Discovering the Purpose for Your Life


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Life is constantly changing; very few things remain the same. Most people will have multiple jobs, and live in different houses, different states and even countries in this day of globalisation. Relationships change and even if you stay with the same person, there are changes in the dynamics of that relationship as each of you becomes more aware of differences and challenges. People change through growth and development, and this impacts stability of life.

With change comes challenge. What direction do I take? Should I leave this job for another? Do I remain in this relationship or move on? How do I manage this situation?

Having to make these difficult life changing decisions can result in a rise of stress levels and displays of emotion such as sadness, disappointment, anger and confusion. Sometimes making a decision becomes too hard, and as a consequence an individual can remain in an unhealthy and unhappy place in their life. When this occurs, a person is paralysed by ambiguity and confusion so they are unable to make a decision. It may be issues beyond our control that are causing significant pain and anguish, and we feel powerless to change.

Having an independent professional to listen and discuss your stressors in life with has proven to be an instrumental aspect of accepting change and gaining the courage to make a decision to move forward. As a professional who has faced similar challenges, I can assist you in finding answers to life changing questions.

Questions such as:

                What is important to me?

                What values in life do I adhere to and hold precious?

                Do I have a purpose in life? If so, what is it? If not, can I develop a purpose?

                If my life is a picture, what will it look like in the future?

                How do I get there?

                What is my motivation for change?

By pondering these questions, you can be provided clarity, understanding and direction in these challenging and difficult times. As a professional counsellor, mentor and coach, I can assist you in finding the answers to these questions and help to discover, or rediscover, the purpose for your life.

Are you undergoing change in your life? Do you need extra support as you navigate personal and professional challenges? Call Duncan on 0434 331 243 for a FREE 10 minute consultation on your specific needs. If you are ready to make an appointment, you can do so by clicking on the orange icon on this page BOOK NOW and follow the prompts. 

Managing Anger in the Workplace

Duncan recently featured on a podcast for In this enlightening interview hosted by Ken Burgin, Duncan discusses the topic ‘Managing Anger in the Workplace,’ addressing how it is caused and strategies we can use to best deal with it. You can listen to the podcast by clicking here.

If you are experiencing anger at work or are feeling the effects of a colleagues anger and need support then here’s what you need to do: contact Duncan on 0434 331 243 for a FREE 10-minute phone consultation on how Watersedgecounselling can best help you or press book now to book on our online diary.

Dealing with Anger at Work


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Anger displayed in the work place can come in many forms. Whether you are a boss who is angry at a worker, a colleague who is annoyed at your boss, or a worker who is furious at a peer, there is an appropriate method of dealing with anger in each situation. Having personally been in each of these circumstances, I have realised that it is essential that we acknowledge and respond to conflict in the workplace; however the method of doing so will depend on the professional relationships unique to each work place.

When your boss is angry at you

Your response to an angry colleague will alter depending on their role in the workplace. If your boss becomes angry at you, it needs to be determined whether his/her anger is abusive or is a result of inappropriate behaviour from yourself. Bullying in the workplace is never okay, however if your boss often displays anger there may be little that you can do in an attempt to improve the situation at your place of employment.

The first action in any disintegrating relationship should be to address the issue with the other person; in this case your boss. There is a strong chance that you are not in a position to address this matter with your boss, and they may not care for your opinion. If this is the case, you need to ensure your own personal safety and wellbeing as a number one priority. This may mean that you need to look for other employment.

Depending on the size of the company you work for, there will be grievance procedures which help to solve these conflicts. However, if the company is small and the boss is the owner/director, you are unlikely to have an avenue to follow. You always have the choice and right to notify work safe, but even when you choose to go down this path, you need to ensure your wellbeing and safety.

When you have conflict with a colleague who is of an equal or lower position than you

In trying to understand why anger is being displayed, it needs to be determined whether the person is angry as a result of a specific incident with you, or if they are simply an angry person for what appears to be no apparent reason. If a colleague is angry at you about a specific incident, it is likely a one on one conversation in a calm, professional manner will resolve the situation. This will provide both people with the understanding and opportunity to apologise for a one off incident.

If a colleague is often angry, it is likely the anger is an unhealthy tool they use to get their point across, to make their presence felt, and to feel powerful. As stated previously, the ideal strategy is to discuss the behaviour with the colleague. There is a slight chance that the angry colleague is unaware of their behaviour and following a discussion with them, they will change. The other alternative is that the person won’t be prepared to listen to you. At this point grievance procedures for your company should be implemented.

In your work place, grievance procedures will be similar to the following:

  1. Speak with colleague
  2. If no resolution, speak to your manager
  3. The manager is likely to involve HR If they want too. A number of possible scenarios may follow:
  • The Manager or HR will provide a form of mediation with you and your colleague.
  • The situation is managed through performance in which case it is unlikely you will know the outcome; however you can certainly hope to see a change in behaviour.
  • If you do not agree with the outcome, you can either speak to your manager’s manager or report the incident to work safe.

In all situations with people, it is best to understand that we cannot change them, we can only change the way we respond to them. For example, if person A is angry at Person B, B is unable to change A. B can only change the way they respond to A.

If you feel you are on the receiving end of anger from people, seeking professional support can provide you with strategies so you can respond in a healthier and safer way.

When you are the angry person

The previous situations have dealt with being the recipient of anger. This section will look at the responsibility of the angry person.

Whether you are in leadership/management or a peer to the people you get angry with, you need to take responsibility for your actions. It is highly likely that you feel justified in your actions and comments; however displaying anger at others shows a lack of respect, professionalism, and undermines the value of other people

If you are in leadership or management and you regularly display anger, it is highly likely that your team are under performing and you have a high staff turnover rate; this will be costing you money. By being prepared to review your behaviour and implement different strategies for dealing with stress and pressure, you will not only save yourself work and money, is is quite possible you will have a much happier and productive team.

If you display anger at your colleagues, it is likely you will be limiting your career options. People who regularly display anger at work are identified as bullies and this label can have a detrimental effect not only on their career, but on their sense of self-worth.

As an individual you may enjoy getting angry, however I expect that deep down you are quite embarrassed about this behaviour; you my even feel powerless to control your angry outbursts. Whatever the reason you use anger at work; it can have a detrimental impact on yourself and the people you work with.

Anger is something that can be managed. By seeking professional support, your triggers for anger can be identified and strategies implemented so that you control your anger rather than it controlling you.

If you are experiencing anger at work or are feeling the effects of a colleagues anger and need support then here’s what you need to do: contact Duncan on 0434 331 243 for a FREE 10-minute phone consultation on how Watersedgecounselling can best help you or press book now to book on our online diary.

Responding When Your Partner Is Angry: What to do, what not to do


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Physical or emotional abuse is never excusable. This article only deals with a display of anger from a partner but does not address, nor excuse the abuse than can come from anger. If you are in a violent relationship please seek professional advice immediately.


You love your partner and they love you, yet they still have outbursts of anger. As someone who has struggled with anger, I never appreciated when my wife attempted to confront me while I was still angry; it only made the situation worse. At the time of anger I believed I was right. When I calmed down and was apologetic for my outburst, my wife was able to speak calmly about my behaviour and how it impacted upon her and my children. On one occasion my wife and two children sat me down for a conversation about my angry behaviour. It was important that they did this when I was calm and open to the discussion as in reality I was embarrassed and ashamed of my behaviour.

DON’T challenge your partner while they are angry, it will only make the situation worse.

DISCUSS with them the impact of their behaviour when they are calm and willing to listen.


Be patient and supportive of your partner, one quality conversation won’t resolve their anger. In my experience, my wife had the discussion multiple times and never blamed me, but spoke of the negative impact my behaviour had on my family. At times this will be a struggle, but as long as your partner is making improvement and continually trying to control/manage their anger there is hope.

DON’T nag and argue the point with your partner.

DO be supportive and patient.


Encourage your partner to seek professional support for their behaviour. This may mean you attend sessions/ meetings with them if they are willing. In order for this to happen, your partner will need to show vulnerability and know that you still love them. The advantage of seeking professional support is that a discussion can be had in a safe environment for you and your partner. This may also provide you with opportunities to have ongoing open and caring discussions that will make your relationship stronger due to the assistance of a professional.

DON’T think your partner can manage their anger without the support of a professional.

BE PREPARED to support your partner through this critically challenging process.


Managing angry outbursts and behaviour is a journey. As your partner learns how to manage their anger your relationship will strengthen, however it is highly likely that other personal issues will be uncovered which will also require self-work with a professional. In much the same way as you peel an onion and find another layer, so it is with managing self and other issues that arise. This process can mean that a different version of old behaviours is displayed until your partner has a realization that more self-work needs to be done.

DON’T be deceived into thinking the initial process will make your partner perfect.

BE PREPARED for a continually developing healthy relationship as you join your partner in the journey of self-growth.

These tips on how to respond to a partner who is angry are not designed to legitimise physical or emotional abuse being given or accepted in any circumstance. All people should be treated with love and respect, and these tips have been moulded to assist couples who have recognised anger issues within their relationship and in doing so desire to work through them. If you are currently in a relationship and have been/are being physically or emotionally abused, please do not hesitate to call 000.

If you recognise you are in a relationship that needs the support of a professional in dealing with anger, contact Duncan on 0434 331 243 for a FREE 10 minute consultation. If you are ready to book an appointment with Duncan, click the icon BOOK ONLINE NOW and you will be taken to his online appointment calendar, and follow the prompts.

4 Tips to Help You with Your Grief and Loss


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Grief is unique to the individual. We all grieve differently and for this reason there is no set pattern to follow. It is my belief that grief and pain remain with us; however we can learn to live with these feelings successfully, doing so without diminishing the value of the causation of grief. We often think of grief and loss as referring to the death of a loved one, however grief also relates to aspects of our lives such as a broken relationship, loss of employment, relocation and the loss of a pet to name a few. Grief is a unique process, but there are steps that can be taken to help you journey through your grief in the healthiest way possible.

1. Be kind to yourself

Often in grief, we take the responsibility or blame ourselves for the loss. Whether there is any truth in this or not, when we work through our grief we need to be gentle on ourselves as we are more likely to remain unable to work through our emotions if we beat ourselves up. By allowing ourselves to be empathetic to our situation, we allow ourselves to work through this intense pain.

2. Be Honest

It is not unusual in grief to only focus on the positive memories and ignore the painful and negative ones. Having worked in the funeral industry for 9 years, I observed a number of families who chose not to acknowledge the pain and hurt that had been caused as a result of the family relationship, and they would only focus on the happy memories.

The happy memories are certainly significant, but the memory of the loved family member is likely to involve the not so good times as well. By reflecting honestly on the good and the bad memories, we pay tribute to the one we loved and our relationship with them. In order to do this, you may need to give yourself permission to reflect on the challenging times as well as the rewarding.

3. Don’t be afraid to talk about and remember the cause of your loss

Whether your grief is due to the loss of a loved one or another change in circumstance, talking and remembering them is very therapeutic and plays an important role in respecting the memories and paying tribute to the past. In my experience, people will often refuse to talk about and reflect upon the life of a loved one or a past event, often because of the fear of it being so painful. It is only as we allow ourselves to be honest and to meet the challenge of the expected pain that we can learn to live again while paying tribute, respect and value to our loved ones and history.

4. Seek professional support

As mentioned before, there is no perfect process for dealing with grief as each person experiences the emotion in their own unique way. What remains important is to be honest, respectful and to value the past for what it has made you- into the person you are today.

Seeking professional support to help you in your grief and loss will enable you to walk a path of a full range of emotions. You will cry at the pain of loss, and smile at the good memories you have within you. You will learn to live with the pain and more importantly, to treasure the memories and love that you shared.

If you are experiencing grief and loss and need support as you work through these emotions, then here’s what you need to do: contact Duncan on 0434 331 243 for a FREE 10-minute phone consultation on how Watersedgecounselling can best help you or press book now to book on our online diary.

5 Steps to Help Manage Your Anger


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In my personal experience, anger is a secondary emotion that is triggered by a primary emotion such as powerlessness, rejection or inadequacy. It took me a long time to understand that my angry outbursts were more than spontaneous rage. Over many years of professional support, I discovered that when I felt powerless the result would be an angry outburst which was detrimental to my relationships and in one instance even cost me my job. From my own experience, here are 5 steps that can help you to manage the anger you feel in your own life.

1. Take responsibility

I would often have somebody or someone else to blame for my outburst and in this could justify my anger because “they made me do it”, I now know that I am responsible for my own actions and reactions. Taking responsibility for my own behaviour was a challenging process, but in hindsight I see it was one of the keys to managing my anger. By admitting you are responsible for your anger, you are also recognising that it is something that you need to work on and can experience a great freedom in knowing this. We need to own the responsibility for our actions and reactions if we are to commence change.

2. Identify the trigger for your anger

The trigger for my anger was a sense of powerlessness, and with professional support I now recognise precursors to potential outbursts such as a tightness in my chest which tells me I am about to ‘explode’. If you know what triggers your anger, then ask yourself this question, do you know what type of feeling you experience just before you have an outburst? Working on understanding this is a fundamental aspect of begin the process of dealing with your anger.

3. Have strategies when the feelings of anger become present

Having recognised where anger manifests itself before the outburst, I can now stop, think and take a breath before I embarrass myself with an outburst. I consciously understand that my anger is building and am therefore able to give myself the space to overcome that moment.

Note: This still continues to be a work in process. If you are tired, these precursors may be harder to recognise but strategies to manage anger will become more natural as you grow. It is always a choice to implement these strategies no matter where you are at in your journey with anger.

 4. Have an outlet or two

It is important that your anger does not become pent up, and it is healthy to have an outlet for it so long as your anger is expressed in a safe environment. Physical exercise is a good way of getting frustrations out- assuming you don’t injure an opponent while playing a team sport! Exertion of physical exercise, not abuse or physical altercations with other people assist us in releasing angry energy.

Seeking professional help is also a great outlet for anger. It can be useful to talk to people you love, but often we are too proud to listen and/or we will get angry with them when they tell us some home truths. In seeking professional support as I did, not only are you in a safe place but your loved ones are kept safe while you work through the process.

Note: This process took me well over 10 years working with different professionals as I found that much like an onion, when a layer of myself was peeled back, a need to work through further issues arose.

 5. Share your journey

Enhance your relationships with those you love by sharing understanding of your journey. Help them to understand that you alone are responsible for your inner journey, not them. As you become emotionally healthier, sharing your thoughts and processes with those you love can enrich the trust within your relationship.

Do you struggle to control your anger? Are angry outbursts common place in your life? Contact Duncan on 0434 331 243 for a FREE 10 minute consultation. If you are ready to book an appointment with Duncan, click the icon BOOK ONLINE NOW and you will be taken to his online appointment calendar, and follow the prompts.

4 Benefits of Professional Supervision


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Are you in a leadership position in your profession?

Where do you discuss your ideas, debrief from a stressful day, analyse challenges and increase your self-awareness?

Are you uncertain of what to do next in your career?

Professional supervision provides you the opportunity to manage your situation through critical reflection and self-discovery. Here are 4 benefits I have discovered that come from receiving professional supervision.

1. You don’t have to do it on your own

In the professional world, it can often seem like you are on your own as everybody appears to be interested in looking after themselves. In my experience, supervision provides an external perspective on different situations. It allows me to step out of my inward thinking so I become more creative, I understand people more and I am able to develop strategies for improvement.

2. Supervision provides strategies and processes to deal with challenging situations and people.

Initially I  would only go to professional supervision when I found myself in a crisis. My supervisor was always able to help me to discover the answers and ways to navigate these situations positively. Eventually I realised that if I attended supervision regularly, I wouldn’t have as many crisis as my skill set increased.


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3. Supervision can give you direction

Do you ever feel like you are going around in circles or stepping backwards in your day to day routine? Supervision can provide you with the direction required to get out of the mundane and to move forward with purpose and direction. So often we feel we have to do things on our own because of professional competitiveness; with professional supervision you will be assisted to discover your inner potential without fearing the vulnerability of the workplace.

4. Professional supervision provides you with a safe environment to debrief and vent regarding life and work.

Often the stressors of work can result in embarrassing behaviours, and we beat ourselves up for this. By accessing supervision and dealing with the causation of these comments and behaviours, you become better equipped to be more professional and in control.

If you would like to talk to Duncan about the possibility of Professional Supervision you can contact him on 0434 331 243 for a FREE 10 minute consultation. If you are ready to book an appointment with Duncan, click the icon BOOK ONLINE NOWand you will be taken to his online appointment calendar, and follow the prompts.