SO YOU'RE CHECKING OUT MY CREDENTIALS.Good Move
My Training & Experience
I have extensive experience working with groups and individuals, having worked in private practice as a Coach and Psychotherapist, in Theatre and community arts for 17 years, with 7 years in the mental health & homelessness sectors. I work systemically, believe in Social Leadership, Collective Impact and deep democracy in groups, and am a Network Assoicate with Collaboration for Impact. I currently consult in areas of Systems Change, Community engagement and co-design, Leadership, Team building & coaching, Collaboration and managing conflict and change.
I am trained at the highest level in Process Oriented Psychology (International Diplomate level, and internationally registered with IAPOP), am accredited in Australia with PACFA (Pyschotherapists and Counsellors Federation of Australia), am an accredited Coach (Global Coaching Institute) and hold an Honours Degree in Theatre from UWS Nepean.
My diverse experience gives me a unique toolkit. It allows me to draw upon key elements of theatre: collaboration, body language, spatial dynamics, narrative and dynamic action which when forged with facilitation, psychological and coaching tools have a deep transformative impact. I’m interested in what motivates and drives each of us. I also want to deeply understand what gets in the way, harness diversity as a strength we can all benefit from, and then figure out practically what will get us to where we need to go. I’m passionate about the role of creativity in life –what it offers for new insights into circumstances, relationships, tapping into the unknown, relishing mistakes, and assisting us to cross into uncharted territory. I like co-design and working in partnership, whether that be as your psychotherapist, coach or consultant! My experience across the arts, community development, health, homelessness and housing sectors has given me a sense of respect for the deep, personal insights that can come through both therapeutic and collaborative processes, and a strong awareness of how we all experience the world in our own unique way, born out of our history, our internal emotional experiences, and the structures and systems we live in, and the amount of untapped potential there is always left to harness. I like to learn from others.
I was the Artistic Director of Milk Crate Theatre for 5 years, and have run programs for Mission Australia, St Vincent De Paul, Salvation Army, Wesley Mission, Richmond PRA and Anglicare, worked with at-risk young people in Wilcannia, in Juvenile Justice, CALD communities, and in schools. I specialise in Forum Theatre, which involves facilitating audience discussions and explorations around entrenched societal challenges, and have facilitated consumer groups for Central & Eastern Sydney Public Health Network, Homelessness NSW and run training with the Constable Care Program (WA Police). I’ve worked closely with philanthropists, in government and large NGOs. In 2010 I was listed in the Sydney Magazine’s (Fairfax Media) 100 most influential people for my work within the homeless community of Sydney, driven by my strong belief that everyone has the right to feel confident about themselves, especially in order to contribute, on their own terms, to social decisions that affect them. I was chosen for the Telstra White pages as part of their ‘Creative Australians working with our communities’ cover series, am passionate about the positive impact of creativity on mental health, and have regularly presented at conferences around the transformative impact of the creative process.
How I work
I’m directed by you. I want everyone I work with, whether it be individually or in a team, to feel safe and supported. I practice trauma-informed care. I create a space that is confidential, warm, open and yours to bring in whatever you wish to deal with. I’m also used to working with bodies in space, so I can bring that in if you want me to. And I like creativity, and play and imagination, thinking outside the square and moving around. Don’t worry – I’m not about to launch into a random performance trust exercise, get you to close your eyes, drop backwards and hope that it changes your life. I combine my psychological, coaching and systemic understanding with my creative style and we go from there. I’m also into feedback and adjusting my approach so that it is the best it can be. I like to be good at what I do, and I don’t want you wasting your money. I’m pragmatic – it needs to work and be effective in practice.
Modalities I work with
My primary modalities are Process Oriented Psychology (or Process Work), Creativity and Systems Change.
Process work is an awareness paradigm. I am trained in Process Oriented Psychology and also Process Oriented Coaching. It is holistic, so I am trained in mainstream and comparative approaches to psychology, coaching, somatic bodywork, movement work, relationship counselling, conflict and group work and dream work amongst others.
Founded by Dr Arnold Mindell, Process Work is also what’s known as a ‘bootstrap’ modality, in that it can embrace and tie together a whole range of other modalities within it, if it aligns with your process and what works best for you. Whilst its roots originate from Jungian Psychology, Taoism, Quantum Physics, Systems and communication Theory and indigenous wisdom – its current form draws upon multiple modalities including Mindfulness, Narrative therapy, somatic and body work, Movement therapy, CBT and motivational interviewing. It involves rigorous personal and professional training and has a strong history in both individual and group work. So when working with an individual I might use CBT for some things, or Mindfulness or Narrative therapy for other aspects. I might draw on somatic bodywork to uncover something about a symptom you are experiencing, or systems theory or conflict resolution techniques to flesh out that relationship dilemma you are in, or Jungian dream work to find meaning in what those recurring dreams are trying to tell you. One of the most important features of training in Process Oriented Psychology is innerwork – so I am trained and assessed to work on myself. There’s no point fooling ourselves that coaches and therapists don’t have their own issues! It’s important I acknowledge that for my own awareness – and most importantly so my stuff doesn’t get in the way of yours. It also means that I can assist you to develop your ability to be your own guide so you won’t need me anymore.
I am always interested in and influenced by a range of approaches, and I work in a range of fields. So on a more collective level – with groups, teams, organisations and communities, my style is informed by coaching, systems change theories, collective impact strategy and working with complexity. I am also trained in a multitude of theatre practices and have extensive experience in working in Community Cultural Development, community capacity building and community engagement. I might use creative, physical and spatial approaches to shake up a team’s perspective on a challenge, working collaboratively, or theatre exercises to help you with presentation delivery. I might draw upon systems mapping and collective impact strategies to diagnose the key issues and identify your most effective points of intervention in an organisation change process. I work in a responsive and adaptive manner entirely dependent on what is required, and most importantly, what works best for your group.
Why I do what I do
You know when something is right in front of your face for years, and then slowly you begin to see a pattern that leads you to an inevitable point? I’ll never forget the time a young woman who had experienced homelessness and trauma, suffering chronic and severe mental ill health, tentatively crept up on stage and performed an absurdly comic piece about life on a crowded bus with stinky people. To some it might not seem like much. To anyone who has a fear of public speaking, well you’d definitely appreciate one small aspect of her process. For her it had been an incredible, slow and tough journey. Witnessing her beaming, radiant and slightly shell-shocked face as she accepted applause from the audience, and the tears of joy and release afterwards for doing something that she honestly never thought she could do, is permanently burnt into my memory. It was at that point that I woke up to what I had been accustomed to. For 15 years I had been witnessing the power of creativity on people’s mental health, but it wasn’t the bit about getting up onstage or anything like that. It was the repetition of this particular moment that held the key – the point when someone woke up to a greater sense of possibility in their lives. Right then it dawned on me that I wanted to take that further. I became committed to extending and combining creative and psychological processes, using them to more deeply and thoroughly support people to connect to a true sense of self, which in turn opens these doors of possibility. However, I’m also acutely aware that there is inequity in our world, and some doors aren’t always open to everyone. That’s part of what drives me in my Consulting and Systems Change practice – I want everyone to have the same opportunity to open and step through that door. I’m interested in connection – communities that embrace each of our strengths, our differences and utilise the incredible power of joint purpose – so that we can all feel belonging, have our say and make our contributions to live in a fair and just place together. I have had the great privilege to work alongside people who have suffered tremendous hardship in their lives, and have great wisdom as a result. It is genuinely gob-smacking to reflect on how we humans can transcend and transform our experiences, and our way of being in the world to create a better place for all. Putting you in touch with your own strengths, and developing them so that you can draw upon in them in whatever area of life you need is what makes me tick, and on a larger level fills me with awe for humanity!