Counsellor and Supervisor
I am a local girl born in Geelong, and while I wear the blue and white stripes with pride, it hasn’t been without transition.
In my early years, my settled, predictable life changed when my parents made the decision to relocate to Melbourne where they entered The Salvation Army Training College for Officers in Melbourne. For the next 27 years I relocated every 1 to 2 years—a different house, school, and community with it's own unique history and culture.
As a child, it was always exciting and even a relief to relocate. I learnt that if life wasn't so good where I was, I could always look forward to starting over in the next place.
On the other hand, these transitions also meant that I had to let go of friends and make new ones. I was shy and fearful by nature, so I frequently felt alone and unsure of myself. I had to draw heavily on the support of my family and my own inner resources to cope with this changing landscape that was my life.
It was in the unique culture of The Salvation Army church that I felt safe and learnt to thrive. Within this context my values and beliefs were formed and nurtured—in particular, the uniqueness and value of every person and the desire to help people grow and reach their potential.
Music and the church were my two loves. I initially pursued a career as a music educator, completing a Degree in Music at Adelaide University before relocating to Tasmania's East Coast to pursue a teaching career. At 23 years of age, I followed in my parent’s footsteps, and entered training to become a Salvation Army Officer. For the next 7 years I had leadership opportunities throughout city and country Victoria and South Australia.
In 1989 I married Duncan and together we continued to fulfil leadership responsibility for The Salvation Army.
As I transitioned from being a single professional to a married woman juggling family and career, I became severely depressed, retreating into myself, and struggling to cope with the daily needs of my family.
This life crisis was the impetus for significant change and growth in my life. Leaving the safety of The Salvation Army I relocated to Geelong with my family in 1993 to recover and make a new beginning.
I have reinvented myself many times over: youth and women's pastor, funeral celebrant, housing worker, manager of a mental health service, forensic drug and alcohol counsellor, and family therapist.
I have a rich and diverse experience that enables me to empathise with a broad range of people. My greatest achievement is a strong and happy marriage relationship to my best friend and two beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and joy.
How I became a Counsellor
A life crisis creates emotional upheaval, confusion and uncertainty. My own life crisis literally brought me to my knees.
Desperate for help, I made the life-changing decision to see a counsellor and with her compassion, understanding, humour and wisdom, I slowly recovered. I experienced counselling as a safe space to talk about who I was: my identity, my experience, my beliefs, my values and my dreams.
Counselling was a liberating and exciting experience and I wanted to give this same experience to others. Initially I fulfilled this desire as I mentored people within the church context, but I recognised that I lacked counselling skills.
My hunger to facilitate personal growth, and my passion to help others to change and grow towards their full potential has been the ongoing motivation to pursue my counselling career.
My own rich life experience, as well as my extensive training and study in counselling means that I can help you if you’re struggling.
- Masters of Social Science in Family Therapy
- Graduate Diploma of Social Science in Family Therapy
- Graduate Certificate in Dual Diagnosis
- Bachelor of Counselling
- Certificate of Mental Health
- Masters in Family Therapy, Swinburne University – Completed December 2010
- Graduate Diploma of Family Therapy, Williams Rd., Therapy Centre – Completed December 2007
- Graduate Course in Mental Health, Canberra University – Completed March 2012
- Graduate Course in Dual Diagnosis – Completed December 2008
- Spiritual Formation Course: Wellspring Centre, Ashburton, Vic. 2004
- Bachelor of Counselling: University of New England, Armidale, NSW – Completed December 2003
- Telephone Counselling, Lifeline – 2002
- Salvation Army Officer Diploma: Completed in 1983 at the Salvation Army Training College, Parkville, Victoria, including Counselling
- Australian Association of Family Therapy, AAFT. No.C2041 (Clinical membership)
- Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia, PACFA, No.21611 (Clinical membership)
Services Colleen provides:
Call Colleen now on 0434 337 245 for a free 10 minute consultation on how she can help you, or book online here.
Seeing Colleen was one of the best things I have done for myself and my family. I not only learnt so much about myself, but also about how to communicate with my partner in a way that has helped the relationship greatly. Together, this resulted in greater confidence and improved mood and wellbeing. Colleen was always respectful, patient and knowledgeable, and most importantly helped me to come up with practical solutions that made real differences to everyday issues. I can't thank her enough!”
Female, age 34
Thank you again for your professional advice and your keen ability for guiding me to take a good look at myself. I am so pleased that I was given your number and that I made the effort to contact you.
[My partner] and I are both much better off for our sessions with you, but I honestly feel that I really need those first few sessions by myself to start our process. I was very nervous initially when we discussed bringing [him] in, but I really feel he actively participated in the sessions, mainly due to your skills as a counsellor!
I think [my partner] and I really needed a relationship ‘tune-up', and I am very grateful. Everyday is still a learning curve, but I have learnt to be kind to myself and to step back and really look at my own behaviour.”
Tamara, age 45
I first met Colleen four years ago when she gently identified a number of self-sabotaging beliefs that I was completely unaware of. Colleen not only saw the untapped potential within me, but offered her time and effort to help me to develop my emotional intelligence and unlearn multiple destructive thoughts that I had of myself. Since then Colleen has helped give me the self-belief to step out and tread my own path with confidence. To this day she remains my most valuable mentor and encourager.”
Mike, age 25
Two years ago I searched for a marriage counsellor extensively when Colleen was highly recommended to us through Focus on the Family. My wife and I were at the point of separation when we first met Colleen Morris and Watersedge Counselling.
In only a few sessions my wife and I decided to commit to meeting Colleen every Friday until we worked through some issues. Colleen has an amazing way of making you feel relaxed and disarmed; most counsellors make you feel uptight especially at the thought of personal change. After the first month we enjoyed our sessions with Colleen that much that we decided to make Friday's our date day in Geelong. Our Friday date days turned into a 2 hour session with Colleen, followed by lunch and then some shopping (retail therapy) afterwards. Colleen seemed to be able to work through one issue after the next every week and help us move back into a marriage which we had when we first dated over 20 years ago.
Nearly 2 years now, and we continue seeing Colleen once a fortnight. We have learned so much from Colleen and I would strongly recommend Watersedge to anyone going through marriage struggles. "
Mark, age 43
Colleen listened to me without judgement, and she accepted and validated my feelings about my situation. However she was not afraid to ask the hard questions to help me think through my motivations and how different courses of action would fit with my personal value system. She was brilliant at assisting me to sort through my thoughts and feelings so that I had a much clearer and much more objective understanding of what was going on. She gave me the courage to talk through things with my husband, and our marriage has never been better.”
Leonie, age 45
I had been struggling with emotional and psychological abuse from my birth-Mother for many years. Blessed to have discovered Colleen at Watersedge Counselling to help me in the healing and recovery process. Now I have a greater understanding of some of these issues and am better equipped to use strategies learnt. Her support was very professional and I always felt completely comfortable and would not hesitate seeking any further counsel.”
Lyn, age 30
It took a long time to admit to myself that my mental health had deteriorated to the point of needing professional help, and I was apprehensive at the prospect. However, from the first session together Colleen created a safe place in which to confront, discuss and work through some very difficult and traumatic issues. Thanks to her insight and guidance, I feel I've been given the tools and strategies to not only survive depression, but to grow and flourish beyond it. I'm so grateful to Colleen and would recommend her services unreservedly.”
My family and I have been seeing Colleen on and off for approximately 5 years. During this time she has worked with us one on one teaching us about our personality types, how we react in not only stressful but all situations allowing us to be aware and work through the issues that underpin our reactions and expressions. As well attending sessions together teaching us new and better ways to communicate and really understand others default reactions and communication styles. Colleen has taught me about healthy relationships mentoring me through divorce and dating. I am a Holistic Therapist myself and believe that when we personally are living through something we can’t always see it objectively and attending sessions with Colleen allows a new perspective and honest insight and clarity and then a healthy pathway forward. In just 3 sessions I have seen a person’s life completely turn around. I frequently refer clients to Colleen as I know if they are committed they will get results also.”