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"Expanded awareness facilitates change"
Jolene is a professionally trained Art Psychotherapist (MA AThR), accredited with Australian, New Zealand and Asia Creative Therapies Art Association (ANZACATA).
She works in both community and hospital settings with children, youths and adults. She specialises in mental health, loss and grief and trauma. Her clinical experience includes working closely in multi-disciplinary teams including psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers and counsellors.
Her clientele includes administering arts-based assessments and providing compassionate interventions for children, youths and adults living with mental health conditions, including depression, anxiety and personality disorders.
Jolene is the first art psychotherapist to lead national community art projects and provide art psychotherapy at the first bereavement counselling centre in Singapore. She served a diverse population, including children (from 5 years old) to seniors (aged 80 years old) experiencing grief and trauma from death-related losses due to illness, suicide, accidents, homicide and natural death. She has also been invited at conferences to share her experience about clinical applications of art therapy as an intervention.
Clinical Practice and Therapeutic Orientation
Jolene's clinical practice specialises in areas of loss and grief, mental health and trauma. Many of us may have gone through difficult earlier childhood experiences, or during adolescence. As adults, we may find some of these earlier patterns playing out in our inter-personal relationships, at work, romantically or within the family system. From a psychodynamic therapeutic orientation, sessions will explore your family of origin, schemas and beliefs that form part of your identity, worldview and outlook in life.
Why Art Therapy? Is it just for children? Absolutely, not.
Through exploring art materials to express yourself, it is an opportunity to get in touch with your inner world, unconscious thought patterns and belief systems.
During the therapeutic process, a qualified and trained psychotherapist together with yourself, will gain greater clarity of your pressing concerns. Discovering the roots of your inner conflict can be an incredibly empowering process that provides you the choice and agency to make an informed decision and choose differently.
We will also explore your artwork and develop greater understanding of your personal narrative and themes. This is followed by the "what now?" and "how?", where with gentle pacing, you will develop appropriate coping strategies and skills to foster your personal well-being.
Sometimes, there are no words to describe earlier repressed memories which may have occurred during pre-verbal development, thus making it challenging to fully articulate how it may have influenced you now as an adult.
Using art to represent your inner thoughts and feelings, it is important to find a therapist that supports you in translating this experience into your interpersonal relationships outside of the therapy room.
When searching for a therapist, the relationship fit, therapeutic orientation, relevant experience and values upheld by the professional are important factors in providing effective and ethical care to you.
We hope to provide a gist of Jolene's therapeutic stance to support you in making an informed decision when choosing a therapist that best supports your needs.
When Do We Come for Therapy?
At some points in our life, many of us may go through a sudden or major change, crisis, or loss. Or perhaps our earlier adverse and difficult experiences at home have impacted our adult relationships. This can bring about a cycle of intense emotions about the situation or relationship outside of our conscious awareness.
Going through a professional or personal crisis may also bring up unresolved or earlier wounds from the past. We might experience uncomfortable emotions that keeps repeating itself, making you feel "stuck" or caught in a repeated pattern.
Perhaps you have also come to notice that your own emotional responses to situations leave an unpleasant impact on your loved ones, which inadvertently hurt them. Your intentions are well-meaning, however your actions and behaviour say otherwise. Feelings of guilt, regret and anxiety start to arise.
Our hurt emotions serve as a signal that some of our unmet needs are desperately asking for help. More often than not, this can be traced back to an "attachment injury" from early childhood that shapes your current relationships and replays these patterns in adulthood.
Why Do We Need Therapy?
If you are undergoing major changes in your job, career, marriage/relationships, or family - experiencing a sense of uncertainty, worry and anxiety is only natural. You may realise that you are not coping as well as you used to. Feelings of irritability, anger and frustration may arise. Relationships become tense and strained, leading to increased stress between family members and self.
You may sense a growing dissatisfaction and want to gain better understanding on how or why you feel about a certain situation or relationship.
Suffering from prolonged stress or a mental health condition can impact on your identity, self-esteem, including inter-personal relationships with others around you.
Receiving therapeutic support from a trained professional is different from confiding in a friend. Some of us may not have trusted social connections to provide emotional support in this capacity.
What Are The Benefits of Therapy?
Depending on your needs, you can expect to gain greater clarity and self-compassion towards your concerns and issues. You will also:
Get in touch with your inner world
Learn how to regulate your emotions
Gain relational self-awareness as a partner/parent
Identify your thought patterns and schemas
Recognise when you are in fight, flight, freeze (or fawn) mode
Identify and cope with difficult emotions and thoughts when they arise
Discover the source of your difficulties and recurrent themes
Gain self-discovery and confidence to navigate through life changes
Foster positive and healthy relationships with your partner, colleagues, family and friends
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