Your Counsellor, Annie Mundy

A sizeable part of the benefits of counselling comes from the therapeutic relationship between counsellor and client. Although counsellors usually tend to be compassionate, empathetic, validating and non-judgemental across the board, a closer match of lived experience and values may provide a better fit.

Some of the experiences we have in life that lead to distress are quite extreme, marginalising or traumatic and it can feel easier to work with a counsellor who has a deeper understanding from their own experience.

It is my lived experiences that led me to this profession. Many of my experiences and orientations were “outside the box” for most people and for those who were also marginalised, traumatised and desired & lived atypically, my empathy, understanding and compassion grew as I did.

It’s been a long journey, graduating with a Master of Counselling only recently in 2022 but I feel I am now doing something that feeds my soul by helping others. I’m still quite new in counselling practice and the desire to grow and learn, make services affordable, and make a difference in other’s lives will be reflected in my prices and my areas of specialisation. Below is an overview of what makes me who I am. It probably looks a bit like a resume for a job application but that is in effect what it is. If you are going to be investing your time and money into someone to help you through what may be some of the toughest times of your life, you probably want to make an informed selection.

Prior Experience Helping Others

Volunteer at Samaritans in NZ, 1989. Crisis helpline for people experiencing loneliness, depression, despair, distress or suicidal feelings.

Sole Operator at Hutt Hypnotherapy in NZ, 1993-1994. Delivering therapeutic services to individual clients. Mainly Hypnotherapy and Dianetic Auditing.

Sole Operator at Sexuality Coaching (website at Internet Archive) in NZ 2003-2004 and Queensland 2006-2013Working primarily with transgender, crossdressing and bisexual people to enhance their lives through the understanding and expression of their sexuality. Included Delivery of human sexuality educational sessions to individuals and small groups and therapeutic cognitive techniques.

Student Counsellor on Placement at UQ Counsellor Connect, 2022. General Counselling in person and telehealth.

Lived Experience and Identities

Our experiences define us and when these experiences have a greater impact on us and our perspectives and are not seen as typical, we may form or select identities in an attempt to efficiently communicate our perspectives to others or even find supportive community in others so we don’t feel so alone. Here are some that shaped me:

  • I found that I was sexually or emotionally attracted to more than one gender which led me to identify as bisexual.
  • I found that I related to the perspectives of women far more than those of men. My shared perspective and increased empathy for women had me identify strongly enough with women to socially transition genders and take up hormone replacement therapy. I now identify as a transgender woman.
  • I found that I could romantically love more than one person at a time and struggled with the cultural norm of only acting on the love for one person at a time or the use of deceit for more than one. I identify as polyamorous.
  • I did not learn sex shame as much as others around me when growing up and liked the concept of finding work that you love. This led to 25 years of doing sex-positive sex work in some capacity during my more sexually active years. Despite now being retired from sex work, I don’t think I will ever lose the perspective and experience that comes from sharing so many people’s most secret and intimate moments. I continue to identify as a sex worker.
  • I saved the biggest impact until the last. I have been through a long-term emotionally abusive intimate relationship that stripped me of my sense of self, my resilience, and my worldview and left me with a post-traumatic reduced ability to function in many areas of life for years after. The idea of recovering from this was so alien to me. I was too broken. Yet, with support from others, I found a counsellor who understood and helped ease me onto a path of recovery that I didn’t think was possible. It was this experience of the healing power of counselling and a nudge from my counsellor that changed my path. I now identify as an emotional abuse survivor (and counsellor)

Education, Qualifications and Professional Memberships

Bachelor of Arts (Psychology) Victoria University of Wellington 2005. Including Sexuality and Society, Sex and Sexuality, Social Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, Brain and Behaviour, Abnormal Psychology, Applied Social Psychology, and Psychology of Religion.

Graduate Diploma in Science (Psychology) Victoria University of Wellington 2006. Including Abnormal Psychology, Personality and Motivation, Psychology of Superstition, Behavioural Neuroscience, Religion & Human Biology, Research Project (Evolutionary Psychology – Cultural Evolution, Interaction).

Bachelor of Science (Neuroscience)  University of Queensland 2010. Including Genetics & Evolution, Human Biology, Developmental Neurobiology, Psychophysiology, Evolutionary Approach to Psychology, Social Neuroscience & Developmental Psychology.

Master of Counselling  University of Queensland 2022. Including Mental Health, Grief & Loss, Children & Young People, Family Therapy, Relationship Counselling, Crisis & Violence and Public Health Psychology.

Level 2 Member of The Australian Counselling Association (ACA). You can view the ACA Scope of Practice here and read “Scope of Practice – Counsellor Level 2” to see what that entails

Certified Clinical Trauma Professional. Evergreen Certifications 2023

Completed Workshops & Courses

  • ACT For Beginners (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy; Psychwire, Russ Harris)
  • Narcissistic and Psychopathic Abuse: The Clinician’s Guide to the New Field of Traumatic Pathological Love Relationships (Association for NPD/Psychopathy Survivor Treatment, Research & Education)
  • Narcissistic Abuse – In-Depth Workshop – Module 1: Overview of Antagonistic Personality Styles (Dr. Ramani Durvasula)
  • Gottman Method Couples Therapy Level 1: Bridging the Couple Chasm (The Gottman Institute)
  • 2­ Day Intensive Trauma Treatment Certification Workshop: EMDR, CBT and Somatic­Based Interventions to Move Clients from Surviving to Thriving (The Professional Development People, Megan Boardman)
  • Introduction to Neurodiversity Affirming Therapy with Autism & ADHD Clients (Monique Mitchelson)

Values and Interests

I think values are important, as we feel more in integrity ourselves when we follow them which is great for mental health also. My favourite model of values is the theory of basic human values because it appears to be universal despite cultural differences. In this model, my highest values are:

  • Self Direction (Independent thought and action in choosing, creating, and exploring. Drive for mastery and autonomy)
  • Benevolence (The well-being of those close to me such as friends, family, and community. Having cooperative and supportive relationships and interdependence)
  • Universalism (Understanding, appreciation, tolerance, protection and well-being of all people and nature. Concern for the disadvantaged and marginalised)

In contrast, my lowest values are power, tradition and conformity.

From this, it makes sense to me that I’m a free-thinking, sex-positive, relationship-oriented, non-conforming, outside-the-box counsellor who wants to support those who have been disadvantaged by others and society.

If you are interested in your values, here is a free quiz. Imagine how it might feel to live true to your values. One of the therapeutic models I use is ACT, which has values as one of its core principles.

The Next Step

This page has a lot of information about me, but counselling is about you.

I want you to feel comfortable reaching out and contacting me. I want you to know that it’s fine to book a free introduction with me without obligation or to fire any questions at me by email or text.

On this page, I also hoped to reduce some of the anxiety-inducing unknowns about contacting me or any counsellor. It can be a big step, especially if you have been trying to work through issues on your own for a long time or have been hesitant due to any society-created shame about seeking professional help. Thankfully this is changing.