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CATHARSIS: RELEASE THROUGH EXPRESSIVE ART - Created and run by health professionals for health professionals.

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Do you feel run down, exhausted, burnt out?

Working as a counsellor or therapist can be a difficult job as practitioners are often required to work with emotional, vulnerable and distressed people. It is important to have reliable self-care tools to avoid burnout, as the biggest demand is ongoing stress.

This workshop is designed to support health practitioners – counsellors, psychotherapists, mental health clinicians, allied health professionals etc. – in dealing with vicarious trauma/ burnout through expressive arts for ongoing self-care in both their professional and personal development.

The workshop activities are aimed at teaching practitioners to understand the importance of self-care, to strengthen the connection with their sense of inner regulation and embodiment, and to release any current stress through artistic catharsis.

The objective of this 1 day workshop is to interactively assist practitioners in discovering and experiencing effective tools for self-care using expressive art therapy approach – connecting, grounding and revitalising you from within.

It is important to recognise the signs of burnout:

• Loss of motivation and energy
• Feeling helpless or hopeless, as if your work is pointless
• Chronic fatigue
• Becoming overly cynical
• Becoming “closed off” to any input
• Irritability or quickness to anger
• Depression or anxiety


Causes of burnout can be various:
• Clients loads are too high
• Feeling of a lack of control over your work
• Too little reward for the work being done
• A breakdown in support from colleagues
• Clashes between your values as a therapist and your workplace demands
• Vicarious trauma
• Compassion fatigue

This experiential workshop will help you to deal with:

• Vicarious trauma
• Compassion fatigue
• Professional burnout

The workshop incorporates a combination of Expressive Art therapies, Somatic Experiencing and Mindfulness approaches. The workshop content is interactive, offering experiential exercises, self-inquiry, painting/drawing, creative journaling and the opportunity for self-reflection.

The workshop is approved by Australian Counselling Association (ACA) for 5 hours of OPD.

There is a growing body of evidence for the practice and efficacy of Expressive Arts Therapy. Latest research shows that Art Therapy is an effective intervention to work with and release deep seated unconscious material as the creative process enables a connection to and processing of sensory and feeling states that reach beyond the limits of verbal communication. The use of expressive techniques encourages people to perceive themselves and the world in new and different ways.

Another rationale for using expressive therapies are their effectiveness in facilitating change in those who have experienced trauma, including vicarious trauma and professional burnout. Expressive therapies offer a way of externalising these powerful experiences so they feel less threatening, which can lead to increased emotional processing and healing. 

Throughout the day, practitioners will have an opportunity to explore and experience emotional and energetic release through the use of expressive art therapy, mindfulness and body processing, resulting in: 

  • Creative flow

  • Catharsis 

  • A new sense of self

  • Insight

  • Integration and connection

  • Renewed sense of wellbeing 

  • Clarity and focus

Workshop schedule

9 – 9.30am Registration

9.30am Welcome

10am Art Therapy session

12.30pm Lunch (Healthy and nutritious vegan and vegetarian food provided)

1.30 – 2pm Mindfulness Walk (weather permitting)

2 – 3.30pm Art Therapy session continued.

3.30 - 3.45pm Tea break (herbal tea and fruits provided)

3.45 – 4.45pm Relaxation Activity

4.45 – 5.15pm Meditation

5.15-5.30pm Closure

What’s provided: 

All equipment and resources for your art session.

Lunch and afternoon tea. 

Your artwork is yours to keep!

What to bring:

An open mind ☺

Flexible comfortable clothing - bring socks, layers, wraps and shawls for indoor comfort, and suitable footwear and jackets for outdoor activities.


Early Bird (pay by 03/06/2019) - $350, Standard Cost - $400

Enquiries and bookings:

(02) 95405009

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About us

Ghada El-Semaani

Ghada El-Semaani

Ghada El-Semaani (Bc Nat HSc (Highest Hon.), Dip of Counselling, Dip Rem Mas (Dist.), Hemaview Adv. Prac., Dip of Architecture) 

Ghada has 15 years experience in clinical Naturopathy. Ghada has run various seminars, presentations and workshops on the topic of Naturopathy in Australia (at schools, gyms, community organisations) and overseas. She has also run professional health education seminars at her private practice and delivered presentations on the importance of healthy nutrition for school children and their parents. 

Natalia Zmicerevska

Natalia Zmicerevska

Natalia Zmicerevska (BPsych (Clin), Grad Dip Counselling, MPsych (Counselling)

Natalia is a  Counsellor and Psychotherapist in private practice and a Clinical Researcher at Brain and Mind Centre, University of Sydney; Clinical member of PACFA, Clinical Member of HTA (Holistic Therapists Australia). Natalia specialises in integrative holistic and transpersonal approaches to psychotherapy. She has facilitated groups, workshops and presentations in the area of body-mind processing, mindfulness, non-ordinary states of consciousness and dreamwork since 2007. Natalia also has more than 10 years experience conducting research studies and clinical trials in the area of youth mental health. 

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