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My Story

My name is Melissa and I have been on quite a journey. My young adult life started off in the usual way for many young women in their 20's with studying, landing my first exciting job in the city, followed by loads of travelling and living overseas. It included working through the hurdles of relationships, potted with life events such as dealing with the grief of losing much loved grandparents, aunties, uncles and pets.  

Then at 33 I lost my beautiful mum and friend to pancreatic cancer. Life took a turn, and with the fallout that followed, I decided to leave the corporate world and commenced work as a Lomi Lomi practitioner. During this process, I met my true love Phil and eventually ventured back into the corporate world part time.  

Seven years down the track I had a very strong urge to study Art Therapy. During placement in 2017, my love Phil devastatingly passed away suddenly of the flu. It was a shock to all. The year that followed took me on a journey of unbearable grief, self-discovery, self-care, strength, determination, fearlessness, patience and acceptance. During this process, I read and read and read about grief, spiritual awareness and other people's experiences and how they coped. I have learnt so much through my own lived experience regarding grief, sorrow and finding the light within the darkness.  

I graduated from my Art Therapy course with Phil's words egging me on in my ear 'You're Mahalo Mel, you can do anything!'. Phil was a personal cheerleader to everyone he knew and only ever saw the very best in what you could achieve or be. Following this, my journey has continued in Art Therapy at a respite centre for the elderly and ill. Over this time, I have seen first hand how the Art Therapy process can bring a sense of calm and growth in self belief, as there are no rules and there is no right or wrong. 

Over time, I have designed and commenced a 'working through grief' guided activity that involves play and imagination by using cut out photos of your loved one with family or friends and by using embellishments and set scenes to incorporate a world that is set outside of space and time. Please refer to my link Journeying through grief for more information. It is a very soft and healing process for all involved, when you are ready. If this is of interest to you, please reach out to ask me more about it.

My calling 

Art Therapy is healing through a guided art process which is client centred.

It can be used in so many ways and in so many areas. I am a true believer of its healing qualities.  

My calling and passion is to use it in:

* journeying through grief

* working with the elderly

* community group workshops 


Mahalo means 'Thank You' in Hawaiian. I still hold so many values from my Hawaiian Lomi Lomi training and learnings from my Kumu and extended Ohana that has sprung from it. Mahalo for visiting my page and for taking an interest in what I have to say and offer in regards to Art Therapy and it's healing qualities.

Mahalo nui loa and aloha,


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