Rebuilding livesPromoting independencePreventing injuries

Discovering the Power in Me

Proudly supported by nib foundation.

People who sustain a spinal cord injury have their lives changed in a split second, without warning or a chance to prepare. Apart from huge physical challenges, they are suddenly faced with having to re-evaluate their lives, their identities and their place in the world. Discovering the Power in Me (DPM) is a unique workshop in that it specifically focuses on the emotional and mental ramifications of a spinal cord injury.

The two-day workshop was developed by The Pacific Institute in Vancouver and is delivered in Queensland by Spinal Injuries Australia’s Peer Support Team (pictured left), each member of which has a spinal cord injury and is leading a positive, fulfilling life in the community. Read more about the Team here. Based on applied cognitive psychology, DPM offers practical tools and techniques that participants can easily understand and apply to their own lives.

Participants at a DPM workshop.

Spinal Injuries Australia has run pilot workshops over the past 12 months, and we are very excited about the program. We have already seen it change lives. Funding from nib foundation has enabled us to continue delivering the workshops for 12 months, at no cost to participants, to ensure that more people throughout Queensland can experience its life-changing effects.

Download the Discovering the Power in Me brochure for more information.

Continual improvement of the DPM program is also a priority. If you would like to take part in a University of Western Sydney research project into DPM, please visit this page after you have registered your interest in DPM but before attending the workshop.

Any questions? Please contact the Peer Support team on, by phoning 07 3391 2044, or join their DPM Facebook group.

Register Your Interest in Attending a DPM Workshop

Testimonials from DPM participants

Patrick Dillon

“The Discovering the Power in Me program has taken my life on a far greater and rewarding path then I ever imagined. Before doing the program, I thought my life was actually going quite well. I didn’t think there was many things that needed to be changed as I always thought I was quite positive. Then after the course, boom! My confidence and positivity got given a great lift and all of a sudden heaps of doors and windows of opportunities presented themselves for me (and I’m talking about a lot of opportunities). I think from catching the train the first time by myself after the program and also the interaction and activities from the program skyrocketed my confidence and independence dramatically. This has given me a kick to get out there more and get noticed, which in turn has raised some eyebrows, and opportunities have been offered.”


John with the touch football team he coaches, including his son (far left).

John Morgan

Prior to completing DPM:

“For the life of me I couldn’t force the universe to bend to my will, as much as I tried to put a band aid over my deepest concerns sure as the sun rising, I was being confronted time and time again with everything I was scared of.”

Three days after completing DPM:

“My partner and I are getting along famously, I have laughed with my little girl like I have never laughed before. My son has gone camping for the weekend and I can’t wait to spend some time with him this afternoon. I have even managed to put my self talk about money worries right out of my mind. Instead, I’ve replaced the negative concerns of money with making sure my family knows they are the pinnacle of my life, and I can’t believe the turn around that has taken place in just three days.”


Suzanne Mulligan

“I attended the Discovering the Power in Me workshop with my husband Terry. The workshop was effective in helping both of us to understand our feelings since my spinal cord damage. We learnt some strategies, such as setting realistic goals and being positive about our future. We have the power within ourselves to overcome our problems as long as we believe we are in control of our lives. The workshop was well structured and interesting. It was beneficial for me to meet other people who have spinal cord injuries, as well as people who work in the field such as people from Disability Services. I would recommend this workshop for people with a spinal cord injury to help them adjust to their new world, but I would also recommend it for their spouse/partner. It is a huge adjustment for the people who love us as their world has also changed. They must begin a new life and they need help with that too.”