Peer Support & Transpersonal Art Therapist
My experiences around spiritual emergence/spiritual emergency – both personal & professional
When I was five years old I became extremely ill with complications from measles. I had a near death experience. I remember leaving my body and looking down at myself from the corner of the ceiling and then experiencing what I later described as like being “sucked up through a straw” and a feeling of being infinitely huge and infinitely tiny at the same time. My memory of what happened next has faded now but the experience was overwhelming and affected me profoundly. I remember trying to recreate aspects of it through play and I developed an obsession with drawing and painting in an attempt to express what I had seen. It wasn’t all positive. After the event I would occasionally feel the “big/small” feeling coming over me and I found it frightening and unsettling. I remember walking around stamping my feet to try to make it go away. It also seemed to open a door to a lot of past life memories including some truly terrifying memories of my own death in a particular previous life. This memory would come up from time to time, particularly if I was feeling unwell. It was always consistent and always absolutely terrifying. I would be delirious and screaming, seeing soldiers and horses and spears coming at me from every direction. Over time this happened less often and eventually stopped.
My childhood was not an easy one. I suffered physical and sexual abuse from a young age. I felt completely trapped and the stress was almost unbearable. I had not been exposed to religion of any kind but I knew what praying was and sometime around my 10th birthday I instinctively began to pray for help. Almost immediately things began to change. I became aware that there was someone I perceived as a kind supportive male presence who was there for me. This was the beginning of my conscious relationship with my spirit guides. I felt a sort of personal power beginning to grow within me. Within a very short time something entirely unforeseen happened which meant that I was removed from the home and was finally safe. I knew that this was directly in response to my prayers and I felt so relieved and grateful. Then I began to notice that I seemed to be able to know when things were going to happen and I felt that I could even make things happen by just sort of knowing that they would. I even felt that I knew what other people were thinking or what they were about to say. This went on for a period of about 6 months until I began to settle into my new life, then it just kind of went away and I stopped thinking about it.
In my late 20’s I studied Reiki and began to practice it. I noticed that I could identify where a client had issues as I could feel their pain in my own body. I would also see images and sometimes sequences of events like little movies. The events I witnessed would often be validated by clients as real events experienced by them.
In my early 30’s I had a powerful dream in which I was taken by my spirit guide and shown the site of my past life death. I was told the name of the place and saw clearly how I had died, but I felt none of the terror that I had felt in the past. After this I sought help from a past life therapist and I was able to remember more of that life and eventually even visit the actual place where I had died and release the trauma associated with the memory. After this, more memories arose from different lives and I began to see that these memories were resonating in some way with issues or blockages that I was facing in my current life. As I worked through them and released them I noticed that those issues began to drop away. For a while life became much easier and things seemed to flow.
In my late 30’s I became very run-down and unwell, and I had another episode of delerium, but this time it was not a past-life experience, but a frightening encounter with what I perceived to be the souls of many many dead people who were clustered around me. I asked for help and my old spirit guide was there for me again. He explained to me that I needn’t be afraid of any of these people because they weren’t there to hurt me. I had every right to ask them to leave but I must have compassion and be gentle with them. He showed me how to engage with them, calm them and then gently guide them to the light. Sometimes their loved ones would come to help them along. I continued to do this until they had all left. Then I slept for a whole day before waking up feeling refreshed and well.
This experience opened my heart some more and really showed me the power of love and compassion over fear but it also really shook me up. I had struggled at times with self-care and I began to see much more clearly how this was affecting me. I had been accumulating these entities unconsciously and had become depleted as a result, so I knew that I really needed to become more disciplined and establish better boundaries to protect myself. I now have additional support in the form of a mentor who is a Shamanic healer. My mentor has helped me to establish a daily spiritual practice and become more self-disciplined in my self-care which helps to continually reinforce my spiritual purpose, maintain connection to my spiritual support and keep me safe.
It was in my 40’s that I really became aware of the important role that creativity had played in helping me to process and integrate my experiences and bring healing into my life. I wanted to understand this better and to help others to use creativity in this way so I completed an Advanced Diploma of Transpersonal Art Therapy. Then I went on to complete a Bachelor of Art Psychotherapy. During my study years and for a few years afterwards I worked within the mental health system as a Community Mental Health Worker and as an Art Therapist. Now as I move into my 60’s I work from home as an Art Therapist and Energy Practitioner. I absolutely love my work and feel that I am at last doing what I am perfectly suited to do.
What I feel I am particularly qualified to help with given my experiences:
Art therapy involves all kinds of creative processes such as drawing, painting, movement, music, writing, poetry, dance etc. It is by nature a very transpersonal process which involves externalising your inner world and working with metaphor. This creates some safe distance and allows you to see your own story from different perspectives. It also means that you can express yourself in a way that is ‘beyond words’ so you can work with experiences you don’t yet fully understand and find meaning. The sensory nature of art making can also be very grounding when it is required. I believe that this makes it ideally suited to people who are going through any kind of spiritual or existential crisis. My own lived experience and my training with IMHU helps to inform my practice.
Special interests and abilities in spiritual emergence/spiritual emergency, e.g. kundalini, near-death experience, psychic opening, channelling
I am particularly interested in working with people who have experienced NDE’s, past life memories or psychic openings.
Previous experience I have in supporting clients or groups in their spiritual emergence/emergency.
As an art therapist I have helped to support many people dealing with existential crises to re-orient themselves and create new meaning and a new path forward for themselves. I often see clients who are referred by word-of-mouth because they are particularly interested in working on past life experiences and releasing related blocks in their current life. I have also facilitated a Spiritual Emergence Support group here in Perth Western Australia and am ready to establish a new group as soon as there is further interest. I am happy to wok with people who are wanting to integrate their past spiritual experiences. I do this every day, but I do not feel qualified to work with anyone who is still in a very disoriented state as a result of a spiritual emergency. I have been contacted by family members of someone who had experienced a challenging Kundalini awakening and in this instance I provided phone support, advice and reading material to family members who were then able to keep their loved one grounded and safe while they began to integrate their experience.
- Bachelor of Art Psychotherapy, Ikon Institute, Australia 2021
- Advanced Diploma, Transpersonal Art Therapy, Ikon Institute, Australia 2015
Other Relevant Training
- I offer art therapy in Australia. I have Tier level membership of the Australia New Zealand Association for Creative Arts Therapies (ANZACATA), the peak professional association for Creative Arts Therapies in Australia, New Zealand and Asia.
Offering support groups
- I have run a face-to-face support group in the past and I am now in a position to establish another group if there is interest. I would also be happy to work with people online if that is preferred.
I have not charged a fee in the past, preferring to hold meetings at a venue where there is no cost and asking participants to bring a plate if possible.
Support group plan...
TBA-Contact if interested.
Previous meetings have gone for approx. 2 hours
May be online or in location
“Please contact me via my email if you'd like to connect for a complimentary 15-20-minute phone consultation, to see if we're the right fit!”