Born in Papua New Guinea, grew up there in the 70s before coming to Australia for boarding school in the 80s. Studied Arts and Theology in Adelaide, (South Australia) and was ordained a Lutheran pastor in the 90s. Served for a total of about 10 years mainly in rural parishes. I’ve also worked in agriculture, early childhood (‘Physikids’), as a high school teacher, in retail, as a delivery driver. Became a barista at St Bart’s Toowoomba then operated a coffee van business for 7 years: ‘The Encouraging Cup’ (thanks Chiasso coffee roasters ). I do portrait photography through wrlphoto as well as counseling online and in Toowoomba, which is near Brisbane in Queensland, Australia. I have a wife, 3 adult children, 2 grandchildren and a small dog.
‘Live for others’ was the ethos passed on to me by my missionary parents who spent close to 30 years in PNG. A good life motto, but I didn’t learn self-care. For a long time I was not able to find the kind of support I needed to sustain myself in ministry. The counselors I tried were kind but were not able to help me get to the pain and shame I felt about not being able to do enough for others. Changing my working environment and responsibilities gave me some relief, but the most important change I needed was on the inside.
In 2020 a counselor introduced me to IFS as a way to help me learn self-compassion. My personal interest grew into a keen desire to share the benefits I have experienced through IFS.
In January 2022 I completed the IFSCA ‘Stepping Stones’ Skills and Competencies course. This deepened my knowledge of IFS through someone who knows how to use and to teach the model well. It included experiential learning that was guided and supported by officially trained IFS therapists. I became aware of nuances, special situations, and how to use intuition. The course highlighted how important it is for a therapist or practitioner to ‘do their own work.’
I have continued to ‘do my own work’ meeting with colleagues one on one and participate regularly in parts practice groups. I tested the model for several months with my level of knowledge and skill, and was pleasantly surprised. The Encouraging Space became my priority.
The 3 levels of official training are difficult to access due to high demand and limited trainers. The IFS Institute is working hard to address this and I look forward to becoming fully accredited once I can get in. Meanwhile I am enjoying being able to offer IFS informed counseling, which I call ‘healing conversations’.
If you are ready to give this a go, that’s great. Use the contact form to indicate this and we can make a start.