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Dr Martin Hemsley

Dr Martin Hemsley

Mobile 0410033207
Psychotherapist, Process Oriented Therapist

Mobile 0410033207

I have a passion for working holistically and shamanically, to journey together to not only relieve pain and trauma, but to go further and discover what is meaningful and even magical within the distressing, depressing and disturbing. Following and working with the signals of the body helps us uncover the path to healing and awareness. I work with individuals, couples and groups.



  • Counselling, Psychotherapy, Couples Therapy, Family Therapy, Group Therapy, Clinical Supervision, Phone Consultations, Online Video Consultations 
  • Areas of Special Interest

  • Burnout, Creativity, Dissociative Disorders, Emotional Overwhelm, Existential Issues, Grief / Bereavement, Intimacy Issues, Life Threatening Illness, Life Transitions, Men's Issues, Relationship Issues, Self Development, Spirituality / Religion, Trauma Recovery  
  • MODALITIES / Approach

    Dream Work, Mindfulness, Process Oriented

    Dreamwork, Body focused, Shamanic Unfolding, Spiritual Emergency, Community group processes


    • Diploma of Process Oriented Psychology - 2019 - ANZPOP / IAPOP
    • PhD - 2004 - Southern Cross University (SCU)
    • Bachelor of Applied Science (Nursing)(Honours) - 1994/9 - Uni of New England (UNE) / SCU
    • Postbasic diploma in Mental Health Nursing - 1992 - Royal Canberra Hospital
    • Diploma of Applied Science (Nursing) - RN - 1988 - Northern Rivers CAE

    Professional Associations

    • Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia


    I am a Diplomat in Process Oriented Psychology (Process Work), fully qualified in individual and family therapy, as well as group facilitation and community building in the Process Work model. Process Work is a model which is trauma-informed and person centered, and employs body-focused methods to creatively unfold your 'gold' beneath the pain and distress.
    I have a PhD focusing on Healing and Holism, and a professional understanding of mental and physical health and illness.
    I am accredited with PACFA - Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia.


    Hour-long appointments, available for longer appointments as needed.
    Initial consultations for couples or family groups - 2 hours.
    Flexible, I can be available out of business hours.
    Appointments in person or by phone, Zoom or Skype


    $150 per hour.

    Payment Options

    Direct deposit, Credit, PayPal, Cash

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    10 Questions with Martin Hemsley

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

    • I have always had a caring attitude and curiosity about people.
      I have a close family member with Schizophrenia and wanted to know how to be useful for people experiencing extreme states of consciousness. I wanted to find meaning in the midst of the difficulty of growing up with someone who experienced psychosis. I worked as a nurse in general and mental health fields.
      After undergoing profound shamanic spiritual experiences I became very interested in healing and the life paths of healers, and wrote my PhD on this. (Later I wrote my book 'Here There be Soul-Eaters: Sacred Journeys of Nurse Healers' from the PhD).
      Experiencing psychotherapy during the completion of my PhD led me to study Process Work (Process Oriented Psychology).
      I am particularly interested in practicing from a framework which does not pathologise the disturbances people go through. Rather, Process Work seeks to uncover the deep meaning and learning held within disturbance. This was particularly helpful for me as a client of therapy, not having my painful and confusing experiences labelled as pathology.
    • Which philosophical approaches have influenced your professional/personal development?

    • I grew up in a Catholic family. In my adult life I have been very influenced by Buddhism and Taoism, and for the past 25 years by shamanism and Jungian psychology, which underlies Process Work.
      I have found myself to have a shamanic aspect to my nature, I embody at times the wild energies and 'dream-characters' which populate the inner and outer worlds of the first peoples of our planet. In many ways my personal development path has been for the more ordinary and shamanic parts of myself to find co-existence with each other. Working as a psychotherapist / Process Worker involves both of these aspects of myself, and so is deeply satisfying for me.
    • Which particular aspects of health or the human journey are you interested in?

    • I am captivated by how working with disturbances - intrapsychic, emotional, in relationships, in engagement with the world, in body processes, in dreams - how valuing these disturbances and being curious about them and following what is trying to happen in them, leads to relief, growth, awareness and empowerment. It is an alchemical process and incredibly satisfying to be part of and to serve as a therapist or facilitator
      Process Work is commonly described as an 'awareness method', and awareness is what I am most interested in.
    • What method/s do you use?

    • I use observation and awareness of what is happening in the moment and what is present in the person's signals which is indicating what is trying to happen. The skills are related to unfolding in specific communication channels - visual, sound / auditory, feeling, movement, relationship and also how the outside world is present for the person's process in the moment.
      Bringing specific feeling attitudes to the work - what we call 'meta-skills' is critical. These include curiosity, love, trust in the process, playfulness, humour, emptiness, openness or boldness.
      Thus, I work in a way which is dynamic and responsive to the momentary signals in the person before me and in myself. There is also sometimes role-play which can be helpful to process relationship processes within the individual or with other people.
      All of this is in the context of knowledge of people and their health challenges and their need to be held and supported in the therapeutic relationship.
    • When do you think the client will start to feel that progress is being made?

    • It is common for people to feel some relief from their symptoms at the first session. It is of course important to keep in mind that many issues are long-term and are connected to deep mythic processes, so sometimes a number of sessions are needed, depending of the goals of the person seeking therapy.
    • How has therapy made you a better person?

    • Therapy for me has bee a great journey of self-discovery. Through it I have gained more self awareness and composure. I have experienced relief from issues such as anxiety and low self-esteem, and to have healing of past traumas. I have learned to be more self-reliant.
      More importantly it has been a journey of becoming more empowered and able to be more useful in the world. And still more importantly for me personally, it has given me the opportunity to find that the very different aspects or dynamics in my nature can co-exist productively.
      Overall, I think I am more present to myself and those I'm close to. I'm more realistic and flexible, and manage my practical affairs better. I handle stressful situations better than I used to.
      And going through therapy has made it possible for me to be a therapist to myself, and of course to have the great privilege of working closely with others with awareness and skill, to assist them where they are most troubled.
    • What do you like most about being a therapist?

    • Working closely and creatively with people. Getting to know people and being surprised by them. Seeing someone come in distress and leaving relieved. Feeling parts of me engaged which otherwise would have been neglected. Therapy I think brings out the best in me.
    • Do you ever have 'bad hair' days?

    • Blimey, my hair is often so bad! Being human is not easy, I think. I can be anxious, feel overwhelmed and a bit shut down at times.
    • What do you think is the most significant problem we face, in the world today?

    • Where to start? Intolerance, prejudice, injustice in its many many forms. Blindness to privilege.
      Also, I think a huge problem is being caught in a narrow sense of who we are - we are so much more than what the dominant voices in our culture say we are, we are distanced from our inner selves and the bigger sense of self that comes with altered states and direct connection with the larger consciousness (however we may conceive that). Being deprived of that makes us feel chronically depressed and dissatisfied, and vulnerable to addictions.
    • Can you share the name of a book, film, song, event or work of art that inspires you?

    • "The Shaman's Body" by Arnold Mindell
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    Dr Martin Hemsley

    Martin Hemsley

    Psychotherapist, Process Oriented Therapist

    Let's work together to find the meaning within the pain and confusion. Even traumatic experiences can eventually reveal inner strength, insight and a capacity to live more fully. I work from a lovely creative space with images and artifacts which resonate with the inner and outer worlds.
    I am the author of the book "Here There be Soul-Eaters: Sacred Journeys of Nurse Healers", which was published in 2019 by Eldership Academy Press....

    • Byron Bay
    • Dream Work, Mindfulness, Process Oriented