Tavener Waugh, RN., B.Th. M., M.A., CM., PACFA Assoc - Counselor
Sue specializes in counseling for:
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
Social anxiety disorder (SAD)
Panic Disorder (PAD)
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Health and medical anxieties/fears
Drug and alcohol abuse/Addictions
Sue experienced the following symptoms:
Electrical current in back and neck
Fear of having MS
Fear of Impending Doom
Fear of Losing Control
Living in a Fog
Sue Tavener Waugh knows the pain
associated with living with anxiety and depression. At an early
age, she was abused and neglected. As a result, she learned to
experience great fear whenever she felt out of control or vulnerable.
Consequently, every moment of her life was filled with anxiety
While working as a nurse in a Locked Psychiatric unit, a client
physically assaulted her. This attack further reinforced her
fears of being out of control and vulnerable, and consequently,
she became even more hyper vigilant, worried, and fearful.
Overtime, her worry
and fear became unbearable. In addition to the many physical
symptoms of anxiety, such as the persistent feelings of impending
doom, inability to relax, insomnia, agitation, and panic attacks
and an unfounded fear of having a serious physical illness. She
became despondent and depressed.
To try and ease her fears, and gain control of her life she
developed a number of unhealthy obsessions and compulsions,
including becoming rigid in her patterns of living. For example,
she allowed herself to only shop on certain days of the week
and pay bills on others. Everything she did became organized
She also became hyper vigilant about her personal safety.
For example, she always checked for exits when in new places,
and then developed escape plans in case she felt threatened.
While this seemed to lessen her fears somewhat in the short-term,
over time she became increasingly despondent and cynical about
all areas of her life. Eventually, Sue realised this was not
healthy. In an attempt to regain her health, she entered therapy.
Therapy helped Sue understand and successfully address the
underlying factors associated with her anxiety and depression.
After two years of therapy, she was able to overcome her anxiety
and depression and completely eliminate her symptoms. Sue has
been symptom-free for over six years.
In addition to Sue’s personal experience and victory
over anxiety and depression, she brings with her a wealth of
professional abilities and experience. For example, Sue worked
as a Registered Nurse within public and private health services
for over 25 years. Particularly in the area of mental health
and dual diagnosis. Sue is compassionate, kind, recognizes
the value of every human being, and strives for excellence
with a generosity of spirit, openness of dialogue, and a refusal
to allow prejudice or ignorance to isolate.
Sue’s personal and professional experience encompasses
all areas of mental health, including drug and alcohol abuse,
and addictions . From individuals to large groups, she has
facilitated many sessions that deal with anxiety, grief and
loss, suicide, self-harm, depression, and the effects of physical/psychological/sexual
abuse. She also has facilitated Stress Management, Anger Management/Assertiveness
Skills, and Relaxation Programs.
In 2005, Sue was awarded a Bachelor of Ministry through the
Baptist Theological College, in Sydney, Australia. In 2007,
she completed a Masters of Counselling degree with a major
study in Psychotherapy through the Wesley Institute for Ministry
and the Arts.
Sue resides in Sydney, Australia, with her three adult children
living nearby. She currently attends Concord Baptist Church.
Canada and USA (Western Hemisphere):
2 PM – 9 PM, Sunday to Thursday
Australia, New Zealand, New Guinea, Europe (Eastern
10 AM – 8 PM,
Monday to Friday
Sue has many clients in Canada, USA, Europe, and Australia.
NOTE: Calls from Sue to North American clients are $3.60 Canadian per one hour session. Skype to Skype calls are free.
First of all, thank you so much for your amazing and detailed website. It's by far the only worthwhile source of anxiety self-help information on the internet... it really is a god-send for anxiety sufferers and there should be more recommendations to it! It's sad to see that even some government-funded websites still provide the wrong information, talking about "managing" anxiety like it's a lifelong condition and that medication is sometimes the only way.. this only serves to weaken our confidence. Your information really helped me through the worst and kept me away from the medication, understanding that in the end it will be all worth it... which it has been! Your story was also quite an inspiration, to be suffering so severely for so long to now have been symptom free for over 20 years really shows that anyone can regain their health no matter how bad things are!
I tried some local psychologists but they only made things worse, so I decided to try going through one of the therapists on your website.
Susan Waugh was absolutely amazing, from the first session I already felt like I was in great hands. The initial program regarding eating, sleeping, meditating, etc. really made me feel like this was going to be a comprehensive and effective method of curing my anxiety once and for all.. and not just "managing". She provided excellent advice regarding the techniques to contain fear, and also helped me go back into my past and deal with some of the issues that brought me to this point. Susan has been a life saver and I cannot thank her enough.. I would recommend her to anyone who is fed up with psychologists trying to convince you that you have some sort of monster illness which you need to manage, and is looking for a down-to-earth counsellor who has been through this herself. Each session felt like a big step forward and I never hung up the phone without feeling like progress was made.
Sue, thank you again for helping me get my life back! I've been back at work for 5 months and am now planning my wedding.. the symptoms are fading away... soon they will be gone and forgotten!
To everyone out there suffering, don't worry there is a light at the end of the tunnel! I was in a very bad way and I snapped out of it, if I can do it so can you and everyone else!
Regards, Tom B, Australia
Thank you doesn't seem strong enough to describe the gratitude I feel towards Jim, the website, and my counsellor, Sue Tavener Waugh.
Last November 21st, I fell rapidly into a terrifying pit of symptomatic high anxiety with most of the symptoms mentioned on the website. I knew I had been stressed with money worries and a new two-year course I had started, but this felt like I was in a 24-hour living hell. It took me 4 months to even accept this was anxiety. And like most, I visited the doctor many times and had all the neurological tests done. I just couldn't believe this was just elevated stress! I also thought it must be the beginning of a severe mental illness that would never go away. I didn't even want to write this testimonial at first as I got better, for fear of jinxing myself or speaking too soon. But I can honestly say that with the combination of in depth information on the website, Jim's super kind voice on the Skype chats, and my no nonsense, practical, and reassuring counsellor, Sue, I have finally found my way out of what I would describe as the worst phase of my life.
I know I still have some work to do, but my symptoms have very nearly completely disappeared. But more than that, I have a totally reformed outlook on life and can honestly say I am glad I went through this, as it has allowed me to re-evaluate every aspect of my life.
For those out there suffering right now, please know that you will get better. It just takes time. Be strong.
I would definitely recommend speaking with a counsellor, if like me, you couldn't see a way out on your own. It is worth every penny.
I know this may sound over dramatic, but anxietycentre.com saved my life.
Thank you, Jim, for giving back to so many people at their wits end.
Caron P., UK
I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for your amazing website and also to Sue who helped me overcome my anxiety.
I came across your website searching the internet when I was struggling with anxiety symptoms, including panic attacks. The amount of knowledge and help the website provides is astounding and nothing else I have come across comes close. Once I had read through the chapters, I began to follow your recovery strategies and the symptoms started to calm down. I decided to start talking with Sue (over Skype) as I felt I needed to identify the behaviours that had caused the over stimulation in the first place and get help to change, recover, and never have this happen again. If anyone is thinking about whether or not to talk to one of the Therapists, I strongly recommend you do. You can't put a price on regaining your normal health, and I bet like me, you have spent lots of money trying different methods and ways to find a 'cure' anyway. It doesn't need to be every week. I started talking to Sue fortnightly.
Sue was completely nonjudgmental, kind, and encouraging. She is also very patient as I was not very good at following what I had been told to do at times and can be quite stubborn and tend to question everything!
We started by putting in place the recovery strategies to calm the body down and she explained how the symptoms were being caused. We had a look at my childhood and she helped me see why I had developed certain behaviours. She taught me that we can choose to be the person we want to be. It is all in our power. She taught me that it is okay to let my guard down and not feel I have to be in control of everything (because the truth is, we are actually in control of very little). She also showed me that the answers actually all lie within us.
Don't waste your time continually searching for a cure. Although it feels like it, you are not ill. Your body is just over stimulated creating very horrible symptoms, I agree, but they all go away in time. It does take some time, but it also generally takes longer to recover because we do a good job of getting in our body's natural way of recovering. I know I did.
Talking with Sue helped me during my recovery over the last couple of years. She helped me with challenges, such as coming off of my medication, taking a flight again, the death of my cat amongst other things. We all have doubts and need reassurance at times to keep us on the right track. The journey is bumpy and it isn't easy, but we can all recover if we do the right things. Jim you are so right when you say that if we do the right things and for long enough, the body has to recover…and it will. It is the same for everyone so follow the recovery strategies the Anxiety Centre recommends. Persist with them!
Sue also helped me reconnect with my belief in God which has helped me with my fears of death and dying. To any one reading this, religion doesn't need to have anything to do with your recovery if you are not religious. We talked about it because I chose to and I asked Sue for help in this area.
I would like to say a couple of things about the symptoms. Unfortunately for me having the symptoms fed right into my health anxieties! A big recipe for an anxiety disorder! I struggled for a while to accept them and I was fearful of them but this just keeps them going! Doctors can tell the difference between anxiety symptoms and other medical conditions so try and believe your Doctor when he tells you it is anxiety. It will make such a difference.
Also, I really struggled with the psychological symptoms. The depression, the overwhelm, doom and gloom, depersonalisation, constant mind chatter, negative thoughts, and even suicidal thoughts. I know these were all a by-product of a tired, stressed, and over stimulated mind. In flight and fight mode, we are continually risk assessing. I did not have any of these thoughts before I developed an anxiety disorder and I don't again now that I have recovered. The point I am trying to make is that once the body calms down and we return to normal health, all these thoughts and feelings just disappear on their own. We don't actually need to do anything except to try not to fret and worry about them while they are there. Of course, doing this just stalls recovery. I learnt not to attach any importance to them. They will come and go, so just let them be. It does take a leap of faith.
I now live a more balanced and healthier lifestyle and with Sue's help, I have learnt to contain my worries. I still have some work to do on my thoughts and behaviours, but I have all the knowledge and tools to continue doing this.
So thanks again Jim and Sue. Keep up the good work!
Best Wishes Nicole, England
Firstly, thank you for this incredible website. Finding you in a Google search that day finally gave me the knowledge and hope I needed to come through.
Since day one, Sue reassured me that I would make it through, and she was right. Not only am I almost on the other side of all of this, I’ve learnt more about myself than I have ever known.
Thank you for everything Sue, you have changed my life.
Hello Mr. Folk,
I wanted to thank you for your wonderful ministry to anxiety sufferers. God used your website to bring me out of a pit of misery. I have had anxiety most of my life and a few traumatic events as an adult brought the anxiety to a new level. I thought it was a physiological problem so I began seeking medical help. Testing found nothing, but I continued to feel terrible so I sought help from natural doctors.
My body continued to react poorly to natural remedies and any medications. I was put on Lorazepam one year ago and I was on it for 5 weeks. Being on that and withdrawing from it was one of the more horrifying experiences of my life. I spent many days crying out to God asking Him to take me home or heal me.
One Sunday morning, I "happened" to run across your website. I read through the list of anxiety symptoms and also listened to your story. Wow, it sounded so close to mine. I kept thinking, "is this really stemming from my thinking…there just has to be something wrong with my body." Well, I continued to worsen and was to the point where I could not drive and could not be left alone because I was so anxious. I was an adult, and me and my children needed a babysitter! I was mostly only sleeping one hour a night.
Through a series of events, God brought me to the end of myself and I could not deny that I needed help with my anxiety and that the anxiety was the cause of my symptoms and not the other way around. I became a member of your website and started reading all of the information. It was like it was written just for me. I also ordered one of the relaxation CD's which was so helpful. I also asked to be referred to a counselor.
I will never forget my first appointment with her. Sue Waugh finally gave me hope and help. She spent the first several appointments giving me lifestyle changes to make in order to help my body relax, and also ways to help me change my thought patterns. It was so great having someone be so honest with me and to push me to make changes even when it was hard.
The hard work paid off and I began seeing changes. We then moved into dealing with situations in my past and present and how I was dealing with them. She opened my eyes to how controlling I have been all of my life and also why, and that everything (including myself) does not have to be perfect. It was so freeing! I just so appreciate her being my cheerleader and also teacher. When I would get discouraged, she would keep me on track.
I now drive, laugh, smile, sleep, play with my family, take time for myself, know that God is in control, (not me, thank goodness!) and many other good changes! I am living life like never before!
My family and I thank you for the help of your website and for referring me to Sue. My husband tells me almost everyday he is amazed at the changes. I have referred several people to your website. I pray they contact you to take a step towards freedom!
We cannot thank you enough!
Kayleen C., USA
I just wanted to congratulate you on your wonderful organization. Four years ago I recovered from chronic, crippling anxiety with the help of one your counsellors, Sue Waugh. I am happy to say I have been feeling great for four years now and I know I will continue to do so.
I have had life's ups and downs in the past four years but I feel so empowered by what I learnt from you that anxiety just doesn't surface. I feel like I focus on the right thoughts that come naturally now.
I also have to say your teachings have helped my young son, too. For various reasons a few years ago, I started to recognize my son was becoming anxious. Being 11 years old, he panicked about what he was feeling and was convinced he had some sort of health issues. I immediately recognized what the problem was and implemented your teachings. I worked on his thinking, explained to him what was happening to his body, told him to let the symptoms just come and go, meditated with him daily, and within a month, he was back to being my normal young son. He really did learn a great deal from the experience. Two years on, he is perfectly fine. Whilst it was nothing serious, I felt I taught him some life skills due to you guys. So a big thank you to you.
I hope you and your family and team are well. Please pass on my warmest regards to Sue.
Regards Maria J., Australia
I just want to let you and others know how great a counsellor Sue is. I finished my counselling sessions with Sue 6 months ago, after spending a year working with her, and I am doing great! The last 6 months have also been the busiest time of my life with the most change (a new job, welcoming a new child, and a new house) and I have handled it all great!
Looking back, I never knew that I was living my life with anxiety. It was only when I pushed myself over the top and developed anxiety/stress symptoms, and then stumbled onto this website and started working with Sue, that I knew that I had suffered with anxiety all my life. When I starting talking with Sue I was at a low point. Sue very quickly determined the negative behaviors that were causing me stress and anxiety. These were all behaviors that I had learned from my childhood, my parents, and my life experiences.
Once I dealt with the past and was able to notice these negative behaviors, the hard work really began. Sue provided me with many new tools and insights to help change these behaviors. Sue was very patient and encouraged me during this process.
With Sue being located in Australia and myself in Canada, I found it very convenient to have sessions over the phone (using SKYPE) as Sue was available on Sundays or in the evenings in North America.
Thank you Jim for this great website, and thank you Sue for helping me deal with the behaviors that were causing me anxiety.
Twelve months ago anxiety was ruling my life. Three failed attempts at counselling and endless doctors that wanted to medicate me, I thought I had to live with this condition forever.
Then, a random Google search changed my life. I stumbled upon the Anxiety Centre and whilst I proceeded with caution, it was my last hope. Wow, I wish I had discovered you 10 years earlier!
I started counselling with Sue Waugh in November last year. Her approach was different to everyone else I had seen and knowing she had gone through what I had, made me feel like she understood and didn't think I was crazy. She was so supportive and very quickly I noticed improvements. Now 11 months later I no longer see Sue but I am a new person!
For the first time I am living my life without fear and looking forward to a world of opportunity that I can now confidently embrace.
Sue has changed my life and I can't thank her and the Anxiety Centre enough.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart!
I had started experiencing anxiety symptoms the last couple of years off and on, and at one point was experiencing severe burning nerve pain in various parts of my body and was waiting to see a neurologist to rule out Multiple Sclerosis or other physical conditions. Somehow I felt that all the physical symptoms I had been undergoing were all stress and anxiety related and I kept searching the internet for information.
I came across your site, and read through all of the information available and felt confirmation that I had to get serious and deal with my thinking habits and inherited/learned personality traits that were contributing to my ill health. I worked with Sue Tavener Waugh and it was very enlightening to connect with some of the childhood experiences and relationships that were at the root of some of my negative beliefs about myself, as well as to work through why I had developed such a pattern of stress reaction and worry during my life.
Over time, my physical symptoms subsided and I now do not experience any significant levels of anxiety and have the tools to relax myself and put life events into perspective so that I am not creating unnecessary stressful thoughts and reactions. It is a journey well worth taking and I would recommend Sue highly.
I have also referred your website to several other people dealing with anxiety. Thank you so much for all of the information and services you provide.
I have such great appreciation for our weekly counselling
sessions. Without these I would not have been able to overcome
my panic attacks, dizziness and so many other symptoms. I
had tried a couple of psychologists and they were of no help.
Your patience with my symptoms and listening to what I had
to say weekly were the things that have gotten me on the
road to recovery.. Then providing with my homework to support
our session and move forward with healing..
I do not know what led me to the
anxietycentre.com website – probably
God. . I believe I was searching for help for my panic attacks,
my life and came upon the wonderful website. The discussion
forum has been a godsend. I have used it extensively to help
with my healing along with the counselling.
I have been able to heal weekly and
rather quickly due to your great advice and listening ear.
I can’t thank you enough for your help, pointing me
to tools like books, tasks and the anietycentre.com to help
with my recovery. I was crippled with anxiety for many years
and Extensively this last year.
I am healing daily after I became a member of your website
and started our counselling.
Thanks again,. May God continue to bless you, all the others
at anxietycentre.com, and the work that you do. It has truly
changed my life.
With great respect and wishes,
I just want to comment on how great Sue is as a counselor. She has become a friend that I can ask any question to. She was so encouraging and helped me in ways I hadn't expected when I signed up. She has brought me through to being a stronger, more confident person.
Your web site is also fabulous. It has so much information, states the issues so clearly and all is very simple to understand.
Thank you so much for having this web site and these counselors available.
I love this website and my coach, Susan W. I have struggled
with panic attacks all my life. I have tried everything to
stop them. I've tried medication that helped for a little
while, but then the anxiety came back. I have been in three
mental hospitals for anxiety. I have also seen several therapists.
Nothing has stopped my anxiety until now.
I highly recommend the coaching on this website. Its worth
every penny and all you have to do is be willing to do the
The tools taught through coaching will
help keep your anxiety away. Its the best thing that has
ever happened to me.
Thank You, Anxietycentre.
I want you to know I appreciate your help and I will never
forget you and what you did for me. I am free and I am healthy.
This past year has not been without its challenges. In fact,
it had more stressful events than most years. Many of them
we major life events. But I have to tell you, despite the
challenges, I have had no anxiety. I have no fear. I take
care of myself. I have healthy boundaries. I grow everyday.
I am not afraid of my emotions or expressing them. I find
my life is richer everyday and my relationships are more
genuine. I accept all challenges as new adventures and opportunities
for me to grow. I know how to grieve my losses and I enter
into the process willingly. I know who I am.
I don't know where I would be without you. Everyday I am
grateful for being able to mature with you helping me.
April S., USA
Counselling over the phone has been
great. It doesn't matter where the therapist is - you can
still get help.
First off, let me say Thank You, Thank You , Thank You.
I know it is only by the grace of God that I found the Anxietycentre
website. I read the information and started implementing
the self help work on my own. After a few weeks it was clear
to me that I needed more help to uncover the underlying factors
that attributed to my anxiety. It was hard to admit and accept
but I knew that I was impeding my own recovery.
Having spoken to a therapist locally with no results but
the continued offer of medication, I was reluctant and unsure
what, if any help counseling would be. I called in and was
set up with my initial appointment with Sue. Sue was exactly
the personality that I needed. It was a relief to know that
she knew exactly what I was experiencing and reassuring to
know that she and all the other counselors at Anxiety Center
had experienced and conquered anxiety. If anyone had the
answers, it had to be her.
It has been several months. I
look back now and don’t
even recognize the person I was. I have grown more in the
last several months than I could ever imagine. My road was
not easy. It was challenging, hard, and sometimes even scary.
For anyone reading this, if you really want to be done with
an anxiety disorder, completely, then please look into counseling
here. If you commit to the work, it will be the best investment
you ever made. You will be free.
Sue… there will always
be a special place in my heart for you. I am forever grateful
for the opportunity to learn and grow with your help.
Looking back, I believe I have suffered
with anxiety all my life. Over the last 25 years, as an adult,
I have had my share of ups and downs, all which have contributed
to my of varying degrees of anxiety.
Late in 2007, I experienced a full-blown anxiety attack. I
was sitting watching a movie with my husband and my eight-year-old
daughter when it hit me, out of the blue. Panic, vomiting,
churning stomach, sweating, and the feeling I was going insane.
I was terrified. Although I knew what was happening, I didn't
know what had triggered it, and that is what scared me the
most. It felt like I had no control over these feelings!
Two days later I saw my doctor. I was prescribed very mild
anti-depressant medication, which I have never taken. I got
on the computer and searched the web so I could learn about
anxiety and what caused it. Words cannot describe my feelings
when I found your web site. I spent nights reading the information,
this was the beginning of my healing process. I didn't feel
I needed professional guidance. Deep down I knew I couldn't
unravel all my negative thought patterns I had taught myself
over the years. Medicating myself was definitely out of the
question (I knew it was only going to be a short term fix).
I needed to address the cause, not the symptoms.
For nearly 12 months I have been meeting with Sue weekly. As
part of my healing process, I have opened up and shared very
personal information with Sue. It has been very hard for me
to bring those feelings and (sometimes very scary) thoughts
to the surface and acknowledge, accept, or reject them. Sue's
guidance, patience, and understanding has allowed me to grow
and move forward at a pace I feel comfortable with.
During our sessions, Sue provided me with tools to begin my
healing. Tools to recognize my self worth, tools to acknowledge
my contribution to my family as a mother and wife. But most
importantly, tools to help give meaning to my life on a daily
I feel a different person today than I was 12 months ago. I
am on the road to recovery. My persistent anxiety symptoms
This may sound strange from an anxiety sufferer, but my aim
is not to eliminate anxiety, my hope is to feel a level of
anxiety that is appropriate to the situation. And I expect
that will happen as my 'tool box' continues to be filled with
the right information and tools to help me build a stronger
and more resilient me.
For me personally, having the sessions over the phone, in my
own environment is great.
I don't know if you remember me. I have Sue as my counsellor
and when I started personal counselling you were my counsellor
for a while and Sue was listening in, training I presume.
After a while Sue then became my counsellor.
I am writing
to let you know that Sue is absolutely fantastic. I have
gone from being an absolute wreck who at my lowest thought
quite seriously about suicide. I just couldn't find a way
out of the mess I found myself in. I thought I'd be an anxious
mess for the rest of my life.
I really clicked with Sue. With
her patience and guidance she has pulled me through a very
difficult part of my life. I have been taught skills that
I know will remain with me for the rest of my life. I'm
almost a year into my therapy and I'm doing so well.
mum was diagnosed with ALS 18 months ago and has deteriorated
and continues to do so. So many of my friends told me that
I wouldn't recover until my mum passes away. That made
me even more anxious. I felt I had little hope. I'm happy
to say that yes my mum is still around but I'm almost my
normal self. Sue has pulled me through this despite my
life’s challenges. I'm now able to
spend quality time with my mum. I don't feel sick to the
stomach when I see mum or rather her condition. I have been
able to get past mums illness and realise that she is still
my wonderful mum that I love dearly.
Sue has helped me develop
coping skills. She is the voice of reason. I can't thank
her enough for all her help. I just wanted to let you know
what a wonderful counsellor you have as part of your staff.
I now can smile.
Thank you to the Anxiety Centre and especially to Sue.