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Paradise behind bars…what really happens here?

"Welcome to Paradise" is an inspiring account of a young Peruvian woman who emigrated to Australia in the early 1970s & how she tackled language barriers & culture shock to end up working as a Psychologist behind the walls of Sydney’s prison system.


“Working in NSW Correctional Facilities over the past 15 years has given me a pretty good grounding in understanding the emotional turmoil inmates experience both inside the prison system as well as the even greater sense of displacement when they leave the goals,” says Isabel Stepanik, Psychologist
Isabel Stepanik is a registered psychologist and has been working in this profession for the past 15 years. Her professional experience includes 11 years in the NSW Correctional Prison System as well as now running her own Psychological practice in Hurstville.
During her time in these Correctional Units Isabel has worked in long-term intervention programs with sex-offenders, acute self-harm/suicidal and serious offenders. In addition, she has counseled inmates with mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, stress, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Attention Deficit & Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and schizophrenia among others.
As a result of her professional and personal experience Isabel Stepanik has decided to write a book called “Welcome to Paradise” which is an account of her journey leaving her home country of Peru at the young age of 20 and arriving in Australia without a word of English to fulfill her own dreams.
Isabel never dreamed that she would end up spending much of her working life behind the walls of Sydney’s prisons, first as a welfare officer and later as a psychologist.
Isabel’s story is one of culture shock, and of a young woman’s determination to succeed in a new country. It’s also the story of life inside prison walls, of the realities and challenges of trying to help inmates to turn their lives around.
She will be holding a launch for this book at Hurstville Entertainment Centre (McMahons Rd, Hurstville) on Saturday 20th of July 2013 at 2pm. She has left an open invitation to people of non- English speaking background community (the book will be available in both Spanish and English) to attend as well as members of the mental health associations and correctional facilities.
To register your interest for the launch please email and ask for Isabel


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