Welcome to my guest post series: A Day In Private Practice. Meet Hobart Registered Counsellor, Karen Grant.
Karen Grant is a Registered Counsellor with the Australian Counselling Association. In addition to counselling, Karen holds qualifications in fitness instruction, outdoor leadership, and sustainability.
With her background in fitness and outdoor guiding, it makes sense that Karen’s practice is rooted in health and nature. Her sessions, both online and in-person, are conducted entirely outdoors. Karen’s approach is eclectic in what she describes as environment-informed counselling. With an enhanced awareness of the climate crisis, biodiversity loss, and lost connections to place, Karen helps clients use the natural environment to steady themselves. In doing so, they can become more receptive to the therapies available through counselling.
“The experience of counselling outdoors has some uncertainty” admits Karen. “However a life spent outdoors has taught me to be well-prepared and plan for contingencies. My clients come dressed for the weather and I take care of the rest.”
A Day in Private Practice with Karen Grant
7am: Coffee and chores
My household all get up around 7am so mornings are busy preparing food, doing laundry, and sorting out who is going where. We all share one car, so this requires planning and cooperation. I enjoy a coffee while doing my chores then sit down at my desk to plan my day.
8:30am: Make a list
Lists make me happy – both writing them and ticking them off. Every day is different for me, so lists keep me steady and focused.
9am: Counselling practice
My caseload varies each day but usually involves a mixture of in-person and online appointments. I meet clients on the beach for in-person sessions. Postponements due to the weather are rare. We simply rug up or seek shelter if the weather is fierce. For online sessions, my clients are in an outdoor setting that suits them. I’m either at the beach already or sit in my garden. We talk with the sound of birds, waves and sometimes wind in the background.
I volunteer 4 hours/ week for an online counselling service based in Queensland. This is an intense gig but well worth the effort. There’s lots of variety and good supervision and it keeps me connected to the mainland.
When my caseload is light, I work on other aspects of my practice. I feel strongly about social justice and am keen to contribute to mental wellbeing as widely as possible. To this end, I am compiling open-source resources to distribute via social media. My focus just now is on scientists working on the frontline of climate change. Their work is critical, yet they are particularly vulnerable to despair.
1pm: Lunch and exercise
At some stage through the day, I’ll take an hour out to have lunch and get some exercise. This might be an online pilates class, a kayak on Storm Bay, or a run through the Tinderbox Hills. I aim to do something every day. It keeps me fit, in every sense – mind, body, and spirit.
4pm: Making stuff
Mid to late afternoon, I put my practice away and do something with my hands. I love making stuff, be it sewing, cooking, or woodwork. I always have several projects on the go. Right now I’m knitting dishcloths for Christmas presents and teaching myself to spin. I also have a beautiful slice of Huon pine to craft into a tasting tray. I’m slow and not very accomplished, but making something with my own hands is satisfying in the same way as climbing a mountain or completing a run
6pm: Family time
The family gathers for dinner each night. We sit at the table, eat well, chat about our day, and make plans for days ahead. We then go our separate ways for the evening. Sometimes I’ll have supervision or a webinar – almost always online – but mostly I like to put my feet up on the couch and watch TV while I knit. Little is accomplished as my preference is SBS World Movies and I need to read subtitles but the knitting is there to fill in time during the ad breaks.
I’m in bed by 10pm and listen to an audiobook to fall asleep. I used to struggle with sleep, especially going back to sleep after waking in the night. I’ve found a solution in boring audiobooks. The dulcet tones of a dull biography put me to sleep in minutes.
Connect with Karen