Charmaine Saunders, Counsellor, Author and Relationship
Expert - 17th August 2006
12 yrs English teaching in girls' schools before starting
my counselling career in 1983.
How and when did you discover
that personal development and counselling were your
my students always teased me about being more interested
in what made them tick rather than what I was teaching
them. So after 12 years of teaching, I needed something
more personally creative and remembered that my highest
scores in my undergraduate studies were in psych and
sociology. Went back to study and qualified in '83.
your line of endeavour what do you find most rewarding?
I enjoy all aspects of my work and esp. the variety
but the most rewarding task I perform each day is
answering questions from people all over the world
about problems and personal concerns.
How many people have you assisted
over the years?
thousands and thousands, thru counselling, radio,
TV, seminars, classes, public speaking and of course
in the last few yrs, over the net.
How do you maintain a work /
used to be a workaholic but for the last 10 yrs or
so, I combine long working hours with plenty of breaks,
no early starts and plenty of time-out, find nature
particularly healing, sit outdoors a lot and go to
the river/sea etc at least once a week. Social life
in moderation is also refreshing.
Can it help to write down ones
very much so. I encourage my clients and students
to write a reg. journal and esp. in times of crisis
and extreme emotion.
Is there any stigma associated
with consulting with a counsellor?
a lot less now than say 10-20 yrs ago. Guys tend to
be harder to get into the counselling room but make
excellent clients once they commit.
media appearances have you made over the years?
(see the website)
Who are your life and business
I don't imitate or follow anyone else's path but I
admire people who have made a name for themselves
and run companies, employ heaps of people, have power
in the world though that's not my personal style.
I have been strongly inspired by Louise Hay over the
past 15 yrs.
Have you see the "relationship
In The City? If so, how would you feel about contributing
if she were willing to give me a small space, maybe
for a sex or singles q & a, that would work well.
Can the internet be harmful
again, more of a counselling quest. than my pr info.
Short answer - yes
Does the internet assist you
with your professional endeavours, and if so, how?
very much so. When I began working on the net in 1998,
I had a vision of reaching people all over the world,
writing columns etc but never dreamt of the scope
that I've achieved since then. The other positive
aspect for my career is being able to reach editors
and publishers etc easily and quickly. I once earned
$2000 for one article which I sold to Harlequin Worldwide
just by writing to the editor of the website.
Is it a good idea to talk about
sex and relationships on television is shows such
as 'Talkin Sex', 'Beauty and the Beast' and 'Sex In
very, very important because even though we think
we live in enlightened times, sex is still misunderstood
and creates a lot of guilt. It's especially important
to talk about sex in a natural, informative way for
young people. If it can be done with an entertaining
style, all the better
What void would you fill in
the Australian television landscape?
I have a special talent for reaching people from all
walks of life in a very down-to-earth, practical way
that they relate to. I make people laugh yet am comforting
and warm in my approach. On TV, I'm natural and credible,
explain things in an accessible way.
Why is it so important to make
your partner feel valued? (dumb question, I know)
star sign are you?
Libra with Capricorn rising and Pisces moon which
is a good balance because Libra is all about fun,
very sociable and friendly; Capricorn is all about
work, discipline and achievement which has helped
me gain 4 degrees, write 6 books and do all the other
work I've done; Pisces makes me very kind-hearted
and creative and giving.
do you do to relax?
I must read every day - it's as important as breathing
to me. I must be around nature on a reg. basis, I
like to walk, sit in my garden, I love watching TV
but only shows I enjoy, I love eating out, especially
lunch with friends, I love to laugh and play with
my cat, I find my spa hugely relaxing and also, a
lovely bubble bath - all very simple things.
that we are responsible for our own happiness and
it's only as hard as allowing it - that each day is
a new beginning and life is a wonderful gift to be
note: One of Australia's premier relationship counsellors.
Charmaine has authored many books including Winning
Relationships, which is a must read for anyone involved
in relationships of any kind, and that's all of us.
Saunders official website
Body and Spirit