Hello, thank you for taking the time to visit my page today.
My name is Sheila Robertson and I am a somatic psychotherapist in private practice, on St. Kilda Road, in close proximity to the City of Melbourne, Victoria.
My experience of somatic psychotherapy began in the early 80’s, (then it was called Biodynamic Therapy) I was at a cross-road in my life, and as is often the case, when the student is ready …
I attended a weekend workshop run by Jeff Barlow, who is now the director of The Australian College of Contemporary Somatic Psychotherapy. Jeff had recently returned from Europe/UK and had been training at the Gerda Boyesen Institute of Biodynamic Psychology, in London. At that time the work was very experiential and cathartic, and influenced by the work of Alexander Lowen. I experienced the weekend as very rich and liberating. I felt like some of “life,s shackles” had been removed and this feeling continued for some three plus months. I felt a sense of being freed-up and especially in being able to have a clearer understanding of the importance of the bonding experience a mother has with her child.
Following on from this experience, I was part of an ongoing group for two years that had a focus on personal development and further training in this work. My family life was such that “earning a living to survive” was uppermost for me, so to think about psychotherapy as a profession and a shift to private practice was not financially possible at this time. I had gained a Diploma of Hotel Management, so I continued in my professional capacity as a Hotel Manager.
My hotel career was rich and full, allowing me to travel, work in different locations and culminated in opening a luxury hotel in Sydney, NSW in time to host the 2000 Olympics, which I found to be a wonderfully illuminating experience.
During my career in the hospitality field I was guided by the principles of my earlier learning. Hospitality brings many differing cultures, diversity and needs, and my experiences were invaluable to help me understand difference, and what it is to be a Human Being and the uniqueness that each of us bring to any relationship.
To maintain my own path of personal growth and development, I trained as a counsellor and worked with Life-line and Personal Emergency as a crisis telephone counsellor. I participated in a number of personal development programmes, and often found myself in the role of “listener” in many aspects of my life.
I later worked with the Victorian Aids Council, providing counselling. The work during this time, encompassed gender and health related issues.
I reflect on those earlier years as my foundation of learning and personal development which provided me with a solid underpinning for my path as a psychotherapist.
My yearning to learn, develop and experience life brought me full circle to once again be greatly influenced by Somatic Psychotherapy, gaining a Diploma of Somatic Psychotherapy from The Australian College of Contemporary Somatic Psychotherapy, (ACCSP)
Soma – the body experienced from within
My intention in my work as a Somatic Psychotherapist is to provide a safe, deeply respectful, non-judgmental space, in which we can together, in the context of relationship, explore aspects of living. I understand the prospect of entering therapy can be daunting. It takes courage, compassion and commitment to develop a more integrated relationship with our past. Honouring oneself through a commitment to your own personal therapy is a profound experience. It takes courage and resolve. The quality of our lives and relationship with others begins with our ability to nourish and heal ourselves. When we grow we have the potential to transform our world and those around us.Whether you are struggling to adapt to life challenges, or in search of better quality of life and fulfilment,
I am committed to embarking with you in this process of change, so that you can live with a greater sense of purpose.Somatic Psychotherapy embraces a holistic approach to personal growth and development. The safety of the therapeutic relationship can facilitate you to explore and unravel old patterns of feeling, thinking and behaving and to find new meaning and action in the world. Psychotherapy provides an environment of empathy, acceptance and mindfulness so that you can grow and develop in ways which may not have been possible in earlier life.
I am available for individual consultation at my practice on St. Kilda Road, Melbourne. Each consultation is one hour duration. Because the therapeutic relationship is unique, it is fundamental that the Client and Therapist are comfortable working with each other, and to facilitate this process the first consultation is set up as an opportunity for us to meet in person and is free of charge, without obligation.
I work with clients on issues such as
•Grief and loss
•Trauma and abuse
•Life Transitions – adjustments
In my theoretical approach, I am particularly influenced by Self Psychology, Intersubjectivity, Trauma theory, Neurobiology, Attachment Theory. I believe that a mother – baby relationship begins in utero and am particularly passionate about developing a greater understanding of the mother-baby attunement. In Somatic Psychotherapy we become aware of our felt sensations, which help develop a greater understanding and appreciation of how we have organised our lives around certain beliefs and patterns of survival. Through embodied awareness we can change these patterns and create more choices for ourselves. This enables us to have greater presence, and curiosity toward ourselves and the world around us.
In 2006 I trained in Neurofeedback, to help me further understand the functioning of the brain and the impact of Trauma.
I am an endorsed leader, accredited by The Gawler Foundation, to run 12-week Cancer Self-Help programmes for Healing and Wellbeing. In 2009 I studied with Robin Grille, author of the books, “Parenting for a Peaceful World, and Heart to Heart Parenting. And became an accredited facilitator to deliver the “Heart to Heart Parenting Course”
This course is designed to make parenting more pleasurable, while securing for your children enhanced emotional health and relationships.
“You may not know it but your own life, as a child, is one of the strongest influences on how you parent today”.
I maintain a strong ongoing commitment to my own therapeutic process with frequent supervision. I regularly attend conferences, workshops, both local and international plus professional development reading groups. I adhere to the professional code of conduct and uphold strict confidentiality. I am a clinical member of the Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia (PACFA) a register of individual practitioners and an international member of IAPSP which aligns with the theory of self-psychology and intersubjectivity.
You will find me in St. Kilda Rd., close to the centre of Melbourne