Client Spotlight | Mary MacKenzie – Mary Mackenzie Counselling

Mary is a wonderful counsellor for individuals and couples. She “has a warm and empathetic style. She uses client lead counselling techniques and will meet you where you are, and will help you to get to where you want to be.”

You can reach out to her from her website here:

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Individual and Relationship Counselling

End 2019 when I finished my Bachelor of Counselling

I came from a completely different industry so it was very daunting to start a business in an industry I had never worked in. I felt comfortable in my qualifications and how to be a counsellor, but I didn’t really feel like I knew how all the pieces of the industry all fit together, and who was who. I realise now that mental health care is so immense, and ever changing that no one is an expert on the whole industry, just their sections of it.  A great epiphany for me was when I realised that hardly anyone who is in private practice as a counsellor has the sales and business development background that I do. So in many ways I have an advantage because I am not afraid to put myself out there and promote my business. 

It is hard. Because I work with a lot of professional couples, I work evenings and Sundays. So I have become very protective of the time that I do have at home. I am still learning not to commit to things on my days off.  I am very lucky in that my kids are older now and quite independent. Most nights I will get home to a cooked meal by either them or my partner Dave. It means that when I do cook now, I go to that bit of an extra effort because I only do it a couple of times a week. I also love watering and talking to my flowers in Spring. 

After completing my degree, I started taking clients one day a week at City Cave Ipswich, and built from there. I worked two other part time jobs while I was building this up. I was finally able to take the leap and rely on my business for a full time income this year. I opened my practice in Graceville Jan 2021 and things just took off from there. It has been really rewarding to see that happen in a short space of time. 

I listen to my body and my gut. It tells me. It is when I feel myself being filled with energy at the thought of something, rather than feeling it being drained. 

It sounds cliché, but I discovered a yoga last year and it has allowed me to really connect with my body in a way I haven’t before. It has been really good for me.

Many of the clients that I worked with during my Uni placement stayed with me even once they had to start paying. This was really good for my confidence. I also joined a local networking group ( BNI Accelerate) that promotes business referrals within the network. Friends would also refer people to me. I had one friend refer so many of her friends to me that I recently had to decline to go to her 50th.  I had counselled at least four of the guests that would be going. So to keep things comfortable for them I didn’t go to the party. 

Most days I get to have a slow start and come to my rooms at about 10 am. I will typically see about 5 or 6 clients in a day, but there are often gaps where I do notes and admin in between clients. So often don’t finish until 7pm, sometimes later. 

I love seeing the energy that radiates from my clients when they recognise their personal growth. I also love seeing couples find new connections and intimacy, especially when they had thought they couldn’t get it back. 

Hmmm…. I haven’t really thought about that before. 

I went to a tiny one teacher primary school in the country. By the time I was in grade 7 there was only 7 kids in the whole school. There were no other girls in my year. It taught me how to find connection with others, even  if it at first it seems there is nothing in common. 

I used to be in awe of other people and their courage to start a business. But once I was trained, and I had a sense of direction, it just seem like the natural next step.

Once the passion is there the obstacles don’t seem so high. 

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I have never had professional photos done before. The prints that Amanda has done for me make me feel professional. I feel like I am ready to take my brand to the next level and that I can do it with confidence. I love how they are really recognisable as me. I have seen other head shots done, where the person looks like someone they are not. That defeats the purpose as far as I am concerned. 

My clients. Lol. My job is literally to listen to people all day. So I am not really one to listen to podcasts. But I do go sleep with an audible book at night. It helps me switch off. 

To be genuine. Reliable. Open minded. Trustworthy.

I’d love to take on the room next door to me in Graceville so that I can start doing groups and workshops. Watch this space in 2022!

I couldn’t possibly narrow it down to one. 

Ipswich Business Portraits

Hi there! I'm Amanda Waschevski

I AM A HEADSHOT AND PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHER BASED IN IPSWICH, QLD. I help people be themselves in front a camera.