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Clinical mental health, including psychology, focuses on diagnosing and treating emotional, behavioural and mental conditions which are seen as disorders (psychopathology)


Professional counselling supports people with a wide range of presenting issues and works with clients on strategies to overcome obstacles, personal challenges and adversity. 

It is a safe, confidential and collaborative professional relationship that focuses on empowering and enabling individuals to accomplish mental health and well-being.


Empower: helping people to discover or rediscover their own resources and strengths


Enable: helping people restore confidence in their own autonomy, self-directedness (choosing their own goals and meanings) and personal power


Counselling is a strengths-based approach. This means that it does not centre on disorders and deficits, but instead emphasises positive aspects of clients’ functioning, their strengths and potential while understanding and respecting the reality of any psychological diagnosis.


As such, it encourages clients to play an active role in their recovery while the counsellor acts as a trusted guide. The biggest benefit of counselling is that it provides a safe space to discuss what is going on in your life without fear of judgement.


These can include a range of topics such as:

  • Self-awareness and acceptance

  • Stress Management

  • Parenting

( discipline vs punishment, understanding the psychological and emotional development of children)

  • Goals and aspirations

  • Healthy Relationships

  • Grief and loss

  • Anxiety, and depression

  • Anger

  • Managing unhelpful emotions and behaviors

  • Relationship issues

  • Conflict Resolution

  • Life transitions

  • Work and career issues

  • Addiction

  • Coping with traumatic experiences

  • Abuse & Abuse Trauma

  • Assertiveness Training

  • Self-esteem difficulties

  • Self-efficacy

  • Exploring gender identity and/or sexuality 


Solution-focused counselling: is a strength-based approach that actively works toward solutions (the focus is on building solutions rather than solving problems).


It helps clients identify what they do well (existing skills, coping abilities, positive attributes, and behaviours) and how these can be used or built on to overcome challenges and adversity.


It invites clients to explore and generate a preferred future and set goals to work towards the vision of their favoured future.


Motivational Interviewing: is a goal-oriented, person-centred counselling approach that focuses on strengthening clients’ own motivation for and commitment to change. It does

this by helping clients explore and solve ambivalence, i.e. indecision, anxiety and confusion about the wished-for change It does not force change but supports it in a way that supports the person’s own values and assists the client to become more self-reliant and responsible

for the change.

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Sandra Marques


Montessori Teaching Certification,

Cert IV Training & Assessment Professional Counselling,

Mental Health (non–clinical), Community Services (Case–Management)

Sandra has 31 years of thoroughly enjoyable experience working with children, families, and individuals as an agent of support and guidance. Her journey into helping professions began in 1991 with her Montessori Teaching Certification in both Montessori and mainstream schools, going on to specialize in second language acquisition. Arriving in Australia in 2003, Sandra has been able to use her knowledge of child development and attachment styles educating and supporting vulnerable parents build stronger confidence, facilitated education early childhood educators and special needs schools, teaching their staff and Education Assistants. She also has experience working with domestic violence survivors.


After 10 years in parenting education and counselling 6 years as a Psychosocial Coach, 3.5 years as an NDIS Local Area Coordinator, Sandra has returned to recovery coaching & and counselling and is extremely excited at having the opportunity to embark into Customised Employment with Empowering Abilities Together.


Sandra believes strongly that holistic, coordinated care and support is essential in achieving meaningful outcomes for participants living with a disability or persistent mental health conditions. To enhance a participant's quality of life, support their utmost level of functioning, independence in the community, build on the person's resilience, strengths, health, and competence, the best approach is a recovery-oriented model. Staying true to her roots (the Montessori motto): "help me do it myself" her commitment is to focus on restoring an individual’s confidence in their own autonomy & personal power. By helping to discover or rediscover the client's own resources and/or develop the skills required to enjoy full participation in life, valued social roles and personally meaningful activities.


When Sandra is not working, she can be found spending time with her daughter, granddaughter, and best friend, playing her dogs and birds, or relaxing with her favorite authors Torey Hayden and Cathy Glass.

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