A Day in the Life of a Registered Clinical Counsellor – Nicky Angelone

Each month, the 'Day in the Life' series offers PACFA members the opportunity to share their personal and professional experience as dedicated Practising & Registered Clinical Counsellors and Registered Clinical Psychotherapists who embody the art and science of holding space for others.

This month, we follow the day with Nicky Angelone.

About Nicky

My journey into counselling and psychotherapy spanned two decades of working in the fast-paced corporate world. I began my counselling studies during a pause in my career, which allowed me to recognise my true passion: working one-on-one with people, engaging in profound and meaningful conversations, and assisting them in self-discovery, healing, and personal growth.

I'm currently completing my Masters in Counselling & Psychotherapy at Cairnmillar Institute. This decision to advance into private practice is built upon the foundation of my Graduate Diploma in Counselling & Psychotherapy. In my initial journey toward a career in counselling, I also trained as a yoga and meditation teacher as a means of transitioning into the helping professions. These practices and their philosophies have profoundly shaped my therapeutic approach. Grounded in Person-Centred Therapy (PCT), my approach is further enriched by principles of mindful awareness and the mind-body connection.

I work with a variety of client presentations, including corporate work challenges, life transitions, grief and loss. My experience in the corporate world provides a distinct empathy for this client group with my lived experience of the culture and expectations, bringing a true understanding of their challenges and the context they occur in.

My philosophy is rooted in Rogerian, person-centred theory, underpinned with a strengths base, and a lens of compassion and curiosity. The modality I work with is informed by the client’s presentation and their goals for therapy. They may be wanting a simple cognitive shift, or, more often there is a longer-term change required in their relationship with their thoughts and emotions. I consider early attachment experiences and the client’s interest in understanding maladaptive patterns in their life. I draw on the modalities I’m trained in which are ACT, CBT, Interpersonal Processes, Focusing Oriented Therapy, Psychodynamic Theory, Strengths-Based, Solution-Focused Therapy, and the Emotion Freedom Technique (tapping).

While some of the practices I engage in may appear unconventional to some, over the past three years, I've nurtured my need for rituals in my private practice. These rituals help me maintain and sustain my energy, stay fresh and attuned to my clients, and prevent the feeling of being drained at the end of the week.

I see clients face-to-face on four days in my home office, and one day a week in Dingley, Victoria. I enjoy weekly supervision and a weekly peer supervision with a fellow counsellor. This, and the supports that I talk about in my day below, make working in private practice less isolating, and provide much needed support for working in this field. I believe this makes a huge difference in me being able to do the work I do. They also help structure my days and week.

A Day in the Life of a Registered Clinical Counsellor – Nicky Angelone

6:00am: Morning Practices & Breakfast

If I don’t do the important things in the morning they don’t get done! So, I start my day with yoga and meditation. I end with a compassion practice sending heartfelt well wishes of love and compassion to the people I’ll be interacting with today – that includes my clients. Then it’s a walk with my pooch Cinque. I either walk with a friend or listen to a podcast or university readings on Speechify. I stop multiple times on my walk for nature’s moments of awe and wonder. I am a living cliché – I stop to smell the roses. Today there was a magnificent rose blooming perfectly in my street (see the beautiful picture). When I return from my walk, I am ready for my breakfast of homemade muesli with berries and yogurt.

I have spent many years curating and growing the consistency of my morning routine. While it doesn’t happen every day, it is what I aspire to and happens more days than it doesn’t. It’s the walk that is at the highest risk of not happening, hence the recruitment of friends and a good podcast. Cinque is just as happy sitting with me, so she doesn’t help with keeping me accountable. I can’t quite believe my morning routine has grown to be over 2 hours!

8:15am: ‘The Opening Ceremony’ (aka my daily set up)

To prepare for my client sessions, I engage in a ritual. I place crystals on my mantel, assigning one to each client; this helps me connect with the day's work. I take a moment to inhale deeply and appreciate the privilege of working with these wonderful human beings. With a clear intention, I dedicate myself to being of service, embracing qualities of compassion, curiosity, and heartfelt connection.

I make a cup of tea before opening my laptop and I practice what I preach with a mindful moment to ‘stop before I start’. I use a written to do list to plan my day around my client sessions and I prioritise the work I will do on my business. I open my client files (this year I transitioned from paper to digital notes which has been great) and I do a quick email scan and finances check to reconcile that payments are up to date.

9:00am: Co-Working with Business Owners

Each week, I connect on Zoom with two fellow business owners from different industries, and we share what we are working on. We are located in different states and once a year, we get together for a business retreat to plan our year ahead. Today I’m working on client resources; curating some practice videos and recording a few audio practices for my website. I usually use this time to create some content for my website or social media.

10:00am and 11:15am: Client Sessions on Zoom

Sessions are 50 minutes, followed by 10-25 minutes for notes and a bio break and reset. After completing my notes, I use a clarity spray to energetically reset. I also hold the crystal to my heart, symbolically wishing my client well, and then return the crystal to the dish where it lives. This is my way of energetically clearing. I then follow-up with a moment of grounding (this could be breathing, shaking my body, or using some heel drops, depending on how I’m feeling).

12:30pm: Accountability

Each week, I connect with a business owner I've known since I started my business eight years ago. In a brief, focused 10-minute session, we share our prior week's highlights and upcoming goals. We document this in a Google Doc, covering our word for the year, energy levels, celebrations, weekly focus, previous week's highlights, ongoing commitments, and the desired quality for the coming week. We conclude by expressing appreciation for our shared insights.

1:00pm: Personal Time

I like to have a long lunch break for enjoying a meal, engaging in some self-care, slowing down, or ducking up to the shops.

3pm and 4:15pm: Client Sessions on Zoom

5:30pm: The Closing Ceremony (aka ‘tools down’)

I organise my desk and check for any messages that need to be attended to. I also make a note of what needs to be followed up in the morning.

6pm: Dinner Time

Tonight, I’m making and enjoying a vegetable stir fry with tofu and Hokkein noodles. Yum.

7.30pm: Winding Down

I either relax on the couch with my husband or I scurry around doing domestic chores. He is much better than me at sitting still for an extended period of time.

8:45pm: Get ready for Bed

9 hours is my ideal sleep time for optimal functioning. This works well unless I get stuck scrolling on the couch with the telly going. This bedtime procrastination could have me loose an hour or two of sleep. When I go to bed, I relive and savour a few positive moments from my day. This is my gratitude practice, flavouring and savouring those experiences; connection with other humans, nature, and the food I’ve consumed. I’ll often re-appreciate how fortunate I am to have followed my heart in changing careers, and delight in my adult children becoming more independent, and the newfound freedoms this brings. I feel so very blessed.

Connect with Nicky

Website: https://www.flourishmindfully.com.au/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/flourishmindfully



Open the door on your day

The ‘Day in the Life’ series is created and edited by PACFA Registered Clinical Psychotherapist® and founder of The Psychosynthesis Centre, Jodie Gale.

Each month, the ‘A Day in the Life’ series will offer participating PACFA members the opportunity to share their unique personal and professional experience as dedicated Practising & Registered Clinical Counsellors and Registered Clinical Psychotherapists who embody the art and science of holding space for others. Click here to read more and to find out how you can open the door on your day.