I have founded the School of Somatic Attachment Focused Expressive Therapy® in order to provide rich, creative, playful, engaging, somatic and loving processes that support the human experience.
I value both the personal and professional journey of the therapist and believe that the quality of support given to the interplay between the two is what creates leading therapy providers. I welcome diversity and aim to support inclusivity of those who live as a minority.
I am an advocate and explorer of how creativity and expression, an awareness of our internal body states, and an understanding of our unique attachment blueprint can help us live a truly authentic life. When words are not enough, we can turn to images and symbols to tell our stories. When our survival mechanisms have not turned off, we can turn to our body to find soothing and completion. When our attachment system has had to adapt to get the love we are wired to receive and give, we can turn to trusted others and nature’s healing template to surrender into the love and support that is naturally there. And in telling our stories through different creative mediums, we can find pathways to wellness, recovery and transformation.
As an adopted person; a queer womxn; a white skinned Aboriginal womxn; a childhood sexual abuse survivor; and at one time, a single teenage mother, I have faced the excruciating pain and suffering at times of not ‘belonging’. This sense of ‘othering’ is commonplace when developmental trauma has occurred. It is through a dual journey of adversity and courage that I have gained both personal wisdom and professional knowledge which I bring to my role in supporting other therapists through the times in their, and their client’s lives, where they too feel overwhelmed, rejected, outcast, abandoned or some lack of belonging, either to self or others. I carry a deep compassion for those who are suffering and bring a depth of humanity, sensitivity, presence, authenticity and kindness to my counselling, supervising and training roles. I believe that healing from trauma is entirely possible.
I am passionate about supporting, understanding and teaching others about the importance of embodiment and personal creativity in order to heal from developmental and complex trauma and its impacts on intimate relationships. I have a particular passion for supporting anyone affected by issues of diversity, trauma, belonging or identity, including adoption, foster care, stolen generation, childhood abuse, physical and emotional neglect, disrupted childhood parenting and those who identify as a part of the rainbow community.
I have experience working and living in an Aboriginal community as a classroom Teacher, with children at-risk in schools as a Behaviour Support Advisory Teacher, with children and families affected by sexual abuse as a Child Protection Child & Family Therapist, as a specialist Counsellor in the Royal Commission into Institutional Child Sexual Abuse, as a Counsellor with families experiencing Separation & Divorce, as a statewide Clinical Consultant to schools as a Suicide Postvention Specialist and as a statewide Post Adoption Counsellor. Currently, through the School of SAFE-T®, I work as a Trainer and Supervisor of Counselling Professionals.
I have undergraduate training in Education and Psychology and hold two Masters Degrees majoring in Behaviour Management and Guidance & Counselling. I am a Professional Member of the Australian Counselling Association (ACA) and have post-graduate qualifications in Somatic Experiencing, Dynamic Attachment Repatterning Experience (DARe), Emotion Focused Therapy for Couples, Circle of Security Parenting and Circle of Security Core Sensitivities, Family Constellations, Voice Dialogue, Expressive Therapies and Sandplay Therapy.
I would like to credit my incredible trainers and supervisors that I have been blessed to learn from over the past 20 years in this field:
Expressive Therapies – Dr. Mark Pearson, Dr. Helen Wilson, Dr. Cathy Malchiodi;
Somatic Experiencing – Dr. Peter Levine, Dr. Abi Blakeslee, Berns Galloway;
Dynamic Attachment Repatterning Experience – Dr. Diane Poole-Heller;
Circle of Security – Dr. Kent Hoffman, Dr. Bert Powell;
Emotion Focused Therapy for Couples – Dr. Susan Johnson, Dr. Jennifer Fitzgerald
Psychobiological Approach to Couple Therapy (PACT) – Dr. Stan Tatkin;
Family Constellations – Yildez Sethi;
Voice Dialogue – Ana Barner;
Supervisor – Dr. Lisa McLean, Sage Hayes.