I offer outreach to schools, homes and aged care centres in the Macedon Ranges and Mount Alexander shires (Regional Victoria, Australia) as well as online sessions. In addition to individuals’ self-funding their sessions, organisations such as Anglicare, Amicus, Local Government Health Centres and private organisations fund me to support individuals and groups needing therapy. I work with children, young people (Teens) and adult women, customising my work to individuals’ hopes for therapy, wellbeing support and creative connections.
Presently, I support people navigating an array of challenges including trauma, anxiety, depression, self-harm, chronic illness/pain, grief, anger, dementia and life purpose re-desiging. I work with a multi-modal arts approach (from my Masters training at The MIECAT Institute), companioning people to inquire into what they bring to our work together, using a wide range of creative inquiry approaches entwined with diverse artistic mediums (including visual arts, writing, poetry, letter writing, photography, drama, dance, movement, textiles, sculpture, play etc.).
However, you don’t need to be good at art to experience the many benefits of working in this way with me. I can fine tune my approach to meet your imagination, your interests, your strengths and your curiosities in carefully connecting ways to the diverse arts offerings that are available. I also weave in nature based/eco Art Therapy approaches through my work, so I either bring nature in, or we can meet in nature. The options for creative expression and exploration are endless…and you have choices.
I am also passionate about creative movement and therefore embodiment (being in our bodies and working with our bodies: mind-body connected), so this medium of somatic (body-based) awareness is woven in according to people’s comfort ~ with bringing their bodies into the work. My work is trauma-informed and connected to; neuroscience approaches, Gestalt and Narrative Therapy influences and is now becoming even richer through ‘Somatic Experiencing’ learnings.
I offer a range of therapeutic and creative experiences to promote healing, creative living and wellbeing. In my creative approaches as a Creative Arts Therapist, (or in-short ‘Art Therapist’), I draw on my diverse experiences as a former Registered Nurse over a span of ten years. I gave nursing care to children on the medical ward of The Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne. I have nursed young people (Teens) in secondary schools; providing health promotion, counselling individuals and running groups.
I have also nursed people diagnosed with terminal illnesses, as well as people with complex and chronic illness (including mental illnesses) in both home and hospital, including individuals with disabilities and the elderly, as well as nursing Indigenous people, in Alice Springs (Australia’s centre). Another of my nursing roles has been supporting people completing a medicated drug or alcohol withdrawal on a detoxification unit in Melbourne.
Arts as medicine…
Seeking change after feeling I didn’t truly belong in the nursing profession and a struggle with my own mental health after ‘burning out’ as a nurse, I completed a Graduate Diploma in Creative Arts Therapy at The MIECAT Institute. I followed these wonderful studies with completion of my Masters in Creative Arts Therapy also at The MIECAT Institute ~ graduating in 2011. Since then I have worked in Melbourne, Sweden, Timor-Leste, as well as the Macedon Ranges and Mount Alexander Shires in varying capacities. These include being a; Creative Arts Therapist, Community Artist, Group Facilitator, Creative Movement and Dance Teacher, Art after school Program Facilitator, Administrator and Qualitative Researcher – with individuals and groups across the lifespan. I continue to study, research and enhance my skills and knowledge to ensure continual improvement of my work.
Inspirations & Values…
Whilst embarking on this life transforming career change, I also was on a parallel transformation in becoming a Mamma, as I commenced my studies in Creative Art Therapy, whilst pregnant ~ I cherish being a parent and being part of a family. As well as travelling/working and volunteering around a bit in the world, I also draw inspiration from my parenting experiences, being married for a long time, as well as growing up in a really large family in regional NSW.
My values are the foundations for my work, with the values of integrity, honesty, presence, curiosity, respect and emotional safety as being some of the core values I both parent with and work with, in my Art Therapy practice. I am so grateful to have found my soul work and I feel so honoured to support all the people I am able to, with this profound approach to healing and wellbeing.
What enlivens me…
I love nature and dance outside almost every day to music and in silence. I love to swim laps and swimming in natural places too. I also love running up steep hills as well as cycling/hiking/gardening and being with my family. I thrive on exploring nature and being creative with with friends. I enjoy playing with art materials of all kinds, including nature, writing poems, art journalling and reading a lot of everything: fiction and non-fiction.
I have a nourishing daily meditation practice that is mostly sitting in deep silence and sometimes guided by wise teachers from many diverse spiritual traditions.
I am endlessly curious, so I have a deep love of learning, travelling and connecting with people of all ages and walks of life.
I am a Professional Member of the The Australian New Zealand and Asian Creative Arts Therapy Association (ANZACATA). I am also a member of the Group of Registered Regional Arts Therapists (GRAT) and I hold a current Working With Children Card.