Dr Jacqui Dodds PhD (W.Aust); BSW Hon. (Curtin); Member of the Clinical Division of the AASW College of Social Work (Accredited); Accredited Mental Health Worker (Medicare)
I am Dr Jacqui Dodds and I am based in Noosa on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland, Australia. I offer clinical supervision and psychotherapy by phone, Skype® or in person.
To contact me for an appointment email me @ [email protected].
Who am I?
I am a working psychotherapist and supervisor with a strong spiritual interest, based primarily on Buddhist philosophy, but interested and well experienced in working with spiritual, health and relationship issues, and exploration of many social situations, conflicts and religious perspectives. I firmly believe that there are many paths to the same place of eventual spiritual enlightenment and depth understanding. I have found that my own exploration of Christian Roman Catholic doctrines (in my youth) and Buddhist philosophy and practice have combined to facilitate me working fruitfully with a wide range of beliefs and spiritual expression.
My passion is to form a bridge linking the wisdoms of Western psychology with the wisdoms of Buddhist psychology.
My aspiration is to live and work in an open, inquiring mannerthat goes beyond the confines of any particular religion or dogma.
My wish is to use every moment, every experience and every contact with another person, to help uncover what promotes suffering and what promotes wellbeing. What is it to be human? What promotes healing and a sense of fulfillment and purpose in life?
My desire is for freedom from suffering.
I am guided by the view that we are all thoroughly conditioned beings, largely motivated by forgotten, repressed or ignored previous learning. Much of this learning and consequent motivating assumptions are hidden in the unconscious but result in habituated emotional, psychological and physical reactions to what is happening right now. My interest is in bringing awareness to what we are doing, thinking and feeling and to show how repetitive patterns of cause and effect can be recognised with mindfulness, and through relationship, and then understood and changed to bring more rewarding results.
I have been a Buddhist meditation practitioner in the Tibetan Kargyu lineage since 1982 and, in more recent years, have periodically taught meditation and basic Buddhist principles to interested members of the public. I have also taught units in a Diploma of Buddhist Psychotherapy, offered by Sophia College in several Australian States.
I am an eclectic practitioner and I supervise professional counsellors, psychotherapists, welfare workers, trainers and coordinators of community organisations.
My professional training includes studies in Buddhist psychotherapy; Existential psychotherapy; Psychodynamic psychotherapy; Jungian analysis, dream work and sand play; Acceptance and Commitment Therapy; Family systemic therapy; Relationship therapy; Narrative therapy; Dialectical behavioural therapy; Cognitive behavioural therapy; Solutions Focussed therapy and Somatic psychotherapy.
In 1992 I completed my Bachelor of Social Work Honours (first class) degree at Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Western Australia. Encouraged by the holistic emphasis of my qualifying degree, in my honours research I sought to explore how using meditation to work with the mind might influence the physical, psychological and spiritual health of people suffering from a cancer diagnosis. In late 2009 I launched a revised and expanded version of this research as an eBook. This eBook ‘Threatened byCancer? Meditation DOES help!’ is available for purchase under ‘Things to Buy’ listed on the menu at the top of the home page.
The success of this research led me to my doctoral research at the University of Western Australia in which I took a broader look at how the meanings people made of cancer were influenced by professional mainstream biomedical, alternative natural healing, and holistic healing assumptions about illness and healing. Apart from analysing the contrasting assumptions around causes of illness, treatment and healing processes, I collaboratively researched how these assumptions influenced research participants with a cancer diagnosis and led them to choices of startlingly different healing treatments and strategies. Copies of this research “Cancer as Bad Luck or Warning Symbol? Constructed Meanings of Illness and Health” are available for purchase under ‘Things to Buy’ listed in the menu at the top of the home page.
For my first eight years in the healing profession, my research interests were combined with working as a counsellor and group facilitator for a wide range of people touched directly, or indirectly, by cancer. In 1994 I set up in private practice and have now run my private practice in three different urban and rural locations. Since early 2008, many of my clients and supervisees have overcome the tyranny of distance (caused by moving from West to Eastern Australia) by predominantly working with me via telephone consultations and Skype.
Following the immersion in the world of cancer near the start of my therapeutic career, my focus changed to working as a counsellor with people suffering from mental illness and more generalised problems of living. I combined counselling and supervisory roles in a State-run rural community mental health team with a private psychotherapy practice. During this ten year period I continued my prime research question of “what promotes suffering and what promotes wellbeing”? I also noticed the similarities between what was helpful for people presenting with a life-threatening physical illness and what was helpful for those suffering from such mental blights as depression, mania, anxiety, trauma, obsessions,relationship conflict and breakdown, loss of direction, anger, stress and eating disorders.
I’ve had supervision with Jacqui for several years, face to face and, since 2008, by phone.
Jacqui draws on the wisdom of many diverse therapeutic approaches. Her deep listening, her wise and insightful gifts together with her breadth of experience and understanding greatly enrich each supervision encounter.
My clinical practice, confidence and understanding has been greatly nourished and supported by her commitment to expanding awareness and sharing her clinical and spiritual experience and resources. I believe that my sense of growing wellbeing, despite life’s challenges, is a reflection of the power of Jacqui’s input and support. It has been very hard to do justice to the beneficial effect Jacqui has had on my life and professional practice and I hope to continue my contact with her as long as possible.
Psychologist in private practice
In November 2004 I drove in the rain, at night, towards a small room on a rural property in the far south west of Western Australia where I nervously attended my first therapy session with Dr Jacqui Dodds. I was preoccupied with grief from recent events and negative thoughts of the inconvenient timing and distance. It was the only time we could both manage that week and I doubted that it would work. However, she had been recommended by some people I truly respected.
Within the hour I began to discover how authentically Jacqui met me on many levels with her deep insights and compassion. I knew I was blessed to begin my work with her. Jacqui met me as a woman, a wounded child, a dreamer and a Buddhist practitioner. Drawing on her studies and understandings of early childhood and family trauma, Jungian therapy and Buddhist psychotherapy she has, over the years, constantly provided me with clarity and wisdom in her guidance and challenges within our sessions.
Now that we live in different parts of Australia we have telephone sessions in which we both celebrate how much more at ease and fulfilling my life has become. Yet there is always more to check and learn from Jacqui: in particular, her application of the Buddhist teachings and precepts in our whirling high tech world! Her humour, warmth and integrity shines down the line and I always look forward to our calls.
Dr Jacqui Dodds was recommended by colleagues as a supervisor who respectfully listens, has a diverse knowledge of counselling modalities, and a gentle and deeply insightful approach. I am delighted to say that I have experienced the same qualities.
I have been accessing Jacqui Dodds for supervision face-to-face for one year and by telephone since early 2008 in both my roles as Cancer Support Coordinator and Accredited Mental Health Social Worker in private practice.
Jacqui’s wide and extensive knowledge and interest in the area of supporting people on a cancer journey and her affirming techniques have had a profound effect on my confidence and abilities in my roles. Jacqui’s approach is holistic. Whatever the issue, stuck spot or difficulty I have brought to her, she has confidently provided the guidance to the answers.
What I have appreciated immensely is Jacqui’s wisdom and guidance in discovering how my past effects my present in a non-judgmental way that fosters self-acceptance and combats self-doubt. Through the process I have learned to really trust everyone’s, including my own, inner wisdom and knowledge, in a way that has moved me ahead both personally and professionally.
Jacqui has truly been my inspiration and mentor for the last 4 years.
BSW MAASW Mental Health Acc.
My life was a struggle when I first started therapy with Jacqui.
It was hard to get through a single day. I felt depressed thinking about tomorrow and I felt suicidal thinking about more days to come that would be just like today.
Therapy helped me create the conditions in my mind that would support me, to make the changes I needed to make.
Things around me didn’t change so much but I did.
With Jacqui helping me, I worked out what was causing me suffering and I transformed my negative habits and patterns of thinking to create a calmer, kinder heart and mind so I could make better choices in my life.
Things can still be hard and sad and traumatic but I can cope with them much better now – the tools I have from therapy are permanent. I will be using them today, tomorrow and for the rest of my life.
Be kind to yourself and give it a try. It could help you too.
I have been seeing Jacqui therapeutically on and off since 2014. From the beginning Jacqui’s warmth and true compassion held a space for me to meet myself with courage, compassion and curiosity.
I, with great reverence for this term from the old tales, refer to Jacqui as my “Wise Woman in the Woods”. As soon as I step onto the weather worn, faded stepping stones that lead to the door of her practice, my attention settles on the breath in my body, my eyes upon the plants on either side of the path revealing something to me that has grown or died or changed in some way since my last visit. I notice the placement of my feet upon the path, I notice a shift in my inner awareness as I enter the space with curiosity, and I notice the slight anxiety around, “What will arise today?”
Each time we met, Jacqui met me anew in the present moment. Where am I now in my life and my challenges? She listened without judgment. She invited me to stay present with uncomfortable thoughts and feelings in my mind, body and emotions and supported me to understand and move through them and with them. She shared with me her experience and knowledge and offered practices. Always given simply as that, an offering, if it might be of use to me.
Around a year after I first met Jacqui I was diagnosed with breast cancer.
The focus of our conversations changed as I navigated my way through many decisions regarding treatment options. Jacqui held the space for my questioning, reminded me of the impermanent nature of my living and helped me question my beliefs and discover my own path through this highly emotionally charged experience as I sought not for a cure or an avoidance of a possibly premature death, but for healing on many levels.
Within Jacqui’s presence I have laughed and cried, wrestled with confusion, pain, suffering and anxiety and with gratitude and humility celebrated growth and change and service to others.
She supports me to stay true to my own path, my unique way of being in the world and through this to discover how I can best serve others.
Jacqui has always met me where I am and when I leave, although it can sometimes take days or weeks, I discover what it is I need. I leave feeling truly seen and heard, knowing the answers live within me and that, if required, Jacqui will meet me again, as I am, in the moment.