Hi, I’m Valda.
I’m a clinical psychologist and psychotherapist but you can also call me a facilitator for authentic living.
I help people of all ages and walks of life create healthier, happier relationships.
I guide them on how to navigate difficult times in their lives together, especially when anger or fears are high, and hope low.
I help people who long for better, deeper, more authentic relationships, but hold back because they worry about making themselves too vulnerable.
I teach skills and principles that help people communicate and solve problems better, while at the same time developing the flexibility and resilience to handle whatever life throws at them.
I know from working as a therapist for more than 20 years that the first thing people want is to feel heard, understood, respected, and valued.
After that, they want help in finding solutions to their problems.
Maybe you too want to make sense of a painful situation you find yourself in, understand how you got there, and how you can move forward with confidence and hope.
Let me tell you a bit more about how I work so you can decide if I’m the right person for you.
My Therapeutic Approach
- My relationship with you will be an important part of the therapy. I’ll encourage you to share your thoughts and feelings about our work together, including any negative feelings you may experience at times. I see our therapeutic relationship as a safe place where, among other things, you can try trusting and saying no.
- I’ll want you to feel safe and comfortable with me. I’ll accept you as you are – even, or especially, if you’re not accepting yourself at the time. Together, we’ll work towards the changes that are important to you. And we’ll follow your pace, not mine.
- We won’t focus only on the problems though. I’ll encourage you to look for and see the positives as well, the strengths and resources you already have despite your current challenges. Or the things you’ve learned, are learning, or can still learn, from your past or current experiences.
- I’ll encourage you to take emotional risks and to experiment with new behaviours, so you can gradually reclaim your personal power and freedom. And I’ll remind you that you don’t need to do it alone, as I’ll be there to guide and support you along the way.
- I’ll respect your individual and cultural differences and will take confidentiality seriously. I’ll remember it’s a privilege to be allowed into your personal, private world.
You may have noticed that the word encourage appeared many times in how I work. According to an old French dictionary, to encourage is to make strong, to hearten. That’s why I like to ‘en-courage’ my clients – I want to give them courage, strength, and hope.
Relationship Counselling is My Main Area of Interest and Expertise
I help couples solve problems and develop the full potential of their relationships, as well as helping individuals build or improve relationships with other important people in their lives.
I have extensive experience working with couples in distress, including same-sex couples and cross-cultural relationships.
Although I also engage in short term work, I much prefer to work longer term, in more depth, with clients who are keen and ready for it.
I believe that the secret to a happy, peaceful, meaningful life is based on three principles that we all need to learn and put into practice continuously: know ourselves, simplify our lives, and connect well with others.
I also believe that if every person felt a deep, genuine connection to at least one other person, the world would be a different place.
A better place.
That’s why I hope you’ll start your own amazing journey of self-discovery, healing, and growth.
Each person’s healing journey helps make the world a better place for all.
If this speaks to you, I may be a good match for you as a therapist.
Any questions, or to book an appointment, please call me on 0421 176 476.
If I’m not available, I’ll get back to you within 24-48 hours.
A Bit About My Personal and Professional Background
I was born and raised in Brazil and have lived in Australia since 1994. I have been working as a psychologist in private practice in Australia since 2001. I’m registered as a clinical psychologist with the Psychologists Board of Australia, and have been a full member of the Australian Psychological Society for more than 10 years.
I also have a degree in Theatre Studies. My passion for drama is connected to my interest in action-oriented approaches to therapy, such as psychodrama and body-mind modalities. I believe these approaches complement the more cognitive, ‘talking’ ones, such as cognitive-behavioural and psychoanalytic therapies. That’s why after graduating as a psychologist, I also went on to complete two postgraduate diplomas, one in Psychodrama and another in Reichian Therapy (a type of psychotherapy that integrates psychological assessment with bodywork).
Over time though I’ve developed my own style of work and now follow what I call an integrative approach, drawing from diverse theories according to each client’s needs and preferences. These include: cognitive-behavioural, schema, mindfulness-based, solution-focused, client-centred, psychodramatic, and psychodynamic approaches.
I’m also a certified family mediator, clinical supervisor, trainer, and assessor. And over the years, I have undertaken additional training in couples therapy and sex therapy.
As a couples therapist, I’ve also developed my own integrative work style based on a variety of evidence-based approaches, including the world renowned Gottman’s method and Sue Johnson’s Emotionally Focussed Therapy for Couples (EFT-C).
I understand, respect, and welcome diversity.
Creating a safe environment, where individual and cultural differences are valued and confidentiality is taken seriously, is central to my approach to therapy.