Sabina Read née Bradfield (TC 1989) is a psychologist, media commentator, speaker and facilitator who works with individuals, couples, families, and organisations on issues ranging from well-being and change to relationships and mental health.
Sabina met her husband Charles Read (TC 1987 and current finance committee member) on the top of Behan balcony and the couple were later married in the Trinity Chapel! Read on to find out more about Sabina’s Trinity journey, and her advice on maintaining positive and healthy relationships by listening and embracing vulnerability.
How did your time at Trinity inform what you are currently doing now?
Attending Trinity provided me with an important and long-lasting sense of belonging and community. As a psychologist, I understand that we are hard-wired to belong, and that secure and enriching peer and community relationships can create a solid foundation from which to challenge, grow and stretch oneself. I consider my college friends as some of my closest mates, and I am forever grateful for the friendships and networks that Trinity provided me. Perhaps most importantly, I met my husband on Behan balcony in 1989 as a wide-eyed fresher! Together we have supported each other over changing careers, international and interstate moves, personal and professional challenges, and we continue to remain both delighted and bemused as we parent our two wonderful teenage daughters. I know without a shadow of a doubt that Trinity has played a significant role in who I am today.
How can living in a community such as Trinity enrich the lives of people and those around them?
Living in close quarters with others can heighten our sense of empathy and connection. Research suggests that friendships tend to flourish when we live in close proximity to one another, exchange daily interactions, and share common interests; all of which I experienced first-hand during my college years. My Trinity friends were generally curious, bright, driven humans, and their inspirational behaviour was and remains contagious. When your peers are reaching for the stars, it’s hard not to be motivated to do the same! Together, we have enjoyed the opportunity to influence, nurture, and support each other, and learn from each other’s mistakes and wisdom.
How have you stayed involved with Trinity since leaving the College and what do you think makes the College special?
I have mentored past and present Trinity students over the years which I reckon has been more rewarding for me than them! More recently, I was invited to attend an alumni/student forum (run the Trinity Careers and Alumni team), where current students had the opportunity to ask us anything in an up close and personal setting. When I listen to their stories, questions, hopes, fears and dreams, I feel like I’m 19 again! Our journeys are universal in many ways, except for the fact I had to make all outgoing calls from the very public phone booth that used to sit in front of the JCR. Even Superman would have liked more privacy than that booth offered!!
You counsel individuals and families on how to deal with relationship challenges, grief, stress and job loss among other things. Can you offer any advice on ways to best cope with a crisis that may occur in your life?
That’s a big question for a little article but two things come to mind! Firstly, I think it’s important to share your vulnerability and struggles with others. When we do that, we invite others to follow suit, and it also helps normalise our experience. One of the patterns I observe in my clinical work is that people often feel alone in their pain. There’s a sense they are the only one to walk the planet that has experienced this hurdle, loss, or emotion, however in reality, our struggles and our responses tend to be more universal. At the end of the day, we all bleed the same. Secondly, I’m a big believer in highlighting the importance of choice. While we don’t choose events in our life,