A Little About Me…

Hi there, I’m Monique Pangari (she/her/they), welcome to my page. I am blessed to live in the beautiful Byron Bay shire of Northern NSW on Bundjalung country, Australia. I’m a trained and experienced SAFE-T® Practitioner and Psychotherapist and am dedicated to supporting beginning and experienced therapists’ own process of personal growth and healing, increasing states of loving awareness, enhancing compassion and creating deeper states of connection with self, others and our natural living world.

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.

Contact Monique

    "Monique was excellent! She has a great knowledge of both Trauma and Sandplay. Her sensitivity and skill as a therapist came into play allowing greater focus on the experiential aspect of learning the content and tools."
    Counsellor, Mullumbimby
    "Monique is absolutely lovely & wonderful! She has such a great mix of personal, accessible energy along with depth and breadth of experience, as well as the ability to convey theoretical concepts clearly."
    Counsellor, Brisbane
    "Monique's ability to hold a safe, nurturing space in which to learn and heal was paramount to the emotional, relational and intellectual depth I was able to go to in the training."
    Psychologist, Gold Coast
    "The highlight for me was the blend of experiential and theoretical. It was just right! Monique was compassionate and experienced with a good understanding of the range of material across Sandplay, Symbol Work and Trauma theories. This was an enticing introduction to a great combination of topics. It was well presented, informative and enriching. There was a good mix of personal and professional learning."
    Psychologist, Alice Springs
    "I really loved the depth of play I experienced in the Sandplay and Symbol Work. Monique's experience and wisdom within the field makes it easy and effortless to trust in each of the processes. Her presence is calm and reassuring."
    Therapist, Brisbane
    "I loved the whole program, but especially enjoyed the Sandplay activities. This was my first experience with Sandplay Therapy and I was very excited by it and its potential. I love Monique's style of sharing her knowledge. She is warm, kind, safe, generous, knowledgable and awesome!! This training was absolutely inspiring!"
    Somatic Therapist, Brisbane
    "Monique is so masterful and authentic. She is delightful and brought symbols and Sandplay to life. This training was enriching and transformative. It will change my practice and my ability to work with people in any context."
    Social Worker, Brisbane
    "Monique, thank you so much for such a powerful and healing training. I appreciate how much energy you put in to your training and wish to acknowledge you for your beautiful presence throughout. You are an incredible teacher and therapist and such an amazing role model for us to learn from. I am so grateful that I made the decision to invest in my personal and professional development. I sense that this course will be life changing for me."
    DV Counsellor, Alice Springs
    "I am more confident that I can connect with children and build trust as well as a deeper and more reflective practice. Monique brings a passion and genuineness to this work. Her experience working with children and parents was evident and useful."
    Linda Casuarinna, Psychologist
    "This course has completely changed the way I work. It gave me the most appropriate model of therapy for children experiencing domestic violence. I enjoyed learning in a supportive, mindful and inspiring environment. Monique is a wonderful teacher. She lives and breathes what she teaches and inspired me to do the same."
    Aisling Fry, DV Counsellor
    "This course was invaluable, surprising, unfolding and growthful! Monique is awesome. She has a wealth of knowledge, is supportive, experienced and flexible. I loved discovering new parts of myself, the connections I made with other colleagues and the case presentations. Engaging in my own Sandplay Process has been most informative in my work with clients. I have learned to trust the process and am more present with my clients."
    Shivawn Davis, Speech Pathologist/Counsellor

    “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.”