About Ajanta

Qualifications...

  • BA Honours Double Major ~ Social Sciences & Women's Studies 

      (Including Psychology & Psychoanalytic Studies); LaTrobe University

  • Graduate Diploma Buddhist Counselling & Psychotherapy; Sophia College

  • Chaplaincy, Pastoral & Spiritual Care Training; Buddhist Council of Victoria

  • Credentialled Professional Faith-Based Chaplain; Buddhist Council Vic.

  • Death & Dying Studies at Dying 2 Know; Open Learning

  • Death Doula & End of Life Studies; Quality of Life Care

  • Advanced Death Doula Training & 'When A Baby Dies';  Life Options

  • Certificate Midwifing Death 100 hours Study;  Dr. Michael Barbato

  • Cert IV Small Business Management; Cert IV Community Services (SACs Management)

  • Certificates Counselling; RMIT

  • Graduate Diploma Psychology, University of Ballarat; Deferred (5 Subjects Completed: D/HDHD/HD/D) 

 

Awards...

 

  • Australia Day Award - 1998

       Recognition of valued contribution to the community of Jaga Jaga Federal Electorate, Melbourne VIC

  • Excellence Award - 2001

       Outstanding contribution to the Banyule Community, Melbourne VIC

Interests...

Poetry, Writing, Reading, Literature, Art, Artistic Endeavour, Photography, Cinema, Art House Movies, Scandinavian Noir, People, Humanity, Family, Friends, Supporting Others, Meeting New People, Enjoying Life, Philosophy, Crime & Forensics, Great Conversation, Individuality, Meditation, Alone Time, Contemplation & Reflection, Self Realisation, Animals in General, Horses, Dogs, Music, Dancing, Singing, Psychology, Psychotherapy, Psychoanalysis, Mindfulness, Yoga, Eastern Philosophy, Death & Dying, Travel

My Professional Skills...

 

My professional working history encompasses a broad and diverse range of experience. My qualifications and further training have provided me with a well-rounded, solid foundation from which I have applied my advanced skills and knowledge to many workplace settings. I have a comprehensive working history within the community sector in Victoria and NSW; inaugurating, growing, reforming and managing community enterprises.  This work included a culturally and socio-economically wide range of people including our Indigenous peoples; women in crisis; the disadvantaged, homeless and socially isolated. I have also worked in the private sector where I have managed, administered and consulted with small businesses.  I am insightful; have an in depth understanding of human behaviour and motivation; and can analyse any given situation quickly and act accordingly with integrity and foresight.  My people skills are highly developed and I have advanced mediation and problem solving ability, which can usually circumvent an issue before it arises. Other work has included doing financial management  at Looma, a remote Aboriginal community in the North West Kimberley region of WA and Case Management with community organisations in Victoria. Intergrated within my professional life has been my interest in human development, self actualisation and the reduction of suffering. As such,I have continued to enrich my skills and build upon my qualifications in order to assist others to develop insight, improve well being, increase awareness, reduce suffering  and gain a sense of ease in this complex world we live in. 

 

These days, I like to keep my work load low key and direct more of my energy into creative pursuits. However, I do enjoy counselling & therapy work, mediation and advocacy. To compliment my spiritual care work, I have further developed my interest in death and dying/ end of life consultancy and have completed further studies in this area to integrate with my existing qualifications. Assisting and supporting the dying and their loved ones through this stressful process requires skill and sensitivity and I hope to develop my work in this area as an adjunct to my other activities.

As a Counsellor/Therapist...

Concurrent to my other activities, I have maintained a small counselling and therapy practice in Melbourne and Northern Rivers, NSW.  To a lesser extent I am continued that practice in Ballarat, and the Central Highlands area of Victoria. I'm now living on Phillip Island within the Bass Coast Shire in Victoria and I hope to continue this service plus develop my End of Life Consultancy work. I also offer telephone and online Skype counselling, therapy and consultancy which is not limited to any locality. 

 

One thing which sets me apart from other counsellors and therapists is that I embody not only the academic qualifications, but I have the personal life history and experience which informs my approach. In other words, I have lived, suffered, worked through and resolved a myriad of issues and have come out the other side more knowledgeable, wise, insightful, balanced and content. I can certainly say that I have lived through much of what life has to offer: from despair, trauma and emotional pain to joy, bliss, happiness and contentment. I am well placed to assist others to do the same; I walk my talk and live my philosophy. Life is a continuity of learning, growth and experience. It is an endless journey of discovery, with the most important element being, self discovery. With this in mind, I have personally been the recipient of ongoing counselling and therapy and my values also embrace continual personal development.

 

I believe that counselling and therapy is beneficial to any human being, just as maintenance is beneficial to a car. Therapy and supervision are also essential for the development of good therapists. I follow a practical (non-religious) Buddhist philosophical approach to life with its inherent values of non-violence, compassion and the path to becoming fully awakened plus I incorporate mindfulness (self awareness) practice into my daily life. I use fundamentals of this approach within my counselling work as it is invaluable in settling the mind and developing insight. Clients are offered a safe and confidential environment with an attentive, compassionate, empathic approach. I work dynamically and have an eclectic style. I specifically aim to assist people to live harmoniously and achieve non-reactivity in the face of adversity or, what life may present to us at any given time. This is particularly important in view of what is happening globally. My specific areas of interest (but not limited to) include: child sexual abuse and sexual assault;  sexual identity & related issues; GLBT issues; grief, loss & dying;  anxiety & depression;  motivation & purpose; health & well being; spirituality.