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Personal Harmony
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Counselling & Psychotherapy in Melbourne - Truly Present. Loving Connection.
Counselling & Psychotherapy in Melbourne - Truly Present. Loving Connection.

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I am excited about  running another two hour workshop for an event called ‘Celebrating Sexuality‘ – a weekend event showcasing sex-positivity workshops,  from 14th – 16th February, 2014.
In my workshop, called ‘The Sacred Art of Conscious Touch’, I will be taking participants on  a journey into the intimacy of the most profound of all the senses – touch.  In this workshop we will engage how to touch, to really touch, with a true sense of presence.  This workshop is about trust and surrender, going beyond skin-on-skin contact, delighting in the joy of letting go into the realms of profound ecstatic pleasure.
Have you ever felt overwhelmed or triggered when being touched or touching another?
Adversely, and importantly, I will also be exploring the shadow side of touch; it can be risky to reach out and touch and can bring up vulnerable feelings including fear of rejection, triggering past trauma/hurt/dissociation/isolation.   I will be teaching tools to help each person deal with their own feelings and how they can assist others/their partners to overcome shame or fear around giving/receiving intimate touch.
Engaging in a number of practical exercises, I’ll be guiding particpants through sensual self-touch to respectful and meaningful partner/group touch, inclusive of all genders. Conscious touch it is not only about the pleasure of giving wholeheartedly, but it’s also about tuning deep inside to receive touch with every ounce of our being.
Does this feel too scary for you?
To facilitate safe sex protocol and healthy boundaries during the workshop, specific genital touch instruction will be by demonstration only, using a vulva puppet and dildo, without interactive genital touch and there is no nudity.
Participation in any of the exercises is not compulsory, but I ask each participant to arrive with an open heart – my intention is for each person to feel touched in some way, whether it be emotionally or physically, and hopefully both!

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Wise words indeed! Thanks Anonymous #counsellingmelbourne #psychotherapymelbourne #personalharmony  
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Self Care: The Milk and Honey Bath

Self-Care – I often utilise Self-Care techniques with my clients, and will occasionally share on my Blog some techniques/tools I have developed over the years, starting with a luxurious Self-Care Ritual – a personal favourite of mine:
 The Milk and Honey Bath:
Setting the scene….
“Long ago there lived a Queen who loved to indulge in her senses.  Her name was Cleopatra.  Much has been written about her famous milk baths.  Her handmaidens would attend to her every need while she soaked in what was considered to be a beauty bath with properties to help promote youthful looks….”
Some years ago, as I was soaking in a bath, images of a forgotten time appeared before me; of being bathed by hand maidens in my own sensuous milk bath.  Which lead me to question:
Where can I go to indulge in one of those for myself?
What would it involve?
What else could be added?
How could this be used in a healing ritual?
I was already facilitating women’s workshops called Creative Harmony – sacred journeys for women, so I decided to incorporate a sacred Milk and Honey bathing ritual into the workshop.
The basics to start with are full cream milk, (I have also used soy milk), petals and a jar of honey, placed in a lovely bowl (the no-name brand of honey works best as it is less sticky and dissolves easily in water).  Did you know that honey is a natural humectant, which keeps the skin hydrated, and that milk is rich in lactic acid and naturally exfoliating?   Cleopatra was onto it!
I run the bath with warm to hot water, leaving enough space for the milk.  I use anything from 4 to 8 litres of milk – 8 litres gives a sensuous, creamy bath. Depending on the occasion, I have also added champagne, luxurious bath salts/balms/oils, rose petals. Food is great to include while being bathed.  The sensual joy of being fed while bathing is an added delight.  I have used mangoes, strawberries, chocolate, cherries, peeled grapes.
 Temple Space
The bathroom is transformed into a ‘temple space’ by placing objects of significant meaning for the person receiving the bath. Adding candles, burning essential oils, heated towels, photos, flowers, her favourite music etc. Getting her to dress in her favourite bathing gown, after entering the ‘temple’ I pour the milk in with the water filled bath and then help her undress and step in. Once she is lying in the bath I lightly sprinkle in the rose petals, so they cascade around and on her.  Then scooping some of the honey in my hand, I lightly drizzle it onto her body, asking her to feel it melting and soaking into her pores, her beautiful body. I place a small bell where she can easily reach it; leaving her alone for as much time as she needs and asking her to ring the bell once she has given herself enough time. I then respectfully dry her with the warmed towel and dress her.  If it is a ritual with a group of her friends, I then lead her into an inviting room, sitting her on a comfortable chair made into a special throne, with her friends gathered before her, to honour and acknowledge her with loving words and  gifts.
 Who is it for?
I have had the honour of bathing women in pregnancy, Grandmothers, pre-wedding brides (which is a beautiful alternative to a standard Hens Nights). I have also bathed my mum (what an honour and gift that was for my sister and me to be her handmaidens), a male partner (yes, men also love to be indulged in this way).  Birthday celebrations, conception rituals, purification rites, including people who have been subjected to abuse as a way of honouring/reclaiming their sacredness.
This form of self-care involves asking for what you want from others, so as to support you in the bathing ritual, but you can also do this ritual on your own, of which I have done for myself and loved it.
Have you thought of how you would like to indulge in this kind of self-care?
Have you experienced this bathing ritual before?
I would love to hear about your own bathing experience….
www.personalharmony.com.au   #selfcare #psychotherapyMelbourne  #counsellingMelbourne

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Recently I read an article from the BBC News on Should Therapists Cry?  This is a thought provoking article and worth a read, & here is my personal response to it.
In my practice of 23 years I have shed more than one tear and although it doesn’t happened very often, in those times I have felt very moved, so it was a natural response.  If I had tried to cover my emotions up in that moment it would have sent a message to my client that it’s not OK for me to be authentic, which is the very thing I encourage my clients to be.
My Personal Experience:
On each of the occasions it turned out to be validating for the client. For me, the difference as to whether it is appropriate or not is that I was able to remain present to the client – it was a response rather than a reaction, so it added to the clients experience rather than taking it away from them.
One of my all time favourite, non-fiction books is called ‘A General Theory of Love’. It is a gem of a book written by 3 psychiatrists it and includes the dynamics of relationship between client and therapist.
“An insightful look at the science of human emotions… A rare example of the fusing of scientific rigor with literary eloquence.”  San Francisco Exmainer
I would be interested to hear comments from both therapists and clients regarding whether you think Therapist should cry. #PsychotherapyMelbourne #CounsellingMelbourne #PersonalHarmony  

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This is a great video using music as a metaphor for #sexpositivity

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By Jeff Brown
We are powerful beyond measure, and so deeply vulnerable at the same time. This may seem like a dichotomy, but it isn’t. We have misunderstood real power. It has been something assertive, non-surrendering, pushing on through. This is not real power. This is simply willfulness. Real power is something else—receptivity, open-ness, the courage to keep your heart open on the darkest of days, the strength to feel it all even when the odds are stacked against you. Real power is showing up with your heart on your sleeve and absolutely refusing to waste one moment of your life hidden behind edginess and armour. The art of enheartened presence. Now that’s power.

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