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Ms Liz Scarfe

Ms Liz Scarfe

Mobile 0425 785 405
Psychotherapist, Process Oriented Therapist

Cultivating Confidence

Mobile 0425 785 405

I specialise in working with trauma and the problems it creates, helping people not only heal, but to develop greater strength, wholeness, and radiance. Trauma comes in all shapes and sizes and everyone experiences it to one degree or another. It impacts on us mind, body, and spirit, and on our relationships and communities. I work psychodynamically (mind), somatically (body) and spirit (transpersonal), and in the context of relationships and community (liberation psychology).

PHONEPRACTICE LOCATIONS

  • 3 Railway Place, FAIRFIELD, Melbourne VIC 3078 0425 785 405 PHONE 0425 785 405

Services

  • Counselling, Psychotherapy, Coaching / Mentoring, Workshops / Courses, Professional Training, Phone Consultations, Internet Consultations 
  • Areas of Special Interest

  • Anxiety / Panic Attacks, Borderline Personality, Burnout, Childhood Issues, Depression, Dissociative Disorders, Dreams, Emotional Crisis, Guilt Feelings, Psychosomatic, PTSD, Self Injury, Sexual Abuse, Spirituality / Religion, Suicidal Feelings, Trauma Recovery  
  • MODALITIES / Approach

    Dream Work, Experiential, Jungian, Person Centred, Process Oriented, Psychodynamic, Somatic Psychotherapy, Systems Theory, Transpersonal

    ACCREDITATIONS

    • Process Oriented Psychology Diplomate - 2015 - Australia New Zealand Process Oriented Psychology
    • Diploma of Management - 2012 - Proteus
    • Adv Cert Group Facilitation - 2002 - Groupwork Institute of Australia
    • Cert IV Training & Assessment - 1996 - Moreland Adult Education
    • Bch of Multidisciplinary Science (Hons) - 1996 - Curtin University

    Professional Associations

    • Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia

      Quality Provision

      I uphold a high standard of ethics in my practice through my commitment to ongoing personal and professional development (I think they're kind of the same thing).

      I engage in regular clinical supervision, participate in my own therapy, and attend professional develop seminars to deepen my awareness and skills.

      I also maintain professional indemnity insurance and memberships in peak professional associations including the International Association of Process Oriented Psychology (IAPOP).

      Appointments

      Free 20-minute phone chat to check if I'm the right therapist for you (book a time via my website below).

      Sessions available Tue, Wed, Thu, between 10am and 8pm.

      Transport and Parking

      Free one- and two-hour on-street parking, and a one-minute walk from the Fairfield train station.

      Fees

      Individual session: $130
      Relationship session (2+ people): $160

      Payment Options

      Cash or credit card at the end of the session, or direct debit two days before.

      For Skype sessions, credit card at the end of the session, or direct debit/Paypal two days before.



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      10 Questions with Liz Scarfe

      • What led you to choose psychotherapy or counselling as a profession?

      • I'd like to think I knew what led me here, but really, life and the directions it takes us is such a mystery, I probably don't know the full story.

        I started studying Process Oriented Psychology because I saw the depth of insight and awareness about life that it could give me - which is a deep kind of power. So was at first a very personal healing journey because Process Oriented Psychology demands the student do a significant amount of their own therapy, in part because therapy is so much about our capacity to connect with others, and if you haven't done the work to deeply connect with yourself it's impossible to do it with others.

        But I had no intention of actually working as a therapist for the first half of my studies (which were six and a half years). Over time though, I realised I loved the work. People often think being a trauma therapist must be heavy work, and in some ways it is, but therapy is also an incredible celebration of life, strength, creativity, spirit, and survival - so it's incredibly fulfilling work.

        I also feel the activist spirit strongly within me and because Process Oriented Psychology is a liberation psychology (recognising the impact of social marginality and oppression on wellbeing) it sits really well with me. And I feel a lot of harm is done by pathologising approaches to wellbeing so I love that I can offer something different.
      • Which philosophical approaches have influenced your professional/personal development?

      • Although I didn't know it until recently, but I've been a Taoist most of my life. The idea that there is a pattern and a unity throughout the universe that manifests itself through us all (animate and inanimate) just makes sense to how I've always experienced life - that we are interconnected. Trusting this is not always easy because it's not the culture most of us have grown up in, but when I do trust it, life just flows so much better.

        I also spent a lot of my early adult life embedded in the world of non-violence theory and action, which was the start of understanding the different kinds of power available to us all, and that not all power is bad or equal.

        In the last decade or so though, Process Oriented Psychology has been my main influence. It weaves together Taoism, Jungian psychology, quantum physics, communication theory, shamanic tradition, and systemic theory - all of which I love - into a comprehensive awareness model.
      • Which particular aspects of health or the human journey are you interested in?

      • My main interest is in experiences of trauma and the ways in which they can be transformed from experiences that constrict our lives, to ones that actually enable us to become 'more than before' - to become more whole.

        I work mind, body, spirit, relationship and community as trauma impacts us on all these levels. I'm particularly passionate about the spirit and community aspect as I think it is neglected in most approaches (although not indigenous approaches) and gets to the heart of why trauma happens in the first place.

        I'm also very passionate about de-pathologising diversity, both in society but within our own psyches. So much of what troubles us comes from an internal conflict with our own nature, that we imbibed from our families and culture to the point where we take it personally and think we are broken, not good enough, ashamed etc. The greatest joy in my work is seeing people realise they were never broken and that their true self is worthy of love, not something to be ashamed of.
      • What method/s do you use?

      • As clients communicate about what they want to address, their communication signals actually suggest how to best work. I bring these in and make suggestions and then negotiate with the client about how they would like to work.

        Sometimes it might be talking and strategising, other times it will be through deeply internal feeling experiences, sometimes we'll work on things through body movement and postures. Sociodrama and psychodrama (kind of like role play) are also incredibly powerful for some kinds of work.

        Sometimes therapy is more psycho-educational, but I think the experiential work is generally the most powerful.

        I also love working with dreams when clients want to - they are so powerful and so effective at bringing insight and clarity to difficult situations.
      • When do you think the client will start to feel that progress is being made?

      • Progress is made the minute the client books a time to chat about therapy!

        Getting in touch with a therapist is often a scary prospect so even doing that is actually a big step in the direction of self-care - lots of times people have told me they felt better just from having made the call. In this way, it's not even about what happens in therapy, it's that the person has been courageous and taken a risk in service of their wellness. If they keep doing that, progress is almost assured.

        In terms of therapy though, I get to work straight away (I don't spend ages collecting history) because I want to be helpful right from the first session. I expect that clients will at least have new insights, hope, and some strategies for integrating what they are working on, right from the first session.

        It depends on what the goal of the client is though - some people want crisis management and that is achievable in 1-3 sessions generally. Longer term growth, insight and development (the things that help to reduce the amount of crisis in our lives) takes longer of course.

        I also think the concept of progress needs to be unpacked a little though. Life is not a linear journey where things keep 'improving' or 'progressing' as measured by some culturally defined criteria. Life is messy. It's up and down, fun and wretched, joyful and miserable. So it's good to think about what progress means to you, and where did that definition come from. Is it yours, or from the mainstream culture, or from your family?

        I approach therapy as a place to grow, not change. I find people become more well the more they grow into their full self. This is different from 'changing' because the desire to change oneself often comes from a critical or self-shaming inner belief. An inner figure who says "you're not good enough, got change/get fixed": if therapy comes from this perspective it will actually be damaging over time, not healing.
      • How has therapy made you a better person?

      • Oh let me count the ways!!

        I love being in therapy. I was terrified to start with but grew to love it quickly. I remember in my first session I needed to discover if therapy was anything more than middle-class navel-gazing - if that was it, then I wanted no part in it - it needed to somehow serve others, not just me.

        And it has. Therapy has made me kinder to myself and therefore kinder to others. It has deepened my capacity for empathy and compassion, while also strengthened my own boundaries so my compassion is more congruent.

        It has also made me more powerful. This power comes not only from insights but from healing old wounds (which makes you less susceptible to triggering and therefore more grounded, aware and comfortable in life), and from journeying to tough places. It develops psychological and spiritual power basically.

        I think it's also made me smarter. The kind of therapy I do teaches you to think symbolically which develops whole new areas of your brain, as does becoming more aware of self and others.
      • What do you like most about being a therapist?

      • I learn sooooo much in my role, and I get to witness and journey with people as they unfold themselves - it is such a privilege and such a joy.

        It's incredibly juicy and complex work in some ways, and very simple in others, and I love this dichotomy.

        And we're in this together so I really feel that as my clients develop and grow, so do I. And that as I develop and grow, so do my clients.
      • Do you ever have 'bad hair' days?

      • Of course!

        Everyone messes up sometimes. I think the issue is more, can you fess up and fix up? I think I'm pretty good at fixing up if I'm given the chance and I love the opportunity to model my own perfectly imperfect humanity, self-forgiveness and ways to repair relationships.

        On 'apocalyptic hair' days though, I just stay at home.
      • What do you think is the most significant problem we face, in the world today?

      • Lack of connection to spirit, body and community.

        Our cerebral functions have been idolised since the Enlightenment era, and our connection to our bodies and to something bigger than ourselves diminished.

        I think we are starved of real connection and barely know how to create it now, so we sooth ourselves with all kinds of addictive tendencies - substances, but also materialism (shopping), foods, overworking and having lives that are too busy.

        Slowing down, building a good relationship with one's body, finding your own way of connecting to something bigger than yourself, and developing authentic social connections - all of these things are not only helpful for the individual, but for the whole culture.
      • Can you share the name of a book, film, song, event or work of art that inspires you?

      • It's hard to pick just a couple, but in the moment I'm loving Dean Lewis's song Waves - a hauntingly beautiful song about getting bored as you age.

        I also love the work of Eduardo Duran - a too little-known psychologist from the US who works with indigenous first nations people there and weaves together indigenous and colonial approaches to healing.

        I love action films and for a long time The Matrix was my favourite. I also love the Jason Bourne series and Harry Potter (books are better than the films of course) and Brokeback Mountain was a favourite for a long time too.

        In fiction I love anything Annie Proulx, Barbara Kingsolver's Poisonwood Bible, Margaret Atwood, Ben Okri, Neil Gaiman...it's a long list.
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      Ms Liz Scarfe

      Liz Scarfe

      Psychotherapist, Process Oriented Therapist

      Tough times in life aren’t just to be ‘gotten through’ or ‘gotten over’, they’re also doorways to deep insight, power and meaning; you can use them to become ‘more than before’. ...

      • FAIRFIELD
      • Dream Work, Experiential, Jungian, Person Centred, Process Oriented, Psychodynamic, Somatic Psychotherapy, Systems Theory, Transpersonal