About

Shuwana is a registered Counsellor and Psychotherapist with:

PACFA (Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation Australia)
HTA (Holistic Therapists Australia)
GANZ (Gestalt Australia & New Zealand)

Her qualifications include:

Masters in Gestalt Therapy (Counselling & Psychotherapy)
Advanced Clinical training in Relational Gestalt Psychotherapy
Certificate IV in Counselling (Spirituality & Religious influences)
Bachelor of IT (Business Information Systems)

Shuwana has also spent the last several years immersed in conscious embodied non-dual awakening work, that informs who she is, and how she practices. Her earlier years were spent working extensively in the corporate sector both nationally and internationally, which eventually led her to leave the industry to pursue deeper connections with people in a more personal and meaningful way.  

Shuwana takes a holistic approach to well-being. She assists people in developing greater awareness of their thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, interpersonal dynamics, behaviour patterns, and the current and historical contexts that influence and shape their way of being in the world.

She also nurtures and allows for the innate wisdom of each person to come forth, enriched by their growing capacity for deeper trust and self-compassion, and enables the discovery of one’s own unique path for evolution, so finely crafted by the circumstances of one’s life.

Shuwana has worked in community settings, psychology clinics, private practice, as well as Employee Assistance Programs (EAP), and has assisted clients from diverse backgrounds, and diverse spiritual, religious, gender and sexual orientations.

RELATIONAL GESTALT THERAPY

Gestalt therapy began a revolution in psychotherapy and was reaction to the theory driven rigidities of Psychoanalysis and Behavioural psychology. Gestalt Therapy has changed and grown over the years from the original ‘hot seat’ experimental methods of Fritz Perls, to now a much more refined current practice, inclusive of the relational dialogic method, characterised by deep presence, resonance and attunement with one another.

Relational Gestalt psychotherapy is a holistic, integrative, humanistic, existential and experiential therapy. It is based on embodied self-awareness, an authentic relational meeting with another and pays attention to process and phenomena, not just content.

A creative and experiential therapy, centred on one’s experience in the present moment , the 4-5 year training includes the requirement for the practitioner to undergo extensive and vigorous personal work/therapy, and a commitment to do so on an ongoing basis.

Gestalt’s main focus is in the here and now – what’s happening in the room, and between us. Even though we may be talking about the past, the Gestalt therapist will invite you to make contact with what gets evoked in you in the present moment, as you talk about a past experience. Aspects of how we are in the world, will also invariably show up in the therapy room, which can then be explored in its larger context (out there).

Gestalt therapy is non-pathologizing at its heart, as it seeks to understand how a behaviour makes sense, given the context and conditions from which it originally arose, and the resources and supports that were available.

Once we have identified what is showing up in the room, the work is then to bring greater awareness, clarity, and compassion towards this aspect of ourselves. The Paradoxical Theory of Change is that change cannot happen until there is an awareness and acceptance of how one truly is. Only then there is room for change to occur organically.

We may then together create mini experiments in the therapy room to try on new ways of being. These experiments are negotiated with you and the level of difficulty is adjusted as necessary. Experiments can take many different forms, and is unique to each persons’ process. The aim of these experiments are to heighten awareness and integration of new ways of being in an embodied lived experience way.

Gestalt therapy’s aim is to bring awareness to our needs or how we don’t meet our needs, and allow understanding to emerge where these needs may or may not be realistically met.

Gestalt’s definition of health is one of flexibility – the capacity to move fluidly through all the different things that are expected and required of us in life, and to increase our range of choices in our responsiveness to ourselves, others and our environment.

Copyright @ Shuwana Shiraze 2020