Thanks for your enquiry, I am a psychotherapist working in private practice at North Carlton, (Melbourne) and Yarra Junction (in the Yarra Valley) just over an hour east of Melbourne.
Change can be such a sought after thing and yet it so often feels out of our reach. I do believe change is possible, however that can sometimes be difficult due to our deeply held beliefs and past painful experiences: we may wonder how to have a life that is meaningful for ourselves.
Our emotional life can be rich and rewarding and yet sometimes it is our emotions which can destabilise and debilitate our day to day experience at home, at work and elsewhere.
Psychotherapy with me can offer you a safe, confidential and non-judgemental space and relationship in which you can bring the problems of work, parenting, relationships, or painful states such as anxiety, confusion, low sense of self, depression and trauma. It can be a space where we can together find a way to make sense of your experiences, to explore the underlying beliefs that you bring to your world view – a place to find a way to have more choices.
My clients are people very much like you and me, people of different genders and beliefs, people who often function well in many areas of their lives. They may, however, feel that they are not able to establish successful intimate relationships for instance or they may be unhappy despite earning a good income in a satisfying job, or may plagued by a repetitious encounter with addiction, loss or abuse.
And sometimes everyone simply needs a safe place to be truly understood by an empathic person, to have a place for them to be how and who they are right here, right now, whatever that may mean.
I work from a relational empathically-attuned Self Psychological & Intersubjective perspective which means that your self-experience will be at center of our work together. A non-judgemental approach therapy, Self Psychology is a developmental psychology which derives much of its understanding from contemporary infant research and neuroscience.
Presenting issues are understood to represent the effects of a life time of experiences which either fostered or hindered healthy growth and psychobiological development and the maintenance of a cohesive self.
This theory maintains that human psychobiological functioning is always embedded in social interactions.
New research on infant attachment and neurobiology tells us how the psychotherapeutic process can offer transformation through a new experience in the therapist-client relationship.
This incorporates both verbal and non verbal body mind understandings and practice where you may, for example, move safely from a feeling of isolation to one of intimacy, or you may find a way to make room for a mind of your own.
My Contemporary Psychotherapy training also focussed on a Somatic orientation. That is, as well as working verbally in the relationship with my clients I take into account your dynamic bodily experience – things like breathing, posture, sensation and movement. Soma is a Greek word meaning “the living body”. Somatic Psychotherapy is grounded in the belief that psyche and soma form a single holistic entity – the bodymind. Thought, emotion and bodily experiences are understood as inter-functioning aspects of the person’s whole being.
My clinical background for the last 28 years has been in the complementary health industry working as a Touch for Health Therapist and Lifestyle Coach and counsellor and course leader.
It has been on an ongoing journey of study and learning which has seen me exploring many health and related holistic disciplines, both ancient understandings and traditions and the latest research, doing my Life Coaching accreditation, Archetype Soul counselling with Dr Caroline Myss PhD and then on to a Certificate in Embodied Relational Dynamics immediately followed by a Clinical Diploma in Contemporary Somatic Psychotherapy with the Australian College of Contemporary Somatic Psychotherapy. (ACCSP).
My ACCSP Psychotherapy training included philosophy, Gestalt theory and practice, Self Psychology, Intersubjectivity, Dynamic Systems Theory, Existential phenomenology, Biodynamic bodywork, infant research and Attachment theory, neurobiology, trauma theory and post modernism and uniquely had a important requirement for every student’s own intensive psychotherapy.
As this field is so dynamic and evolving I continue to immerse myself in these contemporary theories and practices by attending regular conferences and trainings with local and international leaders in these fields. I have been part of a Couple’s Therapy Study Group for many years, and spent several years in a Sensiormotor therapy for trauma study group. I continue to have a passion for complementary health support and so I read and study in that area as much as I can.
After many years of working in a private natural health practice with people coming to consult with me about their health and wellbeing it was evident that wellbeing is a ‘mind body’ event. Whilst there is much that can be done to effectively support a person biochemically with herbs and various complementary supplements or by attending to their nutrition or embarking on a stress management activity such as yoga or walking, there is not usually a simple remedy for the ongoing effects of trauma, the experience of loss, abandonment, loneliness, anxiety, depression, self doubt, low self esteem etc.
My personal journey has informed these understandings and has been crucial to my development as a Psychotherapist, especially experiencing the role that the therapeutic relationship plays in the change process.
I attend regular Supervision as required by our professional association – PACFA – Psychotherapy & Counsellor Federation of Australia.
Click www.pacfa.org.au for more information.
Most of my clinical work now focuses on psychotherapy which is, by nature, more intensive and usually over the medium to long term, with people who are wanting to explore more deeply the issues that influence their daily lives, their relationships and their life choices. With my natural health background I am able to bring in that knowledge and, if appropriate, can talk with you about complementary support. I do not prescribe medication, (that is the role of a medical doctor) Some people may find themselves in need of that type of support whilst embarking on their psychotherapy journey.
As part of my practice I am also available to work with people in more of a Coaching or Mentoring role supporting them with specific issues or strategies for getting clear about their life direction or goals in key areas. This can be short-term, long-term or occasional. This also includes the natural health oriented work. Sometimes a person can start in this area and we find over time that they wish to transition to the deeper psychotherapeutic work. Should that become evident then we make time to discuss this and what it may mean, over time, coming to a new agreement about the nature of our relationship and the framework of our sessions.
These days I am also able to include sessions via video conference (eg skype) when actual attendance is not possible.
Generally psychotherapy sessions are once per week or more, for 50 minutes. Different rates apply at each location and we can discuss this when we speak.
Establishing an agreement to enter psychotherapy may take time. Once agreed upon it usually involves an open ended commitment from both parties in a set place, a set time, at a set fee. Included in that is me, the therapist’s commitment to hold that space available for the client and hold it in an emotional sense as well. The ending contract is solely in the hands of the client although part of the contract is usually that the therapy is not ended precipitately and time is allowed for the working through the meaning of ending.
I now offer Clinical Supervision for other therapists of various disciplines.
People often ask about the difference between psychology, psychiatry and psychotherapy. Click here for Alison’s explanation of these terms.
I am a Clinically Accredited member of PACFA (the Psychotherapist and Counsellor Federation of Australia). I am included as a clinical member on the ARCAP register.
Also I am a member of IAPSP (International Association of Psychoanalytic Self Psychology) and EAPSP.
I have a Medibank Provider number for those people covered by certain policies.
I adhere strictly to our Code of Ethics which includes Client Confidentiality.
Click www.pacfa.org.au to find out more.
You will find me in either Carlton North or in the Yarra Valley, at Yarra Junction.
Please click here if you wish to make a booking enquiry.
Tel: 0417 331 880