From the moment I began reading Dawn’s  story, I found her book difficult to put down. So many of the things she writes about resonate with me. even though my own pain journey is very different. To know the challenges she has been through, with her pain, and overcome, gives anyone suffering from chronic pain, hope for a brighter future.

Julie Oct 2020

Wow! What an eye-opener!!  I’m a bit speechless, to be honest. So raw and vulnerable. Amazing book, Dawn. 

Bridget – Oct 2020

I can’t tell you what a breath of fresh air, Charlotte and I are finding Dr Dawn’s book. Charlotte wants to take the book to her next scheduled appointment with her pain team and tell them to educate themselves! She’s finding “Living with Chronic Pain” more relatable than any of the information she’s been given by the pain team or other professionals she has seen about her chronic pain. This book is an eye-opener.

Georgie Donaghey & Charlotte ( 14 year old chronic pain sufferer) Oct 2020


Despite Dawn and I having different ‘causality’ to our spinal and chronic pain, we share many similarities as women, mothers and partners.

this raw, honest and refreshing personal account of both chronic pain and the harrowing impact to life – attempting to maintain a career and humanity is undeniably pivotal in the acceptance of chronic pain and finding life thereafter

Sumarah – chronic pain survivor

Finally, a raw, authentic book that shares the real challenges of living with chronic pain. dawn’s insights into how her life was challenged, how stigma and guilt became all-consuming, and how she has turned it round to help both professionals and those living with chronic pain to identify what they need from family, friends and health professionals, makes this book the bible for everyone who knows or works with people living with chronic pain.

Jan Sky, Neurosychotherapist, Clinical Hypnotherapist and developer of ESI mapping

Smile in recognition and cry with this book but most of all learn about chronic pain and the way out of suffering.

Elizabeth Carrigan. Chief Executive Officer, Australian Pain Management Association Limited (APMA)

As a physiotherapist, I feel anxious when I see people with chronic pain. Dawn’s book gives me and other practitioners permission to step outside our dogma and prescribed roles to join together for a different experience to emerge these safe conversations are only possible due to Dawn’s generosity and courage and how she eables her experiences to be felt, shared and understood.

It is only through this new understanding of how it is to live with chronic pain that we continue to work in what is often a complex and intense human experience for both practitioner and person with chronic pain.

Shelley Barlow, Physiotherapist




I have travelled along an amazing path with Dawn. Over four years she helped me get from the lowest of the low to how I am today.

When I first met Dawn I had reached a point in my life when I realised I needed outside help. It was not easy, but Dawn cut through my initial fears and focused on me as a person, rather than on my problems. We focused on my strengths and built up my life skills. By being able to establish a connection with Dawn I was able to see my problems, my life, and myself in a new way.

Working with Dawn was similar to working with a trusted friend. She taught me techniques so I could help myself, while all the while providing support and direction when I needed it.

Counselling helped me through an acute phase in my life and has been invaluable but it has also given me much more. It has given to me the skills necessary to support myself successfully through life, and in this way has given me an attitude towards life.

Having travelled through both tears of joy and pain with Dawn I can attest to her integrity, knowledge and passion for helping others.

Thank you Dawn. My life would not be the same without you.

I’ve only ever used the services of one counsellor, Dawn. I am so pleased with her that happily drive over fifty kilometres each way to see her.

Despite being the only counsellor I’ve ever encountered I feel confident in stating that she must be one of the best, simply because I always feel so much better after having spoken to her.

After a counselling session I walk out feeling happy, settled, focused, strong and ready to tackle whatever problem is currently filling my mind. Often – as embarrassing as this is for a thirty-four year old mother to admit – I literally skip back to my car!

No matter what I bring up in conversation, she confidently suggests ways to deal with it or a way to think of it from a different viewpoint. I often think to myself: “Now why didn’t I think of that?”

I know why, though. Someone who is totally unbiased, who is outside of your situation and is also very knowledgeable in human nature and how people work, can see the situation much more clearly than you ever could.





Making the decision to seek counselling was not an easy one. After all, if I couldn’t understand my situation and feelings, how could a total stranger even begin to know how I felt or why?

I was surprised to find that one of the strongest emotions I felt after my first counselling session was an overwhelming sense of relief that I no longer felt so alone. At last someone else knew about my concerns and could reassure me that my feelings were okay.

As the counselling process unfolded I also discovered the huge difference in having someone else interpret your situation and relationships. I was very tired of issues circling in my own mind. Counselling opened up new ways of thinking, enabling me to move forward, rather than being stuck in the same old pattern.

Due to an unexpected marriage separation, my two daughters and I have had a very hard time dealing with the changes in our lives. I seek professional help through a psychologist for my daughters and I but felt it was not helping us.

I decided to see a counsellor and contacted Dawn at Spinks and Associates. The counsellors I saw were extremely helpful as they have a real understanding of the grief and pain I was experiencing. My daughter is also seeing a counsellor (referred by Dawn) who only deals with children and the changes and benefits that she has gain through this has be wonderful.

We still have a long way to go, but through the encouragement, caring and support that our counsellors have given my daughter and myself, I feel we will get on top of the situation and become stronger, more confident people. Thank you for caring and understanding.





Having read “Nothing Changes if Nothing Changes’ I realised how much one can be helped by finding the right counsellor in all types of trauma; divorce, bereavement, financial trouble or other personal problems.

To be able to unburden oneself to someone so qualified in this field outside of the family is an immense relief and I am so glad that this book has helped me to find my way to enjoy my life again.