Sarah Lynne Hickson
Driven by her passion for helping others Sarah hopes to make a positive difference to our community.
She is dedicated to helping others thrive through adversity, improve their physical and mental wellbeing and connect with their full potential.
My name is Sarah Lynne Hickson and I am a degree qualified nutritionist, relaxation massage therapist, wellbeing counsellor and recipe developer with a special interest in mental health promotion and working with children, youth and families affected by special needs.
Almost three years ago, after six years working within the health and wellness industry, I decided to take a risk and jump ships, so to speak, to work as a disability support worker, an area that called to me based on my experiences growing up with a sibling with abilities that were unique to her, and my time working in a volunteer capacity with children affected with autism. Pulling myself outside of my comfort zone I felt a strong pull to move in the direction of promoting community health and mental wellbeing, yet I wasn’t sure exactly how that plan would unfold. I remember how scared I was when I started with my very first client, how I felt so far out of my depth and how I didn’t trust myself or my skill set to continue on much further. However, learning curve after learning curve I stuck with it, and I never would have expected this work to evolve into a growing career moving in a positive direction.
A Creative Approach
I live my passion each day by helping individuals who are affected by disability or who are struggling in some way with their mental health. After an initial chat over the phone, I usually begin my work with an in home consultation that involves thorough case taking, a dietary overview and a referral for laboratory testing if need be to search for biochemical and nutritional imbalances. Following this is where the real work begins, because much of what I do involves integrating my skills in nutrition and wellbeing counselling to educate and inspire individuals in learning how they can effectively enhance their own physical, mental and emotional health in a way that is sustainable and fulfilling. Sometimes this is focused on the individual directly. Sometimes this work involves educating and the collaboration of surrounding supports who care for the individual. Supplementation may also be suggested to help correct underlying deficiencies. While any therapeutic intervention used is guided by evidence-based research, rapport, connection, a strong working alliance and continual client feedback are the best indicators for positive results, and therefore I encourage my clients (and their caregivers), no matter their ability, to teach me about what works best for them inside their homes or community where life truly happens, together striving towards the best and most realistic outcomes. Therefore my strategies are very creative and adaptable to the person's needs, some including food literacy sessions with visuals and videos to help with understanding of difficult concepts, sensory food play, learning how to meal plan and food shop, having a session outside in the park or going for a walk together, cooking together and coming up with recipes that satisfies the pleasure factor while being friendly to any presenting food sensitivities.
An Expanding Perspective
Over the past couple of years I have seen a big change in how I view health and wellbeing. Rather than focusing in on the nutritional specifics and the “what” of the diet as I had always tended to as a nutritionist, I instead strive to learn about and understand who the person is that I am working with, what their individual circumstances, challenges and abilities are, how they relate to and respond to food and their surrounding environment, their food likes and dislikes, how all of these things can influence day-to-day eating and lifestyle patterns, and how these patterns may, in reverse, influence mental health, emotions and behaviour. It is from this angle that I help the person (and their families) learn how they can make small, simple, sustainable changes to their health no matter their challenges, cooking skill or budget to achieve a greater sense of health, wellbeing and balance.
Qualifications: Bachelor of Health Science (Nutritional Medicine), Graduate Diploma in Counselling (Children, Youth and Families). Certificate IV Massage Therapy (Relaxation)
Working in Brisbane and surrounding areas, Sarah is an unregistered NDIS provider and her services can be accessed under the NDIS if the plan is self or plan managed.
The information contained in, or accessed through, the Sarah Lynne website is for your general information. It is not intended to be used as medical advice and should not be used to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any medical condition, nor should it be used for therapeutic purposes. The information does not substitute professional medical advice and it does not replace professional health care. If you have a medical issue, please consult with a healthcare practitioner.