About me

Thanks for taking the time to learn about what I do and why I do it.

In a nutshell, I help people work through troublesome issues and phases, get clarity on who they are and how they want to live and then help them to stay on that path. I’ve been doing that since 1997 and I still love it.

My work is very important to me and I care deeply about helping my clients through difficult times, learning about themselves along the way so that they emerge lighter, brighter and ready for more of life.

A few words about what led me to this work…

Many moons ago, from my mid twenties through to my early thirties, I was riddled with negativity, insecurity and anxiety. I was about 25 kilos overweight, I smoked heavily, drank and ate far too much, worked hard and partied harder and generally neglected my health. The people who knew me thought I was confident and happy but underneath I felt insecure and unhappy and in terms of my overall health, I was very unwell. A 6 month period of undiagnosed panic attacks led to agoraphobia and depression which knocked me out of action completely for few months. It took a long time and lots of therapeutic support to build my confidence to connect to people and life again but I did it and I’ve been committed to helping others move through their rough patches ever since.

My expertise with relationships began developing from my very first day in this field because relationships are most often a part of, if not at the heart of why a person is struggling. The essential truth I have come to know in relationship work is that an authentic and compassionate connection with the Self is critical to improving relationships with others. 

In addition to the painful relationship experiences my clients share with me it’s my deliberate decision to be transparent about my own relationship history which is far from stable. I’ve always found it difficult to feel comfortable in close relationships and as such have battled with related anxieties, at times quite severely. Over the years I have learnt a great deal about myself and most importantly, how to care for myself in the eye of emotional storms. These personal experiences along with professional training provide me with the understanding, empathy and tools required to support my clients when they’re suffering.

I’m a huge believer in ‘walking the talk’; I am committed to maintaining optimal wellbeing and I will continue to study and build an exceptional level of expertise so that I can support people through their most difficult challenges as well as help them cultivate peaceful and meaningful lives. 

Quals & Cred

  • Cert Counselling & Psychotherapy  – Cairnmillar Institute, 1997
  • ACT (Acceptance & Commitment Therapy) Advanced Practitioner Training  – Dr Russ Harris, 2013
  • Principles of Neuroscience Masterclass for Coaches – online with Dr Sarah McKay, 2015
  • ACT (Acceptance & Commitment Therapy) for Relationships – Dr Russ Harris, 2017
  • ACT (Acceptance & Commitment Therapy) for Anxiety & Depression – Dr Russ Harris, 2017
  • Gottman Method Couples Therapy – Level 1  – online with The Gottman Institute, 2018
  • Couples & Addiction Recovery  – online with The Gottman Institute, 2018
    Foundations of Neuroscience  – online with The Neuroscience Academy, 2018
  • Gottman Method Couples Therapy – Level 2, online with The Gottman Institute, 2019
  • Working with the Pain of Abandonment – online with National Institute for the Clinical Application of Behavioural Medicine, 2020
  • Problems as the Path  – online workshop with Australian Association of Buddhist Counsellors & Psychotherapists, 2020
  • The Neurobiology of Attachment – online with National Institute for the Clinical Application of Behavioural Medicine, 2021
  • How to Target the Limbic System to Reverse Trauma’s Physiological Imprint – online with NICABM, 2021
  • Polyvagal Theory and ACT – online with Praxis, 2021
  • Member of AABCAP (Australian Association of Buddhist Counsellors & Psychotherapists)
  • Compassionate Inquiry – online with Gabor Maté & Sat Dharam Kaur, 2023
  • Past sufferer of Generalised Anxiety Disorder, Agoraphobia and Depression
  • Ex-smoker, drinker and boundaryless socialiser
  • Life long wrestle with emotional eating & body image
  • Child of separated parents (before it was ‘normal’)
  • Single Mum of a happy and healthy daughter who turns 21 in 2024. 
  • Small business owner/operator for over 3 decades, mostly working in Health & Wellness.
  • Plus a broad spectrum of challenging life experiences that enable me to empathise, support and guide people of all ages and stages to a healthier, happier and more stable experience of life.
Jo Woods - About me

My Teachers:

  • Pema Chödrön
  • Thich Nhat Hanh
  • Esther Perel
  • Russ Harris
  • John & Julie Gottman
  • Rick Hanson
  • Mark Epstein
  • Gabor Maté
  • Susan Johnson
  • Stephen Porges

My Self Care Practices:

  • Walking, Swimming & Bike Riding
  • Yoga, Pilates & meditation
  • Reading
  • Theatre, film & music
  • Nature walks & weekends away
  • Bathing and massage
  • Being in or near the sea