About Me

I'm Vanessa

I wholeheartedly believe that even those of us who feel broken can heal and thrive.  Having struggled and navigated my own lived experience with disordered eating, addictions & trauma, I and I can attest to the fact that recovery is possible.

A Little About Me
I’m originally from Germany and have lived, worked and studied in the US, the UK, Israel, India, France and now, Australia is my home.

I can communicate in five languages and understand what it’s like to live in different cultures and feel on the sidelines of dominant groups. I’m a cisgender heterosexual woman and my pronouns are she and her.  I do my own inner work and continue to do my own therapy, bodywork and studies, and am a passionate mental health advocate. 

Curious Fact
I’ve chosen eucalyptus leaves as part of my logo for its healing properties, and evergreen strength. It's native to Australia and it always renews, even after a bushfire. Eucalyptus also has a lovely sage tone, a mix between blue and green. Sage stands for wisdom, intelligence and experience, which I hope to bring to my work as a therapist. It also communicates calm, peace, trust, harmony and growth, which are qualities that I wish you may gain through our work together. 

Professional Qualifications & Registrations

Registered level 4 counsellor with the Australian Counselling Association (ACA No: 5294)

CBT-Eating Disorders, CEWBI (2023)

Deep Brain Reorienting Level 1, ANFI (2023)

Eating Disorder Core Skills, NEDC (2023)

Three-Phase Trauma Treatment & Dissociation trainings, Blue Knot Foundation (2022-2023)

Master of Counselling, University of New England (2019-2022)

Internal Family Systems Level 1 training, IFS Institute (2023)

Internal Family Systems introductory & Immersion Courses, IFS Connections (2021-2022)

Various IFS workshops and courses with Life Architect and PESI (2021-2022)

IFS Circle with the IFS Institute (2022) IFS Continuity Circle with the IFS Institute (2022-2023)

Practice Certificate in Emotion Focused Counselling, Annandale Institute (2020)

Healing Trauma and Addiction with Dr Gabor Mate (2020)

Certified Food Addiction Counsellor, International School for Food Addiction Counselling and Treatment (2018)

Credentialed Advanced Coach, The Coaching Institute (2017)

Deathwalker Training, National Death Care Centre (2017)

Diploma in Counselling (Major Addictions), Australian Institute of Professional Counsellors (2013)

ASIST Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (2014)

Yoga Teacher (200 hours) (2013) Reiki Levels 1 & 2 (2018)

Master of Science, Development Studies, University of London (2007)

Master of Arts, Cultural Heritage Management, Deakin University (2001)

Bachelor of Arts, Art Conservation, University of the Arts (1999) 

hoW I WoRk

I offer a range of different avenues for you to engage with recovery depending on what you find most helpful. You can book 1-1 sessions, or one of my groups or workshops if you’d like to interact with others who are also on a recovery journey, and learn and practice new skills together.

In offering online self-paced educational mini-courses my intention is to provide cost-effective and accessible opportunities to support your personal recovery journey and getting closer to your goals.  

If you see me individually, our work together will be tailored to your goals. I’ve learned that when people come to therapy, everyone is different.

I work with people on a continuum of care. This means that I offer practical and solution-focused recovery strategies and help you build the tools and skills needed for recovery, while also engaging with you in the deeper healing work to give you space to process and heal. I find that this continuum is not always linear. We may shift between two lanes, flowing from the practical to the deeper work and then back to the practical…depending on your unique process and preferences.  

I’m an integrative practitioner. This means that I integrate a number of theories and techniques, which help us consider your thoughts, feelings, body sensations and actions, and draw on the past, present and future.

 I’ll help you get clear on your goals in working with me and we’ll regularly review our process to make sure you feel comfortable.

I am a person-centred and trauma-informed practitioner and welcome whatever you bring to therapy.  I take a solution-focused approach when we work on practical strategies together and use evidence-based Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) strategies commonly used in addictions treatment.

I also offer psychoeducation, providing information, resources and mini-courses to equip you with knowledge and skills for your recovery toolbox.  

I draw on somatic approaches such as focusing, yoga, polyvagal theory and Sensorimotor Psychotherapy (SP) to help you become aware of your body’s messages, regulate your nervous system and navigate your emotional world.

I’m informed by Internal Family Systems therapy, which says that every person is made up of a system of multiple parts with different experiences and (always positive) intentions.

I use mindfulness and curiosity as tools to generate awareness of what drives those parts of us and invite you to get to know your internal system of parts - all parts are welcome!

Speaking Engagements

As a seasoned public speaker on topics around food addiction, eating disorders, including my lived experience, as well as complex trauma, I can be booked for your event, seminar or conference.

I provide educational talks on food addiction, and speak to topics around policy and practice around mental health as well as trauma-informed best practice in the workplace from the perspective of clinician and lived experience either as part of a panel or solo engagement.

I’m a peer ambassador for SANE Australia and am on the Blue Knot Foundation’s Lived and Living Experience Committee.  

Acknowledgement of Country
I recognise the history, culture, diversity and value of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, and acknowledge their Elders past and present.

I acknowledge that sovereignty has never been ceded, and support reconciliation, justice and the recognition of the ongoing living culture of all First Nations people by providing welcoming and culturally informed services. 

Embracing inclusivity and diversity,  I also support a culture of inclusion, respect, choice, voice and diversity and am committed to supporting all people to be mentally well and engaged in their communities.