The Fresh Start Recovery counselling team consists of four professionally trained (male and female) staff providing a range of services and approaches geared toward individuals, couples and families.
Our service helps people address their substance use and the impact it may be having on their lives. Alcohol and other drug use can adversely affect relationships, health, work, mental state and other areas of functioning. Counselling aims to help people with addictions to focus on underlying issues that have previously contributed to continued drug use and subsequent relapse. Issues underpinning or accompanying drug use might include trauma, depression, grief and loss, behavioural problems or anxiety.
Using a range of tools for discussion, all our counsellors adopt an integrated person-centred and collaborative approach, ensuring that clients determine their own treatment goals and are actively involved in developing their own recovery plans.
Our Counselling & Psychological Team
Tony has trained as a neuropsychiatrist in his former home of Croatia and emigrated to Australia 25 years ago. Since coming to Australia Tony has been a psychotherapist at Fresh Start for 20 years and is the counselling team lead. Tony’s approach is based on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). This counselling approach focusses on self-reflection and introspective training to understand addictive behaviour in the context which it occurs and such allow a conscious choice to change. Tony is available for sessions 5 days per week.
Sam is a Provisionally Registered Psychologist and works at Fresh Start four days per week. Sam provides a warm and authentic safe place to for clients to explore positive changes to their drug use behaviours. He also supports clients to explore associated difficult emotions and experiences to develop a better understanding and tolerance of these. His main approach is motivational and skills based, based on Motivational Interviewing and Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT). This involves building the desire to change as well as development of emotion regulation skills, healthy boundaries and coping skills. Sam also has knowledge of a range of other psychological intervention frameworks as well as addiction medicine theory and psychopharmacology.
Dawson is a Clinical Psychologist and available to see clients at Fresh Start on Tuesdays and Thursdays. He is deeply committed to his role in helping others gain insight and find relief from distress as well as develop positive life skills. Dawson draws on a range of evidence-based interventions such as Schema Therapy and Mentalising Based Treatment to support client’s adjustment and manage mental/emotional difficulties. He has a particular interest in parenting and family relationships. Most importantly, he has a genuinely open/curious approach and provides a safe place to explore difficult issues.
Rhonda has been with Fresh Start since our very beginnings. Rhonda is a families and youth expert. She focusses on supporting people to make positive choices regarding their drug use, make positive life decisions and resolve impulsive behaviour. In addition to her extensive experience supporting Fresh Start clients with their drug and alcohol use, Rhonda also has a depth of experience in youth counselling and support from long term experience working in various youth drug services. She also has extensive experience in drug and alcohol related couples counselling. Rhonda is available for sessions on Wednesdays only.