Kerry Laidlaw

Counsellor & Psychotherapist BSW(Hons),

GradDip C&HS, AdvDipGestaltPsychotherapy

Qualifications & Experience

  • Medicare Provider for Focussed Psychological Services

  • Advanced Diploma Gestalt Psychotherapy (4 yrs)

  • Graduate Diploma Counselling & Human Services (1 yr)

  • Bachelor Social Work (4 yrs)

  • Accredited Mental Health Social Worker

  • TAC Provider

I have worked in the community services sector for over 20 years, and in the area of mental health counselling, both as a private practitioner and community health counsellor for more than 10 years. My experience, training and continuing professional education in the field of counselling helps me respond to each individual’s needs in counselling, a vital aspect of the work. I have a background in the family violence field doing both the individual work of counselling around the mental health impacts of living in a controlling relationship, as well as primary prevention work through local government and interagency networks.

Professional memberships

Member Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia (PACFA)
Member Australian Assocation of Social Workers (AASW)
Clinical Member Gestalt Australia & New Zealand (GANZ)

Interests and areas of work

There are many varied and unique circumstances which might bring people to seek counselling. Anxiety and depression, stressors such as those arising in intimate relationships or friendships, the enormous demands and changed role of being a new mother, wanting to understand patterns in behaviour, both our own and others, are just some of the many legitimate reasons to seek counselling

I work most predominantly with people who are experiencing symptoms of anxiety and/or depression. I can help with strategies not only to reduce symptoms but also to develop an understanding and awareness of the circumstances which might trigger anxiety and depression and some of the ways to intervene early so that symptoms are less likely to become worse.  Sometimes these symptoms can arise due to stressful circumstances or events such as living or working in a stressful environment. This can include stressful family and/or intimate relationships either current or past, or workplace stress such as bullying, harassment or workload issues.

I also work with people to help build self confidence and self esteem, to further develop communicational skills, and to both manage and tolerate stress.  I can offer professional counselling and support during times of grieving due to bereavement or other losses such as job or relationship change, changes in life circumstances and other transitions such as retiring or leaving the workforce.

As well as the above, I have long experience working with people who have experienced trauma such as childhood abuse, past sexual assault, intimate partner abuse and other trauma.

As well as the more mainstream forms of counselling and therapy, I have a growing interest in ideas like mindfulness and meditation that spring from eastern philosophies and that are gaining greater traction in the treatment of depression and anxiety as research and technological advances give us more concrete evidence of their value. I am also interested in how neuroscience is helping us to understand how our brains can change and adapt and create new neural pathways that can relieve us from entrenched patterns of thinking that are both unhelpful and distressing and can fuel depression and anxiety.

I have a special interest in working with same-sex attracted communities and with new mothers.

Approach to counselling

I have a warm supportive and engaging style of counselling as well as a willingness to work with each individual’s need as it arises to question and challenge old understandings of themselves and others that have outlived their usefulness.

I feel that struggles and dilemmas invariably arise as we negotiate life’s course and I have a strong belief in the capacity of a supportive counselling relationship at such times to assist people in reconnecting to both their own internal resources and to those in their wider environment.  I take a collaborative approach in negotiating the way the work proceeds, and in responding to the hopes inherent in coming to counselling.

I believe I can offer an opportunity to explore as fully as required the depth and breadth of the particular concern that arises for each individual. I have a strong commitment to listening with an active ear and mind to both the spoken and the underlying story that accompanies the peak in stress that brings each person to counselling.


  • $120.00 per 50 minute session payable at the end of each session

  • A Medicare rebate applies with a referral from your GP.

Appointments & enquiries
Tel:  (03) 9489 1741



Hartington Centre

24 Hartington Street Northcote

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