My Therapeutic Approach

As a therapist professionally trained in Psychology, Women’s Studies and Gestalt Psychotherapy, I work from a holistic perspective. What that means is that whilst working with you, I take into account all of the factors that make up who you are and how you got to be where you are now.

As everyone is different, sessions are tailored to meet your particular concerns and interests.  I use a combination of depth psychotherapy and everyday coping strategies.

How I Work

I talk with you
If you come to see me, we will sit and chat. We’ll talk about what is important to you and what’s concerning you. We’ll work through these concerns together. For some people, that does the trick. For other people, I might work in some of the following ways.

Body Awareness
While we’re talking, I might ask you to notice how you feel in your body. Or I may for example, comment on the way you are clenching your jaw as you talk. The reason for this, is that we hold our emotions and our memories in our body.
It is accepted knowledge that when we are stressed, we can get tight shoulders, or when we’re nervous, we may feel butterflies in our stomachs. This way of working, taps into this often-overlooked body-knowledge and adds further depth to the therapy.

Trauma Therapy
I have a special interest in trauma therapy. I work with my clients to both manage strong feelings, and to address the root causes.

I use strategies to relieve symptoms of anxiety & depression – such as grounding, mindfulness, relaxation & movement.

I use talk-therapy to explore the underlying causes of my clients’ struggles.
I may work with subtle body posture, facial expression and movement to work through long-held trauma.

When working with trauma, it is important that my clients feel safe and do not become too overwhelmed. There are many ways to achieve this and it is always a priority.

Creative Therapy
Sometimes I use art therapy techniques to work with memories, situations and feelings that are difficult to verbalise.

If it is of interest to you, there are times when I may suggest we use some drawing, prompt cards, or other creative activities to look at an issue or a feeling from a different perspective. It is always amazing to see what comes out of such sessions. Often my clients discover something about themselves, or the situation they are in that talking alone had not revealed.

I understand that some people have absolutely no interest in working in this way, and that’s okay, it’s not for everyone. If it’s not for you, we won’t do it. Simple.
However, some people choose to work with me specifically because they are drawn to a creative style of therapy.

I regularly use creative methods with my younger clients. It is often much easier for them to express themselves through a creative activity than through talking.

Some examples of creative methods I use are:
• Creating a timeline of your life.
• Body mapping – tracing your body on paper, then filling in the places where you feel different emotions and sensations.
• Sand tray – using a tray of sand and a huge selection of miniatures to create a scene that depicts something with which you are struggling.
• Using colours to draw how you feel.

Mindfulness
I often use mindfulness activities with my clients as a way of calming anxiety. We do these together in the session and it is something my client may also choose to do out-of-session.

Some examples are:
• Focusing on the sounds, colours, shapes and smells in the room.
• Focusing on the breath.
• Focusing on sensations in the body.

Inner Child
I am influenced by the inner child work of Lucia Capacchione. There are numerous ways to work with the inner child – those parts of ourselves that were not (and are still not) listened to or cherished in the way they needed to be.

An exercise I am particularly fond of is using our non-dominant hand to write out a conversation between our adult self and our child self. It is always very revealing. Other ways I may work with your inner child is through drawing, role-playing, or body awareness.

Psycho-education
Where appropriate, I may share information with my clients about the evidenced-based theories behind the issues we are working on.

Some examples of this are:
• Dan Siegel’s Window of Tolerance and the ‘Upstairs/Downstairs’ brain.
• What is trauma?
• Common symptoms of trauma.
• The flight, fight, freeze and social engagement responses to stress.
• Why calming our body calms our mind.

Ecotherapy
I have, on occasion, been known to hold sessions in nature. I have done a number of bush-walking sessions. I have also supported a client to yell and scream out her feelings in an outdoor location.

Support Animals
I have a couple of different clients who bring their pet to our sessions. This supports them in feeling safer to work on difficult issues in therapy. This is something we have discussed and negotiated before doing a trial-run. I have found it works well with some pets and not with others.

Gestalt Therapy
I am an accredited Gestalt Psychotherapist. I was drawn to Gestalt as it is about having relaxed, real conversations, with the underlying premise being that how we heal, is through becoming aware of who we are right here, right now. It encompasses mindfulness, self-compassion, creativity and body awareness. It is about becoming aware of the disowned parts of ourselves and embracing all of who we are. It’s a really lovely and effective therapy and I love working in this way.

HAES (Health At Every Size)
I am a verified HAES Practitioner. This means I respect all bodies and believe that it is possible to be healthy in a variety of different sized and shaped bodies.

I support “…people of all sizes in addressing health directly by adopting healthy behaviors. It is an inclusive movement, recognizing that our social characteristics, such as our size, race, national origin, sexuality, gender, disability status, and other attributes, are assets, and acknowledges and challenges the structural and systemic forces that impinge on living well.” (Linda Bacon, Health at Every Size)

None of the above
Sometimes what you need is none of these things. Instead, you may just want someone to listen and witness your struggle from one human to another. If that’s the case, that’s what we’ll do. There are no rules.

Common reasons people come to see me
• Eating Disorders
• Trauma
• Anxiety
• Depression
• Body Image
• Self-Worth
• Childhood issues impacting the present
• Struggling with relationships (family, partner, friendships, work)

My Clients
The majority of my clients are women between the ages of 15 and 55. I also have some wonderful male clients, in addition to people both younger and older than 15-55yo.

Sessions
I mostly work with individuals, however this can extend to other members of the family (as none of us live in a bubble and sometimes it can help to work through difficult stuff together).

Workshops
I occasionally hold workshops and group therapy.

Some examples are:
• Art Therapy workshops for pre-teens and teens, focusing on anxiety, identity and self-worth.
• Art Therapy workshops in remote communities, focusing on trauma healing.
• Art Therapy workshops for women, focusing on self-worth and body image.

Resources

Trauma
• The Body Remembers – Babette Rothschild
• The Body Keeps the Score – Bessel van der Kolk
• Sensorimotor Psychotherapy: Interventions for Trauma & Attachment – Pat Ogden & Janina Fisher
• Healing Developmental Trauma – Laurence Heller & Aline LaPierre
• Waking the Tiger – Peter Levine
• Trauma Trails – Judy Atkinson
• The Drama of Being a Child – Alice Miller
Daniel Siegel
Diane Poole Heller

Eating Disorders & Body Image
• Women Food and God – Geneen Roth
• Eating in the Light of the Moon – Anita Johnston
• 8 Keys to Recovery from an Eating Disorder – Carolyn Costin & Gwen Schubert Grabb
• Health at Every Size – Linda Bacon

Art Therapy
• Handbook of Art Therapy – Cathy Malchiodi

Inner Child
• Recovery of your Inner Child – Lucia Capacchione

Gestalt Therapy
• Skills in Gestalt Counselling & Psychotherapy – Phil Joyce & Charlotte Sills
• Gestalt Counselling in Action – Petruska Clarkson

Anxiety | Self Compassion | Calming | Spirituality
• Breathe: Simple Breathing Techniques for a Calmer Happier Life – Jean Hall
• The Anxiety & Phobia Workbook – Edward J. Bourne
• Self Compassion – Kristin Neff
• The Gifts of Imperfection – Brene Brown
• The Power of Now – Ekhart Tolle

Locations
Fremantle Counselling & Psychological Services
4/5 Rockingham Rd, Hamilton Hill, WA

Mundaring Wellness Centre
16 Craig St, Mundaring, WA

Online counselling sessions are also available – throughout Australia & anywhere in the world except the USA & Canada.

To make an appointment with Toni Jackson
If you would like to make an appointment, or ask me some questions, please email me, or if you are in Australia, feel free to phone me.
Email: toni@tonijacksoncounselling.com
Phone: 0439 995 302

Contact form below 🙂

4 Comments on “My Therapeutic Approach

    • Hi Teenage Poet. I’m glad to hear you’re doing better and that you found my information interesting. Working with depression is something I’m passionate about. It is so fundamentally important that we learn to be kind to ourselves.

      Warmly,

      Toni

  1. Pingback: Counselling in Fremantle | Toni Jackson

  2. Pingback: Online Counselling In Western Australia & Beyond | Toni Jackson

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