Counselling experts

The researchers in Murdoch University’s counselling program are engaged in projects involving challenges people face in all stages of life, including children with ADHD, the effects of trauma on children and adults, end-of-life counselling, and grief and bereavement. As part of the School of Health Professions, we have a focus and alliance with other researchers in the school examining how to better help people facing chronic and terminal illness, as well as better ways of providing care to patients and families.

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Petra Skeffington

Dr Petra Skeffington

Trauma, PTSD resilience, high risk professions

Dr Skeffington is an expert in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), resilience to trauma, and psychological wellbeing.

She has worked extensively in the field of trauma, including treatment of PTSD and the impact of trauma on individuals, partners and families.

A practising clinical psychologist, Dr Skeffington also speaks on the assessment of psychological interventions, post-traumatic growth, lifestyle and wellbeing, high-risk professions and the evaluation of creative therapies.

Margaret Sealey

Dr Margaret Sealey

Grief and bereavement, ambiguous loss of dementia, dementia, palliative care

Dr Margaret Sealey is a counsellor with 20 years experience working in oncology, palliative care and with clients living with dementia.
Her professional and research interests are centred on grief and bereavement, ambiguous loss associated with dementia and life-limiting and end-of-life issues and palliative care. She has recently completed a PhD study using action research methodology to develop a bereavement risk assessment model for use in palliative care. Dr Sealey is a lecturer in the Discipline of Counselling in the School of Health Professions and also works as a counsellor with Alzheimer’s Australia WA.
Brenda Bentley

Dr Brenda  Bentley

Motor neurone disease, palliative care, end-of-life counselling, dignity therapy

Dr Brenda Bentley is a counselling psychologist who has worked in palliative care settings in the US and Australia since 2009. Her research focuses on improving care for people diagnosed with life-limiting conditions. She has specific expertise in motor neurone disease, and in an end-of-life intervention called Dignity Therapy, a life review psychotherapy that creates a document detailing important aspects of a person’s life.

Her current research is exploring the feasibility of online psychotherapy for palliative care patients. She is also involved in a project which is evaluating optimal ways to provide community nursing services for neurological patients in Western Australia. Dr Bentley is the Head of Discipline for Counselling in the School of Health Professions.

To reach these experts for media enquiries, contact:

Luke McManus
Media & Communications Advisor
Phone: 08 9360 2491
Mobile: 0400 297 221
l.mcmanus@murdoch.edu.au

For all other enquiries, please ring reception on 08 9360 6000.