“The Cyber Safety Lady” is closing down. I am transitioning my eSafety education business “The Cyber Safety Lady” across into a full time family counselling practice under my new business name “Digital Families Counselling” As a qualified family counsellor I am helping families and individuals stay happy and safer online. Digital parenting seminars and webinars are still be available. See below post for more.
Are You Leaving Us?
Not really….Having just acquired a diploma in counselling from The Northern Beaches and Mosman College, I am now a qualified counsellor, able to help families in my newly opened private practice “Digital Families Counselling” in a much broader sense than as a digital parenting coach. I will be working mainly with parents and carers and sometimes with tweens and teens alongside their parents or carers. My practice is focused on helping families with their digital internet device use, so that they can stay happy and safe online. See more about that below.
The Last 12 Years In eSafety – What I’ve Seen
Working in eSafety education for the last 12 years has been amazing, over that time there have been some massive changes in technology. As one of the few people working in the field of eSafety back in 2010, I started out with a blog and a YouTube channel and helping parents out privately with their families online safety. I was at the time dealing primarily with Facebook and online security issues and training small business owners to use social media for marketing whilst giving them a crash course in online safety. I then started giving live presentations on eSafety in 2011 in schools, community centres, conferences, business’s and for all sorts of audiences.
Mobile phone use by children was minimal in 2010 but Facebook was presenting huge issues for children around online safety at the time, and children were getting exposed to online pornography as parental controls were a very new thing.
12 years on, we now see enormous amounts of children with unfettered access to the online world via their mobile devices, and parents struggling even more than ever to keep up. Social media has exploded, and online criminal behaviour has increased so much we now have university courses in Cyber Security and a Govt department devoted to online safety www.eSafety.gov.au
As a advocate and public speaker on eSafety and Digital Parenting I have travelled all over Australia helping students, seniors, parents and carers and business to become more aware of their online safety. It’s been incredibly rewarding, intense and at times overwhelming. At the same time I was still seeing clients privately as a consultant and coach, helping families manage their digital devices with safety and balance.
As I’m now a senior member (literally a senior), of the eSafety community, I decided it was time for a change. The opportunity to expand my skills by doing an accredited Counselling Diploma during Covid lock down was a great opportunity to be able to help families in a much deeper way. The years of eSafety education, parent coaching and my own families maturity means I’m in a unique position of having both long term lived experience as a digital parent myself, and a coach and educator in eSafety going back to the Blackberry! I hope that this lived and professional experience in digital parenting (since 1995) is valuable and helpful to families who need a counsellor with my unique perspective and expertise.
The eSafety education space has also ballooned, with so many great eSafety educators comming on board to join the original providers. We also now have the eSafety Commissioners Office providing education to students, teaching staff, parents and others. I know I’m leaving it all in good hands.
Counselling vs Coaching. What’s The Difference?
As “the Cyber Safety Lady” (I was called that by an early client and it stuck…) My private parent coaching help was mostly technical, and although it included some strategies around behaviour, it was mostly practical technical advice that I was providing clients. Now as a counsellor I help my clients from a person centred, strength and solution based approach, (what does that mean?) It’s less about me giving only technical solutions, and more about finding the clients way of doing things based on their strengths, and helping them to create their own goals and then working with them to find solutions both technical and behavioural that are achievable, that will work for them and their families in the longer term. It can involve creating agreements with family members, behaviour modification strategies and more awareness of online safety issues, and help with preventing traumatic experiences online.
What Do I Help With?
I help families who are perhaps struggling with screentime balance or behaviour online and safety, or appropriate use of technology. It might be that you are at the end of your digital tether, or you have a serious issue around safety, or you would just like a catch up. My clients come from all different backgrounds and family situations, anyone that needs help with staying happy and safe online. Not all my clients are parents, some just want more awareness around their own use and safety.
The sessions are still very practical and solutions based, and as a solutions based counsellor I will refer clients on to other professionals in any areas that are outside my level of expertise, including referring to mental health professionals or other agencies.
Where Are You?
All my sessions are done via Zoom so I can help you no matter where you are. My new website has more details about how I will work with you. www.digitalfamiliescounselling.com.au
Privacy And Confidentiality
As you can imagine, as an eSafety expert, my clients confidentiality and privacy are paramount to me, and all sessions are secure and encrypted. What you say to me, stays with me, unless instructed by the police or the courts to provide evidence. I abide by the counsellors code of ethics and mandatory reporting guidelines.
If you are a subscriber I will transfer you across to the “Digital Families Counselling” subscribers newsletter. I will be still be writing on digital parenting and technology. If you wish to unsubscribe see the link below if you have received this blog via email.
This website “The Cyber Safety Lady” will stay up for a while to help visitors find me. My social media accounts Twitter, Instagram and Facebook will be rebranded to reflect my new direction also.
Webinars And Seminars
Digital parenting will be my main focus for seminars, and as such I will still be available for digital parenting webinars and seminars, but no longer doing educational presentations for students, teachers, seniors or general eSafety talks. My webinars will be educational and supportive of digital parenting. Schools, community and parent groups can book me for seminars and webinars Here: https://www.digitalfamiliescounselling.com.au/book-a-parentcarer-seminar
I will be developing more resources for parents and carers that will include Master Classes in particular areas of digital parenting. Which will include – screentime strategies, parenting a gamer, social media and tweens, setting digital boundaries, dealing with technology tantrums and more. Subscribe at my new website to be updated on the latest resources.
The Parent Manuals
I have updated my latest version of the “Keeping Kids Safe Online” It is now titled “Happy And Safe Online” and whilst still including some step by step settings, also includes more awareness around social media platforms gaming and parenting young people on digital devices. You can see the latest version of the printed Parent Guide and eBook Here: https://www.digitalfamiliescounselling.com.au/store
The new store also has a recent Digital Parenting Webinar you can access for a small fee.
The Podcast “Digital Families”
After a hiatus the “Digital Families” Podcast will be reignited when the launch is complete and I have more time to spend on it. You can catch up with all 50 episodes Here https://www.digitalfamiliescounselling.com.au/podcast
Thankyou For Getting This Far!
Thankyou to all the schools who put their trust in me over the years and booked me year after year. It was a pleasure to be part of the solutions for online safety for your school community. I hope my new direction in Digital Parenting will be equally as helpful for your parent body. Please reach out if you would like to chat about how I might help.
All the best and see you at www.digitalfamiliescounselling.com.au
You can make a booking for a counselling session Here: https://www.digitalfamiliescounselling.com.au/counselling-appointment
Or Contact Me Here: https://www.digitalfamiliescounselling.com.au/contact