I am the founder of Live Softly Studio and a certified art therapist with a passion to help people live vibrant lives with purpose and creativity.
Art therapy takes us on a journey to come in to contact with our deepest self, to touch those parts of ourself that lie beneath the surface. In an art therapy session I help to guide and witness the process of meeting yourself through creative processes and talk therapy so that the desired growth, transformation and healing can happen.
I have seen the benefits art therapy can bring in my private practice working with a diverse range of clients who have not been responsive with more traditional types of 'talk therapy'.
My clients range from people wanting more direction and purpose in their lives, to those transitioning through life crisis' & new life stages. I specialise in the treatment of disordered eating in all its forms, trauma & self esteem issues and I also work with clients who seek me out through the NDIS.
My Professional Experience :
I run Live Softly Studio, a art therapy and counselling practice offering private sessions and I am the Art Therapist at Wesley Hospital Ashfield in their Eating Disorders Unit running a group program. Bringing art therapy & mindfulness to a hospital setting to create a more embodied approach to eating disorders treatment is one of my passions.
I am a facilitator of the ‘Changing Bodies, Changing Minds’ program at Randwick Women’s Hospital, an innovative program, designed by Jo Rockendorfer, running art therapy groups for pre-teens helping them develop their self esteem, understand changes in their body at puberty and develop emotional resilience.
Previously I worked at Kidslink Australia, founded by Leonie Reisberg, using art therapy to develop emotional literacy and social skills for children and teens affected by anxiety, ADHD, austism and other learning difficulties.
I hold an Advanced Diploma of Transpersonal Art Therapy and I have worked with clients under the NDIS, the National Disability Insurance Scheme. I am registered with ANZACATA the
association of creative therapists in Australia and New Zealand and engage in fortnightly supervision sessions with a registered PACFA supervisor. I have a Bachelor of Design (Hons) from UTS and currently lecture in these subjects at Bachelor level. Prior to becoming an art therapist I had a fifteen year career in design, trends forecasting, sustainable design and creative direction in both Australia and London.
In addition to supervision I am regularly engaged in further studies and workshops to deepen my work and scope within art therapy, including eco-therapy (Soul Craft by Bill Plotkin), Trauma-Informed Yoga, Sand Play Therapy, Buddhist psychotherapy, Eastern Mindfulness practices and RO-DBT for eating disorders.
Wesley Mission Hospital Eating Disorders Unit
Elise is employed as the art therapist at Wesley Hospital Ashfield in their Eating Disorders Unit, running weekly groups for inpatients and day program attendees. Elise works as part of a team; working with psychotherapists & dieticians to provide holistic care. Groups include art therapy, mindfulness, trauma-informed yoga, DBT and meal supervision.
Art Therapy for people with disability & NDIS participants
Elise is available for 1:1 art therapy sessions through the NDIS, working with clients to help them achieve the quality of life they aspire to.
Elise also designs & facilitates groups for NDIS providers including running groups for YourSide.org.au for the Over 65 age group.
Art Therapy Workshops & Women's Circles
Using meditation, art, and embodied processes Elise facilitates art therapy workshops. Workshops include mindfulness and gentle movement groups, vision board workshops and creative therapy groups where participants can share and benefit from being heard in a safe and supportive environment.
The Butterfly Foundation
Eating Disorder Recovery Groups
We designed & facilitated art therapy workshops as part of The Butterfly Foundation's Conference for Carers and Stories From Experience Summit. Elise also runs Eating Disorder focused workshops through Body Matters Eating Disorder Clinic in Sydney's North.
Art Therapy Workshops for Young People
Elise is a facilitator of the Changing Bodies, Changing Minds Puberty workshop for pre-teens run through Randwick Women's hospital and Girls Schools in Sydney. A one day experiential workshop using art, drama and group sharing to explore the feelings and many questions around puberty.
Corporate Art Therapy
We have designed and facilitated workshops for corporations including Linkedin and Deloitte to facilitate team work, connection and creativity within the workplace
Social Enterprise Projects & Enabling Artists with Disability
Sustainable Design Educator & Lecturer
Elise is a lecturer in the Social Psychology of Design, Design Thinking, Social Enterprise Design and a Design Mentor for Final Year Fashion & Branding Students at Bachelor Level. Elise loves teaching the next generation of innovators and change makers to think about sustainability and social enterprise aspects in their design process.
Experiences & Installations
We accept comissions to activate spaces and create interactive art installations and workshops to bring creativity to events.
Elise was asked to create art therapy wokshops as part of a public installation for the MCA Sydney, including a giant collaborative mindfulness mandala
China Design Thinking Summer School
Elise was invited to Guiyang, China in 2019 as a Guest lecturer to design a 2 week program for their bachelor students called Future-Past, with the aim of innovating and supporting the traditional crafts of the region. This included craft workshops and field trips to visit artisans and applying design thinking skills. Elise also facilitated art therapy workshops in China for the Summer School program for the 5-12 year old STEM students.