Counsellor’s Life – Ruth Donnelly

Ruth Donnelly is a holistic counsellor in Maleny who works with body-based psychotherapy, integrating mindfulness and artistic therapies, deep levels of change arise through the awareness and energetic transformation that occurs. Ruth has been a QCA member since 2006. She offers a heart-centred approach to healing trauma, developing emotional well-being and spiritual growth. You can view Ruth’s website


  1. Your favourite hobby? Cricket
  2. Favourite sports player? Virat Kohli
  3. Guilty pleasure – Chocolate, not so guilty just a bad idea!
  4. I can’t live without – First answer that comes to mind is friendship, community
  5. The charity I support? Good Fortune Trust, Tibetan Buddhist nuns and monks
  6. Next travel destination? None planned but it would be ‘back home’ to England
  7. I love the sound of… Running water, my partner singing, the birds and insects singing
  8. I would like to learn – To play the piano
  9. If I could rid the world of one thing it would be… Greed
  10. I have a fear of… Losing my freedom
  11. My hidden talent is Astrology
  12. Before I die I must… Wake up and embrace life
  13. My writing inspiration is … aha, one of my almost totally blocked areas in life still:) I once wrote a good essay at school inspired by listening to music and the images and feelings it evoked… just once!



  1. Favourite TV shows? Test cricket, Montalbano, Mad as Hell, Yes Minister
  2. Singers – My partner, Tommy Leonard
  3. Movies – Don’t really watch these days but most recently I love ‘La Belle Verte’
  4. My superpower would be… Ability to see me and others clearly
  5. What makes you laugh – Absurd intelligent comedy, like the British do so well
  6. People I admire – Dalai Lama, many spiritual teachers, some of my trauma clients, innovators, people following their path
  7. What inspires you?
    People reaching out to each other, kindness, resilience, bright sunny peaceful days, the sky, the ocean
  8. The best advice I ever got? To quit my job as an accountant – my GP recommended :)
  9. The worst advice I ever got. “You’re making a big mistake, you will regret this’ – response from my boss when I did quit!
  10. Ultimate dinner party guests? Just my good spiritual friends



  1. Favourite room in my home? Veranda
  2. Most treasured possession – My passports, my astrology and Buddhist books
  3. Favourite drink? Chai in winter, affogato in summer
  4. Midnight snack? Not my time of day to eat
  5. Favourite takeaway? Indian but not sure I can still eat it! So, then sushi
  6. Signature dish to cook? Buckwheat pancakes with fruit
  7. Best place ever lived. Maleny – here and now :)
  8. The best part of the day – The quiet times



  1. Preferred or most-liked counselling/psychotherapy framework
    Buddhist and body-based psychotherapy
  2. What are you most proud of with your counselling work?
    Trusting my own judgement to go where we need to go in sessions, to allow co-creative transformation to occur
  3. Favourite counselling book
    The Sanity We Are Born With, Chogyam Trungpa.  Full Catastrophe Living, Jon Kabat Zinn, In Place of the Self, Ron Dunselman. Spiritual Emergency, Stan Grof.
  4. Most expensive counselling workshop that you have attended
    Professional training in Dru Yoga and in Acutonics
  5. What do you take with you in your counselling room – Buddha
  6. Self-care strategy for yourself- Know my limits
  7. What did you struggle with when you first started counselling?
    Finding a suitable venue that matched my therapeutic method and my finances
  8. Favourite counselling quote

With a wish to free all beings
I shall always go for refuge
to the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha
until I reach full enlightenment.

Enthused by wisdom and compassion,
today in the Buddha’s presence
I generate the Mind for Full Awakening
for the benefit of all sentient beings.

As long as space endures,
as long as sentient being remain,
until then, may I too remain
and dispel the miseries of the world.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama

along with ‘sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will make me go in a corner and cry by myself for hours’ – Eric Idle

9. Advice to new counsellors
– Do your inner work as a basis for helping others
– Connect, allow space, connect, stay present to the unfolding moment with the session – ‘therapeutic presence’
– Remember all beings have buddha-nature potential – including the client and including you
– and Never Give Up!

10. Hopes for the counselling profession
That originality and courage prevail over bureaucracy

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