About Dawn Macintyre (Spinks)

Identifying and meeting gaps in Public Health issues is my passion and the centre of my professional work.

I trained in Education and Psychology at London University and completed my Masters in Public Health at Curtin University, WA. Twenty-five years later, I decided it was time to complete the cycle, and due to my work with families who had tragically experienced the death of a child, I gained my PhD at UQ in 2014. The main challenge was making sure those families I interviewed had their voices heard, and that I was honoured to be trusted with the task of making that happen and identifying the gaps and supports through their terrible ordeals. I am now one of just a handful of professionals across Australia who specialise in supporting families who have experienced unexpected loss, confusion, and at times stigma associated with  their grief. 

‘Dawn is one of Australia’s leading counsellors. Thousands of clients have passed through the doors of her premises since she started in 1997 and yet time and time again she has been amazed by the number that weren’t clear about what counselling is all about or what benefits may be had by visiting a professional counsellor. She therefore decided it was important to address that gap in knowledge and is the author of
Nothing Changes if Nothing Changes: A Practical Guide to Finding the Right Counsellor’.

That book was published in 2008.

Fast forward, and in 2014 found myself facing years of chronic pain which totally turned my life upside down. My chronic pain journey caused me to reflect on  my knowledge of loss and associated grief. I was surprised to discover that living with chronic pain mirrors some of the many challenges I identified in my professional experience with loss and grief, and much of the associated stigma seemed to be similar to my experience with chronic pain.

So, of course, I had to write about it, to be the voice for many who don’t have the energy or the platform to speak out. Because when I was stuck in that terrible fog of pain and despair, I didn’t have the energy or focus to understand what I needed for myself, or from others. I just knew it was a living hell. 

And so, ‘Living with chronic pain. From OK to despair and finding my way back again’ , due for release in July 2020, is a raw expose of my experience and my suggestions on what family, friends and health professionals can do to help guide us through this dark tunnel into a space of light and hope.

I have also developed a range of opportunities to support chronic pain sufferers, their families, carers and health professionals.

These include:

  • Pain counselling support via face to face appointments, zoom, skype or phone
  • Education programs for counsellors and other health professionals wishing to learn more about the
    psychosocial challenges of living with chronic pain
  • Sharing my story as a guest speaker has provided a powerful platform for many conferences, training programs and events

I look forward to helping you on your journey either living with chronic pain, or working with people who do. Please contact me so we can all do our part in making this ‘hidden disease’ less stigmatised and more manageable.

If you want to know a little more about my work history, you are welcome to have a look at my CV. Click the button below.