Meet our Counsellors and Support Group Facilitators
Client Contact Team Leader, Counsellor, Group and Workshop Facilitator
Kath has been a Counsellor and Group Facilitator at GCWA since December 2015. Kath has extensive experience supporting others in a variety of challenging and stressful situations, particularly in grief and loss. Kath is proud to be associated with The Grief Centre of WA, offering support to the bereaved of all ages, backgrounds, and beliefs. Because of Kath’s personal and professional grief experiences, she knows first-hand the effect it has on the individual, the family, and the community at large.
Kath has 37 years of experience as a Registered Comprehensive Nurse and 34 years as a Registered Midwife. As a result, Kath has worked across the birth, life, and death spectrum.
As well as continuing with her nursing career, Kath has completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Psychology and is currently employed as a counsellor at MSWA. For thirty years Kath has also been associated with drug and alcohol support. This role has had a particular focus on helping people deal with someone else’s substance abuse, and associated co-morbidities. She has experience of the impact of grief and stress on both the individual affected, and those that love and care about them.
Counsellor, Group Facilitator
Brenda is a supportive and caring counsellor and group facilitator, who has followed her passion for walking alongside others through life's challenges, to specialise in grief counseling.
Journeying through her own bereavement, supporting family members through their bereavement, witnessing the many changes and losses brought by her father's disability and supporting friends through grief, has given her valuable insight into the human capacity to bear heavy losses, adapt, grow
and go on to live joyful, meaningful lives, accepting that they have been forever changed by their loss.
Brenda's genuine interest in others allows clients to feel their grief story is witnessed, and that they have a companion in their grief journey who can help them explore their grief, understand the common experiences in grief and offer innovative and creative techniques to assist clients in coping and growing through grief.
Client Liaison, Counsellor, Support Group Facilitator
Jody’s personal experiences of grief ignited her passion to support others who are experiencing challenges related to grief and loss, life transitions, anticipatory and ambiguous loss, caregiver stress, compassion fatigue and trauma.
As an experienced counsellor Jody offers her specialist grief and trauma-informed care training to provide care and understanding to children, adolescents, and adults of various backgrounds. Jody also co-facilitates adult and youth grief support groups at GCWA.
With a warm and compassionate style, Jody works to ensure that each client feels heard, supported, and empowered while moving through their ever-changing landscape of grief. By using various counselling techniques, art and person-centred therapy, narrative therapy, and a strength-based approach she helps her clients explore their emotions, learn healthy coping skills, and discover meaning in their loss.
Jody has been involved at the Grief Centre since December 2019 and is a member of the Australian Counselling Association.
Katrin Den Elzen
Counsellor, Workshop Facilitator, Research
Katrin joined the GCWA in early 2018 as an experienced counsellor and workshop facilitator who specialises in grief and loss.
Katrin offers clients a variety of approaches in addition to counselling, such as writing to work through loss, Compositionwork and PSYCH-K. Her workshops offer practical tools, inspiration, and guidance to transition from grief to more inner peace. Katrin is passionate about writing as a medium to adapt to grief as a powerful pathway that offers validation, clarity, self-understanding, and increased well-being.
Katrin has personally experienced the transition from grief to rebuild a new life after the death of her husband and has written a grief memoir about her experiences of young widowhood. She has a PhD and a Masters in Creative Writing, which combined creative writing and narrative psychology. Her research focuses on utilising writing for recovery from grief and contemporary bereavement theory, combining both to develop writing exercises. In 2021 Katrin was the Lead Researcher in a Lotterywest-funded project that was run at the GCWA in association with Curtin University that investigated the efficacy of writing for well-being.
Counsellor, Support Group Facilitator
Ann’s inspiration to support people experiencing grief and loss began 20 years ago when her brother and both her parents died within two years of one another and there was no help available. Ann felt that having someone to talk to about her feelings and to explain more about the grief process would have been beneficial.
Since that time, Ann has completed a degree in counselling and become involved at the Grief Centre where she co-facilitates groups and works with individual clients. Ann uses a person-centred approach and includes aspects of acceptance and commitment therapy and mindfulness in her sessions.
For many years Anne has worked in allied health, and this has enhanced her ability to communicate empathically with people from all walks of life, especially older adults. She finds their stories both enlightening and inspiring, and is often overwhelmed by their courage and authenticity. Ann guides grieving people to live life with joy as well as their sadness.
Youth Group Facilitator
Ryan's own grief journey developed a passion to assist others to share their own grief with those who understand the hardships of the passing of loved one. Ryan endeavours to create a supportive, understanding, safe and caring environment for those who attend knowing first-hand the challenges involved from his own lived experience of grief. Prior to volunteering at the Grief Centre Ryan facilitated a siblings’ bereavement group through Compassionate Friends of WA. Ryan believes that with time comes healing and, with the support of others and the opportunity to share and listen about the difficulties that we encounter, we can feel less alone in our grief.