Felicity Chapman



"Thank you Felicity for giving me back control over my own life. 'Per aspera at astra' - Through hardships to the stars!"

 Inge - senior citizen



"The most helpful thing about this service was Felicity's understanding.  I felt she was a friend that I could talk to."

Maria - senior citizen and carer

seniors and disability

* home visiting for Adelaide residents and Skype  consultation available *

- see the Services page for more info and scroll down this page for Good Links

Dr Robert Hill suggests that the 7 strategies for positive ageing or senior wellbeing are:

* You can find meaning in old age
* You're never too old to learn
* You can use the past to cultivate wisdom
* You can strengthen life-span relationships
* By giving and receiving help, you promote growth
* You can forgive yourself and others
* You can possess a grateful attitude

Seniors can experience many personal and situational changes that can effect their wellbeing. For instance the sudden death of a spouse and/or rapid decline in functioning can present issues of loss not experienced before. Changes to independence can be felt even more keenly for seniors who have known themselves to be active people. 

Needing support at this time is nothing to be ashamed about. Ageing well is about making the most of what you have and acknowledging areas of challenge. 

Your Storyline counsellors have had years of counselling experience and take the time to listen to people's concerns and support them in times of grief. Sometimes when there are multiple factors effecting someone’s wellbeing it can have people feeling hopeless—like there is no point trying for change. But change is possible even in the most challenging of circumstances. Meaning and hope can be found even when circumstances have turned for the worse.

It is also important to acknowledge individual strengths at times like these. Sometimes counselling can seem like an activity that undermines a person’s belief in themselves.  People can see counselling as something that just focusses on what is wrong.  This need not be the case. Your Storyline counsellors like to look at the whole person and affirm their sense of uniqueness. People do not have to be defined by illness or problems. 

Your Storyline counsellors want to explore with people how they can feel more free to live the lives they want to despite the limitations presented to them. They will use a range of evidence based practices to bring relief and peace of mind. And, increasingly, seniors are open to exploring how mindfulness strategies can help.

The ancient art of meditation, in its non religious form, is becoming more widely used in mainstrean psychology now because of growing evidence in how it can help people manage distress and pain.... and its much easier to practice than most people think!  A number of clients who are well into their 80s or 90s have been able to do simple mindfulness exercises and have been suprised at how easy it is and how beneficial. 

You are never too old to learn. And the process of learning and re-integrating can be as stimulating as it can be affirming. As long as we have the ability to think and to breathe we have the capacity to choose how we respond in our little and big moments. This element of choice and control can be particularly important to seniors who feel like they have none of either. 

So if you don't feel yourself at the moment or have gone through a lot of changes lately don't suffer in silence. Contact Felicity. If you don't like it you can stop. Simple as that. But first why not give it a try? It takes courage to step out into the unknown but you might find that you are very glad that you did. See the bottom of this page for some really good links!

Your Storyline Counselling Service

For more details about this service please visit the Services page. Your Storyline is committed to providing an accessible and affordable counselling service. Clients with a Mental Health Care Plan receive:

>  A significant Medicare rebate that is rebated electronically on the spot

>  Concessions are available for those who have a pensioner card

>  Bulk billing (free service) for residents of a long term care facility - please note this service is only available for those in the east or inner north of Adelaide and for those who have already been triaged through the 'resident consultancy package'.

Resident Consultancy Package

Due to the often complex issues surrounding older adults in a facility setting - and the need to liaise with a number of other parties - this service requires a triage visit from one of our highly experienced counsellors before a Mental Health Care Plan is established.

A number of factors need to be considered in engaging an advanced senior and not least of those is their interest in psychotherapy and/ or their capacity to be involved in a psychotherapeutic process. It is applaudable indeed that significant others - family, staff or GP - be aware of distress in an older adult but this observation does not necessarily mean that counselling is the best avenue. However, a triage visit - or multiple visits if required - can generate a clear assessment of need and be a valuable source of information and support to those who care about the older adult in question.

The 'resident consultancy package' is a flat fee of $170 payable within 10 days of the triage visit to the resident. Subsequent visits to the resident (up to 50mins) if further consultation or assessment is required are a flat fee $130. Please note that these fees are not rebated by Medicare or private health insurance. The initial triage visit package includes:

>  Visit to the resident for 20-50minutes

>  Discussion with family and carer staff of up to 30 minutes combined

>  A written report to the referring person (family or residential facility manager)

Outcomes that can emerge from this intial consult can include:

>  Family or GP proceed in encouraging the resident to obtain a Mental Health Care Plan and counselling commences (bulk billed). Please note, however, that unfortunately Medicare do not yet offer a subsidized service for residents if they are not self funded and reliant on the government for their care eg pensioners. This is an injustice that the Council on the Ageing are trying to address through this petition which I encourage you to sign: http://healthforolderaustralians.org.au/

>  Another consult with the resident to administer the empirically validated dementia screening tool the Mini Mental State Examination for a rudimentary understanding of capacity

>  Investigation encouraged to seek assessment from a psychogeriatrician

>  Family or significant other refer the resident to the Dementia Behaviour Management Advisory Service (DBMAS) ph. 1800 699 799

>  Family or significant other refer the resident to the Older Persons Mental Health Service (OPMHS) ph. East (08) 7425-6400, North (08) 8282 2500, South (08) 8374 5800, West (08) 8426 0600

>  Family member obtains a Mental Health Care Plan for ongoing carer support through this service

>  Facility seek support from this service through the training package Managing Resident Distress to improve response skills for a variety of resident distress presentations


Felicity Chapman (pictured with a client above) is a clinical social worker with a special interest in counselling seniors. She is apart of the Psychology Ageing Interest Group which includes geropsychologists and other clinicians committed to helping our senior citizens age with dignity and get the most out of life. Currently Felicity is in the process of finding a publisher for her book Smiling at Sunset which is about psychotherapy with older adults and their carers.


Good Links

Meet the Hip Op-eration Crew! An inspirational example of healthy ageing http://www.hipop-eration.com/ and look out for the movie http://hiphoperationthemovie.com/


Australian Psychological Society tips

Dr Robert Hill's 7 Strategies for Positive Aging

Dr Fadel Zeidan: research on pain, the brain and meditation

Professor Jon Kabat-Zinn: meditation practice and pioneer in using mindfulness in the West for pain management

Mr Mark O'Donoghue: meditation practice techniques and experienced mindfulness instructor


Aged Rights Advocacy Service

Alzheimer's Australia and National Dementia Helpline

Driving and Dementia: A decision aid

My Aged Care website for service link ups and information

counselling service in Adelaide