Individual Challenges


A 20-something once said to me, “It’s hard being a grown-up.” And I thought, what an insightful phrase!


Yes, it certainly can be hard, juggling all the hundred and one demands of modern life. When there are questions to be answered, or it’s time to get back on track, join me for counselling and coaching that can give the clarity and direction you need.

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Some eight years ago I found myself in a personal and professional ‘wilderness’ as can happen to many in mid-life. I lacked direction in my life and felt frustrated that I was letting life pass me by with seemingly no way to change this, and that my quality of life was slipping backwards. I sought the help of Susie Tuckwell to assist me in learning how to get my life in order with life coaching.


Through a number of comprehensive working sessions, Susie provided the tools and the ‘push’ to help me learn to help myself. Through a number of exercises, personal analysis, direction and perseverance, Susie steered me through some difficult acknowledgements and through discussion and direction, let me see that there was a very positive future for me, personally and professionally. There were times when I would have been very happy to have stopped the course when confronted with difficult issues and decisions, however Susie’s professional, in-depth and appropriate counselling – and determination – brought me back to the table to continue.


Susie’s coaching did me the world of good. My cognitive ability improved tremendously and I have since purchased a home, and have developed my business dream – events that may well not have happened had I not had such excellent coaching from Susie.

Graeme, tour operator, 50s


Susie has been working with me for over a year now and she has taken me from a full on breakdown (I was basically an agorophobic, unable to leave the house and convinced I was dying) to the point where I have a new career and a normal life again. Without Susie’s advice and encouragement I would still be blaming myself for not being a success, instead of having been able to find success in a new place. Thank you, Susie, for giving me my life back.

Gillian (once an extremely stressed IT Project Manager, now a happy and successful copy editor and small business owner!)




In today’s busy world, it is hard to balance the demands of home and family with work and health, let alone managing those times when we somehow just know we have to deal with “stuff” from our past. It may take some time, but talking through those feelings with a trained counsellor can help:


Susie Tuckwell has helped me work through a mix of small and big hurdles at different stages of my adult life. At a superficial level this is stuff about work, money, love and parenting. Deeper down, it’s actually about wounds I’ve carried since being a child and the unhelpful habits I’d adopted to cope with them. With sharp insight and terrific empathy, Susie helped me link my current patterns to the past, but importantly, she connects that guidance to practical suggestions for being in the present – at work and home. I like that. And I like the way she draws widely on the foundations of good therapy as well as new research and writings. As a single parent, terrified of dumping my anxieties on my children, I’ve leant heavily on Susie during some dark moments. She was there, and she was wise.

40-something, national broadcaster, journalist and parent.



Sometimes, couples have lost the very things that brought them together, such as romance, shared enjoyment and interests. Sometimes, long-standing dissatisfactions with their sex lives, managing the children, dealing with family or money pressures and all the many hassles of daily life accumulate, leaving both parties feeling angry and hopeless. People sometimes become certain they have left it too late for counselling to make a difference.I have seen many couples who I have been able to help with getting their relationships back on track, with a mixture of straight talking and honest sharing, some recommended reading, guided activities, and lots of humour and encouragement.You are welcome to contact me to discuss your issues, before making an appointment.
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It’s not always necessary for both parties to come to counselling for the relationship to benefit greatly as this personal story explains:

 I am a 43 year old career woman with two children aged 11 and 6.  I have a history of depression and anxiety and “doing too much” until my life overwhelms me and I collapse in a heap.  For a long period after the birth of my first child I suffered from PND and was prescribed anti-depressants to help me with anxiety and insomnia.  I took this medication for 3 years, but found the side effects undesirable – being weight gain, lack of sex drive and daytime sleepiness (not a big issue for me).


 I would describe myself as a highly intelligent and highly- strung person with a need for constant stimulation, that would often lead to overstimulation and chronic fatigue as a consequence of my actions.  One person described me as “burning the candle at both ends and cutting chunks out of the middle as well”.  This is an accurate description.


 However, I managed to sustain this pace until my father unexpectedly died of a heart attack.  In hindsight he was the safety net for myself, my husband and other members of my family, especially my mother.  With him gone, my family members looked for me to fulfill his role and I couldn’t take the extra pressure.  At the same time, I also moved from Sydney to rural NSW, but retained my Sydney job and commuted each week.  Whilst I enjoyed this gradual transition to rural life, my husband resented my absence and the additional workload this presented to him – so he is now suffering from depression.


 To summarise – my father died, I moved house, my husband is suffering from depression/chronic fatigue and to finalise the list my 6 year-old son is a highly energetic, challenging child who requires constant supervision.  Its fair to say that the school holidays cannot end soon enough, as I’m looking forward to him going back to school and away from my care for 6 hours per day.


 Enough of the history.


I rang Susie Tuckwell of Being Counselling after a particularly difficult weekend at home.  During the weekend I had argued with my husband, self medicated with alcohol and was physically abusive to my son as a consequence.  My daughter being older was sensible enough not to provoke me, but my son is very impulsive and obstinate (wonder where he gets that from) and a simple request for assistance escalated to me smacking him hard enough on his bare skin to leave a red mark that was still evident some hours later.  I was horrified as what he had done did not deserve the response he received. 


 I started seeing Susie weekly to sort out the turmoil in my head and get my life back to something enjoyable.


 Susie has helped me enormously.  She has helped me deal with my anxiety attacks, given me real strategies for the insomnia (that work) and most importantly helped me to identify why I behave the way I do, what drives me to see only the bad things that go wrong and ways to assess my personality and negativity and counteract it.


 Today I am much calmer than I was in April.  I can think of my father without bursting into tears, I don’t have the anxiety attacks or lapse into rage and frustration over minor inconsequential things.  Just this week I was baking a cake and whilst preparing the icing I forgot to soften the butter.  When I tried to beat the icing, cocoa and icing sugar decorated my kitchen entailing a 45-minute clean up operation.  I just laughed at myself and started from scratch after the clean up.  No big deal.  In April I would have burst into tears and self recriminated about how useless I was because I couldn’t even make icing.  Now I think “I can make icing from scratch – that’s a good skill”. Susie has been a fantastic resource for myself, my family and friends.  Everyone has commented on how focussed, calm and happy I have been in the last 6 months.  I know that this is a direct result of the time I have spend with Susie.



Sometimes men keep away from counselling because they feel that coming to talk about their problems is weak or “sissy”. Sometimes, they get the message that, “As a man, I should be able to handle every challenge alone.” However, what we actually know from the latest research is that good relationships are fundamental to psychological wellbeing, social happiness and even good health. People – of either sex – who can reach out in times of stress do better. 

Research also shows therapy works best when there is a positive relationship between the client and therapist. So, together, we find out what’s going on for you. I’m trained to listen carefully to your story, without judgement, with acceptance and support. I also “tell it like it is”.


We work on re-creating hope, healing and meaning. The amazing thing about therapy is that enduring personal growth comes as part of facing life’s inevitable challenges.

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Here is Kevin, a financially-successful, retired man in his 50s from the North Coast, describing the benefits of counselling sessions which we did face-to-face, by Skype, by email and by telephone:


I would just like to pen a few thoughts on my dealings with Susie Tuckwell over the last two and a bit years. I was referred by my local Doctor. At our first extended meeting, Susie asked me to detail my issues with details on my life to date. I left the meeting with an assessment - which seemed harsh, but accurate – with an offer to continue the counselling


This I did and met regularly with Susie over the next twelve months or so. I moved to the country shortly after my initial discussion with Susie. Initially I thought this may be a problem but I am pleased to say that most of the sessions were done via SKYPE and this worked a treat.


Susie’s approach to counselling is to identify the issues and then bit by bit, rebuild the individual by both discussion and with practical illustrations and other aids to assist.


I can honestly say that after 12 months of working though my issues, I understood where I came from and what had influenced me. This helped me greatly to deal with the issues on a day-to-day basis at times and to understand and LIKE myself.


Whilst some of the problems still resurface from time to time, I feel that I now have the skills to understand what is happening, the situations to avoid and what I need to do to give me some positive energy and thought process.


Rather than counsellor, I would rather call Susie a life coach. A bit like a golf coach who builds the swing, and then from time to time will need to do a bit of tinkering to get the game back on track. 


In this case, it is the game of life.   


I feel that I can pick up the phone at anytime and discuss issues with Susie and I am very comfortable in recommending her services to others.



Having lived overseas and worked in many countries, I know the pains of relocating can sometimes outweigh the pleasures, and put strain on health, work, family life and relationships. If you are being stressed by change, I have a special interest in helping expatriates and people who are relocating within Australia, too.


I am a Korean and I have lived most of my life abroad. I still travel to remote places in the world as I manage IT projects in developing countries. Moving from one country to another in itself is not an easy thing to do especially when there are cultural differences between the two. Effects of cultural shock that follows entry and re-entry into a country are often unseen but it leaves a lasting footprint on one’s life. I spent a year in Sydney during my exchange student life at UNSW and it was my first time to live overseas on my own without my family. Despite my years of experience in the army it was not easy to adjust to a new environment. Sue was a great mentor during my stay. I was able to make my one year in Sydney, one of my best times in my life. It has been 10 years since my exchange student days and we still keep in touch. I find it reassuring and also wonderful to talk to her whenever I have questions in life. I once asked her what I should do with my life, a very philosophical question, and she advised me in several ways. Although I make my own decisions in life, Sue’s wisdom and advice have helped me in life, work and education and I look forward to her continuous support.


JaHeung, Koo, Project Manager, Korea Telecom