I'm Rachel and I've been supporting parents to navigate parenting challenges whilst building a strong relationship with their kids since 2007.
I'm an experienced Hand in Hand Parenting Instructor, Counsellor and member of the Australian Association of Family Therapists.
I KNOW That:
Every parents tries so hard to love their children well. We all have what it takes to do it. I'm here not because I'm a perfect parent or anything like that. I'm here because I've got insights and strategies that I've seen work so much better than rewards and punishments, star charts and time outs. And I think you might want to try these ideas and see what you think.
No expert can parent your kids. You are the expert (even if it doesn't feel that way right now). What you think and learn matters most.
What I can do:
Give you practical tools and lots of support and guidance to build close rewarding relationships with your children + compassionately navigate the inevitable parenting challenges (like troubles with aggression, sleep difficulties and struggles with separation). Plus I can show you how to have more fun day-to-day whilst nurturing yourself.
Share proven parenting strategies and insights from a range of places including: the not-for-profit organisation Hand in Hand Parenting (based on over 40 years of work with parents and children); acclaimed family therapist Larry Cohen of Playful Parenting; internationally respected Circle of Security Project + ways of protecting childhood through Simplicity Parenting. And more.
Professionally I HAVE:
Witnessed again and again how using strategies based on love, limits, listening and laughter transform families. I've worked with mothers, fathers, grandparents, family daycare providers, preschool educators, teachers, therapists, clinical psychologists, and social workers. I've journeyed with them as they overcome challenges such as separation anxiety, struggles with sleeping, or aggression difficulties; and I've watched them bring more connection and more fun into their day-to-day life.
Completed extensive training with Patty Wipfler, Founder of Hand in Hand Parenting; taken an advanced Playful Parenting program with Larry Cohen PhD (Psychologist + best selling author); and studied with Davina Muse, Licensed Mental Health Counsellor at Simplicity Parenting. They all have incredible insights into children's behaviour which are backed up by neuroscience and attachment theory (the science of nurturing parent-child relationships).
Mentored Instructors in training for Hand in Hand Parenting since 2012; plus I lead support calls for their online courses and do one-on-one consultations.
Contributed regularly to Nurture (Australia's natural parenting magazine) and The Natural Parent Magazine (a beautiful New Zealand publication) where I've explored how we can handle parenting difficulties in ways that nurture our children and ourselves. I was a speaker at the 2016 Natural Parenting Conference in Sydney.
Studied with the internationally acclaimed Circle of Security Project and the highly respected Neufeld Institute. Attachment Theory underpins my work.
Worked in community development and mediation projects in U.K. and New Zealand. Many of these initiatives revolved around supporting children and young people. I learned a lot about empowering others and conflict resolution which deeply influences my work supporting parents.
Ongoing professional support and guidance from my mentors: Patty Wipfler, founder of Hand in Hand Parenting; and Robin Setchko, LMFT. I regularly attend Continued Professional Development seminars and training.
When I'm not supporting parents, teaching classes, or writing articles, I can be found in the beautiful Bega Valley on the Far South Coast of NSW, Australia being challenged and delighted by my own family.
I live on a bush block with my partner, our two boys (6yo and 11yo), a Kelpie dog + some chooks. I get my greatest parenting insights from the inevitable ebb and flow of my own family life and from the stories other parents share with me.
If you want to know more, read on...
We've had an eclectic schooling journey: my 11 y.o. started out at a Steiner school, homeschooled for 3 years and now goes to our local public school (where he loves playing handball). My 6 y.o. started kindergarten this year and is excited to be learning to write.
We go camping lots as a family and somehow I've been persuaded to spend winter weekends camping in the Snowy Mountains. Brr.
I've always loved adventures and spent 8 years living on a yacht in the South Pacific which was home for my oldest boy until he was 3.5 years old.
Originally from England, I went traveling to New Zealand with my partner in 2000. We ended up staying a while before sailing to Australia in 2005 where we now live on firm land.
In case you're interested, I have a string of university qualifications: M.A. BSc(hons) + a Post-Graduate Diploma.
I almost never have a neat and tidy house + regularly forget to get my kids to brush their hair ;)