Meet Jill

My Philosophy
  • I try to avoid pathologising either partner and the three D’s (disability, diagnosis and disorder) as much as possible.
  • I have a deep understanding of autism and the issues faced by neurodiverse couples.
  • I validate the history and feelings of the couple so that they feel listened, believed and understood.
  • I interpret for one partner to the other without including blame, shame or guilt.
  • I coach both partners on the unique issues surrounding their relationship using many practical evidence based strategies.
  • I support the partnership with a goal of improving the relationship.
What Makes Me Different?
  • I’m a highly qualified and experienced special education teacher and advisor of students with an autistic/Asperger profile, their parents and their teachers (24 years.) I have a good understanding of the research based, best practise, teaching strategies.
  • I have been through my own 40-year journey of courting, marrying, shared parenting/grandparenting and finally quite recently separating from my long-term partner/husband who identifies as having an autistic/Asperger profile. We both highly value a counsellor’s ability to understand the typical and re-occurring issues faced by neurodiverse couples. It’s likely that I can identify with and validate both of your experiences.
  • I am confident that both partners will learn useful new skills through my recommended 8 week program consisting of 4 x 1-hour sessions designed to help you both experience an improvement in your relationship.
    Learn more about my 8 week program
  • I am a certified Neurodiverse Couples Therapist of Asperger/Autism Network (U.S.A.) Many neurodiverse couples come to me saying that they’ve seen several traditional couples’ counsellors for up to a year. They often report that they liked their counsellor but didn’t make much progress in their relationship because the counselling didn’t address their unique neurodiverse needs.
  • To take advantage of the autistic/Asperger profile partners visual strengths I provide a lot of written simplified information (called coaching cards) before and after sessions to help couples remember what we’ve talked about and then practise these new skills together at home.
  • I only work by teleconferencing, but all over Australia. Many couples say that this is an effective way to learn as they are more relaxed in their familiar home environment, don’t need a babysitter, and can de-brief after a session.
Academic Qualifications and Training
  • Diploma of Education (Early Childhood) – Monash University
  • Graduate Diploma in Special Education – Deakin University
  • Master of Education (Family Centred Practice) – Monash University
  • Master of Education (Guidance and Counselling) – Qld University of Technology
  • Certificate III in Micro Business
  • Advanced Certificate in Family Therapy – Qld Institute of Family Therapy (in progress)
  • Australian Counselling Association (Level 4)
  • Neurology Matters in Couples Therapy 1 and 2 (AANE – USA)
  • Certified Neurodiverse Couples Therapist (AANE – USA)
  • Gottman Relationship Counselling Level 1 and 2
  • Gottman – Treating Affairs and Trauma
  • Dr. Sue Johnson’s Intensive Course in Emotionally Focussed Therapy. Attachment-based Interventions for Couples in Crises.
  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. ACT Made Simple, ACT With Love, Trauma-Focused ACT, ACT For Children. (Dr Russ Harris)
  • Neurobiology of Healthy Relationships (Dr.Stan Tatkin) Wired for Love. Wired for Dating, We Do, What Every Therapist Ought to Know, Relationship Rx, Your Brain on Love, Love and War, Baby Bomb.
  • Trauma Sensitive Therapy, Trauma and Memory (Dr.Bessel van der Kolk)
  • Masterclass: Diagnosis with Autistic Children and Adolescents, Autism in Couple Relationships, (Professor Tony Attwood & Dr. Michelle Garnett)
  • Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST)
  • Pema Chodron – Meditation and Mindfulness Courses for Difficult Times.
  • Systematic Training in Effective Parenting, Parent Effectiveness Training, Triple PPP Parenting, School-Wide Positive Behaviour Support.
  • Foundation Course in Vipassana Meditation (21 days) and Advanced Course in Vipassana Meditation (10 days) International Buddhism Centre. Chiang Mai. Thailand
  • Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR.) – Personal experience
  • Stephen Porges PhD. Why the Vagal System Holds the Key to the Treatment of Trauma.
  • Neurodiverse relationship – 40 years (recent amicable separation)
  • Special Education Teacher (Early Intervention) Victoria and Queensland. – 12 years
  • Advisory Visiting Teacher (Autism) Essex County Council, U.K. (1 year) and Greater Brisbane, Queensland – 7 years
  • Independent Evaluator of Services – Uniting Church Early Childhood Services, Melbourne– 2 years
  • Lecturer in Special Education Griffith University – 1 year
  • Guidance Counsellor Education Queensland – 9 years
  • State-wide Moderator (Autism) Education Queensland– 1 year
  • Founder Asperger’s Syndrome Support Network (Ipswich Qld) – 2 years
  • Neurodiverse Couples Coach in Private Practice – 5 years

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” My partner and I have loved working with Jill for the past few weeks. The tips and advice she’s given us are easy to remember and extremely practical, and her deep understanding of the differences in our communication styles have made these sessions much more valuable than couples counselling we had previously. Jill is incredibly empathetic and non-judgemental, and we’ve loved her results-orientated approach. She is is up-to-date with the latest insights and does her research to ensure all our questions are answered.”
– S. and B. from Victoria 9/3/22

” Jill’s knowledge of neurodiverse couples has been a breakthrough for us. She is incredibly knowledgeable, empathetic and understanding, and in turn allowed us to understand the patterns and pitfalls of our communication.”

” A wonderful neurodiverse couple coach who listens with no judgement. My partner and I always look forward to our sessions with Jill. Her life experience and evidenced-based approach makes it easy for me to understand my autistic partner’s behaviours and communication style.”