Shannon is passionate about working with people who are often labelled ‘hard to treat’, ‘difficult’, and ‘therapy resistant’ and / or who have been shunned by mainstream society. She holds strong values of respect and fairness and is committed to her clients and their future wellbeing and happiness. Having worked closely with people for thirty years she has developed a therapeutic optimism that underpins therapeutic alliances and conversations that enable positive change.
Shannon completed a General Nurse Certificate at the Repatriation General Hospital and Registered as a Nurse in 1989. Nursing training gave Shannon many opportunities to develop her communication skills with people who are emotionally vulnerable. Working with patients in the hospital environment requires an ability to make strong therapeutic relationships quickly and the perceptive skills to recognise vulnerability and a need to talk.
Shannon moved to Community Health in 1990 and was in a team that set up a Palliative Care service in the Murray Mallee region. This service enabled these country people to live and die in their own homes with the support and love of their family and communities. During this time Shannon engaged in many intimate conversations with people in their last one hundred days of life and worked to assist them to prepare for death.
Shannon returned to Adelaide in 1992 and worked the next few years in Community Health in the Northern suburbs. Shannon worked in a range of positions including Shopfront Youth Health Information Service and Elizabeth Community Health Service. Residents of the Northern Suburbs of Adelaide often experience complex and compounding disadvantage and Shannon was inspired by their courage.
In 1998 Shannon won the position of Co-ordinator of a new formed service -The Kids ‘n’ You Project. The Kids ‘n’ You Project was based in Narrative and Feminist Theory and offered therapeutic support to women who had children under 5 years and who had experienced Domestic Violence. The Project focused on the emotional health and wellbeing of mothers and their children and the relationship between them. Shannon co-authored and presented a paper at the 10th International Health Promotion Conference, in Adelaide 1998. The presentation reflected the Frameworks and Ideology on which the Project was developed.
Working with young children and adolescents who had experienced trauma, inspired Shannon to understand more about ways to provide a respectful therapeutic response to people whose lives had been affected by abuse and trauma. Shannon attended the Internationally renowned Dulwich Centre for two years and completed a Graduate Diploma in Narrative Therapy in 1998. During this time Shannon commenced building her private practice whilst still providing work in the public sector.
Shannon was involved in providing the therapeutic services to the children who were refugees from Kosovo in 2000. She worked with children at the Positive Living Centre who had one or both parents’ positive for HIV.
Shannon completed a Post Graduate Diploma in Mental Health Nursing in 2003, while working in the Boylan Ward at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital and at Western Assessment and Crisis Intervention Service.
Shannon joined the Mary Street Adolescent Program in Adelaide in 2004. As part of a dynamic team, she provided intensive therapeutic support to families who have a teenager who has sexually abused or sexually harassed another child or children. She continued until the program terminated in 2016. During these twelve and a half years Shannon focussed on the children under Guardianship of the Minister who had chronic trauma and abuse backgrounds and young people with Intellectual Disability. Shannon now consults with these young people privately from Nada Counselling.
While also working with a Nursing Agency for six years Shannon gained experience in a broad range of mental health settings, inpatient and community but predominantly in crisis intervention. Shannon was moved by the stigma and injustice that people living with mental illness experience.
In 2011, Shannon presented at the 37th International Mental Health Nurses Conference on the Gold Coast, Australia. She presented her clinical work with a young person from the Mary Street Adolescent Program and gained a Stan Alchin Award for Clinical Excellence.
In 2012, Shannon began teaching ‘Mental Health’ to first year Bachelor of Nursing students at the University of South Australia. Shannon enjoys inspiring nursing students to consider their role in providing professional and non-judgemental nursing care against a tide of stigma.