Kids with Acute & Chronic Illness
Growing up can take tricky, unexpected turns. With personal experience and compassion, we are here to help both kids and families grow through the challenges of acute and chronic illness.
As a parent we want to protect our children in every way we can. When they are hurting, we want to alleviate their pain and make everything okay. Sometimes though, we can’t.
Having a child diagnosed with any significant illness, either of an acute or chronic nature can be heartbreaking and challenging for any parent. We not only see the pain our child is experiencing; we can also feel fear, anguish, anger, grief, confusion and helplessness ourselves. At times we may even feel powerless and out of control. A significant health challenge can shatter the hopes and dreams that we held, not only for our child, but also for ourselves as parents and for the family as a whole. Often, it can feel as though the whole world has been turned upside down and suddenly we find ourselves in a ‘new normal’.
So, how do we continue to parent in the way that is important to us, when we ourselves are feeling overwhelmed by the enormity of what is going on? How can we support our child as they negotiate their life with a significant illness, when the path ahead seems rocky and clouded in fog?
Having someone, with whom we can talk through our concerns can help us, and our children, in many ways. Counselling can help us:
- Respond more flexibly to difficult thoughts and feelings
- Learn what is and is not in our personal control
- Be more mindful and present in the here and now and less caught up by our concern for the future or the events of the past
- Become aware of our values and learn how to use values guided actions to strive towards a life that is meaningful us
- Care for ourselves and recognize when we need to ask for help
- Identify ways to support our child as they negotiate the uncertain and challenging path ahead
- Learn skills to enable us to respond as parents, rather than react caught up by the emotion or concern we are feeling
- Find balance in family life amongst treatment, doctors’ appointments, work, and other children/family commitments
Counsellor, Registered Nurse
Bachelor of Nursing, Grad.Dip Nursing (Mental Health), Masters of Counselling.
- Supporting parents
- Helping children and teenagers
- Living with chronic illness & disability, including diagnosis, treatment and prognosis
- Coping with grief and loss
I am an experienced Registered Nurse and Counsellor, having worked with adults, teenagers and children, and their families, for over 20 years. I have worked in many different clinical settings in public and private hospitals, and also in community mental health centres. As well, I have worked briefly as a telephone counsellor with Kids Helpline.
For the past thirteen years, I have worked as a Clinical Nurse Counsellor at the Wesley Hospital in Brisbane. In this role, I have gained extensive experience supporting individuals and their families, as they face significant health challenges either of an acute or chronic nature.
My counselling practice is client centred and compassionate. I strive to create a welcoming environment where people feel safe, understood and heard. I endeavour to build trusting, therapeutic relationships, and I value seeing people as a whole, and not by their presenting concern or challenge. I practice in accordance with my values of integrity, empathy, honesty, compassion, connectedness and acceptance.
When I am not working, I love spending time with my family, including two school-aged children. I am passionate about nutrition, cooking and eating whole foods and sharing this with my family.
Occupational Therapist, Director
- Continence specialist
- Developmental & sensory assessment
- Anxiety & behaviour
- Chronic illness
Since graduating from the University of Queensland in 2001, I have predominantly worked in the areas of child development and continence. However my greatest training comes from raising 3 children. My passion is to serve local families who are tackling tough issues such as wee/poo troubles, difficult behaviours, difficulties at school and unique sensory processing characteristics. My approach is informed by evidence-based practice and deep understanding of the physiology of the human body, however I strive to balance these with practical ‘real world’ solutions tailored to the individual family’s situation.
In my down-time I love time with my family, chatting with friends over coffee, card making and walking our puppy Sally.
Rebecca is frequently asked to speak on the topic of Paediatric Continence in Australia and wrote the Conquering Wees & Poos (© Queensland Health) learning package for other clinicians at the Lady Cilento Children's Hospital in 2011. If you are interested in having her inservice your team or organisation, please Contact Us.
Rebecca is registered to receive Enhanced Primary Care/Chronic Disease Management Plan referrals from GP's.