Don Coles

Don Coles

Accredited Mental Health Social Worker, Clinical Supervisor, AASW

M Social Work (Counselling), B Social Studies (Social Work)

Ring to ScheduleBridges CounsellingSydney(02) 9683 1444

Don has over 35 years of counselling experience, working with anxiety, depression, stress, relationships, confidence issues, trauma effects, disability, parenting and mental health. He worked with the Child Abuse Royal Commission as a counsellor for 3 years, supporting people affected by childhood sexual abuse. He has provided clinical supervision for over 20 years.


Areas of Counselling Practice

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Mental Health, Grief & Trauma

  • Addictions, e.g. alcohol, gambling, Internet, pornography, etc.
  • Adult mental health issues
  • Adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse
  • Anxiety including social anxiety, panic attacks, and stress
  • Coping with emotions including shame, grief and anger
  • Depressive disorders, depression and low mood
  • Emotional, physical and sexual abuse — past or present
  • Family-of-origin issues
  • Grief & loss counselling
  • Relationship issues including conflict & domestic violence
  • Self-harm and suicidality
  • Separation & divorce
  • Trauma & abuse counselling

Clinical/Ministry Supervision

  • Clinical supervision for students and professional counsellors
  • Mentoring, supervision or counselling for pastors & Christian leaders

Adolescent & Family Counselling

  • Behavioural challenges for adolescents
  • Conflict resolution
  • Disability support for children and their family
  • Fatherhood issues and mentoring
  • Parenting skills development
  • Relationship issues
  • Stepfamily issues

Other Services

  • Building better relationships (work and personal)
  • Carer’s related issues
  • Life and work transitions
  • Men’s issues
  • Self-esteem & confidence, assertive communication
  • Skype counselling
  • Spirituality (Christian perspective)
  • Work cover and worker’s compensation

How I Approach Counselling

Each counselling situation and client is unique, and I use a combination of:

  • Creating a “safe space” in the counselling room for the client(s) to share their personal information and experience
  • Understanding and appreciating the client’s particular perspective and experience
  • Assisting the client to making sense of things in a way that opens up options for steps forward
  • Building and drawing on the client’s previous and current capabilities and wisdom
  • Assisting the client to find ways to feel more in control of their situation, and confidence to keep this going

Professional Background

I have had 35 years experience as a counsellor, social worker and family therapist in various settings working with individuals, families, couples, children, teenagers & groups. This has included agencies providing individual and couple counselling, family therapy and family support programs, out of home care and foster care, community health, group work and with various disability services. I recently completed 3 years with the counselling team at the Child Abuse Royal Commission, supporting individuals with child sexual abuse and trauma histories who were engaging with the Commission in private sessions and public hearings.

I have extensive experience in supervision and support of staff and students from a variety of backgrounds, including counselling, family and individual therapy, family support, social work, psychology, disability, out of home care and youth work.  I enjoy the process of practice reflection to ensure quality service to clients and to build workers knowledge, skills and confidence. From time to time I have taught in counselling and family therapy at University level.

Professional Memberships

  • Membership of Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW) – Accredited Mental Health Social Worker with AASW.


My fee is $175 per session, usually between 50-60 min, and payment is made on the day of the appointment.

I am Medicare accredited with clients who have a Mental Health Care Plan obtained from their GP. The Medicare rebate is $77.10 per session for 6 to 10 sessions per calendar year.

If you have private health cover with Teacher’s Health, Uni Health or Nurses and Midwives Health, you may be able to claim a rebate, so please check with your fund.

I am WorkCover and NDIS approved. 


If you are having financial difficulties, concessions may be available.

Registered Counsellor Bodies

Registered Psychologist Bodies