Psychologist Counselling & Mediation Services

Rosalin Primrose is a trusted and well respected psychologist on the Sunshine Coast and has a wealth of experience working with all aspects of psychologycounsellingchild therapy, mediation and dispute resolution.  

Psychologist, Counselling and Mediation Services

Counselling – Individual and Relationship

  • Gain freedom from depression and anxiety
  • Manage unexpected and traumatic changes in your life
  • Improve damaged relationships with yourself and others
  • Deal with trauma and old psychological wounds
  • Change destructive or inappropriate behaviour  

Cognitive Behavioural Therapyis a a “talking therapy”.  CBT aims to solve problems concerning dysfunctional emotions, behaviours, and cognitions through a systematic procedure which is goal-oriented.  The term CBT is used in diverse ways to designate behaviour therapy and/or cognitive therapy.

Business Dispute Resolution saves time and money, avoids loss of valuable workers, increases productivity and enhances teams.

Family Dispute Resolution creates the best options for you and your family which helps preserve family finances for the well being of family members.  It is quicker and you control the outcomes.

Child Therapy and Play Therapy refers to a way of engaging children in play behaviors which reveals emotional and behavioral problems and a process of dealing with these issues.

Help! What Happens After I Make an Appointment?

If you have never had to use the services of a counsellor, psychologist or mental health therapist it is understandable that you may be unsure of what to expect.  Click on this link to find a quick run down of what to expect when you contact or work with Rosalin.

Call Rosalin directly on Ph: 0424 002 640

or Email


Sexual Abuse And Recovery

Sexual abuse is very much in the headlines with the Australian Government’s Royal Commission into sexual abuse of children by institutions such as the Catholic Church.   For the many victims whose trust was betrayed when they were young and vulnerable, the road to recovery can be long and painful.

What is not generally realised is that most sexual abuse takes place not in institutions or at the hands of strangers, but in the home, where children are among their families and thought to be safe.
And the largest group of offenders is siblings, which makes disclosure difficult and protection a hit and miss matter, even when parents are informed and well resourced.
Many children who experience sexual abuse at the hands of other family members or close family friends do not disclose in childhood but wait until there is a compelling reason to speak, or until the offender dies, for instance.

In Australia, adult survivors of sexual abuse may feel they have little reason to come forward and good reason to keep the peace in their families.  By comparison, in British Columbia, the most western province of Canada, there is a program to encourage reporting of sexual abuse and assault to police, so that prosecutions can be
mounted and gradual cultural change can be achieved.

The program has resulted in a big increase in reporting but has also produced some challenges, in that victims don’t always want to cooperate in a prosecution, often preferring to know that their offender is on record and to simply receive counselling and compensation for themselves.

Prosecutions are possible in only a tiny number of reported cases and these depend on former child victims to have accurate memories of events, times and dates.  Our evidence based system relies on the kinds of feats of memory that most victims cannot deliver.

In addition, if a report to police turns into a prosecution, it is unusual for family members to remain on the sidelines or support the victim.  In fact, victims who are seen to be putting family members or the family reputation at risk are quite likely to be strongly discouraged by the family.  This can take the form of the silent
treatment from some, angry encounters, punishing behaviour and threats.

A family seeking to protect itself from reputational damage or prosecution can be capable of orchestrated protective behaviour of the offender, not so much the victim.

In this context, therapeutic support for victims must be aimed at safety for the victim while addressing the challenges he or she might have – socially, sexually, in terms of mental and physical health and also in terms of career and their own family.

Adult survivors of sexual abuse who find that they have difficulty in any of these areas may find it helpful to work with a psychologist who understands sexual abuse dynamics within families and also something of the legal landscape.

Recovery is possible without confronting anyone, though it may naturally lead the survivor to new ways of dealing with family business, for instance family gatherings, new boundaries and communication pathways.

Some survivors find they want to and have good reason to name a perpetrator and such a process is best done after thorough preparation with your psychologist.

Many an adult survivor has dreamed of reconciliation, believing that the offender would also want closure.  And in some cases that does happen, usually when it is clear that the approach is not about involving the law or publicly shaming the offender, who was usually a child themselves at the time.

Here are some behaviours that fall into the category of sexual abuse, from Pandora’s Project:

  • Sexual touching of any part of the body, clothed or unclothed;
  • Penetrative sex, including penetration of the mouth;
  • Encouraging a child to engage in sexual activity, including
  • Intentionally engaging in sexual activity in front of a child;
  • Showing children pornography, or using children to create pornography;
  • Encouraging a child to engage in prostitution.

According to Australian National Crime Statistics, 93 per cent of sexual abuses are committed by males but males can also be victims of childhood sexual abuse and assault.  Centres against Sexual Assault quotes a 1999 survey in which an estimated one in three girls and one in six boys is victimised before the age of 16.
This figure has not changed substantially in two decades, despite the growing intolerance in the community for sexualised behaviour against children.

Survivors might encounter a range of difficulties in adulthood that might be linked to their childhood experiences.  Bravehearts lists the issues as including self-injury and suicide,  risk taking behaviours, alcohol and drug misuse, depressive and other disorders, higher body mass index, criminal behaviour, prostitution, schooling and vocational difficulties and higher costs borne by the survivor and by the community in terms of health care and other factors.

Survivors can lead productive lives and be good parents to their own children, with a little help and support at the right time.  What happened to you as a child need not define who you are today.



Sexual Abuse in Families

Sexual abuse in families

We tend to think of sexual abuse as something that happens to children at the hands of strangers or people outside the family but research over the past several decades has shown that most sexual abuse happens closer to home.

We also think of sexual abuse as an offence accompanied by violence or threatening behaviour, when the reality is that most offences are committed under the guise of friendship, loving gestures or a shared secret.

Disclosure (Telling) Takes Courage

It’s a lot tougher to talk about sexual abuse that has occurred within the family than at the hands of a stranger.  A disclosure of that nature can go badly if not planned and well supported and that can result in the victim again coming off worse.

It makes sense that a disclosure about sexual abuse within a family frightens family members and that they go through a process that is human but perilous, if they don’t know how to deal with it.

The first tendency in any confronting situation is for the family to deny that anything bad has happened and that might take the form of telling the victim to take it back, or trying to persuade them that it was something else.

If that does not resolve the dissonance caused by a disclosure, family members often get angry and that can be directed at the victim or the perpetrator, or both.  Fear of consequences for the family or the perpetrator can lead family members to minimise what has happened or its effects on the child, or to bargain for secrecy or a solution just within the family.

What if Victim and Perpetrator are Both Children?

If both the victim and the perpetrator are children living within the family while this process unfolds, there is likely to be pressure on both and it can be very unsafe for families to try to resolve these conflicts without outside help.  Yet that is what most families attempt to do.   We think of sexual abuse as happening to children by adults but keep in mind that older siblings are also a large category of sexual offender.

Getting outside help from a knowledgeable person is essential, and just as soon as possible.  If both victim and perpetrator are children, the Department of Community Services Child Safety is a resource that should be engaged and their expertise used on behalf of all family members.

Who will Look After the Family?

If the perpetrator is an adult, other fears come into play.  For instance, how the family will cope with a parent or other adult having to leave the home, whether there will be loss of income, whether there will be a criminal trial and how the leadership of the family will be supported.  Again, this is a point where expert help should be used as soon as possible, to help keep the family well supported.

Stranger Danger

Sometimes a disclosure of sexual abuse by someone outside the family is more likely to be dealt with quicker than instances of sexual abuse in families.  But it’s likely there will still be painful issues for family members to cope with, such as adults not having seen the danger or having done something or failed to do something that might have changed the course of history.

There may be a criminal investigation or trial to go through but most instances of sexual abuse never go to trial, because of the nature of the crime.  Such behaviour is usually carried out secretly, there is seldom reliable evidence and children cannot be expected to remember times or dates, for instance, making them unreliable witnesses.  If several years have gone by, a young child will not be able to offer reliable witness evidence toward a conviction.

What to do if You Receive a Disclosure

If someone wants to ‘tell’ then LISTEN.  With any sexual abuse within families whether the perpetrator is within the family or external to the family, the process of telling or disclosing about the abuse is the same.  Let your child know that you want to hear everything they want to tell you about it.  Stay calm and do not ask a lot of questions.  Prompt the child to tell the story by using simple phrases, such as ‘tell me more’ and ‘what else?’

Assure your child that you will keep them safe now and also get advice from the appropriate people about what to do.  Do not ask your child to help you decide what to do.

Thank your child for coming forward.  If you like, you can tell them that you are not sure what to do but that you know who to ask.

Make sure your child has permission to talk to others if he or she wants to, for instance a teacher or school counsellor.  Your child may want to have the number of the Kids Help Line and a doctor might refer family members to a psychologist under a Mental Health Plan, for ongoing help.  A GP visit is essential where there has been any physical assault on your child and is also advisable to protect your child’s mental health.

Rosalin has many years’ experience helping both children and adult survivors of sexual abuse with personal recovery and dealing with family relationships in the aftermath of a disclosure.

Please contact Rosalin on Ph: 0424 002 640

Or email directly to


Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

How to Stop “Stinking Thinking”

Choosing your thoughts carefully is a key skill to maintaining good mental health.  Often, we can’t do much about the things that happen around us and to us – but we can take note of the thoughts we have about those events.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a powerful approach to feeling better and making better choices.

You might have heard the term Stinking Thinking but perhaps you haven’t checked your own thoughts to see where they lead you.  Psychologist Laura L. Smith has a checklist you can use to see how your habits of thought might be generating distressing mental states.

  • Awfulizing: this distortion involves making a mountain out of a molehill. In other words, thinking that a situation is far worse than it really is.

  • Negative predicting: people who use this distortion predict horrible events that haven’t and may never happen.
  • Mind reading: this involves believing that people are thinking certain (usually negative) thoughts without checking out the truth.
  • Self-tagging: labels are useful on food items in the grocery store; they are less useful when applied to a person. Self-tagging involves calling yourself negative names like stupid, idiot, ugly, or so on.
  • Shoulding: I should have known better or I should have done something differently. These statements are not really useful and often involve self-scolding.

To most of us, it feels like when something negative affects us, we automatically feel bad and then start thinking about what happened and how it affects us.  In reality, when something happens, your mind must first make sense and meaning of it, before feelings (distressing or pleasurable) are generated.

That’s the point at which you can choose how to think about the event and meaning it has for you.  With practice you will be able to use this checklist to help you develop healthy thoughts and behaviors in response to life events.

If you notice that you have a case of Stinking Thinking that is making life stressful, ask for some help from a psychologist expert at Cognitive Behaviour Therapies.

CBT is a form of psychotherapy in which therapist and client work together to identify and solve problems by changing the client’s thinking, behaviour and emotional responses to situations and events.

Dr. Aaron T. Beck developed the treatment model. The Beck Institute says it has been found to be effective in more than 400 outcome studies for a myriad of psychiatric disorders, including depression, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, and substance abuse, among others.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy has been extended to and studied for adolescents and children, couples, and families.

Rosalin Primrose
Ph: 0424 002 640

Mental Health Problems – Premmy & Small Babies at Risk?

It’s long been recognised that children born prematurely and at low birth weight struggle with a variety of health problems, some of them life threatening.  An Australian study reported this year now points to possible future mental health problems in premmy and small babies.

The study gives us an opportunity to pay particular attention to premature and low birth weight (LBW) children if they experience learning or social difficulties in primary school and as they enter their adolescent years.

The results of the study have recently been reported on  A. C. Burnett of the department of Psychology at the University of Melbourne found that these children are three and a half times more likely to develop mental health problems such as depression and anxiety.

“The results of this study, the first of its kind, have significant clinical implications. Burnett believes that professionals treating the physical and cognitive impairments in LBW children should be aware of the negative psychological predisposition that these children possess, paying particular attention to mental health needs during adolescence and young adulthood. Burnett added, “The studies reviewed here indicate that, in addition to monitoring and management of medical and cognitive sequelae, the psychological well-being of formerly preterm individuals should be a key part of ongoing care in collaboration between clinicians, individuals and their families.””

Forewarned is forearmed- this article gives parents and psychologists new information that could be helpful in supporting premature children to close the gaps between LBW and normal birth weight children and adolescents.  With help when they need it, premature children have an improved outlook for their mental health in young adulthood so that possible future mental health problems in premmy and small babies will be mitigated.

Rosalin Primrose  Call: 0424 002 640


Separation and Children – They Just Want Peace!

Information on an upcoming Australian Institute of Family Studies (FIFS) seminar series presentation highlights some of the difficulties involved for children of separating parents.

Little boy in red t shirt blocking his ears

Separation and children - they just want peace!

Conflict between parents is the most difficult aspect of separation for the children of a disintegrating relationship. Study after study, here and around the world, has shown that children of a break-up don’t focus on the percentage of nights they will spend with each parent.  Rather, when it comes to separation and children, they just want peace.

When conflict between parents remains high for months and years after the separation, parents often have to deal with the reluctance, or downright refusal, of children to spend time with one or other parent.

It’s called Parental Alienation and Professor Nick Bala of Queens University, Kingston, Canada, says it’s no easy matter for courts to intervene and determine what is best for children in these cases.

Professor Bala is in Australia to present a paper at the Australian Institute of Family Studies in Melbourne.  He acknowledges the complexities and the difficulties of getting enough information on which to intervene helpfully:

“Although in high conflict separations some children maintain good relationships with both parents, many children become resistant to contact with one parent. Cases with contact problems pose great challenges for courts and other family justice professionals, in terms of ascertaining facts, understanding complex dynamics and making decisions about how to intervene in managing parent-child relationships.

In some cases the child’s rejection of a parent is justified by abuse, poor parenting or tensions within a stepfamily (estrangement). Alienation occurs if one parent undermines the child’s relationship with the other parent, resulting in the child’s rejection of that parent based not on the child’s own experiences with the rejected parent but rather reflecting the attitude of the alienating parent.”

Whether you are the parent with primary responsibility (who would like a break from constant responsibility and some ‘me’ time) or the other parent (who can’t accept that a child doesn’t want to spend time with you), it is difficult to know how to resolve the problem.  Some parents believe that it’s simply a matter of putting the child in the car and driving them to the meeting point.  Others hesitate to physically strap a protesting, crying child into a seatbelt and insist they see the other parent.

What is a magistrate to do, to intervene in the best interests of the children?

Professor Bala says:

“While there are various sanctions and responses available, in more severe cases, often the most effective response to alienation is a clear message that residence may be reversed; in appropriate cases the best interests of the child requires a reversal of residence arrangements, even if contrary to the wishes of the child.

While Australia has more publicly funded services than most jurisdictions, there is a need for better Court directed mental health interventions to allow for better responses to the highest conflict cases with contact problems. There needs to be early identification and assessment of high conflict cases, and case management of these most challenging cases by the most experienced family law judges.”

Though there have been some high profile cases in Australia where residency has been reversed, most parents are unaware that they risk losing primary care of children if they are found to be alienating children from the other parent. Worried about the comfort or safety of the children, they may not know what to do to walk the fine line between alienation and protection.

If you need help to get the balance as good as possible for children, ask a psychologist expert in family law matters to assist you and perhaps your children too.

Rosalin Primrose

Call: 0424 002 640




Divorce Rates Lower Than Thought

Good news from recent research by social analysts McCrindle Research – we have seriously over-estimated the number of marriages in Australia that ends in divorce.  This means divorce rates are lower than thought.

Small boy behind ripped wedding photo

Torn apart? Divorce rates lower than thought.

“McCrindle reports that one in three, and not one in two, marriages will end that way.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics-based research was carried out to disprove five commonly held assumptions about Australian life, one of them that half of all marriages is doomed to end prematurely.

Social analyst Mark McCrindle said the myths had become accepted because figures and percentages had given them an element of believability.

“Marriages are actually doing better these days and the divorce rates are declining and have been for more than 30 years,” he said.

“Not only is the rate declining but the total number of divorces is declining.”

Divorce rates have been declining since the big divorce bubble moved through the legal system following the introduction of the no-fault Family Law Act in the 70s.

There is another element not factored into the research – many Australian couples don’t marry but live in de facto relationships.  If there is a myth about de facto relationships, it is that they are not founded on lifetime commitment and therefore people walk away from them more easily.

So even though divorce rates are lower than thought, it appears that the starting point for comparison may have changed.

If you are having troubles in your relationship please see your mental health professional as early as possible.  Early intervention could be the difference between a continuing marriage/relationship or looming divorce.

Rosalin Primrose
Registered Psychologist
Phone:  0424 002 640
Health fund rebates available where applicable



Online Help for Depression

It seems that computers can replace counsellors for depressed patients.  So now it’s possible to get online help for depression.

Given that we’re seeing alarming rates of depression and anxiety in Western populations around the world, some news out of Scotland offers a practical way to deal with the worried well and the mildly depressed.

A recent article in The Scotsman reports that:

“Patients across Scotland will be offered computer counselling sessions instead of appointments with trained therapists as part of a radical plan to cut NHS waiting times and costs.

The move is being considered by ministers amid high rates of stress and depression among Scots and tightening NHS budgets.

Patients who visit their GP with mild to moderate depression or anxiety will be referred to an NHS website encouraging positive thinking.”

Australia is well down this track, with the establishment of the Black Dog Institute and Beyond Blue among the web sites people can use to investigate their mental health status and access some self-help resources.  Here are the links-

Moodgym is another resource people can use to improve their coping capacities and monitor their progress.

As the Scotsman reports, there is an urgent need to give people useful self-help tools to manage early stages of depression and anxiety, so that they don’t become debilitating to people experiencing distress.

Funding for treatment of mood disorders in future years is likely to be reserved for situations that are potentially life threatening.  Nothing will take the place of one to one assistance for critical circumstances but it’s clear that early intervention and patients taking charge of their own decision making are key points.

Patients’ groups in Scotland have warned that –

”   the system could fail to spot serious cases and computers are no replacement for experienced counsellors.

One in five Scots suffers from depression at some time, and thousands are thought to be suffering high stress levels triggered by financial worries and job pressures as the economic recession worsens.

Yet waiting times to see an NHS therapist vary, with some patients forced to wait for several months.”

In Australia, Medicare’s Better Access program was trimmed in November, meaning that GP referred patients can get 10 sessions of mental health support per year now, instead of 12 and more.  This may contribute to depressed people seeking alternative treatment modes such as Online Help for Depression.

If you feel you need more traditional help then look at my Medicare Fact Sheet.

To use the Better Access program, consult your GP about your support needs,

Rosalin Primrose
Phone: 0424 002 640




Stress Management For Students

Stress is a growing problem as the Sunshine Coast struggles to find its economic feet.  Parents are working longer hours, breadwinners are not getting all the hours they need to support a

Sad teenage girl sitting on the ground

Stress management for students can help solve behavourial problems

family, and children suffer too.   Stress management  for students is a particular  area needing attention.

School behavioural psychologist Toula Gordillo has developed a program for high school students, to help them recognise stress and manage it before it affects their social and school performance, as reported in the Sunshine Coast Daily.

She told the Daily:

“I think the demands are getting greater because of technology advances, which is making the pace of life faster, as well as the global economic downturn and higher levels of unemployment putting pressure on families.”

Her Raft Program helps students learn to cope with stress in and outside of school.

“It is about helping teens identify the triggers of stress and understand how to cope with stress,” she said.  “Depression and anxiety are a huge implication of stress, with some students turning to eating disorders, chewing fingernails down to the quicks and throwing-up as some of the ways to cope.”

Mrs Gordilla’s list of warning signs to watch for in children and high school students  are applicable to adults too.   Here they are:

      • Change in child’s behaviour
      • Become withdrawn
      • Acting out
      • Change of friend group
      • Bullying
      • Irritability
      • Overreaction

If you notice any of these signs in your children, yourself or other family members then take action to talk through these problems with a trained mental health professional.   With appropriate action, stress management for students can be a huge weight off the person;s shoulders.

Contact Rosalin Primrose on Ph: 0424 002 640


Divorce Party?

Written by Rosalin Primrose

A US report suggests that, as separation and divorce become so much a part of life, some former partners are throwing divorce parties to mark the end of their domestic relationships.

You are invited written on strips of paper

A divorce party may help transition from married to single

As part of the de-stigmatisation of divorce, it is being viewed by some health professionals as a move in the right direction.  But the success of any such party would depend a lot on the circumstances of the split.

I attended a gathering in Canada a decade or so ago that had the same intention.  It was dubbed a composting party and the participants were each asked to bring a compostable object symbolic of what the end of that couple’s relationship meant to them.

The contributions included fruit and vegetables, soil, nuts, yeast – whatever people felt would help make good compost for the future of everybody there. And it all went into a bucket for a mix up and was later dug into the fruit orchard.

“Separation does not always have to be the catastrophe we’ve been conditioned to believe. “Now that we’ve had several decades of high divorce rates, we may know how to do divorce a little better and in a way that minimizes the pain,” says Andrew Cherlin, author of The Marriage-Go-Round and a professor at Johns Hopkins. His theory about a possible rise in happy divorces: where 50 years ago, divorce was so stigmatized only the most miserable left their marriages, now the “moderately unhappy” are getting out too, which might make for some less acrimonious splits.

Christine Gallagher, a divorce party planner in L.A., says business has exploded in recent years. “The party’s very cathartic,” she says, “it’s a way of saying ‘The End.’?”

“I’ve heard of civilized divorces,” says wedding-cake impresario Sylvia Weinstock, but most of her clients aren’t so lucky. She makes cakes for divorce parties, but the lion’s share are for celebrations after bitter divorces. “A good many of our clients do not end things so happily,” she says.”

No pressure!  There seems little point in trying to compose yourself enough to throw a divorce party if you are traumatised and still suffering.  In the case of the composting party, only one spouse attended because the other didn’t feel ready. But the group of friends reasoned that composting can happen at any time and the result is new growth!

For professional help for divorce and separation issues contact:
Rosalin Primrose
Phone: 0424 002 640

Separation and Effects on Children

A good divorce? Don’t bet your children on it….

Separation and effects on children :  While there is little doubt that parental disputing has long term adverse effects on children, in recent years we have comforted ourselves that a separation characterised by cooperation and mutual respect helps children adjust to parents’ separation.  We’ve been fond of asserting that ‘children are resilient’ and relying on them to thrive.

sad little girl cuddling teddy

Play therapy can help a child break free of their fears

But a new study reported in the Sydney Morning Herald found that children from ‘good’ divorces were no better off on a range of well-being measures.

It questions the whole concept of the ”good divorce”, a term popularised in the 1990s to describe a break-up in which the parents are co-operative, the children remain close to both, and emerge, apparently, unscathed.

“”Creating a positive post-divorce family environment – although worthwhile – is no guarantee that children will be unharmed by marital dissolution,” says Paul Amato, the lead author, and professor of sociology at Pennsylvania State University.

The study found the offspring from ”good” divorces were no better off on a range of well-being measures than youngsters of divorced parents who did not get on.

In self-esteem, satisfaction with life and school, their experimentation with drugs, alcohol and cigarettes, and in their school marks, children of ”good” divorces scored no better.

As young adults they were as likely as peers with less co-operative divorced parents to report having had under-age sex and substance abuse problems; and they enjoyed no better relationships with their mothers.”

One finding is positive –  children of cooperative, respectful separated parents are more likely to maintain a close relationship with the ‘other’ parent, usually the father, and that assists them to mature appropriately.

“Professor Amato, a highly regarded researcher with a background at the Australian Institute of Family Studies, said in the absence of domestic violence it made sense for couples not yet fully committed to separation to try to rebuild their relationship.

For parents who did separate, counsellors should help them learn strategies to reduce stressors for children that often followed divorce.”

It is through studies such as these that mental health professionals gain insights into the long-term effects of separation and effects on children.

Rosalin Primrose

Phone: 0424 002 640



Psychology, Counselling & Mediation Sunshine Coast Ph 0424 002 640

  Rosalin Primrose Horse Therapy
Rosalin Primrose Psychology Services

Rosalin Primrose

MA , Reg Psych, (FDRP)
  • Medicare Provider No: 4197097T
  • Counselling Psychology Reg No: PSY 0000976237
  • Nationally Accredited Mediator & Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner (FDRP)
‘Ocean Central’
Suite 18, Level 4
2 Ocean Street

Weekend & telephone appointments available by request

Ph: 0424 002 640

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