About Minky van der Walt (she/her)

As an allied health clinician and supervisor with over 23 years experience, including trauma expertise over the last 15 years, I know very well the toll that caring for others can take. I’ve worked in large public hospitals, small private hospitals, primary schools, high schools, early childhood centres, community mental health and child and adolescent therapy services. I have extensive experience in providing therapeutic support to families, individuals and services experiencing extreme stress, and working alongside, and in consultation with, the educators, emergency service workers and health professionals who support them.

I know the impact of this work.

Photo: Oliver Berlin

I know the incredible strength of people. And the joy of seeing their transformation.

But I also understand the challenges.

Whether it's the strain of a crushing workload, ongoing caring, seeing and hearing the terrible things that people experience, or struggling to do your best in the face of an unsupportive workplace, we helping professionals need to look after ourselves.

My approach

My approach to practice is collaborative, relational and process-focused. This means that in both individual and group contexts I see our work together as a team effort, that is informed by our individual and shared experiences as they emerge in the moment.

My expertise, learning and practice experience allows for a broad range of experiential exploration to help you to connect with, deepen and explore your awareness and understanding of yourself and in relation to others.

Influences include interpersonal neurobiology, attachment theory, music therapy, trauma-specific approaches, including Guided Imagery and Music, somatic processing, EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing), Internal Family Systems, Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy, creative arts therapies, Gestalt theory and Narrative therapy.

Sessions are tailored to the needs of participants and incorporate elements of somatic processes and resources, guided imagery, mindfulness (where helpful), music listening, art and embodied awareness, offering a rich extension of more traditional talk based therapies.

We will incorporate the approaches above if they are a good fit for you. Music and art can be really useful but are not always appropriate. How we work together will depend on what you need and what you are comfortable with - I'm flexible and am happy to meet you there.

My background

Originally trained as a Registered Music Therapist with a Bachelor of Music therapy from the University of Melbourne, I am a psychotherapist who specialises in helping people to manage stress and overwhelm. I have advanced training, expertise and experience in therapy for survivors of trauma, and supporting the families, teachers and health workers around them.

With a wealth of expertise and experience in mental health, wellbeing and trauma, I am passionate about collaborating with others to build communities of compassion and connection. As such, I recognise the importance of nurturing workers at the coalface of our schools, hospitals, community centres and services, emergency incidents and those working in rural and remote areas.

I am focused on supporting our helping professions, including medical practitioners, health professionals, first responders, educators and teachers, so that they can continue to turn up each day, to care, to help us recover and to keep us safe.

I am a lifelong learner who thrives on deepening my learning, and building knowledge and skills to enhance outcomes for clients.

Qualifications & professional registrations

Registered Music Therapist: Bachelor of Music (Therapy), University of Melbourne

Registered Guided Imagery and Music Therapist, Avalon Guided Imagery & Music

Counsellor, psychotherapist and supervisor

Practitioner becoming certified in Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP)

Presentations, workshops and delivery of training

The Joy-Pain Spectrum Masterclass Series: Tempo Therapy and Consulting.

A 5-part masterclass series supporting helping professionals to

  • understand the vicarious impacts of helping work
  • identify symptoms in yourself
  • develop practical skills in mitigating the risks
  • enhance the protective, and the joyous factors in this work of helping or caring for others

'Cocooning in sound'

'Emerging from disconnection: Weaving the threads of embodied connection through the continuum of music and imagery to Guided Imagery & Music'.

'Through a polyvagal lens: nervous system support for health & education professionals'.

'Trauma-informed perspectives in clinical work'

'Non-speaking interventions for counsellors & mediators'.

Past offerings:

  • Australian Childhood Foundation Trauma Education Series. Child Safety Services Staff, 2017 - 2019
  • Australian Music Therapy Association National Conference, 2017
  • Peace, Empathy & Conciliation through Music: a Collaboratory, 2017
  • Inclusive Practices training: Department of Education, Tasmania, 2016
  • Hobart Trauma Mental Health Professionals Network Meeting, 2015
  • Inaugural International Childhood Trauma Conference, 2014

Recent professional development

Some recent trainings include: