Self Actualisation Project
Lisa Ritchie, Counselling Psychologist
Individual Counselling, Creative Workshops, and tailored Group Programs
Telehealth and Croydon South, Melbourne Victoria
There is often a gap between where we are in life and where we most desire to be. The larger the gap, the more unsatisfied we feel. Sometimes the gap is about purpose, meaning or fulfilling work. Sometimes it is about relationships, boundary setting or prioritising your emotional needs. As we go through life, we often adopt patterns that don’t serve us. Don’t worry, this is normal! For you, this might be painful self-beliefs that formed in childhood or coping strategies that worked for you once, but now cause you harm.
Lisa is a psychologist who helps people create change in their lives. Her counselling combines practical strategies and evidence-based therapy (which you can read more about below) with creative, expressive, and narrative work to ‘go deeper’, help you make sense of your experiences and chart a plan for moving forward.
Reach out to Lisa via the contact section below and she will be in touch to chat more about how counselling can help you.
Lisa works with adults facing all kinds of difficulties. People seek her assistance when they are feeling ‘blah’ and ‘meh’ or know deep down that something is ‘off’ even if they are not quite sure what it is.
In counselling, Lisa works with you on two levels:
-practical, evidence-based strategies to assist you with a specific challenge or build a skill that helps with life (like cultivating your ability to tolerate difficult emotion states, for example).
-deeper, reflective therapies to increase insight and address enduring patterns at the level of their roots to promote significant change over the longer term.
Lisa believes that your story is your greatest resource, even the parts that include trial, tribulation, and pain. She works to a model of self-actualisation, which is just a fancy way of saying that her therapy is less about what’s going wrong in your life and more about how we expand and build on the things that are already going right. (And trust me, they are there!)
Lisa works with you to cultivate courage and build the emotional resources to live an authentic, fulfilling, whole-hearted life. For some people, this might look like:
-Help with grief, heartbreak or burnout
-Fostering self-compassion and the ability to really "back yourself" during times of upheaval or challenge
-Exploring long-held family patterns that contribute to people pleasing or difficulty holding your "no"
-Finding out who you really are and developing insight into what makes you tick after years of conditioning and "shoulds" from others and society
-Compassionately and firmly dismantling the inner critic who grabs the mic whenever you move towards the things you most deeply want
- Freeing yourself from the trap of perpetual striving and learning how to work with painful emotions rather than be consumed by them.
There are a number of therapies Lisa uses to help you shift painful core beliefs and build practical skills for managing difficult emotions and life transitions. These include:
-cognitive behavioural therapy
-acceptance and commitment therapy
-Mindfulness and self-compassion practices
Reflection and meaning-making are important components for long-lasting change. For this reason, Lisa also draws on narrative, and story-based therapies as well as tools offered by depth psychology (such as myth and archetype) to help you create a more aligned, authentic, and joyful life.
Cost is $220 per 50-60 minute session. Eligible clients can receive a $88.20 session rebate through GP referral / mental health care plan for up to 20 sessions per calendar year.
Lisa doesn’t have capacity to provide wrap around care to people experiencing moderate to severe mental health challenge or current crisis. She prioritises people getting the best and most suitable care for their circumstances and will point you in the right direction for a higher level of care when necessary.
Lisa is an experienced workshop facilitator with a knack for helping busy people discover quick and effective tools to create change and increase wellbeing in their personal and professional loves. She develops needs-based content that provides relevant, psychological information in a no-fuss, relatable format that expands your perspective, occasionally makes you laugh (in recognition) and leaves you with something tangible to take-away.
Lisa is also a compelling storyteller who knows how to use stories, old and new, to breathe life into an audience and increase the impact of a message. Lisa has used her knowledge of stories, narrative therapy, and depth psychology to create a series of workshops that are rich, engaging and psychologically relevant for the challenges of an uncertain world.
Original and on-demand workshops include:
-The Hero’s Journey: A Reflective Tool for Navigating Change, Challenge and Chaos
In this two-hour workshop, participants are guided through a personal ‘hero/heroines journey’ and how to apply elements of the journey to their own lives and real-world challenges- with the aim of becoming the protagonist (or main character) in their own story rather than a victim of circumstance. Workshop participants report that creative exercises in this class contribute to expanded perspectives of challenge, stress, and periods of hardship.
-Symbolism and Enchantment: The Psychological Function of Fairy tales
In this two-hour workshop participants get curious about the psychological function of our favourite fairy tales and explore the language of symbolism. For example, you may not have been deliberately deserted in the woods like Hansel and Gretel, but many of us know what it feels like to be cast out and have to find our way back home. This class involves exploration of the fairy tale ‘blue-print’, followed by all things fantastical and symbolic, before arriving at a deeper meaning that contributes something of importance to audience members in the here and now.
Previous workshops delivered by Lisa include:
-Staying Connected (A series about community connection during 2020-21 lockdowns)
-Mental health in helping professions
-Burn out prevention in teaching professions
-Series of seminars on Post Traumatic Growth
-Mindfulness for wellbeing
-Paper presentations on research undertaken in the fields of Post Traumatic Growth and Group Therapy Programs for family violence recovery
People are often intimated by idea of group therapy- and this is very sensible! Group therapy provides a mirror that allows us to meet hidden and hard to find parts of ourselves in the reflections provided by others. This is an invitation for self-awareness, personal mastery and enhanced relationship skills. Group work involves the creation of a powerful container in which like-minded people support the growth and development of one another- this is what makes group work a transformative process.
Lisa has developed various group programs from narrative groups exploring symbolism and story through to practical skills-based programs drawing on CBT, ACT and Positive Psychology principles.
Previous therapy programs facilitated by Lisa, include:
-Narrative therapy groups
-Practical skill building for improved mental health
-Dyadic therapy group for family violence recovery
-Mindfulness groups for workplace and community groups
-Acceptance and Commitment based groups for depression and anxiety
-Smart Recovery Group (support for addictive behaviours based on cognitive behavioural principles)
Please reach out if you are interested in discussing a group program tailored to the needs of your organisation or community group.
I am a counselling psychologist who has worked with people facing all kinds of difficulties. I’ve been described as warm, non-judgemental and easy to talk to.
In our work together I will develop an understanding your backstory as well as your unique combination of personality traits, character strengths and core values. These are important factors for us to consider in developing a treatment plan that will be effective for you.
I completed a Master of Counselling Psychology in 2014 at La Trobe University where I won an award for my research on Post Traumatic Growth. Since then, I have completed additional training in Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprocessing, Schema Therapy and Narrative Therapy.
I have honed my therapeutic skills over an eight-year period in which I have worked across private and community settings. In my practice, I regularly observe the power of stories to assist us to make sense of ourselves, other people and the world. This is why I blend my psychological tool kit with my love of myth and story, in the aim of helping you to know yourself more deeply.
Outside of work, I can be found with my head in a book or lost of a hiking trail in the outskirts of Melbourne.