We are often asked how talking can help. A counsellor brings an objective point of view that can help you find new insight. They often have experience of issues from a range of perspectives that can help to broaden your scope of understanding, resilience, self-compassion, your capacity for coping and acceptance of change. Often, a counsellor is called upon to assist people when things aren’t going well or we are experiencing some kind of difficulty. Using of a range of approaches aimed at providing support and reducing distress, a counsellor can help you improve your mental health and wellbeing.
Perinatal & Fertility Counsellor, Supervisor & Dance Movement Therapist
Suzanne Hurley is a Perinatal & Fertility Counsellor, Supervisor & Dance/Movement Therapist. She attends to those who may be unhappy, distressed, afraid or otherwise impacted by fertility related events where additional support may be needed. She has an impressive level of expertise having worked with varying degrees of reproductive loss, including pregnancy options counselling, infertility and IVF support, perinatal mental health, abortion counselling, parenting and with reproductive health issues. She has provided her clients with counselling, group support and presented to health professionals in various perinatal settings. Her expertise and understanding of the issues women, couples and families face when immersed in the perinatal period is highly specialised. She knows that when confronted by the unexpected you need someone by your side.
Many years ago, Suzanne spent four years at Fertile Ground Health Group counselling in infertility and IVF support, running two groups, Sanctuary for IVF clients and Little Village for single women considering sole parenting. She returned in 2018 bringing with her a wealth of knowledge and experience after having worked in multiple settings where perinatal mental health has been the focus of her work. This has included time on the PANDA Helpline (Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Australia), at Carrington Health in the Community Outreach Perinatal Support Service. She spent 10yrs at The Women’s Hospital’s Pregnancy Advisory Service and other periods of time at Marie Stopes Australia National Counselling Service for unplanned pregnancy, Melbourne Pregnancy Counsellors and at Adora Fertility.
Suzanne also works at Austin Health Psychiatric Unit in the Parent Infant Program as a Dance/Movement/Play Therapist. She has also run groups Pregnant Pause and Moving Stories: explorations of the pregnant body, past present and future, through movement.
Suzanne provides clinical supervision to health professionals often working with perinatal mental health, reproductive loss, grief and infertility and in other areas of public health and community services.
In Counselling Suzanne can address:
Life With Baby
End of Reproduction
What I believe…
I firmly believe compassionate, early counselling intervention for all reproductive trauma events, including unbiased abortion support, will establish parents both today and in the future with the best possible outcomes for managing the unexpected realities for if they do, when they do and during having their babies. This can be done alone, isolated and uncertain or accompanied with honour, good humour, and grace. You get to choose.
What I do…
I have a unique breadth of experience and now specialise across the full spectrum of fertility matters and associated losses in supporting women and their families. This can include unplanned pregnancy and unbiased, decision-making counselling, abortion support, pregnancy issues, infertility & IVF, birth trauma, antenatal and postnatal anxiety and or depression, hysterectomy and health-related reproductive matters. Nothing holds greater value than another because in my world it all matters.
Where I have come from…
My passion and commitment arose out of approaching 20 years combined practice with Pregnancy Advisory Service at the Women’s Hospital in Melbourne, Marie Stopes National Counselling Team, PANDA (Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Australia) National Helpline and at Carrington Health’s Community Outreach Perinatal Support Service, Melbourne Pregnancy Counsellors, Adora Fertility and postnatal psychiatric admissions. This was all very unplanned on my behalf, and I feel this work found me. I had to earn the privilege and honour of doing what I do.
How might my expertise benefit you…
I have gained such a wealth of knowledge about sitting with the discomfort of life’s challenges, particularly in the perinatal realm and the grief this may evoke. For clients in the counselling room, I sit solidly by your side whilst you feel the big emotions and gently guide you toward greater comfort and peace in reconciling with such harsh realities. You will no longer be alone because you have taken that step to ask for help and I know how courageous that feels. For health professionals I offer trainings, conference presentations and supervision for a place to lean into to refuel your knowledge and reflections in doing the work and holding the light, because I have been there in the isolation of uncertainty. You need a team.
My lived experience…
I cannot support you if I have not felt what it takes to reach out myself. I have been in the uncertainty of vulnerability and had to do it anyway. It is not easy, and I hold great compassion and awe at what is revealed to me and sometimes to only me. I know that I must earn your trust and cannot be further ahead of you in meeting your needs. It is why I am by your side, with you, completely.