I have developed a wide set of skills, to successfully attend to your needs and to prevent the situations that trigger restlessness and anxiety. These are just a few of the situations I can help you with:

Suicide Intervention

I am an ASIST counsellor and have received my Mental Health First Aid. My aim is to support you through the heaviness of believing that suicide is the only solution for you. Thoughts of suicide can be frightening, confusing, and isolating.

Suicidal thoughts can occur to anyone at any point in their life. They are more common than you may realize. You may be feeling overwhelming pain, hopeless, worthless, isolated, or like there is no way out. While it is OK to have suicidal feelings, it is important to reach out and let someone know how you’re feeling.

Sometimes life’s problems can seem overwhelming and unbearable. Getting through these problems might seem impossible or daunting. This is not unusual. So, recognising this and asking for help is an important first step.

If you are feeling suicidal now, please call Lifeline 131114

Beyond Blue 13002246336 or online 


While we all feel sad, moody, or low from time to time, some people experience these feelings intensely, for long periods of time (weeks, months or even years) and sometimes without any apparent reason. Depression is more than just a low mood – it’s a serious condition that affects your physical and mental health.

While we don’t know exactly what causes depression, several things are often linked to its development. Depression usually results from a combination of recent events and other longer-term or personal factors, rather that one immediate issue of event.

Research suggests that continuing difficulties – long-term unemployment, living in an abusive or uncaring relationship, long-term isolation or loneliness, prolonged work stress – are more likely to causer depression than recent life stresses. However, recent events (such as losing your job) or a combination of events can ‘trigger’ depression if you’re already at risk because of previous bad experiences or personal factors.

Although there’s been a lot of research in this complex area, there’s still much we don’t know. Depression is not simply the result of a ‘chemical imbalance’, for example because you have too much or not enough of a particular brain chemical. It’s complicated and there are multiple causes of major depression.


Anxiety is more than just feeling stressed or worried. While stress and anxious feelings are a common response to a situation where we feel under pressure, they usually pass once the stressful situation has passed, or ‘stressor’ is removed.

Everyone feels anxious from time to time. When anxious feelings won’t go away, happen without any reason, or make it hard to cope with daily life it may be the sign of an anxiety condition.

There are many ways to help manage anxiety and the sooner people with anxiety get support, the more likely they are to recover


Everyone feels lonely from time to time, but long periods of loneliness or social isolation can have a negative impact on your physical, mental, and social health. Some signs include physical symptoms – aches and pains, headaches, illness or worsening of medical conditions.

Isolation is the experience of being separated from others. It may result from being physically separated from others, such as when a person lives in a remote area. Isolation can also result from being emotionally removed from a community. (The separation could be real or perceived).

Isolation can increase the risk of mental health issues such as depression, dementia, social anxiety, and low self-esteem. Isolation and mental health issues can also interact with one another in a feedback loop.

However, isolation is also felt by a lot of people who are free in the world but do not have much contact with people. This can include the elderly and people suffering from depression. Anxiety, aggression, forgetfulness, and hallucinations are common psychological effects of isolation in humans.

Marriage Counselling

Saying “relationships are hard” is so common that it’s a cliché now. But it’s also true. Even when people get along well, stress and daily life can cause conflicts that seem difficult or even impossible to resolve. Relationship counselling can help people in these tough situations to work through their problems, move beyond them, and be better partners overall.

Relationship counselling is a type of psychotherapy that focus on helping people improve their romantic relationships. By working with a therapist, couples can explore issues in their relationship, work on their communication, improve interactions, and resolve conflicts.

While relationship counselling is often used to address problems, it can be helpful at any stage of a relationship. People in healthy, happy relationships can still benefit from counselling that strengthens their communication, improve interactions, and resolve conflicts.

Many people believe that you should only seek relationship counselling when separation or divorce is looming. But that is often too little, too late. Relationship therapy should begin as soon as the problems get in the way of your daily life. Here are some signs that you might benefit from a consultation:

  • You have trouble expressing your feelings to one another
  • You have one or more unsolvable disagreement
  • There is withdrawal, criticism, or contempt in your interactions
  • A stressful even has shaken your daily life
  • You have trouble making decision together
  • You have experienced infidelity, addiction, or abuse
  • You want a stronger relationship

Self Esteem

Self-esteem is the way we think about ourselves and the value we place on ourselves. We all criticise ourselves from time to time, but if you often think badly about yourself, you may have low self-esteem. You may not know the cause of your low self-esteem, but there are steps you can take to improve it.

Self-esteem is different to self-confidence. Confidence relates to a person’s ability in a particular area of their life. A person can be very confident about their abilities, but still have low self-esteem.  Achieving confidence in a particular area of life won’t necessarily improve self-esteem.

Low self-esteem can negatively affect virtually every fact of your life, including your relationships, your job and your health.  But you can boost your self-esteem by taking cues from types of mental health counselling.


Trauma touches our lives in many ways, a serious accident, a physical assault, war, a natural disaster, sexual assault, or abuse.  It might affect you or those you love.  These events can be traumatic as they cause a threat to your safety and or the safety of others.

In Australia, the most common traumatic events are having someone close die unexpectedly, seeing someone badly injured or killed, unexpectedly seeing a dead body, or being in a life-threatening car accident.

Everyone will respond in their own unique way to a traumatic event.  Some events may have little impact on one person but cause severe distress in another. Trauma can affect how you feel and think, and your physical wellbeing. This might include strong feelings of fear, sadness, guilt, anger, or grief. It can be difficult to come to terms with what has happened and how it has changed uyoru life, making it difficult to cope with everyday stresses. Your sleep, appetite and social habits can also be affected after experiencing trauma.

Life Changes

Change can be difficult, and life transitions – such as relocating to a new city, getting a divorce, or starting a new job – can be stressful.

Its normal – and even healthy to experience a certain amount of stress and anxiety during a life transition. Our bodies and minds need to adjust to our new lifestyle, which might feel unsettling and uncomfortable. Some life transitions are difficult and stressful, such as the death of a loved one, unemployment, and ageing. In any case, stress and anxiety can arise, as well as feelings of depression, grief, and other mental health problems.

Life transitions are stressful for everyone, and even adjusting to positive changes can cause stress. For some people, the stress of change can be enough to induce mental health problem such as anxiety and depression. In some cases, the symptoms of mental illness become evident around significant changes in life. For example, in adolescence, major changes may include starting school, transitioning to high school, or increasing school demands.

For young adults, transiting to a college environment can be challenging, and college students are especially vulnerable to mental health problems. In adulthood, life changes include starting a new job, marriage and divorce, the loss of friends and family members, aging, and retirement. According to the National Institutes of health, stressful life changes are generally more prevalent among older adults.

Working from home, unemployment, school closures, and social distancing under COVID-19 have forced many people to make significant lifestyle changes. Adjusting to substantial changes and coping with the fear of contracting the virus are challenging for everyone and can be especially difficult for individuals with mental disorders. It’s essential to pay attention to your mental health during life transitions and reach out for help.

4-6 sessions with Cathy and I rate her 5/5 for empathy, compassion and non judgemental attitude. I would use First Step Counselling again if the need arose and refer my friends and family. Thank you Cathy for your insight and compassion during my counselling sessions. You helped me to see some things differently than I was and that really helped me. Thank you.

Client chooses to remain completely anonomous August, 2016

I have had 4-6 sessions with Cathy, and rated her 5/5 for empathy, compassion and non judgement. I would definitely use First Step Counselling again and refer the service to my friends and family. The service was awesome....just to have someone listen without sitting there in judgement of me....Thank you for just listening to me .... and helping me in so many areas of my life.. thank you

Cheryle July 2016

I have had the privilege of knowing Mrs Cathy Kunzel for many years in my capacity as her Pastor at Real Life Church. Cathy is a consistent, personable and caring individual. Cathy is a person of genuine, good Christian character.

Pastor David Warwick Senior Pastor, Real Life Church, March 2016

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