Our counsellors offer a safe space, underpinned by professional and ethical boundaries, to explore why you came to counselling in the first place and to support you throughout this time.

Our counsellors take a holistic approach and you may be asked about your health and wellbeing in general, as well as the presenting issues.

Joanne Byrnes

Counsellor

Pronouns: She/Her

Joanne has a master’s degree in Gestalt therapy and is also a family constellations facilitator. She has been working with Canberra’s LGBTIQ communities since 2008 and understands the added stresses that comes with being part of a minority community. Using a client-centred and systems approach, Joanne supports her clients to overcome their stresses and anxieties so they can achieve their goals and reach their potential. She works creatively, empowering her clients to experience themselves in new ways.

Joanne enjoys a rural life looking after the land and her horses. She brings her experience working with horses into her therapy to facilitate mindfulness and healing. Joanne spends her spare time listening to classical music, reading and going to the theatre.

Jade Wren

Counsellor

Pronouns: She/Her

Jade joined the AIDS Action Council to complete her Master of Counselling internship after concluding studies in mental health practice. Jade has a trans history and completed her transition nearly 10 years ago. She has a broad background in business and management and brings a wealth of professional and lived experience to her person-centred counselling work. Jade incorporates core elements of Gestalt, Schema, Dialectic Behaviour, and Interpersonal therapies tailored to the specific needs of her clients. Jade is responsive to the needs of all clients; however, she is particularly interested in working with clients who have challenges with their gender and sexuality; personality issues; interpersonal trauma; addiction, including alcohol and substance abuse; impulsive behaviours, self-harm and suicidality; career issues, including redundancy, work stress and retirement; and loss and grief.

Jade is interested in boats and sailing, photography and music, and she has recently joined the Canberra Gay and Lesbian Qwire.

Tom Skelton

Counsellor

Pronouns: He/Him

Tom is a passionate LGBTIQ and HIV-positive community focused counsellor. Tom enjoys his work at Westlund Counselling and the AIDS Action Council immensely, so much so that he commutes to work from Sydney once a week. He sees Canberrans as both interesting and insightful people. For Tom, the Canberran HIV-positive and LGBTIQ communities have a lot of heart, integrity and untapped strengths, and it is these qualities that keep him coming back. Tom has a Bachelor of Counselling, specialising in person-centred and strengths-based counselling with a strong focus on suicide prevention. Tom recognises that his clients are the experts in their own lives, and he demonstrates this through an affirming and validating person-centred approach. Tom enjoys walking his two dachshunds, going to the coast with his husband, sewing and all types of fashion, as well as interior, visual or abstract design.

Rodney Cole

Counsellor

Pronouns: He/Him

Rodney has practiced Gestalt therapy as a counsellor in the LGBTIQ communities of both Sydney and Canberra. He supports his clients as they deal with issues such as coming out, ageing, gender transition, sexuality and sexual issues, depression and addiction. Rodney’s approach is based on building awareness, exploring choices, and attending to his clients’ vulnerabilities and shadow sides, always seeking to give their unique polarities a voice. He uses creativity and humour in his sessions and encourages a focus on pleasure, satisfaction, joy and hope. He provides a space for his clients that allows them to re-imagine their lives. By empowering them to identify what they want out of life, he guides his clients to create change in their lives and achieve their goals. Rodney feels privileged to accompany his clients through their journeys and witness their personal transformations. Rodney enjoys searching for the perfect dumpling, attempting to perfect Indian curries, annoying his partner by watching Insiders.

Enquire Now

We welcome self referrals to our service, in addition to referrals from medical practitioners and other professionals.

To refer clients to Westlund Counselling, or to the AIDS Action Council Client Services team, simply submit your information and a member of our team will be in touch.

Client confidentiality is of utmost important to us. You do not need to provide your full name upon referral, just a valid phone or email for us to contact you on.

If you are a medical practitioner wishing to refer a patient or client please use our Referral Form.