Let’s get straight to the point
When we often think of taking care of our emotional wellbeing, we often picture ourselves sitting in a cold, leather chair, telling a perfect stranger all about our problems, it may feel judgmental and we shut down. We might have our partner beside us, whom we feel disconnected to and we are both petrified at even being there.
However, there is a much warmer, artistic way to express ourselves and inquire into making meaning for ourselves and our relationships with a qualified companion.
Arts therapy is a creative method of expression used as a therapeutic technique to foster an understanding of emotional conflicts, improve self-esteem and restore a more authentic self.
I acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the land on which I work and live, and recognise their continuing connection to land, water and community. I pay respect to Elders past, present and emerging.
Hello, my name is Rachel, and I am a registered Arts Therapist and Counsellor.
I was born in Melbourne, Australia and have lived overseas for a number of years including Cambodia, Germany and USA. I have extensive Arts Therapy and Counselling experience encompassing a range of issues including depression, anxiety, trauma, sexual, physical and emotional abuse, neglect, eating disorders, relationships, and grief and loss counselling.
I have facilitated individual sessions as well as open studios, drop-in therapy, and group mandala workshops with a variety of clients with multi-complex trauma including children, adolescents and adults from different nationalities and socio economic backgrounds.
Over the years, I found myself releasing my own stress with art, while paying attention to the emotions I felt while painting in relation to the image I was creating. After a handful of years, I realised that the artistic process behind my paintings was actually therapy for myself.
I became interested in the relational perspective when I had my own relationship breakdown after 12 years. All I wanted to do was make meaning of what happened. Thus, I was fueled to learn about couple’s therapy.
For that reason, it makes sense to me to blend relational issues with arts therapy, as this is my passion.
I lived and worked in Phnom Penh, Cambodia supported children and young people with multi-complex trauma. I worked with the Ragamuffin Project as well as in partnerships with other NGO’s including:
- M’Lop Tapang
- French Red Cross (FRC)
- IndoChina Star Fish Foundation (ISF)
- Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defence of Human Rights (LICADHO)
- Cambodian Acid Survivor’s Charity (CASC)
As well as working in private practice with Indigo Psychological Services.
I hold a Master’s degree in Therapeutic Arts Practice and have completed the Specialist Course in Couple’s Therapy through Relationship Australia. I hold a Bachelor of Fine Arts and a Diploma of Transpersonal Arts Therapy. I also have a Graduate Certificate in Experiential and Creative Arts Practice, in addition to a Diploma of Professional Counselling.
We are all different and have a variety of skills and experiences which set us apart from others.
Though I am qualified, I feel that I am ever learning and developing as an individual and as a professional. Not only do I learn from my clients, but I continue to learn with my own arts therapy practice.
Specialist Course in Couples Therapy – Relationship Australia
Masters in Therapeutic Arts Practice – MIECAT Institute
Graduate Certificate in Experiential & Creative Arts Practice – MIECAT (Melbourne Institute for Experiential and Creative Arts Therapy)
Diploma of Professional Counselling – Australian Institute of Professional Counsellors, Australia
Diploma of Transpersonal Art Therapy – Ikon Institute, Australia
Bachelor of Fine Arts (Painting) – University of Maryland, U.S.A.
Level 2 Member – Australian Counselling Association (ACA)
Professional Member – The Australian, New Zealand and Asian Creative Arts Therapies Association (ANZACATA)
Mandala Workshop – M’lop Tapang, Sihanoukville, Cambodia, 2012
Mandala Workshop – Cambodia Association for Healing Arts Therapy (CAHAT), Phnom Penh, Cambodia, 2011
Mandalas and Abstract Works – Travancore Gallery, Australia, 2010
20.10 – Brunswick Arts Space, Brunswick, Australia, 2010
Graduation Exhibition – University of Maryland, U.S.A, 2000
Mariposa Centre for Artistic Expression , U.S.A, 2000
Abstract Portraiture – Smith Street Cafe, Australia, 2000
Individual Arts Therapy and Counselling &
Creative Couples Therapy sessions
I offer sessions which are conveniently after hours during the week and all day Tuesdays.
I typically suggest six sessions before we re-assess, but that is entirely up to you. As you know with most therapies, we need the time to work through what keeps tripping you up individually or as a couple. So give yourself some time to inquire and explore the real you and relationship.
(Concession fees available)
“Rachel is a highly intuitive practitioner with a genuinely empathic nature. In our time together, I found her to be a deep listener with an adaptable, creative therapeutic style.
Rachel employs a diverse range of techniques during therapeutic sessions, which are both nourishing and healing, and have proven to be a crucial element in my own personal development.
Many of the arts therapy techniques that I learned with Rachel I have continued to use since, which is due mainly to her non-judgmental, supportive attitude in using art as a means to explore experience.
I would recommend Rachel to any individual looking for an accomplished healer not only of symptoms, but of people.”
Pseudonym name: “John”, 2013
Rachel gave me my first experiences in Arts Therapy a few months ago. I am a person who thinks a lot. Usually I write my thoughts and feelings down when I can’t stop them.
Through Arts Therapy I wanted to get my thoughts to the background and my feelings to the surface, to be able to listen to them more. Using different colours of pencils and chalk opened a different world for me. Less talking and thinking, but more drawing and feeling.
By making the drawings I was able to find back feelings, which were blocked because of the overruling thoughts. By using different colours, I was able to describe what the feelings meant for me.
Rachel focused with her questions on my emotions and not on my thoughts, something that helped me to go from thinking into feeling.
Of course after four sessions, I can’t change the behaviour I am using already all my life, but Art as a tool is helping me to be able to feel my emotions and listen to them.”
Pseudonym name: “Sue” 2013
“My journey with arts therapy with Rachel has been amazing. My stance is much more positive and I have awakened and feel stronger within myself.
The process of arts therapy has shifted things within me and I am more emotionally stable. I will definitely continue with arts therapy when I return home to Russia, the doors have opened.”
Pseudonym name:”Sarah”, 2013
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I Need To Be An Artist?
No artistic ability is necessary!
- Arts therapy is not concern with the artistic quality or aesthetics of the finished product
- The arts therapist does not make any diagnosis
- Arts therapy solely focuses on the process and not the end result
- Any individual can participate in the arts therapy process
- Express feelings which might be difficult verbalising
- Improve self-esteem, confidence and relaxation
- Discovery of one’s strengths and authenticity
- Provides self-expression and imagination
- Develop healthy coping skills and resilience
- Identify and clarify issues
- Decreases and reduces stress, anxiety and worry
- Connection with thoughts, feelings and emotions
- Provides a new language to combat the denied or suppressed parts of ourselves
Creative Couples Therapy
- Creative Couples Therapy is an artistic way to express ourselves and inquire into making meaning for ourselves and our relationships with a qualified companion.
- If your relationship has hit a rough patch or perhaps needs a tune up, Creative Couples Therapy can help.
- In the same way Arts Therapy helps you to get in touch with your own feelings through creative means, Creative Couples Therapy will help you both get in touch with each other’s feelings and may be able to identify the vulnerable cycle you might be stuck in.
- This will help you to relate and understand your partner more deeply in a creative and non-judgmental atmosphere, as well as sympathise with each other in areas that you may not have understood or heard before.
- When you understand the layers of your partner, you will be able to heal the wounds that you have been dealing with and grow stronger as a couple.
Individual Arts Therapy & counselling
- Arts therapy is a creative method of expression used as a therapeutic technique to foster an understanding of emotional conflicts, improve self-esteem and restore a more authentic self.
- Arts therapy combines not only our conscious mind which engages more our logical thought and rational thinking, with our unconscious mind which processes information in a more experiential manner and responds to feelings, images and suggestions which comes more automatically.
- The sessions are designed to help you to tap into your creative mind and express your deep emotions through art- whether imagining and expressing an image, drawing with only one colour or making a movement.
- I do not diagnose or interpret your representations, instead you address and explore your own meaning.
Where Are We?
Northcote Natural Therapies
Northcote Natural Therapies
275 High Street
Northcote VIC 3070