psychiatrist, or I may request permission to work closely with your treating doctor(s) and/or therapist(s).

If you are unsure, we can discuss this when you get in touch.

How many sessions will I need?

Many clients find they can make significant changes in just a few sessions. Some issues are more complex and may require additional work to resolve. My goal is not to keep you in therapy, but to ensure you get the help you need to reach your goals.

We can discuss your individual needs when you get in contact and agree on a treatment program that is right for you.

How Do I Get Started?

Free 20 Min Chat

This short consultation gives you the opportunity to ask any questions and ensure we're the right fit for working together.

Book Appointment

Get motivated, learn relaxation techniques, make better choices, improve relationships, live the life you want.

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