more information about each session and speaker

Monday 2​
7:00 - 9:30pm
Andrew Olsen
Symptoms as Strategies in Stories
Monday 13​
7:00 - 9:30pm
Owen Robinson
Child Trauma
Monday 6​
7:00 - 9:30pm
Wilma Brokaar
Monday 24​
7:00 - 9:30pm
Wilma Brokaar
Exploring children’s experiences
and feelings through creative and
expressive activities
Sand play
Monday 5​
7:00 - 9:30pm
Lyn Varty
Abuse, Neglect and Abortion
Monday 16​
6:30 - 9:30pm
Amy Chai
Early Adulthood (Age 20 to 35)
Love & Work
End of year Christmas dinner
Andrew Olsen Profile
Andrew Olsen is a private-practice psychologist, leadership trainer, and ministry resource
creator living in Perth, Australia. He studied at University of Melbourne, UWA and Colorado
Christian University. His family has recently returned from 7+ years of missionary work
counselling and training missionaries in the USA. Andrew is an enthusiast about Theology,
Scripture, Philosophy, Pedagogy, Anthropology and Group Process, all poorly disguised as
Symptoms as Strategies in Stories​
March 2015)
How symptoms are constructed, performed, easily traded, are never the problem, and are
never defeated until their function is made obsolete."
Owen Robinson Profile:
Owen has been married for 29 years and has an adult daughter and son. He worked in
secondary schools for 20 years, 5 years of which he was a school counsellor. He went on to
work as a counsellor and later as a branch manager for Relationships Australia. Owen worked
part-time in private practice from 1999, before going full-time in private practice. Owen has
had 5 years experience working in adult mental health for the Health Department.
Owen co-authored a crisis intervention policy for an Australian private school system and
served on the Family and Domestic Violence regional committees in Fremantle and Midland.
He co-authored the Family and Domestic Violence staff development mandatory competency
module for Armadale Health Service. Owen holds several qualifications: BED (Science), BSW,
MA (Counselling), Grad Dip Management; and is a Medicare accredited mental health specialist
social worker/counsellor in private practice.
Trauma ​
April 2015)
Owen attended a Child Trauma conference in Melbourne last August; he will share some
current ideas from world thought-leaders on Child Trauma.
Child Trauma takes many forms:
● physical abuse or absence of protection from it
● verbal/emotional abuse or absence of protection from it
● sexual abuse or absence of a protective response upon disclosure, or neglect
The emphasis during this presentation/case discussion will be on the impacts that neglect can
have upon adults. Often adult survivors of emotional neglect are mystified as to why they
should have such marked anxiety and anger issues to address. We will demystify much of that
puzzle together. Some time will be given to addressing ways that neglect can play out in
intimate adult relationships.
Wilma Brokaar Profile:
Wilma Brokaar is a social worker, trainer and supervisor with over 20 years of experience.
Wilma has worked in the Health Sector, Community Services and Children and Youth Services
both in Australia and overseas. Wilma has trained extensively with a focus on play therapy,
developmental trauma and attachment.
Wilma trained in play therapy, the effects of trauma and neglect on children’s development
and ways to overcome those experiences. Wilma is working with children, young people and
their families to help them recover from traumatic experiences. Wilma feels passionate about
advocating for the needs of children and young people and assisting parents to create and
maintain a supportive family environment.
Part 1: Exploring children’s experiences and feelings through creative and expressive
activities (​
​July 2015)
This 2 hour interactive, experiential workshop offers a framework and simple techniques to
explore children’s experiences and feelings. It focuses on one of the many ways in which you
could work with children and activities can be added to your toolbox. You can practice with
therapeutic cards and drawings and learn how to:
• Facilitate the activities
• Listen with your ears, eyes and heart
• Focus on the process rather than the outcome
• Use the activity to strengthen the therapeutic relationship
• Apply basic non directive play therapy techniques, such as tracking and mirroring
Wilma Brokaar
Topic Part 2: Sand play​
Basic techniques to facilitate sand tray work.
Lyn Varty Profile:
Lyn's counselling experience comes from a background of over 20 years experience in pastoral
ministry, formal qualifications and training overseas; specialising in neglect, abuse and all
forms of pregnancy loss including abortion grief.
Lyn has a private practice, Mangers Connections Counselling and is committed to providing
professional, ethical counselling. She provides professional supervision and mentors students
at both a degree and graduate level in higher education. Students are placed with Lyn as part
of the Counselling Practicum component of their courses.Lyn is the co-ordinator for Hope
Alive Australia and is a director for IHACA (International Hope Alive Counsellors Association)
and facilitates group therapy for men and women impacted by childhood neglect, abuse
and/or pregnancy losses.
Abuse, Neglect and Abortion​
October 2015)
“The overwhelming need may not be readily apparent, yet careful clinical observation and research indicate there are millions of people in every country deeply wounded by confusing conflicts, intense emotions, personality handicaps and progressive dehumanization resulting from unresolved pregnancy losses and abuses. Many people are able to keep up a façade of health, but they quickly decompensate with physical complaints or psychiatric disturbances in time of relatively minor crisis.” ● Post abortion symptoms ●
The link between abortion, abuse and neglect. (PAS and CAN) Treating the different aspects of abortion grief
How to deal with guilt
Case study and testimony
Amy Chai Profile:
Amy is currently pursuing a Graduate Diploma in Psychology and has her own counselling
practice. She has a Master of Social Science, and has been working as a counsellor and trainer
for over 10 years. Previously, she worked as a Counsellor in the Mums & Dads Forever
program at Anglicare and ran the Employee Assistance Program at Baptistcare. Her forte is to
reach out to young adults and provide a safe place for them to share their feelings, explore
family-of-origin and developmental issues, and integrate their life goals with their identity.
Early Adulthood (Age 20 to 35) – Love & Work​
• Critical transitions & life-events
• Neurocognitive growth & physical skills
• Developmental process, focused on relationships
• Lifespan developmental theories
• Career planning & development
• Family-of-origin & developmental issues
• Skills training
• Case study
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