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‚ÄčAbout Me

My Qualifications

Diploma: Somatic Psychotherapy

Member: Australian Somatic Psychotherapists Association (Associate)

My name is John van Graas, and I live in the Dandenong Ranges, less than 1 hours drive out of Melbourne. Having graduated from training in contemporary somatic psychotherapy in 2010, I currently work in private practice in Lilydale, and also in inner Melbourne at an established counselling facility.

My training involved study in the bio-psycho-social approach to life. This basically deconstructs how we have adapted to life and how we cope or strategise ourselves in our relations with other people. When we look at the influence of our upbringing (parenting and siblings and extended family), and subsequent schooling (our teachers and fellow students), all this affects how we think, feel and behave about ourselves and others. 
Our experiences can affect our personal growth, or our ability to be or stay in relationship with other people. Therapy involves extending our abilities of self reflection and self awareness, which ultimately offers us more choice in our decision making process. When we can make decisions based from an embodied place, a place where we feel what we think, our authentic self rises to the surface.

I support people by helping them make sense and meaning of their experiences. Assisting people through their life's issues, whatever that may be that affects their functioning fully in the present. Through gentleness and caring I help create long and lasting change that a person seeks. 
Personal growth and mastery come from a journey that looks within ourselves, a journey best travelled with assistance and support. Working with individuals that suffer from anxiety, depression or early childhood trauma, I help sufferers to make new meanings to what is happening to them and to help them reconnect to themselves and others in their world.

How we would work together, my approach is,
  • To build and maintain a safe and trusting relationship with you.
  • To provide psychotherapeutic assistance to help you reach your goals.
  • To help you integrate your experiences of life which compromise your relationships with other people.
  • To support you through the use of empathy, attunement and understanding.
  • To assist you in achieving your potential as a fully functioning human being.