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Alana Stewart

Director, Registered Art Therapist, Counsellor, Forest Therapy Guide

Location & Availability:

Yellow Gum Art Therapy Studio - Mill Park
Online: Zoom

Monday to Thursday

Welcome,

My name is Alana and my pronouns are she/her/hers. I am a Registered Art Therapist and Counsellor with ANZACATA (Professional Level) and PACFA (Reg.Clinical 30669). I am also the owner of Finding Wellbeing (Registered NDIS Provider) and its Yellow Gum Art Therapy Studio location.

I am a professional therapist who works alongside certified therapy dog, Evie the mini groodle. I have lived experience of neurodivergence and personal connection to disability, mental ill health and autism through my close family relations. My personal interests are: trying new crafts, learning pottery, adventures in nature, animals, learning about social sciences and learning about neurodivergence.

I value being a non-judgmental, curious and an open-minded person. I strive to be anti-sexist, anti-ablest, anti-racist, anti-oppression and anti-stigma. Informed by personal and professional lived experience, I feel passionately about upholding the values of the social model of disability, trauma awareness/trauma-informed approach and the neurodiversity paradigm. I work with a neuro-affirming, gender-affirming, sex-positive and LGBTQIA+ affirming therapeutic approach. I welcome those of all gender identities, sexual and relationship orientations, faith groups, races, ethnicities, cultural groups and people of all walks of life.

My journey towards becoming a therapist began in my late adolescence to early adulthood after experiencing personal healing and growth through creative expression and the arts myself. I became deeply interested in learning about psychology and expressing through my favorite art forms. Through these interests I came to train as an Art Therapist and have dedicated myself to a continual learning journey about trauma, mental health, neurodiversity, psychotherapy and creative methods for healing. This has enabled me to do what I truly enjoy, supporting other community members from all walks of life with their mental health and healing journeys. 

My therapeutic approach is grounded in humanistic and person-centered counselling and psychotherapy with a primary focus on trauma and/or mental health recovery and personal empowerment. I encourage self-expression through image/art making and other creativity for self-exploration, self-discovery, and deeper learning about self. I listen with patience, respect and honor my clients lived experience.

Experience

  • *Past work experience - disability & community services field, since 2012 (read more below)

  • Bachelor of Arts (Psychology), Psychology degree with minor in visual art - ACU, completed 2015 

  • Masters of Art Therapy - within School of Psychology and Public Health, La Trobe University, completed 2018

  • Registered Art Therapist (AThR) - Professional Member of ANZACATA, since 2018 

  • Started Private Practice - Finding Wellbeing Art Therapy & Counselling, May 2019

  • Registered NDIS Provider - Therapy Supports: Art Therapist, since 2019

  • Studio Director - Yellow Gum Art Therapy Studio, officially opened Jan 2022

  • Certified Forest Therapy Guide - Certified & Accredited Guide and member of: International Nature and Forest Therapy Alliance (INFTA), since 2023

  • Certified Therapy Dog Handler - Therapy Animals Australia, since 2023

  • Clinical PACFA Member, (Reg.Clinical 30669), College of Counselling - since 2024


*Prior to becoming an Art Therapist, Alana holds a long work history in community and disability services since 2012. She first worked as a disability support worker for several years then moved into youth community support work with children and adolescents in out of home care impacted by trauma. In 2019 she worked as a mental health practitioner with Mind Australia with NDIS participants impacted by psychosocial disability before becoming an NDIS provider herself and starting her private practice.

Alana's Art Therapy masters training also included working as a student therapist at the Alfred Hospital in psychiatric inpatient ward and for Mind Australia in a subclinical Prevention and Recovery Centre (PARC). 


 

Evie, the therapy dog



Evie (she/her) works with Alana at Yellow Gum Studio. She is a medium sized (adult knee height) mini groodle born in 2021. Her mum was half golden retriever and half mini poodle and her dad was a mini poodle making her an F1B Groodle. Her fur is a lovely redish brown and non-shedding.


Evie is a fast learner and loves to perform some tricks. She also loves pats and likes to be closeby to people. She enjoys sitting up on her chair to watch people make art or having a nap.


Evie has been trained and certified by Therapy Animals Australia extensively to be safe for working with all kinds of people of all ages. It is important that clients still listen to Alana, her handler, on how to approach Evie to help her ongoing training as a therapy dog.


Alana Stewart
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