Gestalt therapy emerged from the clinical work of two German psycho­therapists, Frederick Salomon Perls, M.D., and Lore Perls, Ph.D. F.S. Perls, known to many of his students as Fritz.

Gestalt therapy is a growth-oriented  therapeutic, relational approach to living and working with people which is holistic, centered in the present, and related to existential therapy in two ways: 1)  its emphasis on personal responsibility for action, and 2) the valuing of the I-thou relationship in therapy. The Gestalt approach embraces a person's whole life experience - physical, psychological, intellectual, emotional, interpersonal and spiritual.

The objective of this form of therapy is to enable a client to become more fully and creatively alive, and to be free from the blocks and unfinished issues which may diminish optimum satisfaction, fulfillment, and personal growth. From a gestalt perspective a well-lived life is grounded in a person's awareness of how the individual lives their life and conduct their relationships, in the present. From this perspective, the Gestalt approach seeks to promote self awareness,  it supports creative choice, encourages personal responsibility and facilitates connectedness in a person's efforts to realize a meaningful and fulfilling life.

GRAEME & GAYLE O'BRIEN ; Pheonix Rising Seminars 

Graeme and Gayle O’Brien founded the Pheonix Rising Seminars and they are two of Australia’s most experienced group facilitators.  Graeme O'Brien passed in 2011, and his wife Gayle and her hand picked team faciliators are carryiing forward the profound work that Graeme and Gayle co-created together.

Gayle O'Brien has over twenty years counselling experience,  and she has travelled the world with Graeme learning counselling techniques from the very best the world has produced. Together they brought all they experienced back to Australia where they further developed and refined effective methods of assisting and supporting people of all ages to resolve a wide variety of issues.

Gayle remains on the cutting-edge of providing quality counselling services and accredited counselling training programmes.


Polarity Therapy is a comprehensive health system developed by Randolph Stone, DO, DC, ND (1890-1981), involving energy-based bodywork, diet, exercise and self-awareness.

Drawing on information from a wide range of sources, Dr Stone found that the Human body's electro magentic energy field is affected by touch, diet, movement, sound, attitudes, relationships, life experience, trauma and environmental factors. In the Polarity Therapy model, health is experienced when energy systems function in their natural state, and energy flows smoothly without significant blockage or fixation. When energy is unbalanced, blocked or fixed due to stress or other factors, pain and disease arise. Blockages generally manifest in sequence from the subtle to the dense levels of the field.

Polarity Therapy seeks to find the blockages and release energy to normal flow patterns, and to maintain the Energy Field in an open, flexible condition.

BODY HARMONY; Don McFarland 

Body Harmony is the name given to an integrated approach to bodywork and life skills pioneered by Don McFarland.  Body Harmony incorporates many of the numerous techniques available for working with the body, mind and spirit, however what makes it particularly effective is the way it incorporates these into a touch that listens to the whole being.   

Body Harmony therapists work from the understanding that each body innately knows what it needs to heal, and the skill is in ‘listening' in such a way that a body feels safety to share the stories of its life, and to take the steps to achieve the healing. This gives access to the body's natural healing abilities, inner wisdom and self confidence so Body Harmony promotes healing and personal effectiveness in all areas of life.   Body Harmony works on all aspects of being, from the deep physical structure to the meta physical components.  

Body Harmony can relieve stress and tension, relieve aches and pains and restore natural body movement to improve function, and posture and presentation. It can accelerate physical and emotional healing and resolve issues held in the body to allow enhanced health, harmony, vitality and communication, increased success and prosperity, and improved interpersonal relationships.


Carl Jung was a Swiss psychiatrist considered to be the 'father' of humanistic and transpersonal depth psychology, and he is the founder of the school of analytical psychology. He proposed and developed the concepts of the extroverted and introverted personality, archetypes, and the collective unconscious.

Along with Freud's "personal unconscious," Jung discovered evidence for a "collective unconscious" that is shared by all human beings, and he discovered that the collective unconscious is characterized by "archetypes," "instinctual patterns of behavior and perception," which can be traced in dreams and myths.  Jung used many of the same terms as Freud, such as ego and unconscious, but for Jung they hold a different meaning when considered in the light of his  whole theory. The major structures of the psyche for Jung include the ego, which is comprised of the persona and the shadow. The persona is the 'mask' which the person presents the world, while the shadow holds the parts of the self which the person feels ashamed and guilty about.

To further expand on his ideas of the collective unconscous Jung also investigated the similarity of symbols that are located in different religious, mythological, and magical systems, which occur in many cultures and time periods. . Near the end of his life Jung also found that the deepest layers of the unconscious function independently of the laws of space, time and causality, and this is what gives rise to paranormal phenomena.

NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) Richard Bandler and John Grinder 

Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) was initially created in 1975 by Richard Bandler and John Grinder and it studies the structure of how humans think and experience the world.

Richard Bandler and John Grinder began modeling and duplicating the "magical results" of a few top communicators and therapists. Some of the first people to be studied included Hypnotherapist Milton Erickson, gestalt therapist Fritz Perls and family therapist Virginia Satir.  From these models, techniques for quickly and effectively changing thoughts, behaviors and beliefs that limit you have been developed, commonly known as NLP. Since then, many others have contributed to the growth and development of the field.

Today, NLP is widely used in business to improve management, sales and achievement/performance, inter-personal skills; in education to better understand learning styles, develop rapport with students and parents and to aid in motivation; and of course, NLP is a profound set of tools for personal development.


World-renowned therapist Alice Miller devoted her lifetime to studying the cruelties inflicted on children. The goal of her work now is to inform future parents and former victims about the disastrous consequences of what can be considered child abuse; humiliation, spankings and beatings, slaps in the face, betrayal, sexual exploitation, derision, neglect, etc. are all forms of mistreatment, because they injure the integrity and dignity of a child, even if the consequences of these behaviours are not visible right away.

Alice Miller suugested that as adults, most abused children will still suffer from these injuries. Some victims of this dynamic of violence for example, can take revenge even on whole nations and become willing executors to horrible dictators like Hitler and other cruel leaders. While examining everything from parental spanking to sexual abuse and emotional blackmail, Miller also exposes the societal pressures that converge to harm children. She explains that we have so many societal mechanisms to prevent us from feeling anger or rage against our parents that we tend never to confront our own feelings. To combat the debilitating effects of such jarring and often contradictory emotions, Miller explores the benefits of using a therapist as an "Enlightened Witness" to reaffirm the patient's repressed reactions to a forgotten childhood experience.

FAMILY THERAPY; Virginia Satir

 Virginia Satir is referred to as "The Mother of Family System Therapy". Based on conviction that people are capable of continued growth, change and new understanding, her goal was to improve relationships and communication within the family unit. She believed that a healthy family life involved an open and reciprocal sharing of affection, feelings, and love. 

Virginia Satir also believed that personal therapy is an intense experience with the inner Self. The therapist helps and encourages people not only to accept and deal with the pain and problems, but also to accept and live an inner joy and peace of mind. Satir taught that people learn beliefs from their family but that as adults these beliefs may no longer be useful to the individual.

During her lifetime she focused on personal growth and health, rather than illness and pathology, and provided the environment in which individuals and families could develop and flourish.It was her conviction that healing of the human spirit and reaching out to connect with others through the universal life force, of which she believed we are all a part, is essential to world peace.

INNER CHILD; John Bradshaw    ... (Click here for Inner Child Workshop Information)
John Bradshaw has been called "America's leading personal growth expert."and he has written five New York Times bestsellers, Bradshaw On: The Family, Healing the Shame That Binds You, Homecoming, Creating Love, and Family Secrets. John pioneered the concept of the "Inner Child" and brought the term "dysfunctional family" into the mainstream.

John Bradshaw has lived everything he writes about. Born in Houston, Texas, into a troubled family, abandoned by his alcoholic father, he became a high academic achiever who was also an out-of-control teenager. He completed his education in Canada, where he studied for the Roman Catholic priesthood, earning three degrees from the University of Toronto. During the past twenty-five years he has worked as a counselor, theologian, management consultant, and public speaker, becoming one of the primary figures in the contemporary self-help movement.

His message is quite profound yet simple. “I'm convinced that unless I know and understand the family system from which I came, I can't understand my true self and the society I live in. What has been said about cultural history is true of individuals: If we do not know our familial history, we are most likely to repeat it.”


Candace Pert is an American neuroscientist and pharmacologist. Her groundbreaking book is Molecules of Emotion, the science behind mind and body medicine, published by Simon and Schuster. In this book she explores the question;Why do we feel the way we feel?

Until recently, Emotion was virtually impossible to define. The kinds of questions that needed to be answered include: how emotion is manifest, how memory and emotion interact, whether emotion is concrete (real) or conceptual (a construct), if concrete, how emotion acts in the body, and how unexpressed emotion is stored.  How do our thoughts and emotions affect our health? Are our bodies and minds distinct from each other or do they function together as parts of an interconnected system? 

Candace Pert, Ph.D. has been able to provide startling and decisive answers to these and other challenging questions that scientists and philosophers have pondered for centuries. For Dr. Pert, the mind is not just in the brain, it is also in the body. The vehicle that the mind and body use to communicate with each other is the chemistry of emotion. The chemicals in question are molecules, short chains of amino acids called peptides and receptors, that she believes to be the "biochemical correlate of emotion.” The peptides can be found in your brain, but also in your stomach, your muscles, your glands and all your major organs, sending messages back and forth. After decades of research, Dr. Pert is finally able to make clear how emotion creates the bridge between mind and body.

Her pioneering research on how the chemicals inside our bodies form a dynamic information network, linking mind and body, is not only provocative, it is revolutionary. By establishing the biomolecular basis for our emotions and explaining these new scientific developments in a clear and accessible way, Dr. Pert empowers us to understand ourselves, our feelings, and the connection between our minds and our bodies -- or bodyminds -- in ways we could never have imagined before.


The Feminine and Masculine do not refer to the gender of ‘man and woman’, they are universal forces that exist within man and woman, and also exist within things, and even geographical places.

The Eastern spiritual traditions have for millennia observed that the masculine and feminine (yin and yang) and co-creative forces that co-exist and cannot work in balance and harmony without the other. Within the western analytical tradition of Carl Jung and the work of mythologists such as Joseph Campbell, these two universal forces where deeply understood as archetypes and described in terms of anima and animus. In fact, Jung’s definition of spiritual growth within the individual related to the deep need to develop and integrate both of the male and female components of the human psyche in order to create a balanced, healthy individual.  

 So, what are the qualities of the Feminine and Masculine?…

The Sacred Feminine: She is life force! She is the light of the divine and is therefore radiates, shines and glows and it is that part of us that wants to be seen. She is the force of attraction that is opening or closing to the giving and the receiving of love. And she is a force that is constantly shifting and changing. She can be wild, chaotic, unpredictable and destructive, and she can be nurturing, warm and life giving. The feminine is at home in the ebb and flow of life; in sensuality, sexuality, in receptivity, and in the body. She is always seeking to feel full. The feminine is the cycle of life, and we experience her in all seasons and cycles within our open nature, as well as the natural seasons and cyles, and elements of mother earth. She is rejuvenation, beauty, fertility and bountifulness, and she is our feelings/emotions, sensitivity, intuition and our inherent bodily wisdom. Her domain is energy and bodily celebration. In relationships her greatest fear is rejection which compels her to love deeply and the feminine challenge is to stay open in the heart and in the body, no matter what she is the feeling.

 The Sacred Masculine: He the divine force of Consciousness. He is at home outside of life in the domain of nothingness/emptiness and he is the force of the unchanging, ever present witnessing consciousness. He is a presence that exists as truth, clarity and freedom and views life from an observational and transcendental position. The masculine is involved in a mission, a search or a project and functions in a world of tasks and goals. He grows through challenge and quest, and he is directional, purposeful, one-pointed and relentless in his quest for meaning. He stands outside of emotions, in thoughts and in knowledge and his greatest fear is failure, which compels the masculine to problem solve, fix it and seek solutions. In love, the masculine is either entering more deeply or pulling away to be free.

 As we increase our awareness of these two dynamic forces, we can begin to understand that they actually work in relationship together to create sexual polarity and therefore, sexual attraction within our relationships. Putting these principles into practice reveals a revolutionary way to experience love and intimacy within our relationships. We can grow and evolve our relationships into unions that are deeply passionate, spiritual and sexually fulfilling and are completely committed to love. ( see workshops page for offerings of seminars and group work that teach these principles)