Su (Sunila) Peterson
Su is dedicated and committed to working together with people to create good mental health and quality of life experiences within the circumstances they are living with. In working with people, Su seeks to understand their unique needs and provide meaningful services to meet these needs.
Su is also committed to working with the community, volunteering her time provide free events for public use and/or advocating for the rights and needs of mental health service users. Su has studied and worked, over the last 25 years, in the public and private sectors as a researcher, team leader, consultant, and/or psychologist. In these jobs she has gained an appreciation of the experiences of people living mental health, disability, and/or Indigenous challenges.
Su has lived in Western Australia most of her life. She has completed the Master of Psychology (Counselling Psychology) and is a Registered Psychologist in Australia. She intends to further her professional capacity by undertaking her PhD study at the end of 2016.
As a Psychologist Su’s practice areas of interest and experience with adults include:
- Anxiety disorders
- Depression, including antenatal and postnatal
- Attachment and childrearing (working with parents and young children)
- Workplace stress, bullying, and/or harassment
- Adjustment and life transitions
- Illness and pain management
- Grief and loss, and trauma
- Anger and stress management
Therapeutic approaches commonly engaged by Su are:
- Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT),
- Existential therapy
- Acceptance and commitment therapy
Su’s area of interests and professional development involves:
- Childrearing working with parents from varied backgrounds to understand the impact of inter-generational influences of parenting and trauma and provide meaningful support to parents to enable helpful childrearing practices and connections with their children
- Working with people experiencing workplace harassment and/or bullying to manage their stress and/or distress in helpful ways
Additional to her providing counselling, Su is also a University Research Associate currently working with elderly people using a self-directed program offered to them to enable them to continue to live independently in their community. Further, this year, she will also be tutoring in Foundations of Professional Health Practice to a range of students across allied health professions.
Su, with her partner Brian, is passionate about learning about other cultures including trying foods from all corners of the world and attending cultural events, spending time with their friends and family, enjoying exercise and meditation, and travelling.