Servicing area: Montmorency, Victoria
Art Therapy Sophia
Transpersonal Art Therapy
Client-centred. Connection. Acceptance. Healing. Creativity.
Transpersonal Art Therapy
Who is Sophia?
I think of myself and how I have lived my life as follows:
As a compassionate and spiritual human being whose passion is people and their story. My focus in life is to understand; to make sense of what is happening and to accept and feel comfortable with myself, just as I am. I am fascinated by my fellow human beings: who they are, their interests, relationships, viewpoints and their focus: in fact anything about them as individuals interests me. I have always had a strong desire to work with people in areas of healing. I have lived a life very rich in emotional experience, so I have compassion for, and understanding of, others. I have 35 years of experience as a Registered Nurse, during which time I discovered my natural ability to form a close connection with my patients: this same connection occurs in Transpersonal Art Therapy sessions. My nursing years also taught me that fun and hope are great healers.
My work life started at 14 as a pharmacy assistant. I had wanted to be a nurse from the age of four but was not able to focus on studies to achieve that aim. In my twenties, I tried again, and was successful. At 27, I qualified as a Registered Nurse, working in the community and the aged care sector.
I have two adult children who love me. I divorced 5 years ago after 30 years of marriage. I also have extended family and friends who are loyal and supportive.
The last few years have been spent soul searching, finding myself and learning to make choices - a continuing process for most of us. I have done self-development courses, one year’s study of Medical Intuition, and then, in 2010, I found Transpersonal Art Therapy quite ‘out of the blue’. 2010 was a highly eventful year for me, and I believe that what occurred during that year was the result of time spent finding my path for this stage of my life-journey.
So I bring my life of ‘rich emotional experiences’ to my Transpersonal Art Therapy practice. I believe in its processes, as they lead to outcomes that have helped my clients - I also use them for my own healing. There is a sense of focus and peace that comes from connection; in therapy, when there is true connection between client and therapist, healing can occur. This is the place to be.
When I think of Art Therapy I wonder if it was misnamed. It is about creativity, rather than art; there is no need to be able to draw or paint. This therapy gets us in touch with our inborn creative ability, and this is used to express our emotions and feelings. We all have ideas about the things that interest us: colour, beauty, cars, holidays, gardens, etc. To express those ideas we plan, write goals, daydream....... This is us being creative. In Transpersonal Art Therapy, this innate creativity finds its own way out and we are often amazed.
Transpersonal Art Therapy is based on modern psychology, with Jung seen as the father of the transpersonal aspect. Carl Rogers created the client centred approach to therapy. Transpersonal Art Therapy uses this as its basis, offering connection between client and therapist in an atmosphere of trust, empathy, honesty and sincerity. The therapist works with the client, always from the client’s perspective: it’s their life, their choices. The pace is also set by the client. There is a sense of focus and peace that comes from connection; in therapy, when there is true connection between client and therapist, healing can occur.
Do you sometimes think to yourself “why am I being this way; this isn’t me?” Or do you feel uncomfortable with who you are? We live in a culture with many external influences that can mould us into beliefs and behaviours that may not be our own. Transpersonal Art Therapy offers a way to re-discover our ‘true selves’. We can gain acceptance and love for ourselves, which releases our potential to live with a sense of freedom and purpose.
The training course to become a Transpersonal Art Therapist requires the student to participate in all the healing processes that are taught. Consequently, I have been through every process that I use in my practice. I have a great respect for, and belief in, these processes. They are gentle, powerful, and the changes that occur within the client can last.
My hope for you in visiting this website is that as you read about Transpersonal Art Therapy, you may find what you are looking for: that you get a sense that this therapy may help you to find answers to your questions and a resolution to your unwanted emotions and feelings; that you become free to live life to your full potential.
What is Transpersonal Art Therapy?
Transpersonal Art Therapy is a simple yet powerful way to allow what is in our unconscious mind to come to the surface to be expressed: it is a holistic way to externalise internal feelings and anxieties, from which we can learn acceptance of ourselves, with compassion, and to integrate the many aspects of ourselves.
When we express these feelings and anxieties in a creative way, so that they can be seen, this can bring feelings of relief: it can lessen our stress or fear, and acceptance can begin from that moment. Transpersonal Art Therapy works with our creative expression, and from this, healing can occur and confidence can grow. When there is integration we gain the ability to live to our full potential, using all aspects and states of our being.
Transpersonal Art Therapy is client centred. The dynamic between client and therapist is all important. This therapy takes place in an atmosphere of sincerity, with empathy, where the client’s whole being is treated with respect and without judgement.
Everyone is creative in their own way and there are many mediums through which we can express ourselves using Transpersonal Art Therapy. No art skills are required to do this. In fact when contact is made with our innermost feelings, these feelings tend to find their own way out for us to look at, whatever creative medium we use to express them. Some of the mediums used are movement, crayon, pastel, paint, clay, games, ritual (ceremonies), music and sand tray. Transpersonal Art Therapy allows us to express our own form of art, which is as individual as each of us.
It is a given in Transpersonal Art Therapy that the client knows best about their own life; they have the answers within themselves. With the support of the therapist, within a secure environment, the client finds these answers as they journey together
How do I work?
My aim is to work with my clients from my ‘real self’. I don’t have a ‘professional’ image. I love to be in session with a client, working together with them. The session is held in a ‘space’ in which the client feels safe and supported. It is client centred, with the discussion about them and their life, from their perspective. I work intuitively, giving the client my full attention to the best of my ability. I acknowledge my mistakes. I regard life as a journey, and I have great respect for each person’s particular path and feel honoured when they share this with me. I respect the need to earn the trust of my clients at the start; however, I am happy to begin the real work as soon as they are ready. My hope for the client’s session is that they gain insight and understanding into their life; that they discover tools for living, gain self acceptance, and build a strong self esteem. This will allow them to blossom along their path, living within each moment, and finding authenticity in their lives which will release their true potential.
Clients considering Transpersonal Art Therapy may feel some, or many, of the range of human emotions and feelings. They may feel powerless, angry, ‘used’, ‘stuck’, a sense of grief or loss, a lack of self esteem, etc. Transpersonal Art Therapy works effectively with all of these.
If my client is willing, I will use guided meditation (or they may choose to go to their favourite peaceful place in their mind), so that they can reach a deeper level of consciousness. This process will put them in touch with their unconscious thoughts and emotions. From this, their hidden emotions have the chance to be expressed. With the development of self-awareness and strength, the emotional conflict within is soothed. Art Therapy allows clients to express what they may not dare to think about. When these feelings come out in their creative expression, they can look at them with less fear and a sense of relief.
I give my clients an opportunity to tell their story. I offer acceptance, confidentiality, commitment and a desire to work with them for their benefit.
My work includes individual and group sessions, for young, young at heart, and in-between; for fun, for therapy, for creative expression, for celebration!
"I was given the opportunity to have a few art counseling sessions with Sophia, and while I did not know exactly what to expect, I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed it. I was a little skeptical initially as I am a Psychology Graduate and assumed I would see through the techniques used as ones I had studied. I wasn't even sure what topics I would feel comfortable to discuss.
In fact, when Sophia walked in, she was so friendly and professional, I felt all my predispositions went out the window. Our conversations always flowed so comfortably, and I never deliberated which topics to enter into, and which were out of bounds. I genuinely felt there were no limits, no awkwardness and thoroughly enjoyed the clever perspectives she always offered.
I was never forced to draw, but when I opened myself up to it, I was amazed at how Sophia interpreted my drawings, and how closely these interpretations mirrored the feelings I was having. I truly believe certain people are destined to do certain things in life, and this is Sophia' calling. I am very grateful to have had the opportunity and would recommend these sessions to anyone.
- D. Wilson
"I think you were great in helping me find an avenue to strengthening my self. I was always hesitant in using writing for self improvement but hearing Sophia's strong words changed that. Writing and putting it all out there is a great way to see more clearly whats going on inside. Sophia has a lot of dedication and a sincere willingness to help. This combined with a lot of knowledge is most helpful in helping peoples issues."