Warwick’s Stories

It is almost comical that Warwick had no idea what the word “psychology” meant when he started his university studies, considering how much it has formed his life’s purpose since. Looking back, Warwick finds it hard to understand how he missed out on exposure to mental health issues in his high school years, but he’s grateful that he discovered psychology when he did. It feels as though the decision to take that first elective Psychology subject at university was serendipitous, as though he was destined to be guided towards his chosen field. It has been evident ever since that he has found his life’s purpose to help and heal others.

Moving from Sydney to Coffs Harbour before the birth of his first child was a major career turning point. If it had not been for this move, Warwick would not have been provided the opportunity to provide psychology interventions to children, adolescents, and families in an acute public mental health service, as only a second-year psychologist. This experience gave Warwick an incredibly steep learning curve for working with a wide variety of clinical presentations, individuals of varying ages and cultural backgrounds, and training in a wide variety of therapies.

The rapid period of professional growth Warwick experienced working in the public Mental Health system, gave him the confidence to start working in private practice in 2006, specialising in working with children and adolescents. For a period of time, Warwick was the only Clinical Psychologist in Coffs Harbour that saw children, which also meant the only Clinical Psychologist diagnosing autism and Aspergers. This created yet another steep learning curve in Warwick’s career, as he worked with clients and families who were experiencing major challenges linked to neurodiversity. Although it has always been important for Warwick to work with adults throughout his entire private practice career, given the vastly different powerful dynamic that is presented when someone freely chooses to seek help (unlike most children and teenagers who are pushed to attend by parents).

One adult female client who Warwick had worked with since starting in private practice stated that she had been experiencing flashbacks and nightmares that had arisen due to re-visiting aspects of her past. This led Warwick to dip into his toolkit of cognitive and mindfulness-based acceptance strategies in an attempt to help this client better tolerate her intense emotional discomfort. The result of attempting to help this client mindfully ground herself while riding through the peak of her trauma-driven anxiety only led to an increase in her anxiety and her aborting the exercise. This is when Warwick realised that there had to be more effective ways of helping heal trauma.

Once again it seemed somewhat fateful that Warwick decided to attentively read an email that he had previously dismissed as unrealistic spam. The email claimed that training in this method could heal trauma in as little as three sessions. This was a major yet another major turning point for Warwick, as he began his training in modalities that offer experiences to clients in the therapy session that could create radical emotional changes because it worked subconsciously. The rest is history, and Warwick has now accrued several highly effective methods for assisting his clients to create substantial and sustained changes to their well-being and lives that truly thrive.

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When a flower doesn’t bloom, you fix the environment in which it grows, not the flower.

Alexander Den Heijer