Janine Ayling is an approachable and empathic clinical counsellor based in the NSW Central Coast suburb of Tumbi Umbi. Working with individuals and couples, Janine has the ability to make a strong connection with her clients and quickly get to the heart of why they may be feeling overwhelmed or experiencing difficulties in certain areas of their lives.
Originally working in childcare, Janine has always had a strong affinity with helping people. Prior to gaining her counselling qualifications, Janine held several volunteer positions facilitating recovery programmes for individuals facing a variety of challenges as well as performing various leadership and pastoral care roles. It was during her time volunteering that Janine recognised she would benefit from a greater depth of knowledge in order to better understand and address the problems being experienced by those she was helping.
Janine began her counselling training in 2006 at St Marks Registered Training Organisation with a 2-year Advanced Diploma of Counselling. This was followed by an additional year’s study, also at St Marks, with a Graduate Diploma in Relationship Counselling. In 2011, Janine then went on to achieve a Master’s in Counselling from Morling College. On achieving her Advanced Diploma, Janine began her own counselling practice whilst working concurrently with Coastcare Counselling for 2 years, after which time she left Coastcare to focus wholly on her private clients.
Over the course of her counselling career, in addition to working with her clients, Janine has held various positions training and assessing trainee counsellors as well as speaking at a number of seminars and professional development events on a diverse range of counselling subjects.
Types of Clients
Janine offers counselling services to adult men and women facing a variety of different emotional challenges either as individuals or couples.
Whether you’re facing grief or loss, conflicts at work, relationship difficulties, parenting struggles, depression or anxiety, Janine provides a safe and non-judgmental environment in which you can be heard, understood and reassured. Janine aims to provide her clients with a greater appreciation of why they are responding in certain ways and how they might break their cycles of struggle and shame.
Janine has considerable experience helping people at all stages of their relationships deal with the pain, rejection and loneliness that can be experienced, even when part of a committed couple. Her sensitive approach to working with couples supports each party in feeling heard regarding the areas where they are most hurting by assisting them to safely articulate their distress. Janine supports couples in recognising the patterns and behaviours that have led them to this point in their relationship and provides workable strategies for repair, mature connectedness and renewed warmth.
Having assisted people from a diverse variety of backgrounds, each facing their own unique set of circumstances, Janine relies on her ability to establish a genuine connection with each individual and thereby understand and address their concerns. She also draws upon her training in various psychotherapeutic approaches as a framework for interventions that hold scope for change in the lives of her clients.
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)
CBT has been used as a psychological intervention since the 1960’s and is one the most commonly practised and scientifically proven forms of therapy to assist people experiencing emotional difficulties. CBT teaches people how to recognise their habitual negative thought patterns and provides them with the skills required to consciously challenge those patterns and make positive changes. Whilst breaking long-standing habits can be difficult, CBT enables individuals to regain control over problematic thoughts and bring about immediate improvements to their mental well-being.
Mindfulness Based Practices
Many people find today’s pace of life, and the unrealistic expectations they place on themselves, result in an overall inability to achieve and maintain equanimity. Rather than focussing on a task, or what is presently happening around us, we often become distracted by a wandering mind and unproductive thoughts. Research has shown that the more an individual succumbs to excessive worry and distracted thought patterns, the more vulnerable they become to anxiety, stress and depression.
For over 30 years, mindfulness-based practices have been shown to deliver a variety of physical and mental health benefits. Simple mindfulness practices create internal space to focus on the present moment without judgement and establish a path to quieting the constant, and at times overwhelming, assault from difficult thoughts that rob us of serenity and contentment.
Systems Theory explains a person’s emotional state as the combination of effects from various, interrelated ‘systems’ such as family, society and work. It supports the belief that an individual can be more fully understood when viewed as a component of the larger, surrounding system. This approach is successfully applied in counselling to assist people understand which systems are most profoundly contributing to feelings of distress or lack of well-being, so treatment can be better targeted. Because each system is interconnected, by making improvements around one system, the others are also positively affected.
Internal Family Systems (IFS)
An extension of Systems Theory, IFS is an evidence-based approach which goes further by describing how each person’s psychological state is affected by multiple inner parts or sub-personalities. Sometimes parts can be at odds with one another which can cause feelings of inner conflict and emotional instability. Gaining an understanding of how various parts function in their efforts to support the complete psychological system allows a person to experience self-acceptance, functionality and wholeness.
Emotional Focused Therapy (EFT)
EFT is an approach that has been successfully used since the 1980’s to give people a deeper understanding of their emotions, how to regulate them and ultimately how to transform them. EFT is based on the notion that our emotions form the neurological cornerstone of who we are as individuals and affect the way we think and act. By providing a framework that ultimately teaches how to address primary emotions that signal our core needs, significant improvements can be made to an overall sense of well-being, both individually and as part of a relationship.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
Many of us waste considerable energy worrying about things which are beyond our control – and then struggle to control them anyway. ACT is a scientifically proven mindfulness-based approach that emphasises the way to identify difficult thoughts, emotions, memories, beliefs and sensations and to cease struggling with them by changing our relationship with them. Once the incessant noise of the struggle has been respectfully ‘turned down’, commitment can be made to rich and compassionate values-based living. When individuals offer themselves kindness and acceptance in the place of self-loathing and shame, a greater sense of maturity and integrity results.
Benefits of Counselling
Whether you’re seeking help to deal with a specific life stressor, are struggling in your relationship or are trying to overcome behaviours and emotions that keep you stuck, through her counselling, Janine aims to assist in a number of ways.
Greater Self Awareness
A greater understanding of why you think and feel the way you do is possible, as is an appreciation of the reasons you might be struggling to make changes in your life. By enabling you to impartially evaluate your emotions, you will learn how you may effect positive change in your life and relationships.
If you’re struggling to deal with difficult emotions, chances are you often seek to avoid situations which may give rise to them. Unfortunately, greater avoidance tends to make these emotions even harder to deal with when they are encountered. Rather than constantly trying to shut down these types of emotions, counselling will enable a greater understanding of them and teach a variety of responses you can draw upon when experiencing them.
Setting and Achieving Goals
Whether you’re hoping to improve your relationship, reduce your anxiety or start to get over a significant loss, counselling will help you set realistic and achievable goals on your path to emotional recovery. By re-discovering the values you wish to ‘wear’ while you pursue those goals, you can begin to make responsible and lasting changes to your psychological well-being.
Greater Awareness of Thoughts and Emotions
Like many habits, continually thinking and feeling in repetitive, counter-productive ways can be challenging to stop. Together, you and Janine will gradually explore scenarios you currently find unworkable so that a fresh clarity and new perspective might begin to form from within. Becoming more closely acquainted with your typical cycle of thoughts and emotions can change the way you react out of them. Knowing yourself in this deeper way can allow for a calmer, more tranquil way of responding to the conflicts that are a normal part of life.
By becoming better equipped to deal with a broad spectrum of situations and gaining control over the way in which you chose to respond, you will reduce avoidance behaviour and build a stronger sense of integrity – of being ‘most authentically you’.
Working out what it means to live according to your values – and also using that knowledge to confront yourself rather than confronting the other person – goes a long way to creating a safer space in-between, so that dialogue might emerge from the conflict. By improving your understanding of your incredibly powerful and elegant internal world, you can start to effect positive changes regarding crucial interactions with your partner, family, friends and colleagues.
What to Expect
Janine Ayling aims to establish a sound emotional connection with each person from the outset. Consulting in a comfortable and informal setting, all information shared is treated as confidential. If you’re considering her services for the first time, Janine encourages you to phone, text or email her to book a session at a time that suits you. Appointments are available on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays, with evening appointments possible if needed.
During your first appointment, Janine will gather some background information and will work together with you to clarify your main areas of concern. As an integrative therapist, Janine does not rely on the same approach for every client but rather carefully assesses each person’s unique needs, respectfully holding space for those needs.
Whilst many of Janine’s clients welcome her services for the opportunity to be truly seen and heard, they also appreciate the fact that the focus of her therapy centres on their main concern.
Janine’s sessions generally take an hour with longer sessions available if requested. Whilst she generally consults from her Tumbi Umbi rooms, Janine is also available for counselling via Skype as required and offers both long and short-term counselling. Whether you need help dealing with an immediate, specific issue or are struggling with long-standing difficult thoughts, feelings or behaviours, Janine’s counselling service can offer support, perspective, hope and a framework in which to make personal and relational gains.