Hello! Before you read on I wanted to say thank you. Honestly, I am honored. With SO much to read out there, I am so happy you have chosen this. I hope this signals a moment in time where you declare that you matter too. I hope we meet someday so I can say thanks for taking care of yourself in person.
Who am I?
This is an impossibly cliched question for a psychologist! Yet it’s completely understandable you might be asking, so here’s a snippet of how I got here….
Who’s caring for the carers?
I started this company with the thought that I really wanted to support the resilience and effectiveness of people who I believe we need (desperately) in our society:
This thought occurred to me years ago. I started working as a clinical psychologist in 2006 and after eight and a half years of training, I was just keen to get going (to earn some money and eat something other than baked beans) and become absorbed in my trade. My learning had only just begun.
I was drawn to working in community mental health. Here I have spent much of my career providing therapy to individuals with significant mental health struggles, trauma, poverty, and power struggles. In this place I found incredibly heartwarming and meaningful work. The environment, surrounded by many disciplines, hierarchy and history, enhanced my understanding of complexity and nurtured my capacity to be a systems thinker. I had opportunities to developed expertise in multiple skills and treatment modalities, including mindfulness, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Dialectical Behaviour Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, and my personal favourite, Mindful Self-Compassion.
Since becoming a mum in 2016 I now work for the Alfred 2 days in the State-wide Service for Problem Gambling and Mental Health, a field of practise that is complex, both fascinating and disturbing.
All in all, what I discovered over the years was how much I personally used the very skills I was teaching. At first it was just to try them on, but then it naturally developed into a means of supporting my own psychological insight and resilience. Skills that I applied on a daily basis, whether this be in my professional role or as a mum. Both of these roles required deliberate and loving self care. I was also drawn to supporting my peers and colleagues to self care, advocating for them to apply skills to support their passion and work. By far, self-compassion has proved to be one of the most powerful psychological resources I have trained in. And it is just one of many resources that I feel passionate about sharing, especially for people who identify with having a compassionate nature and who give so generously to the world around them.
Why I started Compassionate Nature
As the years have progressed my willingness to return to nature and turn towards the atrocities occurring around the world, resulting in global warming, grew stronger.
The more I learned the more astonished I felt. Climate change was impacting all aspects of life: health, security, safety, sense of belonging. Even our emotional health. I knew that I could not work as a psychologist in a vacuum, and that my work had to consider the broader impact of not just our local environment, but mother earth, Gaia as my mum would say. To embrace nature, including our own nature.
I observed how fundamentally the values and behaviours that resulted in climate change were far from my (and so many other people's) personal values. Yet I was caught up in the dominant system. I would become stuck in the trance of consumption and materialism. It was this dissonance and discomfort that got me to a point where I felt I had to take action. Yet, initially I was clueless.
I had no idea how I could contribute. Would I have to study environmentalism? And marred with self doubt, would I even make a difference? But I set about with the mentality of experimentation, to see where the path lead. After some time, through different volunteer roles, I met some amazing passionate dedicated people. It was these people who inspired me with their courageous work, they gave up so much to make a difference.
Yet I also noticed the emotional burden. I noticed the heightened sense of responsibility, the never-ending tasks for completion, the endless battles, the self-sacrifice and the entire lack of giving back anything nourishing to oneself. I worried. Some of these people were showing signs of fatigue, stress and burnout. Some told me stories of how they had already been there, and back again. I felt strongly that we needed these types of people in our world. We need them to sustain their passion, their voice, their work satisfaction, so they could keep advocating for a better world for all of us.
And that’s when I realised, here is where I could contribute!
My Life Purpose
Through the years I volunteered (and still do) with a NFP Psychology for a Safe Climate. Being with like-minded colleagues and collaborating together on providing emotional support and understanding around climate change further consolidated that I had to make this my life purpose. Still, the risk of starting my own business felt daunting. Where would I begin?
Then I fell pregnant, with twins and my own self-care skills truly put to the test. It is with a deep sense of gratitude that I say it was these skills, my family, peer and community support, that got me through the really tough times.
Love is such a powerful motivator. The future of my girls is intricately dependant on the thousands of caregivers out there who are diligently and passionately changing our world; to address climate change, inequalities, consumption, injustices and other self-damaging cultural habits. The support I received as a new mum and the lives of my own girls, adds yet more motivation for me to combine sharing skills, with connection building. Actually developing a community of self-care for caregivers is vital.
So in 2017 that’s when I started.
Ensuring a trusted and safe environment
This business is new, and my dream is to do what I love. WHen you do something that feels natural and good, in psychology, we call this living your flow. Facilitating workshops, teaching skills, being a therapist, understanding perspectives, this is where I flow. I just love it. So this is where my energy in the business is invested. I hope you will join me and that you find nourishment in the resources I share and the community we will build together for reasons that are as big as ourselves and bigger than all of us.