Our dedicated Counsellors want to help you

Our dedicated counsellors at Blissful Minds understand that life can be difficult. Sometimes it can be very challenging. Therefore, we want to meet you and help you get through these times. Also, we want to walk beside you to a happier and healthier place.

Genuine counsellors

At Blissful Minds, we are genuine. We are highly trained with both undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in counselling (or equivalent). In addition, all our counsellors keep their registration up to date with one of the two peak bodies for counsellors in Australia: either Australian Counselling Association (ACA) or Psychotherapy & Counselling Federation of Australia (PACFA).

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Elissa Luiten, Director

Master of Counselling

Master of Education (Student Wellbeing)

Bachelor of Education

Member Australian Counselling Association (ACA)

Availability

Rothwell: Mondays

Caloundra: Thursdays and Fridays

Elissa Luiten

Director 

Counsellor: Rothwell and Caloundra

In our counselling sessions, I will work with you to create positive outcomes for you to change your life. In a confidential environment, you can explore your feelings and experiences. Subsequently, with this knowledge, you can truly understand and accept yourself. Knowing this will help you to move forward into an inspired life.

Counselling can be confronting at first. However, I have seen first-hand the positive changes that counselling can make. So, if you want to change, take a leap of faith. If you are facing difficulties in your life, please believe that life can be better. With the help of counselling, you can live your life to its greatest potential.

Elissa is fantastic. Only had one session but really worked well at addressing issues quickly such as calling out inappropriate behaviours in session. Excellent in helping couples to understand what’s required in order to move forward together. June 2023

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Courtney McAliece, Practice Manager

Master of Counselling

Psychology Honours

Bachelor of Psychology

Member Australian Counselling Association (ACA)

Availability

Rothwell: Monday thru Friday

Courtney McAliece

Practice Manager, Rothwell

I am a compassionate and highly experienced counsellor with a wealth of knowledge gained over many years in her field. As a dedicated member of the Australian Counselling Association (Level 2), I have demonstrated my commitment to upholding professional standards and staying current with the latest practices in counselling.

Throughout my career, I have successfully supported a diverse range of clients in both private practice and non-profit organizations. Specializing in providing therapeutic support to adults and couples, I create a safe, confidential, and nonjudgmental environment where my clients can openly discuss their concerns with ease.

With a deep sense of empathy, I actively listen to my clients, ensuring they feel heard and understood. I use evidence-based and holistic approaches to tailor each session to your unique needs and circumstances. By adopting a client-centred, strength-based, and collaborative approach to counselling, I empower you to overcome difficulties and strive towards your best selves.

By integrating a variety of therapeutic approaches, I will equip you with practical tools and strategies to navigate your challenges effectively.

Courtney was great and we felt comfortable with her straight away. Jan 2023

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Deb McGinnis

Master of Counselling 

Master of Business Administration

Bachelor of Laws

Member Australian Counselling Association (ACA)

Availability

Redcliffe: Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays

Stafford: Tuesdays and Wednesdays

Deb McGinnis

Counsellor, Stafford and Rothwell

I am an experienced counsellor and a member of the Australian Counselling Association. I work regularly with couples, individuals and families who are seeking support and guidance.

I understand and have empathy for the challenges my clients are facing. I offer direction when people feel lost. I work with clients in a safe, accepting, and non-judgmental way and support my clients to develop different perspectives, challenge thoughts and gain self-awareness.

As your counsellor, I provide tools, resources, and knowledge to help you achieve your goals and desires. I create a rewarding relationship with my clients to help them to obtain a renewed sense of wellbeing.

I have the most respect for our couple’s therapist, Deb. My marriage has been a dark place; attending her counselling tremendously impacted our marriage. We’ve become closer and more communicative from a dark and scary marriage. The positive impact she made on our marriage is beyond admirable. Thank you, Deb, for saving our marriage! March 2023

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Ana Salido

Master of Psychology

Bachelor of Psychology

Member Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation Australia (PACFA)

Availability

Stafford: Tuesdays am and Thursdays pm

Online: by appointment including Saturday am

Ana Salido

Counsellor, Stafford and Online

In counselling you, I will encourage you to achieve your goals. I will be on the sidelines to cheer you on. There is no need to do this alone. I will be there to walk alongside you.

Within an empathetic and honest relationship, I will motivate and help you through difficult situations. Asking for help is not easy, but it is the first step towards positive change. I am skilled at helping you address your issues. I will tailor each of our sessions to meet your therapeutic needs.

Having focused on our kids and my husband being busy with work, my partner and I became distant; we argued a lot and became aggressive to each other. After months of attending Ana’s sessions, she helped us reconnect with each other. We learned to compromise and nourish every moment, strengthening our relationship. Ana, you know how thankful we are to you. April 2023

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Melissa Garstang

Master of Counselling

Grad Dip Psychology

Master of Education

Bachelor of Education

Bachelor of Arts

Member Australian Counselling Association (ACA)

Availability

Rothwell: Mondays and Wednesdays

Caloundra: Thursdays

Melissa Garstang-Leary

Counsellor, Rothwell and Caloundra

My counselling approach is founded on respect and compassion, creating a safe and supportive environment where clients feel heard, understood, and valued. Recognising the courage it takes to seek support, I will work collaboratively with you to navigate challenges and achieve your goals.

I am committed to fostering positive change and will empower you to harness your strengths to thrive and live your ideal life with purpose and fulfillment.

I am passionate about providing therapeutic support for a range of presenting concerns, including anxiety, depression, interpersonal difficulties, parenting concerns, self-esteem issues, communication barriers and conflict.

Whether with children, adolescents, or adults, I work within a client-centred and trauma informed framework, employing effective, evidence-based interventions that promote resilience and foster personal growth and wellbeing.

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Sam Porter

Master of Counselling

Graduate Diploma of Divinity

Bachelor of Social Science

Member (12143) Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation Australia (PACFA) 

Availability

Redcliffe: Wednesdays

Sam Porter

Counsellor, Rothwell

My decade-long journey in counselling and social work has been defined by a commitment to supporting and empowering children, adolescents and adults who have experienced life challenges such as trauma, anxiety, or depression.  With an unwavering belief in creating an environment of safety, authenticity and empathy, my person-centered approach has been the cornerstone of my practice, fostering trust and genuine connection with each unique individual.

Currently in my final year of a Master’s in Counselling, my expertise lies in creating a space where thoughts, feelings and experiences can be explored without judgment. At the heart of my work is a steadfast dedication to personal growth for my clients.

Through evidence-based practices, I will empowers you to develop coping strategies, gain new insights into your story and ultimately embark on a journey of healing.  I aim to be an invaluable ally for those seeking a safe space to grow and embrace their authentic selves.

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Lucy

Master of Cuteness

Bachelor of Cuddles

Lucy

Lucy

Our black Labrador therapy dog, Lucy, is a compassionate listener. She understands that it can be difficult to seek counselling. So, she encourages a positive connection from the minute you walk through the door. Lucy knows how to put clients at ease. Unfortunately, she knows less about paperwork…

Lucy is enthusiastic about helping clients, adults and children alike. She is experienced in art therapy, but prefers her sessions with another qualified counsellor present. Lucy is dedicated to making sure you leave the session feeling better.

Our dedication to you

As counsellors, we have helped our clients through many challenges and across all areas of mental well-being. We work with individuals, couples, children, adolescents and families. We have addressed and resolved many issues with our clients including:

How we help you

In our sessions, your concerns are our focus. Our counsellors will be happy to explain further the appropriate modern therapies which they will use in their sessions with you to help you achieve your goals:

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy is based on the idea that how you think and act affects how you feel.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy encourages you to embrace their thoughts and feelings rather than fighting or feeling guilty for them.
Motivational Interviewing is a collaborative, goal-oriented style of communication with particular attention on the language of change within an atmosphere of acceptance and compassion.
Gottman Method couples therapy  is designed to improve three primary areas of a relationship: friendship, ability to manage conflict and creating shared goals.
Solution-focused Brief Therapy focuses on future circumstances and goals rather than past experiences, the symptoms or issues are typically not targeted.
Narrative therapy separates you from your problem. It encourages you to rely on your own skills to minimize problems that exist in your life.
Mindfulness means maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of your thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment, through a gentle, nurturing lens.
Psychodynamic couple therapy is an application of psychoanalytic theory which draws on the counsellor’s experience of dealing with relationships in individual, group, and family therapy.