Imagine a world where...
- your worth is not contingent upon your family's approval
- you can speak openly about family estrangement, and people will understand.
- family estrangement does not mean a life sentence of emotional turmoil, rumination and suffering.
- you are supported to build a life that is healthy, fulfilling, happy and populated by people who love and respect you.
You don't have to sit tangled in knots, reacting or submitting to whatever people toss at you. There are things you can do. You can decide. You can change. You can face your problems head on and you can solve them. You really can.
Welcome to e-stranged
"Brilliant, and thank you for speaking on this subject with eloquence and honesty. Your articles are non-judgmental and extremely helpful reminders that even tough journeys are worth the peace and outcome." - e-stranged reader
Family estrangement happens across every social demographic. Rich people, poor people, every culture, any age. Estrangement happens to professionals, to tradespeople, artists, stay at home moms. It happens whether we have had overt abuse in our family, or not. It happens in families where divorce is a factor, and also in families where it is not. It happens when there are mental health problems, addictions and domestic violence happening and it happens when none of those factors are present. Estrangement is complex.
Estrangement isn't something that happens to "other people's families" it's something that can happen to "anyone's family"- even yours.
Even though there isn't an estrangement 'demographic', my clients are likely to share certain difficulties. For instance, they may relate to having complex and challenging family relationships. Many are estranged from their families or actively considering it. They might identify with the following ongoing problems:
- Sleep problems
- Difficulties with relationships, past and present
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Unresolved grief and loss
- Re-triggering caused by on-going, toxic stress
- Feeling “stuck” and unable to move forward
I can help
About the Way I Work
“ Fiona!! You’ve helped me greatly in handling the estrangement from my sister. You gave me a lot of different ways of thinking about it. I love your Facebook page and website! Thanks again.” – Virginia
The purpose of my practice is to provide a comprehensive and personalized approach to support each client on their journey forward from estrangement, towards well-being, health and healing.
My Coaching and Counseling Philosophy:
Both coaching and counseling sessions occur from a foundation of empathy and compassion. Coaching has immediate, pragmatic, concrete and measurable goals. It is generally client led (you tell me your goal and we decide together the best way forward and what you are going to need to reach it). At its most basic, counseling addresses psychological problems. It tends to be more therapist led with the ultimate goal of restoring mental and emotional health. An easy way to think about this is, coaching helps you to achieve goals, and counseling helps you heal.
Regardless of which framework we choose, my clients must be willing to commit to a change process and to developing their awareness both in session, and out. Therapy is a mutual process - we both have to show up! Are you the sort of client I work with? Check this out to see!
My Practice Frameworks
1. Trauma Informed
2. Family Systems Therapy
3. Mindfulness and Acceptance and Commitment therapy
Other Frameworks which influence my work include Child and Adult Attachment theory, Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and narrative therapy.
Although I live in Australia, over 70% of my clients are international and I do the majority of my work online via Skype. As time goes on I am increasingly attracted to the simplicity, mobility and freedom of an online practice and I love being able to work with and touch the lives of clients all over the world!
“Fiona, these blogs have much value and your research is very much appreciated. You light the way to many people. Thanks for all the deep thinking about these family issues. We are grateful. I am grateful.” – SSLL
Hello friend! I'm Fiona McColl. I have the most inspiring job - I get to help people who are estranged move forward with their lives, with or without their families.
I'm a passionate, AASW registered Clinical Social Worker with therapeutic, supervisory and program management experience. I've worked in government/ non-government and private practice settings and my areas of expertise include working with people with diverse "complex" family problems: estrangement, disability, child protection, mental health, domestic violence.
I've a long-standing interest in mental and emotional wellness, trauma, adult and child attachment and family relatedness and am currently living this interest through doing my PhD at the University of Queensland: Thesis: Blood and Water: Exploring the Links between family estrangement and relatedness!
I currently maintain a private practice and have the immense privilege to work with amazing clients from all over the world. I've been authoring the e-stranged blog since 2010 and still writing!
I'm so happy that you're here!