Our Therapeutic Team
Our therapeutic team is made up of Expressive Arts Therapists and Arts Facilitators, and Masters level students. They receive extensive in house training regularly. We immerse ourselves in this learning culture and continue to expand our repertoire of ways to offer therapy that can flex with the needs of each person. External professional development/supervision is also a requirement for all staff, as well as holding a membership of one or more professional association (ANZACATA, ACCA, ACA, PACFA). They have varying education levels and backgrounds. While Arts Therapy is not currently a regulated Allied Health industry in Australia YET, we align ourselves with best practice and the highest ethical standards. We are also working in partnership with tertiary programs to educate our upcoming professionals in the field.
Our team is is required to be/have:
Current first aid/cpr
Uphold ethical standards
Play and sensory based
Expressive Arts Therapist & Director of Ipsarty
Mel is our Director and Founder. She is an Expressive Arts Therapist trained in multiple modalities and Registered Nurse with over a decade of community disability, mental health, and palliative experience.
She's a total neuroscience nerd and passionate about educating people on their brain in a relatable way. Also forever a student of all things psychotherapy and continually engages in professional development, and is now involved in training others as a guest lecturer for University students and conferences.
As the director of Ipsarty she is focused on supporting the therapeutic team, teaching and creative profession development. As such, she no longer takes a client load in the studio.
Expressive Arts Therapist/Sandplay Therapist/Interplay/COSP
Kellie is our imagination expert. She is a playful bubble of light and her energy is contagious.
She has always been an Artist and loves the abstract realm and anything experiential. She encourages exploration and incites curiosity. A life long student, Kel can often be seen nose deep in our staff library, and sharing her knowledge with our team through training exercises.
Spending the last decade as a phlebotomist taking blood samples for hospitals (a professional vampire) far and wide, she is also a master in creating a safe and supported space for clients to explore themselves.
As a neurodivergent therapist she has a unique way of observing the world, that accepts absolutely anyone.
Registered Expressive Arts Therapist and Sandplay/Clay Fields Therapist
Neurodivergent Advocate (she/her)
Tira has a teaching background with special education and found her way into her psychotherapy masters training (and we're glad she did!)
She's an in-house Arts Therapist in a clinical hospital setting, and moonlights for us on Mondays and Fridays. She also teaches for an Arts Therapy tertiary program and nurtures all the aspiring students that enter our practice.
She brings with her a curiosity and gentle calm that soothes the soul. Her energy in our space is a naturally empowering force that uplifts and supports each client to see their strengths.
Expressive Arts Therapist
Neurodivergent (she/her) and mother of a neurospicy soul
The first thing you can't help but notice about Taija is her generous and playful spirit. She oozes authenticity and meets everyone 'human to human'. Her gentle soul and compassionate energy are welcome additions to the therapeutic space.
Taija is talented artist and has immersed herself in the community delivering group art therapy and mindfulness workshops for a number of years.
You can absolutely tell she has spent over a decade in early childhood education with her natural flexibility and expert level attunement. She is also mum to a fellow neurodivergent sunbeam who has helped shape the therapist she is; nurturing, spacious and passionate about self advocacy and identity affirmation.
Expressive Arts Therapist and Sandplay Therapist
Gubbi Gubbi Woman
Bianka fell in love with expressive therapies while working as admin for us!
Don't let that baby face fool you.. she was born to be a therapist (we knew before she did).
She's a creative soul whose presence in the room is like a gentle hug. Warm, welcoming and playful, she is naturally skilled at allowing clients to take up the space they need.
Her lived experience as a sibling of a brother whose disability took him far too soon from this world, has given her an unwavering sense of empathy and a unique insight.
Arts Facilitator and Sandplay Therapist and ExAT Student
Craig has extensive experience offering support in the disability world. He is a former art, photography and music teacher at Tafe and ran programs supporting adults living with disabilities.
He is a creative powerhouse and often whips out the guitar during sessions. But it's his deep appreciation and understanding of the human experience that we value in the studio most. He is embracing of vulnerability and emotion, an empathetic and warm presence. As a man with ADHD he is ever familiar with the challenges and strengths, and continues to commit to learning more each day.
Butters 'Butter Chicken' Hadley is 5 year old Eclectus Parrot.
She is cheeeeecky and still only a baby, so she is learning new things every day.
She talks A LOT + whistles.
From time to time, she will come to the studio to get used to people, but she's not quite ready to come to every event. She will usually only come to the studio with Bianka.
Hobbies: Saying "hello" in different ways, whistling the Bombers theme song, eating passionfruit, getting cuddles, taking showers, and chewing furniture.
Reception and Administration
Sandplay Therapist, Arts Facilitator
Chloe is the definition of arty. She paints, sculpts, draws, dances, and sews, amongst everything else. She found her way into the studio after her Diploma of Art.. little did she know.. she had the makings of a natural therapist; hence all the training she's enrolled in.
She has an unmistakable twinkle in her eye and wonderous spirit that's playful and quirky. Her engaging nature creates natural safety for clients. Never pushy and always ready to flex with their needs, this girl has something that can't be taught in books. She embodies humanness and celebrates it.
A quick note on NDIS
Arts therapy is claimable with NDIS. We bill under three different line item numbers, depending on the therapists membership recognition by NDIS.
Our ANZACATA memberships are billed under Art Therapy
Other counselling memberships are billed under Other Professionals
Arts Facilitators/Sandplay Therapists are billed under Therapy Assistants Level 2