I'm not actually an arts therapist.
I thought that was what I wanted to be, and what I was creating in my business, but something just wasn't sitting right with me. There was a little edge of uneasiness inside me when I called myself an arts therapist that I couldn't work out.
Last year, I finished up in a job I'd held for three years and found myself in the void, unsure of my next steps. From that space emerged an opportunity to continue my spiritual care studies through a second unit of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE). CPE is a program of education for spiritual (pastoral) care practitioners. It engages an action-reflection-integration model of learning in a small group, with individual and group supervision in a hospital setting. To be honest, I started the process of application half-heartedly. I procrastinated, left it too late, then called to apologise and to say that I wouldn't apply after all. I was invited to put my application in late anyway and found myself just doing it.
I was accepted into the program. And then became conscious of the fear that I was holding. After my first day in the program, I journalled a page full of worries, doubts and fears; about my own emotional capacity, about the heaviness of the work, about my personal health issues. I re-framed each statement, invited a new perspective, and continued to show up.
After five months of spiritual care practice in a major private hospital, companioning patients and their loved ones who are experiencing massive challenges, I have found that my fears and doubts were unfounded. I found a passion for the work that emerged from deep within, beyond the intellectual understanding I have held about spiritual care in my research and project work over the past 11 years. I have found a deeper trust in myself as practitioner and sense of authority arising from the skills and experience I carry in my practice. I found that I can rely on my self care and spiritual (including my creative arts) practices to support me.
I'm not an arts therapist, because I am more than an arts therapist.
I am a practitioner working in a person-centred model of care, drawing upon the skills and practices of arts therapies, spiritual care, and body work. I also carry tools from sound healing, possibility management, Soulcraft, somatic experiencing, meditation and mindfulness, and group facilitation. I am inspired by values of service, integrity, compassion, connection, emergence, and creativity.
This is emergent work, based in deep listening, showing up to the moment, noticing what is in the space between us, inviting exploration with curiosity and a sense of trust in the Mystery.
In 2020, it is my intention that I will be working part time as a spiritual care practitioner in a major Melbourne hospital. I am also opening up a limited number of individual sessions privately for clients who are aligned with this way of working.
If you'd like to experience a relationship of support for the challenges you are meeting in life, please do contact me so we can talk about your needs.
Blessings and love for the new year,
Chelle is a practicing art therapist, researcher, and multi-modal creative. She regularly dives into the unknown to discover what is ready to be born, deepening her trust in the abundantly creative source. For Chelle, art is a means to inquire, express, and transform. If offers the capacity to soothe, making space for new perspectives and ways of being.