your counsellor & coach


Michaela Southby M.Couns. PGDip. Sexol. B.A.Comms., M.A.C.A

Michaela is a registered counsellor with a specialism in sexuality, and life issues impacting women.  She is based in Western Australia and supports women of all ages, sexualities and abilities wherever they are, thanks to Skype.  She believes everyone needs help sometimes, and support via a counsellor should be as natural as support for any part of life, eg via a GP, domestic help, physiotherapist or business coach.  

Michaela specialises in issues unique to women around key life changes, including parenting issues, ageing (and menopause), and sexuality. Family changes, career angst, relationship breakdown, self-esteem and body image, changes in physical health – these can all create challenges and anxiety, even leading to depression or hopelessness. Actually they are all natural stages of life that we have the capacity to manage and grow from… with a little help. 

The Garden Counselling offers all women a fully confidential, safe place to discuss their problems, and challenges with an empathic, non-judgemental professional.  Many people still find it hard to dIscuss personal issues for fear of being judged or misunderstood.   Telephone or video counselling from the comfort of your own space can be a great way to start.

Book an initial free consultation now

single dande

Michaela helps women of all ages find their strength, meaning and direction by listening and understanding your unique journey and challenges, and supporting you in a way that makes sense to you.   She helps you find your true Self by understanding the many (important) parts of you, and how they manage and protect you (even when maladaptive).  Understanding your self in this way leads to great freedom and empowerment and provides you with a tool to use yourself going forward (from Internal Family Systems).

Work may be brief and focussed on one particular issue, or it may be a longer psychotherapeutic process to address things that have troubled you for a long time.  This work can still yield great results quite rapidly – Michaela is solution-focussed and draws out your inner strengths and self-compassion to drive you forward. 

Together you may also explore mindfulness, restructuring thought processes, and re-examining your stories to shed new light, and meaning. 

Sexuality therapy can be as simple as sharing knowledge, getting comfortable with body language, or understanding intimacy. It may be helping you become congruent and confident with your sexual self/identity, in or out of relationship.

Book your initial complimentary chat now to find out if we’re right for you.

Michaela is a registered member of the Australian Counselling Association, and has a Masters in Counselling, a Post-Graduate Diploma in Sexology, and a BA. Communications. She has a long career in communications, training and facilitation, has worked with Relationships Australia and SECCA (sexuality support for people with a disability and their carers), and has completed further training in cognitive behavioural therapy and Internal Family Systems among other.  She is a parent of three amazing young adults, and helps other parents tackle the often challenging work of sex and relationships education.

Australian Register of Counsellors and Psychotherapists
Find her at Psychology Today

what’s the difference between coaching or counselling?

A counsellor will be able to work as a coach, but a coach is not qualified to counsel. So what is the difference?

Coaching is more directional, goal and future oriented, with often fixed timelines for tasks, and fixed objectives. You still get to be heard, and your personal strengths and challenges are explored, with a view to discovering your skills and values and mapping a route to help you progress in life.

Counselling, while still goal oriented, plays a more gentle, fluid role. It’s a support that follows your lead and addresses areas needing attention and healing. The healing can be psychotherapeutic – we look at your inner world, your many parts, your thoughts and beliefs, your childhood.  We aim to help you understand why you operate the way you do and to develop self-compassion – this can create lasting, powerful change, and great relief.  This may then create space for more constructed life-planning (coaching).

At The Garden, counselling and coaching are both solutions-focussed, believing you have the capacity to achieve your goals and their is evidence somewhere to convince you of that.  Both modes of help will provide you with strategies and tools to help day to day.

Still not sure? We can discuss what is right for you in a complimentary chat. 

Find out more here