Ron Farmer PhD


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Policies & Terms Of Use

Self-Help Tele Service (Australia) Policies

Self-Help Tele Service (Australia) is a service provided by Australian Academy of Human Excellence, which is a division of the registered charity, Heart of Love Foundation (Australia)

Privacy Policy

1. About this Policy

(Version 1.0, September 2020) 

The Privacy Act 1988 requires entities bound by the Australian Privacy Principles to have a privacy policy. This privacy policy outlines the personal information handling practices of Self-Help Tele Service (Australia). 

This policy is written in simple language. The specific legal obligations Self-Help Tele Service has when collecting and handling your personal information are outlined in the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth), and in particular the Australian Privacy Principles found in that Act. 

We will update this privacy policy when our information handling practices change. Updates will be published on our website.

2. Scope of this Policy

This policy applies to Self Help Tele Service’s handling of personal information.

In this Privacy Policy, 'personal information' has the same meaning as defined under section 6 of the Privacy Act 1988: 

personal information means information or an opinion about an identified individual, or an individual who is reasonably identifiable: 
(a) whether the information or opinion is true or not; and
(b) whether the information or opinion is recorded in a material form or not.

This policy also refers to 'sensitive information’, which is a subset of personal information. Sensitive information includes information or an opinion about your:

  • racial or ethnic origin;
  • political opinions;
  • religious beliefs or affiliations;
  • philosophical beliefs;
  • sexual orientation;
  • criminal record;
  • health information; or
  • genetic information.
3. Anonymity

Where possible, we will allow you to interact with us anonymously or using a pseudonym. For example, if you seek to contact us through Self-Help Tele Service Web Chat or our general enquiries we will not ask for your name or seek identifying information unless we need it to adequately respond to your request or to assist you. However, please see below information collected via our IT systems when you contact Self-Help Tele Service. 

However, if we do identify you in the course of interacting with you anonymously (such as through your telephone number), we may use or disclose that information to protect you or others. For example we may provide your phone number to emergency services if we think there is a risk of harm to you or another person. This is described in more detail in paragraph 5.1. 

The choice of how much information you provide to us is yours and depends on the purposes for which you interact with Self Help Tele Service. 

4. Collection and use of your personal information

A. What we collect

We try to only collect personal information that is reasonably necessary for, or directly related to, an activity we are undertaking to carry out a Self-Help Tele Service Objective. The kind of personal information we may collect, and its uses, are information as a result of our role in providing services directly to you through Self-Help Tele Service.

B. Who we collect personal information from

The main way we collect personal information about you is when you give it to us through a Compassionate Responder during your online presence via our Web Chat.

C. Collecting information through our websites

Self-Help Tele Service has its own public website There are a number of ways in which we collect information through our website.

We use Google Analytics and Live person to collect data about your interaction with our website. The sole purpose of collecting data in this way is to improve your experience when using our site.

5. Disclosure

We do not disclose personal information to another person or organisation (including police, emergency services and other government agencies) unless one of the following applies:

  • The individual has consented to the disclosure of their personal information;
  • The individual would reasonably expect, or has been told, that information of that kind is usually passed to those individuals, bodies or agencies and the disclosure:
  • In the case of personal information (that is not sensitive information) relates to the primary purpose for which is was collected; or
  • In the case of sensitive information is directly related to the primary purpose for which it was collected.
  • The disclosure is otherwise required or authorised by law;
  • We reasonably believe that the disclosure will prevent or lessen a serious and imminent threat to somebody’s life, health or safety (including your own) or serious threat to public health, property or public safety;
  • The individual has made threats to harm third parties;
  • The individual has made threats against Self Help Tele Service personnel;
  • The individual repeatedly makes nuisance contact including calls, chats or email.
6. Quality of personal information

We do not create customer specific records (or records which are attributed to a specific person) for people who use Self-Help Tele Service.

We do not, as a matter of standard practice, confirm the accuracy of personal information provided by a third party using Self-Help Tele Service. We would only act on the information (irrespective of its quality) by disclosing it if we reasonably believe that the disclosure is necessary to prevent or lessen a serious and imminent threat to somebody’s life, health or safety or serious threat to public health or public safety.

7. Storage and security of Information security

We take steps to protect the personal information we hold against loss, unauthorised access, use, modification or disclosure, and against other misuse. These steps include:

  • Only allowing personnel with a ‘need to know’ to access our IT systems and records;
  • (where relevant) undertaking background checks on personnel who require access to our IT systems and records;
  • Password protection for accessing our electronic IT systems; and
  • Securing paper files in locked cabinets with physical access restrictions.

When no longer required, personal information is deleted.

Service Terms of Use

By using Self-help Tele Service (Australia), you agree to the Terms and Conditions described below.

Self-help Tele Service is being delivered by a small team of non-professional volunteers referred to as Compassionate Responders and is provided for residents of Australia only.

The aim of the Self-help Tele Service is to provide short-term, informal, compassionate listening and suggestions as to which of the Self-Help Therapy recordings might be appropriate for a caller’s present mental/emotional challenges. 

The Compassionate Responder might also direct people to registered Australian services such as Lifeline or Beyond Blue, or to dial 000 for police or ambulance in an emergency.

The service seeks to achieve these aims by supportively engaging in an empathic, collaborative, non-judgmental, and empowering process.

The Self-help Tele Service does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, prescription of medications, or treatment of any conditions. Our service is not a substitute or alternative to professional health care and advice based on your unique circumstances, and you should not disregard professional advice, or delay seeking it, because of any information or guidance from our service. Self-help Tele Service, Australian Academy for Human Excellence, and Heart of Love Foundation (Australia) do not accept any liability (including for negligence) for any injury, loss, or damage incurred by use of or reliance on the information and guidance provided.

Website Terms of Use

Purpose and Effect of Terms of Use

By using the Self-help Tele Service (Australia) (we, us, our) website and website services you agree to these Terms of Use. 

We may change the Terms of Use by making the revised terms available on this website. By continuing to use our website you accept the Terms of Use as they apply from time to time.

It is intended that these Terms of Use will be legally binding on you and us, and governed by the laws of Queensland, Australia.

Our website and website services

Our website and services are provided for the use of residents of Australia only.

Please note that our Service Terms of Use form part of these Terms of Use and also apply to your use of our website services, including ‘Chat with us’.

Our ‘Chat with us’ service aims to provide short-term, informal, compassionate listening and suggestions as to which of the Self Help Therapy recordings might be appropriate for a caller’s present mental/emotional challenges.

The Compassionate Responder might also direct people to registered Australian services such as Lifeline or Beyond Blue, or to dial 000 for police or ambulance in an emergency.

Reliance on information and disclaimer

While we take reasonable care, and implement quality assurance protocols, to ensure that the information and services we provide are relevant, helpful and responsive, please note that:

  • the information on our website is intended for your general information and use only and we do not warrant the information is complete, accurate and up to date;
  • our website and services do not provide medical advice, diagnosis, prescription of medications, or treatment of any conditions;
  • our website and services are not a substitute or alternative to professional health care and advice based on your unique circumstances; and
  • you should not disregard professional advice, or delay seeking it, because of any information or guidance from our website or services.

On this basis, to the extent permitted by law:

  • we exclude all statutory and general law warranties and guarantees in relation to our website and website services;
  • we disclaim all liability (including for negligence) for any injury, loss or damage incurred by you arising out of your use and reliance on the information and guidance provided through our website and website services; and
  • our liability for failure to comply with any applicable (and non-excludable) guarantees under the Australian Consumer Law is limited to supplying the services again or paying the cost of having the services supplied again.
Copyright and trademarks

All material on this website (including its design, layout, text, and images) is subject to copyright owned by (or licensed to) us.

We are happy for you to reproduce this material for personal and non-commercial purposes, provided the reproduction is unaltered and an attribution of source is included. Any other use of this material requires our written consent.

This website contains trade marks that belong to us and third parties. You may not display or use these trade marks in any manner without the prior consent of the trade mark owner.

Links to other websites and third party content

This website contains links to, or content from, third party websites. These are provided for your convenience only. We do not control third party websites and are not responsible for their content. We do not specifically endorse any organisation or content, and views or recommendations provided do not necessarily reflect our views. It is your responsibility to make your own decisions about the currency, completeness, accuracy of this information. We do not warrant that material on other sites does not infringe the intellectual property rights of any other person.

Privacy, security and viruses

We take our obligations to protect your personal information seriously, please see our Privacy Policy

However, please note that the internet is an insecure public network which means there are risks that information sent to or from our website services may be intercepted, corrupted or modified by third parties. In addition, it is possible that files and transmissions through our website services may contain computer viruses, disabling codes, worms or other devices or defects.

You bear the risks and responsibility for any loss or damage caused, directly or indirectly, by these risks. We do not accept any liability for any interference with or damage to your computer system, device, software or data occurring in connection with your use of our website and website services.


When you interact with us through this website, we may use a feature of your browser called a cookie to assign your computer a ‘User ID’. Cookies do not contain information by which we can identify you. They identify your computer to our servers. We may use information contained in cookies to improve the functionality of this website and for security purposes. You may configure your browser so that you are notified before a cookie is downloaded or so that your browser does not accept cookies (please refer to the help menu within your Internet browser).

Service FAQ’s – Online Chat

If you are having problem connecting to the 16 recordings on the Online Chat, please see the FAQ’s below.

Why does my chat keep dropping out and why do I have to sign in again?

The most common reason for this is the use of mobile devices (eg. Phone, Tablet). Some strategies to make chatting easier while using mobile devices have been listed below:

  • Your internet connection/reception matters, as this will guarantee better connectivity to the Internet. You could try moving to an area of the house that has better reception (eg. closer to the router or perhaps closer to the window)
  • Mobile phones/ iPads will automatically adjust mobile signal power to use the least amount of battery power as possible. If possible, ensure you are plugged into a charger whilst using your device. 
  • Since Online Chat support is run through an Internet browser, try shutting down any unused applications to free up some memory/processing power on your device.
  • One of the common causes of a slow device, is that it has been running for a long time. A quick restart of the device may help.

Our recommendations are:

  • Use a personal and secure wifi network to connect to the Internet
  • Connect to Online Chat from an area with higher quality mobile phone reception
  • Install the latest security & system updates on your device (Android/iOS/PC/Mac)

Duty Of Care

Everyone has a duty of care; it is a moral duty and legal obligation to:

  • Always act in the best interest of individuals and others
  • Not to act or fail to act in a way that results in harm
  • Act within your competence and not take on anything that you do not believe that you can safely do.

Self-help Tele Service Australia is an informal telephone and web-chat service formed in September 2020 at a time of great need locally, nationally and internationally, for individuals to be able to self-help in finding their own inner wisdom and strength. Our primary resource is a set of 16 Self-Help Therapy recordings made freely available by their creators who are Directors of the Australian Academy for Human Excellence,    Dr Ron and Suwanti Farmer, both mature, experienced Clinical Psychologists whose professional back-up is available to our non-professional volunteers. 

Our service is informal, based on loving, selfless listening and directing people who contact us to one or more of our Self-Help Therapy recordings, to registered Australian services such as Lifeline or Beyond Blue, or where we see indicators that immediate help is required, to dial 000 for police or ambulance in an emergency. 

 What Principles guide our Duty of care?

Mindful of the Australian Public Service code of conduct we give priority to the Australian Academy for Human Excellence ‘Selfless Servants for the Higher Good Code of Conduct’ as far as we possibly can, addressing the innate Love, Peace, Truth, Right Conduct and Non-violence that is in everyone:

  • Love expressed by: relating to the wise inner goodness in all others; whenever possible putting the interests of individuals and the whole group ahead of one’s own; using caring and respectful words in all communications; developing compassion so that others’ pain and frustration is felt and understood.
  • Peace expressed: by being a good listener; seeking to fully understand the point of view of others; seeking always to facilitate group consensus within every discussion; showing patience and tolerance even when provoked, avoiding all argumentation.
  • Truth expressed by: letting go of our fears, fixed beliefs and prejudices so as to have an open mind; remembering always that for every situation and event, there is a Higher Plan, there is only One Mind; learning to discover and trust one’s own ‘Inner Voice’ as distinct from any seeking for selfish gain; developing self-confidence and having trust in a Higher Power.
  • Right Conduct expressed by: behaving towards others as one would like others to behave towards oneself; having respect for decisions made by the Australian Academy for Human Excellence and those reporting to the Academy; demonstrating personal tidiness, punctuality, integrity and responsibility; having respect for society’s laws, the elderly, one’s parents, and for customs and practices of other cultures and faiths.
  • Non-violence expressed by: refraining from using hurtful words or actions; not speaking or thinking badly about others; speaking gently and kindly, even when firmness is required; avoiding the expression of one’s own anger, resentment, bitterness, jealousy and selfishness- changing them into love and peace as much as we can

We are mindful of elements of the Australian Public Service Code of Conduct to inform our duty of care:

  • Values: honesty with integrity, care and diligence, respect and courtesy without harassment, compliance with Australian Laws, compliance with any lawful and reasonable direction, appropriate confidentiality, avoid conflict of interest (real or apparent), proper use of resources, highest levels of professional and ethical behaviour.
  • While we are an informal group and not counsellors, we are informed by knowing counsellors work in confidential settings with individuals who are experiencing personal difficulties, to help them overcome their problems and to make appropriate changes to their lives. Counsellors listen to, empathise with, encourage and help to empower individuals.
  • The principle of duty of care is that we have an obligation to avoid acts or omissions, which could be reasonably foreseen to injure or harm other people. This means that we must anticipate risks for your clients and take care to prevent them coming to harm.
  • Ethical considerations of the Department of Health include these qualities: informed consent, voluntary participation, do no harm, confidentiality, anonymity, only assess relevant components.

Self-transformation is our primary focus. We enable ourselves and so others by activating Human Values in our language, feelings and actions, revealing our true nature and so expressing our authentic Self. Love, Peace, Truth, Right Conduct and Non-violence are found in everyone’s heart, so everyone is a beautiful mirror to enable our own self-help therapy.