I was born in Vancouver, Canada and raised in a family who did not attend church and neither promoted nor criticized any religion. At 18 years old I graduated from high school, hitchhiked across Canada and parts of Europe with a school-friend, married my handsome lover and gave birth to our son, Derrick. My first business was a retail health food store which I created from scratch in Burnaby and managed for about three years. During that time I studied correspondence courses on natural foods and remedies, including herbal remedies. In order to pursue academic studies (and not work such long hours) I sold my health food business and worked for Safeway. In 1980 I began university studies in psychology, philosophy and nutrition unknowing that I was soon to move on my own to Australia and start a new life. About 10 years later, in Melbourne, Australia, I recommenced university studies in psychology. As described below, I did nine years full-time study on psychology and spirituality. I also have interests in the COSMOS: astro-physics, theosophy, philosophy and complimentary healing modalities – have even taken courses in Healing Touch. I returned from Melbourne to Vancouver in March 2019.

Credentials & Certifications

  • Registered Clinical Counsellor, BC Assn of Clinical Counsellors, 2019
  • PhD, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia, 2003
  • Certificate, Australian Association for Clinical Hypnosis, 2012
  • Certificate, National Association of Transpersonal Hypnotherapists, 2013

Move to Australia

In my role of advisor to assist the creation and implementation of the then new health food departments at Canada Safeway, the Australian Safeway manager researching the Canadian food marketing system offered me a similar position in Australia. While he could not guarantee that I would get the job since I had to compete with other Australians, I did get it. In 1981 Australia Safeway sponsored my immigration to Australia where I now also enjoy citizenship.

Nine Years of University Studies and Research

In 1993, I recommenced university studies in psychology. About the same time, my son enrolled in a seminary to become a Catholic priest. For nine years, both myself in Australia, and my son, in Canada and at the Vatican in Italy, formally studied ‘spirituality.’ During ‘school holidays’ we spent much time together in Australia, Canada, and Italy sharing our views, knowledge, and theories. During these visits, we also purposefully met with people from other Eastern and Western philosophies and religions to discover different concepts and experiences regarding spirituality.

I received my Bachelor of Applied Science with a double major in psycho-physiology (neuro-science) and psychology from Swinburne University in 1995 and my Honors degree in psychology from Deakin University in 1996. I started my masters/PhD at Deakin then transferred to LaTrobe University. From 1998 – 2002 I worked on my doctorate in transpersonal psychology at LaTrobe University. The thesis was submitted in 2002 and my PhD was awarded in 2003.

As per my mission statement, I continue with professional development, research, and presenting at international psychology conferences to offer and to gain new knowledge and ideas. This includes more recently formal courses in hypnosis and transpersonal hypnotherapy.

Professional Psychology Contracts and Associations

Anxiety Disorders Association of Victoria: Donna is on the ADAVIC list of psychologists for those searching for psychological counselling.

Australian College of Natural Medicine: Donna has lectured at the Australian College of Natural Medicine (now Endeavor) teaching courses in Counselling Skills and Professional Development including Introduction to Professional Practice and Establish a Practice.

Beyondblue (The National Depression Initiative): Donna joined Beyondblue in November 2006 as one of their Workplace Trainers providing a variety of workshops to organizations to enhance people’s awareness and understanding about depression, anxiety, and drug abuse. Donna is on the Beyondblue list of psychologists for those searching for a psychologist.

Membership in Professional Organizations

  • Psychology Board of Australia (Lapsed due to move to Canada)
  • Australian Psychology Society (APS) www.psychology.org.au (Lapsed due to move to Canada)
  • Anxiety Disorders Association of Victoria (Lapsed due to move to Canada)
  • Australian Association for Clinical Hypnosis (2012, now lapsed)
  • National Association for Transpersonal Hypnotherapy (NATH, USA 2012/13)
  • Swinburne University Alumni (Psychology)
  • Deakin University Alumni (Psychology)