ART THERAPY | COUNSELLING | CREATIVITY COACHING
from Dubai to Byron Bay and beyond...
the philosophy behind Art and Mind
Hi, I'm Esther, and I set up Art and Mind in 2017. I work with a client-centred approach, meaning that I believe the client has their own inner knowing about what is right for them, and often just needs gentle but firm support from someone who believes in their capacity to make changes. My approach involves clarifying values and restoring trust and honesty with self and others. I love being able to help people achieve a sense of aliveness, excitement and inner freedom, which so often disappear when our deeper feelings are unacknowledged. I believe that life’s challenges come up when we are ready to move to a new level of understanding ourselves. When someone has seen the need to make changes, I support them closely in their commitment to follow through.
In Art and Mind, I offer Personal Development Coaching with a creative twist. I work closely with people to map out new ways of looking at their lives so that they can free up time and energy to engage more deeply with what they really want to be doing in life.
I want to begin by telling you why I do what I do – why I became interested in the way creativity can lead to self understanding and inner freedom.
When I was sixteen, I fell in love. With all the idealism of a sixteen-year-old. He was a gorgeous, lanky, gregarious guy with a wide smile, a guitar and motorbike. We went on long distance rides to places I’d never been before; I created Surrealist art from our experiences, and drew portraits of him. He wrote songs and sang them around campfires, and in the forests and on the beaches we explored. Life was wild and exciting. I was still at high school.
I came home from class one day to the news that he had been taken to a psychiatric hospital.
The ground disappeared from under my feet.
My mind was filled with questions no-one could answer – about who we are, what the mind is, how the heart keeps going… I couldn’t find the words to talk about any of it.
So I drew. And drew, and drew - sometimes until 3am, sometimes through the night. Images would flow – of rivers, serpents, caves, mountains, of curious figures, faces, eyes… Sometimes I just created patterns. Something about all this sustained me from the inside. I felt how it was serving as a container for my uncertainty, helping me turn despair into hope and strength; it was leading me into an understanding of my own mind, within some mysterious terrain that I couldn’t access with words.
When I visited my partner in hospital, I showed my drawings to the other patients. Soon they were gathering around me to learn how to create drawings of their own. I saw how this calmed them and lit them up from the inside.
I had a direct experience of the power of Art to deepen our understanding of ourselves, to access the soul– and to heal.
I had inadvertently stumbled on Art Therapy – before even hearing the term.
I went on to study Psychology, Art and Education. Eventually, I studied Art Therapy and Counselling. The work of Carl Jung on images, symbols and archetypes of the unconscious mind answered many of my questions.
But I had more questions. I learned to meditate. I sought answers in ashrams in India, I talked with traditional healers in the Pacific Islands, studied holistic therapies and energy medicine.
I’ve worked in the areas of education, art, counseling, and mental health. I have created programs used in schools, tertiary institutions and community organisations, and have been a trainer of counsellors and holistic therapists in Australia.
I've travelled extensively and lived in multicultural environments for much of my life. My background has given me experience in both eastern and western cultural, spiritual and psychological perspectives, and in the artistic expressions of many cultures - factors which strongly influence the approach I take to my current therapeutic work.
And I bring all of this learning into my current work at Art and Mind. It has enabled me to be able to meet people just where they are.
I see people one on one and I lead workshops on various themes of self awareness, bringing drawing, collage, journaling and ceremony into our explorations.
Australian Business Number (ABN) 29686383366
Diploma of Transpersonal Art Therapy
Diploma of Meditation Teaching and Holistic Counselling
BA in Psychology
MA in Education
Art Psychotherapy specialist training
Transpersonal approaches to counselling and art psychotherapy
Sand Tray Therapy
Picture Tapping – (EFT and Art Therapy)
Trauma-informed Art Therapy
Australian Creative Arts Therapists Association ACATA