Advancing veterinary mental health and well-being

About us

About Us

Cathy Warburton & ‘Jelly’

Cathy Warburton & ‘Jelly’

Veterinary Wellness Consultant and Coach

Dr Cathy Warburton
Dip Pos. Psych. and Well-being
Veterinary Wellness Consultant and Coach
Director and Founder of Make Headway
Mental Health First Aider
Dip Pos Psych and Well-being

Cathy graduated from Murdoch University in 1989 as a veterinarian. She worked as a clinician, trainer and manager in private, university and corporate practices for 25 years, mostly in the pressure cooker environment of Emergency and Critical Care.

Cathy completed a Diploma in Positive Psychology and Well-being and further training in coaching before starting Make Headway with the aim of having professionals support professionals to advance veterinary mental health.

Cheryl Fry & ‘Milo’

Cheryl Fry & ‘Milo’

Veterinary Wellness Consultant and Coach

Dr Cheryl Fry
Certified Professional Well-being Coach

After graduating from Veterinary Science at Melbourne University in 1992, Cheryl began her career as a veterinarian at a small animal clinic in Adelaide. From there, as her skills and experience grew, compounded by her completion of a Masters in Small Animal Medicine and Surgery (Murdoch University) she shifted to a larger clinic where she first started to experience the common frustrations of being a veterinary surgeon.

Whilst her love for her clinic and work did not diminish, she realised that the stress and anxiety, alongside her own high standards of skill and care started to affect her own mental health. She then made the decision to combine life coaching with veterinary care, and has not looked back since.

Her love of animals and of clients returned rapidly and she found a new thrill in being able to use her intuition, compassion and empathy to help other vets make a difference!

Her role as your Personal Certified Life Coach is to find out what isn’t working in your life at the moment, what you want to be different in your future, and how to get from where you are today to where you want to be. She will partner with you in your own personal journey to a happier and more fulfilled life.

Who We Are

At Make Headway, we are veterinary professionals empowering veterinary professionals towards enhanced performance and well-being.

At Make Headway, we believe that the acquisition of clinical skills and knowledge is just the first step on the pathway to being an excellent vet, vet nurse, receptionist or manager.

At Make Headway, we believe in the art of veterinary medicine. We provide education and coaching around the supporting structures that allow veterinary professionals to effectively and sustainably utilize their clinical skills and knowledge – their mindset, emotional intelligence, self-care skills, resilience and interpersonal communication.

At Make Headway, we work compassionately, ethically and collaboratively, each bringing our own individual and complementary experiences and skills.

At Make Headway, we love science and research. We know that you can grow your psychological resources, move yourself to the right along the continuum that is mental health (see below) and lead a more fulfilling life. And we want to help you do so.

Make Headway – advancing veterinary mental health and well-being

Our Services

Make Headway provides;

  • Personalised One-on-one Coaching
    • Embrace opportunities or address problems and roadblocks with the support of our compassionate and experienced veterinary coaches
    • See our $15 Veterinary Life Assessment Workbook here – This steps you through the process of determining what is going well in your life and what you would like to improve. For some, this may be all that you need. For others, this will provide clarity prior to stepping into a coaching program.
  • In practice seminars and workshops
    • Get your team talking the same language, grow their psychological resources and enhance your practice culture and morale through group education for your staff.
    • Make an enquiry about developing a training plan for your organisation here.
  • Group on-line training and mentoring in association with VetPrac
    • VetPrac offers hands-on training courses and workshops designed by vets, for vets. VetPrac and Make Headway are committed to creating a safe, nurturing environment for vets for contribute to improving mental health and well-beings across Australia.
    • Highly tested and reviewed group training courses that delve into the science of positive psychology where participants can learn from experienced veterinarians and from each other.
    • A flexible, and resource friendly 6-week course is available. Click here for scheduling and more information.


What is coaching?

Coaching can mean different things to different people.

The ICF (International Coaches Federation) defines it as: “Coaching is partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.”

iPEC (Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching) says: “The Core Energy Coaching process helps people tap into their inner purpose and passion and connect that with outer goals and tasks to bring about extraordinary and sustainable results.”

Thomas Leonard defines it as: “Helping people set better goals and then reach those goals. Asking clients to do more than they would have done on their own. Helping clients to focus better so as to produce results more quickly. Providing clients with the tools, support, and structure to accomplish more.”

As your coaches;

  • We will partner you in your journey from where you are now, to where you want to be in the future.
  • We will listen to you without judgement.
  • We will challenge you to focus on what you want, using the past only as a tool to learn from.
  • We will help you break through what is holding you back.
  • We will help you find solutions and create customized plans to move you forward towards your goals – bringing out your best in the process.
  • We will support you while holding you accountable to commitments that you make.
  • We will NOT tell you how to live your life, or give you advice. You are the expert on your own journey and we will help you to find your answers for you.

How is coaching different to therapy?

While the two may seem similar, and both can be very beneficial, there are some distinct differences between therapy and coaching. On occasion, therapists and coaches can work synergistically.

Therapy often deals with dysfunction and/or diagnosing pathology in a person, while coaches work with a healthy client who desires a better situation and wants support in getting there.

Therapy often aims to “fix” the past and spends a lot of time discussing this, while coaching aims to create a better future using the past as one of many tools. Often a therapist has the answers, while a coach partners their client in discovering their own answers.

Who uses a coach?

The short answer would probably be “who doesn’t use a coach?”

People use coaches for almost all parts of their lives – for well-being, growth, performance and relationships. You might consider having some coaching whenever you feel that you are plateauing or are generally feeling unhappy, stressed or unfulfilled in your professional and/or personal life.

You may access our coaching as an individual or may be supported by your employer.

How will we have our sessions?

Generally we have our coaching sessions on the telephone, or via Skype. For you, this means that sessions can be conducted from work, home or anywhere else that you can find a quiet space with a telephone or internet connection.

Face-to-face sessions in our home offices are also possible (Cathy is in Melbourne and Cheryl in Sydney).

Most sessions are 60 minutes. The last 10 minutes is spent summarizing the action plan and creating accountability.

What about confidentiality?

We abide by the ICF code of ethics. Everything that occurs in a coaching session is totally confidential to the limits of the security of the technologies we use (eg phones, skype etc). Confidentiality may be broken if there is a concern that you will harm yourself or others or in the case that the courts order us to divulge information.

How long will it take to see real changes?

Many clients can feel a positive shift in their life after a single coaching session. However, to achieve real, sustainable change, a longer period of coaching is often needed (4-12 sessions).

Our goal is to be such good coaches that you no longer require us. You will have the tools to move forward confidently on your own when you are ready to do so.

Contact us

Get in touch

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