Theresa was born in Melbourne and began yoga classes at the Gita School in 1975, and continued learning and practicing while travelling overseas in India, England and New Zealand. She started teaching in 1979 in Taupo, New Zealand, and continues to teach group classes and privately.
She believes yoga and meditation are a therapy within themselves, and encourages others to embrace the traditional practices as a form of self-care, and a way to maintain wellbeing and optimum health, and thereby reduce the harmful effects of stress and potential related illness.
Alongside her general classes, for many years she specialised in yoga and meditation for women during pregnancy and as a birth preparation, focusing on the importance of nourishing themselves during this brief and precious time in their lives - and to spend time and bond with their baby before the birth. These classes included the invaluable benefits gained from the traditional yoga breathing techniques, specific meditations and visualisations, and hypno-birthing practices. She has held birth preparation workshops for pregnant women and other workshops including their birth support, with the focus on teaching skills to use during pregnancy and the birth - skills that would become beneficial to use throughout life. She has three books published on conscious birthing with yoga and meditation for pregnancy, and CD’s.
In 1984 Theresa qualified as a Naturopath from the South Pacific College of Natural Medicine in New Zealand, and then completed a BASc in Traditional Medicine in Australia, with additional Diplomas in Herbal Medicine and Therapeutic Massage. In 2014 she completed postgraduate studies in Counselling from ACAP, and in 2018 gained a Masters in Human Services with a major in Disability Studies from Griffith University.
She plans to include Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction programs for caregivers, to reduce the inherent stress within their role and prevent physical and psychological symptoms arising, including exhaustion and burnout. A book on caregivers being the 'hidden patient' is being completed, emphaising the importance of self-care for caregivers, with gentle yoga and mindfulness practices. She has two sons and lives on the Gold Coast in the hinterland.
She works with pregnant women in preparation for birth including birth preparation workshops for the pregnant woman and birth support, with specific skills for labour and birth including yoga breathing techniques, mindfulness practices, massage techniques, and Hypnobirthing. She also holds Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) programs and full day workshops. Her aim is to bring together experiences and knowledge from life experiences, working life and educational skills for a holistic approach to body / mind medicine and therapy.
In her counselling work Theresa uses a range of different therapies including Person - centered Therapy, Psychodynamic Therapy, ACT, Existential Therapy, Narrative Therapy, CBT, and Art Therapy. The yoga breathing techniques and Mindfulness practices are sometimes used in conjunction for additional benefits.
"The word 'healing' has its roots in the Greek holos, the same word that has given us 'whole' and 'holistic' ... herbal medicine recognises that herbs can work on the whole being, not just on specific systems" (Hoffmann, 1996, p. 10). Herbal medicine is a system of traditional medicine that uses plant extracts exclusively where the active constituents are extracted in a number of ways to be easily absorbed by the body for optimum function. It is the oldest form of medicine having been used by cultures throughout the ages, with information passed down from generation to generation. Much of modern medicine has its origins in this traditional healing system.
Herbal medicine is a holistic approach to healing and health - meaning it is about the whole person - body, mind, emotions and spirit. Herbalists aim to use herbs that match the individual's specific needs with the aim to restore balance and wellbeing in the whole person. Herbal medicine has been researched extensively for safety and therapeutic benefits, and has been shown to successfully support the healing process in many health problems and in a range of symptoms. It is often used in-conjunction with modern medicine, and including other forms of healing. Theresa has been practicing herbal medicine since 1991.
Hoffman, D. (1996). The complete illustrated holistic herbal: A safe and practical guide to making and using Herbal remedies. UK: Element Books limited.
Brown, W., & Ryan, R. (2003).
The benefits of being present: Mindfulness and its role in psychological wellbeing. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 84 (4).
Bruce, N., Manber, R., Shapiro, S., & Constantino, M. (2010).
Psychotherapist mindfulness and the psychotherapy process. Psychotherapy Theory, Research, Practice, Training, 47 (1), 83-97.
Caltabiano, M., Sarafino, E., Byrne, D. (2008).
Health Psychology: Biopsychosocial interactions. (2nd ed.). Milton, Australia: John Wiley & Sons.
Campenni, E., Muse-Burke, J., & Richards, K. (2010).
Self-care and wellbeing in mental health professionals: The Meditating effects of self-awareness and mindfulness. Journal of Mental Health Counselling, 32.
Carmody, J., & Baer, R. (2007).
Relationships between mindfulness practice and levels of mindfulness, medical and psychological symptoms and wellbeing in a mindfulness based stress reduction program. Journal of Behavioural Medicine. 31, (1) 23-33.
Chopra, D. (1993).
Ageless body, timeless mind. New York: Harmony Books.
Chopra, D. & Simon, D. (2004).
The seven spiritual laws of yoga. New Jersey, John Wiley & Sons.
Dalai Lama, (1994).
The Way to Freedom. London: Thorsons.
Dalai Lama, (2001).
Stages of Meditation: Training the mind for wisdom. London: Rider.
Dass, R. (2000).
Still here: Embracing aging, changing & dying. Australia: Hodder Headline.
Germer, C. (2009).
The mindful path to self-compassion. New York: Guilford Press.
Germer, C., Siegel, R., & Fulton, P. (2013).
Mindfulness and psychotherapy. (2nd Ed). New York: Guilford Press.
Goldsmith, C., & Li, A. (2012).
The effects of yoga on anxiety and stress. Alternative Medicine Review: A Journal of Clinical therapeutic, 17(1).
Kabat-Zinn, J. (1990).
Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain and Illness. New York: Delta Trade Paperbacks.
Kabat-Zinn, J. (1994).
Wherever you go, there you are. Mindfulness meditation for everyday life. New York: Hyperion.
Khyentse, D. (1994).
The wish fulfilling jewel. Boston: Shambhala.
Ludwig, D., & Kabat-Zinn, J. (2008).
Mindfulness in medicine. American Medical Association, JAMA 300(1).
Lyengar, B. (1966).
Light on yoga. New York: Schocken Books.
Murphy, M. (2006).
Taming the Anxious Mind: An 8 - Week Mindfulness Meditation Group at a University Counselling Centre. Journal of College Student Psychotherapy 2, (2.)
Neff, K., Kirkpatrick, K., & Rude, S. (2006).
Self-compassion and adaptive psychological functioning. Journal of Research in Personality 41,139 -14.
Sherry, B. (2011).
Meditation may ease depression in dementia caregivers. Clinical Psychiatry News, 39(8).
Siegel, D. (2007).
The mindful brain: Reflections and attunement in the cultivation of wellbeing. New York: Norton.
Siegel, D. (2009).
Mindsight: Change your brain and your life. Australia: Scribe Publications Pty Ltd.
Siegel, D. (2009b).
Mindful awareness, mindsight and neural integration. The Humanistic Psychologist, 37, pp 137 -158.
Siegel, R. (2010).
The mindfulness solution: Everyday practices for everyday problems. New York: The Guilford Press.
Satyananda, S. (1966).
Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha. India: Bihar School of Yoga.
Shapiro, S., Astin, J., Bishop, S., & Cordova, M. (2005).
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction for health care professionals: Results from a randomized trial. International Journal of Stress Management, 12 (2), 164-176.
Sogyal Rinpoche, 1994.
Meditation. London: Rider Books.
Stahl, B., & Goldstein, E. (2010).
The Mindfulness-Based Stress reduction workbook. Oakland CA: New Harbinger publications, Inc.
Turner, K. (2009).
Mindfulness: The present moment in clinical social work. Clinical Social Work Journal 37, 95-103.
Varambally, S., Vidyendaran, S., Sajjanar, M., Thirthalli, J., Hamza, A., Nagendra, H.,& Gangadhar, B. (2013).
Yoga-based intervention for caregivers of outpatients with psychosis: A randomized controlled pilot study. Asian Journal of Psychiatry, 6 pp. 141–145.
Williams, M., Teasdale, H., Segal, Z., & Kabat-Zinn, J. (2007).
The mindful way through depression: Freeing yourself from chronic unhappiness. New York: The Guilford Press.