Benzodiazepine Counsellors

Joanne Hansen

Joanne Hansen

BAppSc.(Psychology); BPsych (Hons); M Prof Psych.

Jo joined Reconnexion as a trained volunteer on the telephone support line in July 2007 and has since completed her master’s of Professional Psychology degree. 

Jo began counselling in the benzodiazepine withdrawal program in July 2014 providing support to clients coming off medication generally prescribed for anxiety, sleep disorder or pain management. Withdrawal symptoms from benzodiazepines can be distressing and protracted requiring ongoing support to minimise withdrawal symptoms and to assist in safe withdrawal.

In addition, Jo is a group facilitator for Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST), providing vital training to Reconnexion volunteers supporting people with thoughts of suicide.

Jo supports you to withdraw through tailoring a gradual reduction plan and providing ongoing support. She works collaboratively with you to establish your goals and to empower you through the therapeutic alliance, together addressing emerging issues including anxiety and depression. Her therapeutic practice includes cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), motivational interviewing, solution focused therapy, interpersonal therapy, schema therapy, relaxation techniques and psycho-education.

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James Szeto

James Szeto

BSc (Psych), Grad Dip Psych, MCounsPsych, MAPS

James is a psychologist with experience working with anxiety, depression,sleep disorders, relationships, trauma, and related substance use problems.  James first joined Reconnexion on the telephone support line team as a competency trained volunteer in 2011. Since 2017 he has been working as a Benzodiazepine Withdrawal Counsellor offering support to people withdrawing from benzodiazepines, and assisting clients with anxiety,sleep disorders or pain management.

James will work collaboratively with you to assess your particular needs and to develop a comprehensive treatment plan.  James will help you to gradually and safely reduce your tranquiliser use, whilst identifying and addressing related difficulties such as anxiety, depression, and relationship challenges.  His therapeutic practice includes cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), relaxation techniques, mindfulness, brief psychodynamic psychotherapy and solution-focused brief therapy.

 

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Erin Oldenhof

Erin Oldenhof

B.A. (Psych) (Hons); Doctor of Psychology (Clinical) Candidate

 Erin started with Reconnexion as a trained volunteer on the telephone support line early in 2013, and began working as a Benzodiazepine Withdrawal Counsellor in 2015 after completing her psychology degree. As a withdrawal counsellor, Erin will work with you to develop an individualised reduction plan from benzodiazepines, whilst providing ongoing support throughout the withdrawal process. She works collaboratively with you to establish your goals, empowers you through the therapeutic alliance, whilst also addressing emerging issues including anxiety and depression. Her therapeutic practice includes cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), relaxation and mindfulness techniques, acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), solution focused therapies, and skills training focused on emotion regulation and interpersonal effectiveness

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Phoebe Newman

Phoebe Newman

BA (Psychology); Grad Dip Psych; Doctor of Psychology (Clinical)candidate

Phoebe started as a volunteer on the support line at Reconnexion providing telephone support for 3 years and she has helped in creating the Benzo Support Group. She is now working at Reconnexion as a Benzodiazepine Withdrawal Counsellor and also has experience working with: anxiety, depression, grief, trauma, hoarding and adjustment disorder, and parent and relationship concerns.

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Rachael Broomhall

Rachael Broomhall

BAppSc.(Psychology);BPsych (Hons); Cert IV Alcohol & Other Drugs)

Rachael initially joined Reconnexion as a Telephone Support and Information Volunteer in early 2014 where she volunteered for two years. Rachael then commenced working in the Alcohol and Other Drug sector, gaining valuable experience providing individual and family counselling to people experiencing substance use issues. Rachael provides client-centred counselling through a trauma-informed lens and will work with you towards your treatment goals. She will assist you to stabilise and reduce your benzodiazepines in a safe and therapeutic manner. Rachael’s therapeutic practice includes cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), relaxation and mindfulness techniques, acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), and skills training focused on emotion regulation and interpersonal effectiveness.

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Raissa Donadon Berne

Raissa Donadon Berne

B.A (Psychology), B.A Psychology (Honours), Assoc MAPS

Raissa joined Reconnexion as a trained volunteer on the telephone support line in 2017 and started working as a Benzodiazepine Withdrawal Counsellor in 2020. She is experienced in working with people impacted by mental health challenges, and is passionate about promoting inclusive spaces for people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and members of the LGBTIQA+ community.

Raissa works collaboratively with you to develop a tailored benzodiazepine reduction plan according to your goals and individual circumstances. She uses a strengths-based approach to foster empowerment through the therapeutic alliance and supports you to address challenges that may arise during the withdrawal process, including anxiety, depression and insomnia.

Her therapeutic practice includes solution-focused therapy, motivational interviewing, mindfulness and relaxation techniques, psychoeducation and CBT techniques.

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