MCouns (Australia), Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT300)
Areas of expertise
- Children from six years, adolescents, and families
- Anxiety, fear, perfectionism, stress, anger, resilience, regulation, sense of self
- Interpersonal communication and relational patterns
- Supporting neurodivergence in self or family (ASD, ADHD, Dyspraxia, Dyslexia, Dyscalculia)
- Grief, loss, and life transitions
“Receiving professional support can be like finding a cloth to polish the mirror so we can see the irritations with greater clarity and overcome them with more ease, and less running.”
Melissa Shadforth is a person-centered practitioner who integrates theories of modern psychology with scientific mind-body practices and life experience. Whether in the defined role of counsellor, mentor, coach, teacher or trusted advisor, Melissa believes the therapeutic relationship is core to creating a safe space for present moment awareness, reflection and exploration of a more integrated way of being. Melissa also collaborates with other IMI practitioners to support healing of the whole person through an integrative approach including biological, psychological, social and spiritual elements.
How can Melissa help you or your child? While cultivating trust, confidence and encouraging curiosity as the interactive process unfolds, Melissa supports clients to connect with their inner wisdom, develop insight and cultivate compassion, connection, regulation, resilience and inner trust to respond to life rather than react – and ultimately become their own advisor.
Through counselling, the client engages with Melissa in purposeful conversation and connection with the intention of accepting or resolving a specific challenge, life transition, health concern, or other imbalance through the process of solution identification, application, accomplishment and growth. Further, the integration of psychotherapy modalities can support the development of insight across a client’s way of being. This can help the client adapt and adjust to align with their true self and break unhelpful cycles to allow new patterns of relating to emerge through the security of the therapeutic relationship – essentially, to find a more peaceful state of equilibrium from within.
The process of ontological coaching focuses on language, emotions and the body, which can generate constructive shifts in perceptions and attitudes to overcome barriers and enhance the development of more effective communication and behavioural patterns. Through this approach, Melissa can guide a client to increase their wellbeing by expanding their mental and emotional capabilities in the continual state of change that surrounds them.
As a Certified Integral Yoga Teacher RYT300 and Accessible Yoga Ambassador, Melissa shares the teachings with all ages in nature, schools, community organisations, prison, foreign domestic workers, refugees and through the counselling process with individuals and groups. Melissa is also a Certified Child and Adolescent Trauma Professional (CATP) with the International Association of Trauma Professionals and a member of The Psychotherapy Society of Hong Kong, Asian Academy of Family Therapy, Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia and the Australian Association of Bush Adventure Therapy.
On her way to finding this purpose, Melissa worked in professional and financial services as a Chartered Accountant for 20 years in Australia, the United States and Hong Kong. Through this experience, Melissa observed the influence of disconnected ways of being and unresolved childhood trauma at the personal, professional, organisational and societal level. This motivated Melissa to deepen her professional knowledge of human behaviour and create opportunities for all ages to receive support and connect with compassion to self, others and nature while becoming more aware of the interconnectedness of the collective on our journey toward self mastery.
Melissa loves being in nature and as founder of The Collective Journey, she creates and supports nature-based therapy and mentorship experiences for young people and their families, inspired by her three children and the village collective who mentors them.
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