An invitation to join our practice.

Tue 30 August 2022


Are you a Psychotherapist, Psychologist, Counsellor or Social worker looking to move into private practice? Are you concerned about how to establish yourself with a place to practice and gain referrals? Are you not able to meet the financial commitment of starting a private practice? Are you concerned about the potential isolation of working privately? 

We are a centre for excellence in counselling, psychotherapy and wellbeing located in Glebe in Sydney. We understand the difficulties of starting a new practice and are committed to facilitating the process for others. This is a unique opportunity for new practitioners to capitalise on their investment in training, and for experienced professionals to expand their practices. Our facilities are able to used on either a full time or part time basis. We offer daily and hourly rates that allow you to work as often as you would like. This allows you to build whilst minimising the risk and investment that accompanies starting a new business. 

Therapeutic Axis is a highly comprehensive facility. This includes six fully serviced rooms to practice in, a fully functioning office including EFTPOS and HICAPS facilities, computers, printers, internet and telephone. Our office presents a highly professional image and has reception Monday to Friday to help with appointments, messages and communications. 

We are perfectly located on St Johns Road in Glebe which is a short distance from the CBD as well as a short walk to many restaurants and cafes on Glebe Point Road. On street parking is also available and we can check your car for you while you practice to avoid unwanted parking fines. A bus stop for the 470 is just out the front of the practice and several buses run on Glebe Point Road. 

We have a well established and burgeoning referral network, our referral system is client centred, mutually beneficial and responsible. 

Therapeutic Axis offers a professional environment in which to practice in that it is populated with like minded individuals which provides a supportive and enriching environment in which to practice. Additionally there is a good network of referrals within the practitioner cohort. 

Scheduling can be done through reception during business hours or via our online booking system. Access is available for those practitioners with appointments outside business hours (early, late or weekends). The facility is secure, with a combination of locks and security agency monitoring of out-of-hours movements.

The most attractive feature of the centre is the fee structure for members. The shared facilities allow practitioners to join our practice, in a highly professional environment, while obviating the need for up-front investment. After a modest monthly membership fee, facilities are charged on a very reasonable per-client-hour basis, which ensures that your facilities expenses always match the income you derive from them.  At any level of use, the cost is less than that of maintaining a sole private practice with no reception or administration, and far less than maintaining one with the comprehensive features of Therapeutic Axis.

The best way to understand our practice is to visit us during business hours, tour our facility and talk to us. Alternatively you can contact us via phone on (02) 9692-9788 or email us at 




February 2022 COVID update from Therapeutic Axis.

Wed 02 February 2022


Hello to all,

We wish you a safe and prosperous 2022.

Just a brief update on our operations at Therapeutic Axis.

Firstly our receptionist is now back attending the clinic. The current receptions hours are 9am to 5pm Monday to Thursday and 9am to midday on Friday. 

Counselling services continue to be offered via Telehealth and on the phone and a number of our practitioners are offering face to face counselling. 

All of the requirements of NSW health are being observed in terms of indoors areas. Additionally all of our consult rooms and common areas have HEPA filter machines running 24/7 to alleviate issues with airborne virus and we continue to clean the common areas, consultation rooms and touch points regularly. 

Of course if you have symptoms then contact your Therapist and let them know and naturally stay home until you are feeling better.  

We hope that you all stay well. Your mental health is important to us and we will endeavour to continue to provide safe help and support. 

Therapeutic Axis. 

August COVID update from Therapeutic Axis.

Thu 19 August 2021

Hello to all,

Just a brief message to all in relation to our operations during the ongoing lockdown. Firstly, our receptionist will not be on hand at the office. We are contactable however through our enquiries line on our website and also on 9692-9788. 

Many of our practitioners are not working face to face at this time however some are in a reduced way. If you need to contact your practitioner don’t hesitate to call us on the number above, or alternatively if you have the number of your practitioner call them directly. 

Unfortunately our massage therapists are unable to practice at all due to restrictions. They will return once the situation changes. 

We hope that everyone remains safe and well during this difficult and extended lockdown. If you feel that you would like help through our centre call us and speak us about how we can be of assistance. 

Therapeutic Axis. 

COVID-19 update from Therapeutic Axis.

Mon 28 June 2021

Hello to all, 

Just a brief update in relation to recent outbreak and consequent lockdown of the Sydney area. As of the 28th of June 2021 we will be open with our receptionist attending the clinic.

Our clinic will be cleaned and maintained as per our previous statements. We would also encourage all clients to check in using the QR code and make use of our hand sanitisers. 

It is a requirement of NSW health that masks be worn in all non-residential indoor areas. This applies to our service also. Alternatively, most practitioners will be offering Telehealth. 

We encourage all current clients to be in contact with their individual practitioners in relation to how they will operate during this lockdown. If you are unable to contact your practitioner directly you can make contact with reception on (02) 96929788 at any time during business hours or contact us via our website. 

We hope that everyone stays safe and healthy during this difficult time.


New update from Therapeutic Axis

Mon 25 January 2021


Hello to all. We at Therapeutic Axis wish you a safe and prosperous 2021. 

Just a brief update on our services. Currently we are operating as normal.

We can be contacted at the office on (02) 9692-9788. We continue to offer face to face as well as online counselling.

As mentioned in our previous updates our spaces meet the requirements for Covid safe contact and are cleaned on a regular basis to unsure safety.

Although mask wearing has now been made mandatory in some public indoor areas whilst you are in counselling you are not required to wear a mask. However if you should wish to wear a mask during your counselling session then that is also ok.

If you feel unwell don’t hesitate to contact your practitioner as soon as possible to inform them. Naturally don’t attend your session if you are feeling unwell or suspect you may be infected. Contact your practitioner and alternative arrangements can be made around doing your counselling session online or postponing until you are feeling better. 

We hope that you all stay safe and well.  

Therapeutic Axis. 

Update from Therapeutic Axis

Tue 28 April 2020

Just a brief update on our services.

We currently are running our reception remotely from our office in Glebe. If you need to contact us ensure that you call us on (02) 9692-9788 if you’d like to speak to us about your counselling. 

We continue to offer face to face counselling. Our rooms are sufficiently large enough for socially distant contact  and we clean our practice several times daily to ensure the safety of our counselling spaces. 

We also continue to offer Medicare Telehealth Psychology as well as Online counselling for all of our clients who require that service. 

We will keep everyone updated in relation to our practice and our ongoing operations in this situation around COVID-19. 

We hope that everyone keeps safe and healthy. 

Therapeutic Axis. 

Medicare Telehealth Psychology

Mon 20 April 2020

Telehealth psychology is now available with all of our Medicare Telehealth Psychology practitioners. Check out our team on the website. Contact us and we’ll help you to navigate this new way of getting counselling and psychology services. 

The counselling is available on all platforms including Skype, Zoom, Facetime and also via phone. 

April Update, Covid-19 and Telehealth counselling

Tue 07 April 2020




To our valued clients

Your mental health and wellbeing is very important to us, especially at this time.

Therapeutic Axis has been and will continue to maintain all psychological services.  

We pride ourselves on being client centered, and will provide our services through various platforms dependent on your current need.

Counselling services are available online, over the phone, and some of our practitioners are still providing face to face. We are practicing all health and safety measures if you choose face to face.

Our response to challenges is always to be guided by Our Vision:

  • To be responsive to the needs of clients, the community, therapists and staff.
  • To provide a high standard professional environment.
  • To deliver services cost-effectively and sustainably.
  • To actively engage in prevention and health promotion activities.
  • To continually innovate, and redefine the meaning and application of the therapeutic environment.

This is a time of great change for most people. If you are already seeing one of our therapists it will be important to continue on with your process the best you can.

If you are experiencing anxiety, stress, conflict, confusion or despair, you are not alone. Please reach out via our virtual reception (02)9692-9788. We will be available 9-5 Mon- Fri. During our usual intake procedure we will do our very best to match you with a practitioner who best suits your needs.

You may take a look through our list of practitioners on this website to see the options they are currently offering regarding counselling services.

Unfortunately all our hands on therapies have ceased at the moment. This is for your wellbeing. And we look forward to being able to bring these services to you as soon as is safe.


Wishing you all hope, peace and good health.


Telehealth Counselling and COVID-19

Thu 02 April 2020

Telehealth Counselling is now available at Therapeutic Axis. We will have a more comprehensive update soon.

We are based in the inner west of Sydney which includes Glebe, Annandale, Balmain, Camperdown and Newtown. If you live in these areas you can also come in for face to face counselling should you wish to combine online with face to face therapy.  

Therapeutic Axis COVID-19 response statement.

Sun 15 March 2020



Your Health Is Our Priority


To all our valued clients,

Every day at Therapeutic Axis our team are committed to maintaining the highest standards of clinical practice. It is important to us for you to understand our environment and hygiene commitments at this time.

Sensible and practical precautions

With heightened concerns in the community at this time, we have sensible and practical precautions for us all to take to guard against any viral transmission.

We are committed to keeping Therapeutic Axis a safe space where you can confidently come for whatever type of treatment you are choosing.

Be informed so Everyone Can Stay Safe

Unless you are directly in contact with an infected person (in which case you will need to be self-isolating), the risk of you contracting the coronavirus is mainly from touching a surface on which the virus has landed, and then touching your eyes, nose or mouth.

A Responsible and Safe Approach

We are keeping all surfaces thoroughly disinfected, including door handles, light switches, taps, desks and arms of chairs. We will be asking everyone who enters the waiting room to wash their hands with our sanitizer. This way the risk of anyone unknowingly transmitting virus particles to any surfaces is greatly reduced. We will no longer have glasses at the water filter, for now we will have paper cups.

This means you can feel confident, despite the fact there may have been a number of people in the clinic before you on any given day, there is little risk of virus contamination of surfaces.

As you know information is changing all the time, we will post updates on our website, facebook and twitter as things change.

Please make contact with your individual practitioner if your preference at this time would be to have Skype, Facetime or telephone consults. Each practitioner will have their own protocols. If you access a Medicare rebate for sessions there may be limits for some clients. We suggest you contact your practitioner or call reception and speak to Shane.

PLEASE NOTE: For anyone who has had upper respiratory symptoms (cough, fever, sneezes etc) or has been in close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 or has been outside of Australia in the last 14 days, please contact your therapist for alternative arrangements. You will not be charged a cancellation fee.

Building your Yes and No muscles.

Tue 27 March 2018





Working out your yes and no muslces

Working out your yes and no mucles

Are you someone who finds yourself chronically saying “yes” to things that you don’t want to do? That extra shift at work? Those farewell drinks for someone you barely know? You want to answer “no” but it just doesn’t seem to happen.

Alternatively, perhaps you’re the type of person who breaks out in a sweat at the thought of saying “yes” to something? You’d really like to enrol in that cooking course, but before you can even contemplate doing so your brain comes up with 50 reasons why you shouldn’t do it.

Or maybe you’re someone who struggles to find the balance between yes and no?

If any of these sounds like you then perhaps you need to build up your muscles. By this I don’t mean you need to sign up to a gym and become a bodybuilder. Instead I mean that you need to develop your yes/no muscles. Just like any other muscle, your yes/no muscles get stronger the more you use them, and weaker when you don’t.

For the ‘yes’ people among us, this means your yes-muscle is well developed, but the no-muscle could do with some extra strengthening. If you’re more of a ‘no’ person then it’s your  yes-muscle that could do with being flexed more often.

So, how do we build up these muscles? First off, the good news is that each time you use your yes/no muscles it will become that little bit easier. The main thing is to stick with the four P’s – pacing, practice, perseverance and patience.

Pacing: Just as a bodybuilder doesn’t start out lifting a 100kg bar, you don’t want to start flexing your yes/no muscles in a situation where there’s lots at stake. Instead start out on something small and build up from there. For example, rather than starting out with saying no to your boss begin with saying no to that party you don’t want to go to.

Practice: Saying yes or no is a skill that needs to be developed. As with all skills it will only become second nature with practice and repetition. A useful tip is to plan in advance some phrases you can use, and practice saying these out loud. For example, “Sorry, but I am already busy on that day” or “Yes thank-you that sounds good”. Having some preprepared and rehearsed responses will make it easier for you to manage difficult situations.

Another useful tip is to buy yourself some time before answering. When we are under pressure the problem solving part of our brain stops working so well, which means it’s harder to come up with new answers on the spot. Taking away the pressure to answer immediately will allow you to think through your answer. For example, “I need to check my schedule first. Is it okay for me to get back to you in a bit?”

Perseverance: Changing a long term habit takes determination and commitment. If your default answer to things has been “no” for 20 years it’s going to require some effort to develop a new habit. You’re likely to experience challenges along the way and you’ll need to be willing to persevere through these times and not give up. As the saying goes, “If at first you don’t succeed, try try again”. Just remember, success doesn’t mean getting it right all of the time. Success is continuing to show up and trying your best in each moment.

Patience: Perhaps most important of all is the final P – patience. Building your yes/no muscles will take time and repetition. You wouldn’t expect yourself to be able to play guitar after one lesson, so don’t berate yourself for not having your muscles straight away. Instead, take things one step at a time, practice self-compassion and learn from each moment. Slowly but surely you’ll get where you want to be.

Once your yes/no muscles are more symmetrical you’ll have the ability to reflect on what you truly want and the strength to choose your answer based on what is right for you. That’s the real point here, choice. The choice to answer “yes” when you want to, and “no” when you don’t want to.

How does the media coverage of terrorism make me feel?

Thu 15 June 2017


How does the media coverage of terrorism make me feel?


 by Chris Ishizuka
Psychotherapist and Social Worker


Watching the coverage of the acts of terrorism in London I couldnʼt help but feel horrified, worried, upset, anxious, and apprehensive about the world we live in. Does this sound familiar to you?

Research since the 90s has shown that people who consume media coverage of terrorist incidents can be dramatically impacted. Additionally, it has been shown that there appear to be strong links between the media sensationalisation of terror and psychological consequences for audiences.  Responses to being exposed to images of terrorism can include distress, shock, fear, avoiding public places, anger, and pain. People have also been shown to experience an increase in symptoms of major depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), general stress, and feelings of anxiety or anger. Increased consumption has been shown to lead to higher rates of distress. A national survey of adults in the United States following the September 11 2001 terrorist attacks showed that those who watched the most television coverage in the days following suffered the most increased stress scores .

For those who already suffer from the effects of trauma, research has shown that the number of referrals to mental health services increases. Those who were close to somebody who was killed in a terrorist attack state that that media coverage was harmful to their ability to heal. All negative effects have been shown to be worse for children.

How can I remain calm?

Critical Awareness

Becoming aware of the affects the media has on your experience of terrorism in itself should help to lessen the psychological impacts. If we are able to stand back from our immediate reactions and observe ourselves consuming media coverage, we can begin to see how the media coverage itself makes us feel. We might be able to notice how the testimonies of witnesses to the incident or the reports of those who were killed or injured affect the way we feel. If we can observe journalists and broadcasters who work in the media in this way, we can begin to understand how they might be feel while they cover these incidents. Many networks will make time for ‘specialʼ news coverage that continues far outside of their normal broadcasting schedule. As people who work in the media endure longer and longer shifts bringing ‘rolling media coverageʼ of a terror incident it is small wonder that they become preoccupied and lose sight of life outside of the broadcast studio. As consumers of the news, we in turn are affected by the way media personnel feel about what they are reporting on.



As the cartoon above suggests – turn the tv off, put your smartphone away, close your laptop, jump off your couch, and head outside!

How do I manage my Children’s thoughts and feelings?

Children have a limited understanding of the world and how dangerous or safe they should feel about it. Their limited cognitive development prevents them from being able to observe their own reactions to media portrayals of terror.

The Australian Psychological Society on their extensive page suggest that primary school-aged children will likely hear about terrorism from their peers, other adults, or through the media. The APS recommends parents check in with children about what they understand about the facts and gauge if they are affected by them. Parents are encouraged to reassure children of the safety of the world they live in and to feel comfortable in asking questions about terrorism if they come up. Parents of children younger than primary school-age are advised to limit exposure to media portrayals of terrorism or adult conversations they cannot understand.

Presumably aimed at parents of primary school-aged children and older, a British children’s bereavement charity called Winston’s Wish put out statements following both the Westminster attack and the recent London Bridge/Borough Market attacks.

Seek help

If you or someone close to you feels triggered by media portrayals of terror you can contact the usual channels of assistance such as your GP, mental health assistance lines, or your usual therapist.

Mental Health Access Line : 1800 011 511
Beyond Blue : 1300 22 4636
LifeLine: 13 11 14

Chris Ishizuka is a social worker and psychotherapist and has worked with people experiencing crisis and complex mental health problems.
Chris is available for appointments by contacting Therapeutic Axis on 02 9692 9788.

References :
Australian Psychological Society (2017) Guidelines for talking with children about terrorism terrorism/
Hamblen, J. (2017) The Effects of Media Coverage of Terrorist Attacks on Viewers traumatic-events.asp
McElroy, D. (2017) Best way to fight terror? Turn off your TV and get back to real life
Offman, P., Mastria, M., Steinberg, J. (1995) Mental health response to terrorism: The World Trade Center bombing. Journal of Mental Health Counseling, v17 n3 p312-20 Jul 1995
Shoshani, A. and Slone, M. (2008) The Drama of Media Coverage of Terrorism : Emotional and Attitudinal Impact on the Audience, Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, 31j7, 627-640,
DOI: 10.1080/10576100802144064
Stitt (2017) Terrorism media coverage playing into extremists’ hands, academic warns helping-terrorists-academic-warns/8381780
Winstonʼs Wish (2017) Responding to children affected by the media coverage of the incident in Westminster coverage-incident-westminster/


Are our bootstraps really enough?

Mon 27 March 2017



Are Our Bootstraps Really Enough?

By Kate Hollingsworth – Social Worker Counsellor at Therapeutic Axis

Are our bootstraps really enough?

Recently, this Leunig cartoon caught my eye. It made me think about the concept of pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps to better our situation. The idea that if we just try hard enough, we have the capacity to change our circumstances. That we can overcome problems without any outside help. Therefore we should be able to overcome problems without any outside help.

Of course, even as I write this, I can think of many situations where it’s obvious that this idea doesn’t make any sense. No-one would expect a stroke survivor to recover without medical treatment and physical therapy. Nor would anyone expect an athlete to compete in the Olympics without support from a coach.

Yet somehow this notion that we should be able to manage life’s challenges and setbacks ourselves continues to pervade our individual and collective psyches. If we can’t do this, the problem lies with us. We internalise the problem. We aren’t tough enough, committed enough, good enough, clever enough…basically, we aren’t enough.

Unfortunately, this inability to resolve our difficulties can result in blaming and shaming, whether this is by other people, or ourselves. Many cancer patients are told to practice positive thinking as a means of fighting their cancer. When the cancer continues to progress in spite of this, feelings of blame and shame can arise, with the person believing it’s their fault because they’ve not been positive enough.

As a social worker and counsellor, I firmly believe that everyone has skills, strengths and inner resources which can be used for change and wellbeing. However, I am also concerned by the implications of this bootstraps mentality as it fails to acknowledge that people’s problems don’t occur in a bubble.

Human beings are social creatures. We belong to families, communities, larger society, and a global community. Within these systems, there are stressors and supports, social norms and values, all of which impact on a person’s wellbeing. I like to imagine that an individual is part of a hanging mobile. If you touch one part of the mobile, it will affect the other parts and vice versa.

Not every therapist works from this systemic perspective. Take anxiety for instance. Many therapeutic models treat anxiety as if it stems from within the individual. Treatment strategies include medication and cognitive and behavioural therapies designed to teach the person to think and/or behave differently. The responsibility for managing the anxiety lies with the individual, and if their anxiety doesn’t improve, it’s due to their shortcomings.

This is where I am trained to approach things differently. Not only am I interested in the client as an individual, but I’m also curious about the big picture that client’s life is located in. Do they have a good support network they can rely upon, or are they socially isolated? Are they from a socially/politically marginalised community? Do they have a sufficient income or are they struggling to make ends meet? Are they in stable housing or homeless? These social factors and many more can easily exacerbate an individual’s anxiety levels. It’s pretty straightforward really. If a person is living with a whole lot of stress and not much support then, of course, they’re more likely to feel anxious. This is why I don’t regard anxiety as being solely endogenous with no external contributing factors.

So what does this mean for the client who comes to me wanting help managing their anxiety? In a nutshell, it means I pay attention to the internal and external factors affecting a client’s wellbeing. I remember that difficulties occur within a context, not within a bubble. As a starting point, I work with the client to help them develop skills for managing and reducing their anxiety. Together we come up with strategies so that they are able to function within their social systems and not be as anxious. For some people, this is enough and that’s great. In every case, my job is to work with a client on what’s important to them. However, from a social work perspective, this is only part of the work.

Let’s go back to Leunig’s cartoon for a moment. Looking at the man, we notice that he’s not in the best of circumstances. Being a social worker, I want to know more about him. How has he ended up living like this? Why hasn’t he managed to improve his situation? What has happened to result in him having to beg for money? Does he have any income? If not, why not? Why has nobody put any money in his cup? Why does he think he needs to improve his situation on his own? Does he not have anyone he can turn to for help? Would he even be able to pull himself up by his bootstraps given his lack of shoes! How is it that in a first world country like Australia some people have enough access to resources and others don’t?

As you can see, once these contextual questions start being asked it becomes clearer that the solution is not as simple as him saving up the money to pull himself up by his bootstraps. He’s not starting from a level playing field in terms of privilege and power. We can assume that there’s some stigma attached to him being a beggar on the street. If this man was my client, the work would include working at a systemic level with the social structures impacting on wellbeing. What this would look like depends on the client, but the bottom line would be that I would shift the focus from his situation being solely his fault, and his responsibility to fix. I would consider how the other parts of the mobile either help or hinder his wellbeing. I would challenge those systems which perpetuate disadvantage and work to strengthen those that support him. To me, this is a social justice issue. Without consideration of how our social, political and economic systems affect wellbeing, we run the risk of perpetuating unhelpful systems and scapegoating individuals for not being able to resolve their difficulties.

Therapeutic Axis Expats Group with Alison Turner

Wed 01 March 2017

Expat group

Expat group with Alison Turner at Therapeutic Axis

What is Professional Supervision?

Thu 24 November 2016



What is professional supervision?


Professional supervision is a process of in-depth reflection by practitioners on their work in order that they continue to learn and develop from their experiences and provide quality services to clients or staff. It focuses on the ‘work’ of the practitioner and the structural and personal influences that impact on that practice. Through a process of critical reflection, practitioners can:

  • Enhance their practical skills
  • Increase their confidence and competence in working with individuals, families and groups
  • Consider specific issues arising from client work
  • Focus on their mastery of theoretical or technical knowledge
  • Seek support in developing positive self-care strategies to nurture themselves, reduce stress, compassion fatigue and vicarious trauma


Why do professionals need supervision?


Therapists, counsellors, health, welfare professionals and educators’ focus involves supporting the complex needs of clients, their families and others. There are many joys and challenges working closely with others who are dealing with intricate issues in their lives.  

However, to do this work effectively we need support for ourselves and to ensure we are providing the highest quality service to the people with whom we work. Supervision is one way we can work towards achieving this objective.


Who would benefit from professional supervision?


In the past it was assumed that supervision was only for new graduates. Increasingly, professions are recognising professional supervision is most useful throughout a career. This means that whether you have just begun your career, have been working for a few years or many years there is much to be gained from professional supervision.

Many agencies provide a form of supervision from line managers. In busy health and welfare settings it may only be possible to provide brief opportunities for reporting on client work. There may be no choice of supervisor. For those staff working in solo positions or in private practice there may be no formal structures of support.

Professional supervision that is initiated by the practitioner means you can choose a supervisor that suits your needs, your areas of interest and approaches to supervision that appeal to you.


What professional supervision is available at Therapeutic Axis?


At Therapeutic Axis we provide professional supervision in a variety of ways. Professional supervision can be arranged for a one on one session with (a) highly skilled and experienced supervisor(s). (not sure if Annie Crowe is joining the practice and wants to be included in this?)

We also offer group supervision either held at an agency setting or at Therapeutic Axis in Glebe. In addition, we can provide professional supervision to 2 or 3 colleagues from the same or different agencies who wish to work on specific issues in a group with a skilled facilitator.

Recommended frequency of professional supervision varies depending on practitioner’s circumstances, the requirements of their professional body and the supervisor providing the service. Some practitioners make a regular fortnightly or monthly commitment, others come for a few sessions to work on specific issues. Please contact Therapeutic Axis for more information.


Author: Moira Carmody is able to offer professional  supervision. 

Unfriend Sugar

Thu 22 October 2015

Just say ‘no’ to processed sugar sweetened drinks for your babies and toddlers.

Any sugary liquid given to your child to pacify their thirst has the potential to be detrimental to their oral health. When sugar is introduced in juice, cordial, honey or golden syrup on dummies, delicate taste buds become conditioned to crave sugar leading to dental caries.

Although baby teeth are temporary they are imperative to children’s’ future oral development. Premature loss can lead to ongoing expensive dental and orthodontic interventions.

Pre-teens and adolescents -‘Un-tweet the sweet’

An overload of sugar may lead to mental distress and unhealthy food choices leading to obesity as sugar tricks the brain into seeing it as a reward.

When stress is high and energy levels are low it is easy to mindlessly reach for a sugar hit.


Do you see sugar-free choices as ‘deprivation’?

According to the cancer council guidelines:-

600ml soft drink requires walking for 1 hour 20 minutes.

1 small block of chocolate requires walking for 3 hours.


S-sabotage – stop making excuses

U-undermine – identify triggers

G-gains – too many to list

A-adjustment and change takes time and effort.

R-responsibility for our health is ours alone.


Authored by June Astey – Psychotherapist at Therapeutic Axis.

Diets Dont Work

Wed 07 October 2015



All diets are based on food restriction in many different variations but nonetheless – restriction is the norm.

In a recent article featured in the journal Scientific American , August 2015 author Charlotte Markey points to recent studies which have consistently revealed that dieting leads to weight gain. Yes, weight gain.

Why is this so?

The unconscious mind will not be ignored and what we restrict using sheer willpower alone can and often will, lead to the “what the hell effect”. This is the thinking that says “I blew it by eating that one biscuit, so I may as well eat the pack and start again another day”. Research shows that the belief that one has violated their restrictive diet is enough to allow the abandonment of self control. In hypnotherapy we call this the law of ‘positive attention’. This means that what you restrict or have to constantly think about will end up obsessing your thinking – you may even dream about whatever it is you are trying to eliminate. This leads to craving.

Try this little test –

Think of a monkey.

Don’t think of a monkey.

Still thinking of a monkey??

This can also be enormously stress inducing, as recent studies have also shown that dieting or even having to ‘watch’ your food or calorie intake can increase cortisol levels (the stress hormone) in our systems. This can also result in weight gain. Dieting appears to be counter-productive.

What should you do?

Slow and gradual changes work best, alongside positive mental affirmations. Gradual and sustainable change is what the latest research recommends.

This is where hypnotherapy can be enormously beneficial.

Antonella offers a very effective weight loss program using the power of hypnosis and encouraging gradual and lifetime behavioural changes without dieting.

NO DIETS and gradual sustainable weight loss is possible.

Make an appointment with our hypnotherapist Antonella Franchini if you would like to know more about how hypnotherapy can help you achieve the size and shape that you desire.


When sweet is not so sweet-Sugar and Mental Health

Wed 07 October 2015

We all know that what we eat and drink has a big impact on our general health. Food is fuel, and no engine runs well with poor quality fuel and infrequent maintenance.

Physical health and mental health are linked in important ways. We have long been aware that exercise is one of the most effective cures for depression, excessive alcohol consumption can lead to depression and anxiety, and poor diet can affect energy levels and motivation.

What is now becoming increasingly clear is the very important and impactful effects of sugar – not just to our weight and physical health, but to our mental health.

The Science

Studies have indicated two main ways that sugar can create mental health problems. First, sugar suppresses activity of a key growth hormone in the brain called BDNF. BDNF levels are already low in people suffering with depression and schizophrenia. Given that people affected by mood disorders and mental health issues will often seek comfort with sugary snacks, a vicious cycle quickly forms.

Second, sugar consumption starts off a long string of chemical reactions in your body that creates chronic inflammation. In the long term, inflammation disrupts the normal functioning of your immune system, and can wreak havoc on your brain. Again, it’s linked to a greater risk of depression and schizophrenia. Chronic inflammation is also associated with heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, and cancer. So consuming excessive amounts of sugar can set off an avalanche of negative health events – both mental and physical.

Sugar may also compromise our cognitive abilities such as learning and memory. In a study by the University of California, six weeks of taking a fructose solution (similar to soft drink) caused the rats to forget their way out of a maze, whereas rats that ate a nutritious diet found their way out faster. The high sugar diet caused insulin resistance, which in turn damaged communications between brain cells affecting learning and memory creation.

Lots of people are affected by anxiety and, while there is no evidence that sugar consumption directly causes anxiety, the crashes that follow a sugar binge can certainly make things worse. Shaking, tension, difficulty concentrating and fatigue all mimic the effects of anxiety and so can create additional worry and panic for people already impacted by anxiety.

Hard to quit

If we know that sugar is bad for us, why not just quit? Some people do it relatively easily, and will often report that they feel much better for it. However, for many of us quitting sugar turns out to be much harder than we expected and, again, science is indicating some very good reasons for this.

Our bodies help us to experience certain substances and activities as pleasurable by activating dopamine receptors in our brain. Exercise, good food, or watching a beautiful sunset all activate our brain’s reward system – they create uptake of dopamine and let us know, “that was good. You should do that again sometime”. There are studies that now indicate that people who are prone to addiction have a lower level of these dopamine receptors. It means that that require a greater “hit” of dopamine to feel the same level of pleasure.  Some highly addictive substances such as cocaine and opiates provide that hit. They flood the brain with dopamine, creating a temporary high. The brain, being a smart organ and always working to create balance, attempts to rebalance this effect by lowering dopamine uptake, and so a “low” results whereby people suffer what we know as withdrawal effects. The only way to avoid these withdrawal effects in the short term is to take more of the substance. As our brain becomes increasingly resistant to the effects, we develop what is known as “tolerance”, whereby we need increasing amounts of the substance to create the same pleasurable effects.

Sugar bingeing creates the same massive dopamine high that cocaine, opiates and other addictive substances do. While eating moderate and infrequent amounts of sugar may not lead to tolerance and addiction, eating large amounts may well do, particularly in those predisposed to addiction or depression, as they tend to need the “big hit” to temporarily feel pleasure.

Those who binge eat are often judged as having no willpower and may feel hopeless and ashamed. The reality is that many people who binge eat or suffer alcohol or drug dependencies feel terrible to start with. They often suffer with long-term depression and other mental health issues, and do not feel the same level of pleasure or relief from the “healthy” activities that others do. They have fewer dopamine receptors and require that bigger hit to feel any level of relief. As sugar provides the hit, but also creates the low, they are soon trapped in a powerfully addictive cycle that, each time, leaves them feeling lower than before. The social stigma and judgement of others can compound the issue.

How counselling can help

The challenge for many people who “medicate” their painful feelings with sugar, alcohol or anything else, is that quitting the substance does not necessarily lead to them feeling happier. Although their physical health will undoubtedly improve, the underlying emotional or mental health issues that created the cycle still remain. If we don’t deal with what sits beneath, the chances of maintaining a healthy, happy life are low.

Counselling provides a safe and supportive environment to address these issues so that the need to avoid painful feelings and low mood states is no longer necessary. Quitting sugar, feeling healthy and experiencing peace and happiness are all very achievable goals once you have the right support. As we become clearer about the role of sugar in mental health and addiction, a well-informed and multi-level approach is obvious. GPs, nutritionists, psychologists and other mental health providers are becoming increasingly switched on to this issue. If you would like assistance in improving your mental health and quitting sugar, there is help available. Life can be sweet.


Mandy Edkins (psychologist)

Contact: 0401 293214


Meditation at Therapeutic Axis

Thu 02 May 2013

The next meditation course commences on Tuesday June 4th. If you would like to participate contact us on 9692 9788. Hope  to see you there!

Facebook, Twitter and You Tube

Thu 02 May 2013

Hi all,

We are now on Facebook ( ), twitter ( ) and we have a You Tube channel. Check it out and follow like us while you are there. And keep an eye out for interesting stuff coming up!

Thank you!


Learn to Meditate Here at Therapeutic Axis

Thu 15 November 2012



Commencing Tuesday 27 November, 2012 for 4 weeks

Time: 6.45pm – 8pm

Week 1

Introduction & breathing: a powerful tool for self healing and transformation

Week 2

Mindfulness: the art of being deeply aware of the present

Week 3

Yoga Nidra: a way to achieve deep physical, mental and emotional relaxation

Week 4

Insight meditation: a practice of liberation and freedom from old wounds


Venue Cost

125 St Johns Rd-$30.00 per week ($21 rebate eligible under Medicare)




Clara Luxford                            

0412 231 796                          



HSC Students-Tips to stress less

Wed 10 October 2012

Tips to Stress Less for Students

It’s that time of year again, for students to prepare to sit examinations. For students about to sit for their H.S.C, this may seem as the most important examinations of their lives! And whether it is the H.S.C or Year 7 English, this time can often be very stressful and add a great deal of pressure on students and their families. It is important to remember that a little anxiety can go a long way in achieving your best performance under pressure, and too much anxiety can often be associated with health concerns. In saying that, here are some basic techniques to help deal with exam anxiety.

Top Tips

  • Good preparation is the best strategy to reduce anxiety.
  • Try to block out panicky thoughts and replace them with positive thoughts.
  • Some anxiety is necessary for peak performance.
  • Practice a good relaxation exercise you can use in the exam room (see below).
  • Make sure you get enough sleep over the long term. You will need to be alert in exams.


Hints on preparing for Exams

  • For peak performance keep regular, proper eating, and sleeping and exercise patterns.
  • Take regular recreation breaks.
  • Find out what is required for the exam; including, what will be covered and what will be omitted?
  • Know the types of questions to expect: essay, multiple choice, short-answer.
  • Keep a positive attitude and remind yourself of all the good consequences of success and recall past successors.


Strategies for Sleeping Soundly

  • Plan time for exercise, but avoid strenuous exercise right before bedtime.
  • Use your bed only for sleeping, not for eating, studying etc.
  • Develop a consistent sleep pattern and stick to it! Go to sleep and get up around the same time each morning.
  • If you do not fall asleep within 30 minutes, get out of bed and do something boring and repetitive in a dim light till you are sleepy, i.e. stacking a deck of cards.
  • Avoid caffeine (found in coffee and most teas) within 6 hours of bedtime.
  • Do some form of relaxation each day, i.e. relaxation exercises, aromatherapy.



Natural Remedies for Sleeping Soundly

  • A warm bath or shower
  • A glass of warm milk (about 1-2 hours before bed)
  • Chamomile Tea
  • Essentials oils such as Lavendar and Ylang Ylang, have calming and soothing to nerves properties, and assists with relief from insomnia, nervous exhaustion and stress. Are non-toxic and non-irritant oils.


Parents can be of great support to their children during exam times- providing emotional support and structure in the household. Parents should keep in mind that exams such as the H.S.C do not define who your child is and it is often helpful to remind your son or daughter of their talents and strengths.

Relaxation exercise

1. Breath out slowly

Drop your shoulders

2. Relax your face and release your jaw

Let your eyebrows spread apart

3. Keep your breathing easy and quiet

4. Say “relax” to yourself as you breathe out

Practice these techniques

as many times during the

day as possible.


Connected, but alone?

Tue 08 May 2012

Hello again. The following is a link to a great video from Sherry Turkle a professor in Sociology and Psychology in the USA. This is a talk on how our online connectedness affects us in our lives. A quote from the video explains:

“As we expect more from technology, do we expect less from each other? Sherry Turkle studies how our devices and online personas are redefining human connection and communication — and asks us to think deeply about the new kinds of connection we want to have”

Click here to watch.

How we decide

Tue 05 April 2011


Below is a link to a talk given by Jonah Lehrer who is a neuroscientist, journalist and author. He writes principally on the subjects of psychology and neuroscience. Most interestingly he has written on the subject of how neuroscience is confirming insights made by philosophers and psychotherapists over the years. This talk is concerned with neuro-scientific explanations for things such as intuition and a rather novel explanation for the attraction of gambling. It is a preface to his book The Decisive Moment. This is a curious and entertaining talk…

How we decide – Jonah Lehrer

Welcome to the new Therapeutic Axis website

Thu 10 March 2011


Welcome to our updated site. Our blog will have interesting and exciting information about counselling and psychotherapy as well as massage and the alternative therapy services we offer. You can keep up to date on the development of our online and corporate services at Therapeutic Axis and read interesting articles relating to current thought and development in counselling, psychotherapy and related fields.

Therapeutic Axis team.