Grainne O’Brien

Accredited Mental Health Social Worker


Key Areas of Interest

  • Recent and Historical Sexual Assault
  • Family/Domestic Violence
  • Complex Trauma
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Stress
  • Self-harm
  • Relationship and Couples
  • Anger Issues
  • Grief and Loss
  • Adjustment Disorders
  • Professional Supervision (Individual and Group

Therapeutic Frameworks/Strategies

  • Trauma Informed Practice
  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
  • Motivational Interviewing
  • Physiological Arousal Reduction
  • Solution Focused approaches
  • Narrative approaches
  • Strengths Based approaches
  • Families and Couples Therapy
  • Interpersonal therapy

About Grainne

Firstly, Grainne’s name – it is Irish, and is pronounced “Grawn-ya’.

Grainne was born to Irish parents who migrated to Australia when she was six years old. They settled in Canberra where she completed high school. She completed her Social Work studies at James Cook University, in Townsville.

She has worked as a counsellor with the NSW Northern Rivers Area Health Service- Indigo House Sexual Assault Service. She has supported witnesses who experienced psychological and physical trauma, in her work with the NSW Department of Public Prosecutions. Grainne also spent eight years working as a private practitioner in a large GP practice in Lismore. During this time she was engaged for one day per week with the Rekindling The Spirit – Jullums Aboriginal Medical Service in Lismore.

Grainne also worked for four years in Darwin as a counsellor with an Employee Assistance Program supporting public and private sector staff. The work involved some delivery of services to remote communities, which she feels privileged to have experienced.

Grainne has always hoped to return to Canberra and is delighted to have made the move back to her Australian ‘home’.

How Grainne might support you

Grainne’s approach is client-centred, addressing people’s concerns from a holistic Bio-psycho-social framework. Trauma Informed practice is the core principle she uses alongside all the other frameworks she employs. She is sensitive to the ways in which a client’s present challenges can be understood in the context of past trauma. Emphasis is placed on helping clients understand how past experiences influence present thoughts, behaviours and actions/reactions, and on empowering clients to manage their present lives more effectively through resilience development.

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