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Let your human side shine through, says Family Room founder

Let your human side shine through, says Family Room founder

Published:09 February 2018

CQUni Alumnus Rachael Lovett.

Extensive experience as a teacher, guidance counsellor and psychologist has taught Rachael Lovett some important home truths about engaging with clients.

“I’ve learned to be as authentic as possible,” says the CQUniversity Alumnus.

“If you display some emotion after hearing a heart-rending story then that’s ok – in fact it can even be quite powerful for the therapeutic relationship.

“Yes – you remain professional as a counsellor and psychologist but you also need your humanness to shine through in your sessions. We are not robots!

“A transparent approach, even admitting when you have made mistakes, builds relationships and allows clients to be transparent and admit their own flaws.”

Rachael has founded 'The Family Room' in the Redlands area of Brisbane to offer psychological services in the form of counselling, therapy, workshops and psychological assessment.

Clients are also invited to play with or cuddle the facility dog, Lorna.

As early as her teenage years, Rachael felt a strong pull towards furthering the well-being of children.

“My mum played squash with a guidance counsellor called Robyn. Robyn ended up taking me under her wing for grade 10 work experience and I loved it! It was fascinating watching the administration of intelligence tests, conducting observations and watching intensive individualised parenting behind one-way glass.

“I did not initially have the OP Score to enrol in Psychology so I went into the field of education, knowing I could do postgraduate study to become a guidance counsellor. I also wanted to understand the typical developmental trajectory of children before moving into the atypical. I figured a primary school teacher would have a good grasp of this,” Rachael says.

Rachael’s work experience has included working as a primary teacher and behavioural support teacher in the Logan area and as a special needs teacher in London.

She already had her education and guidance counsellor qualifications before completing her Psychology qualifications with CQUniversity via distance education.

“CQUniversity’s flexible learning really helped as I had a young child and occasionally needed to look after my partner through periods of illness,” Rachael says.

“As I was already a guidance counsellor during my psychology studies, I could immediately transfer knowledge into practice and had a framework I could hang my new knowledge on.

“Everything I learned at CQUni seemed to be best practice and in alignment with what I was learning through my professional development as a guidance counsellor.”

Rachael said she enjoys building relationships and connections with other people.

“I love it when you reflect back or provide a theory and the client says ‘yes that’s it’. Sometimes, this is the moment where it all falls into place for them ... that’s very rewarding.”

Rachael currently juggles her work time, working part-time as a guidance counsellor with Catholic Education and running 'The Family Room' with her husband.