Amanda Labron Johnson
Amanda Labron Johnson is a counsellor and art therapist who has worked at STARTTS since 2014. She is based at the STARTTS Newcastle office, and provides counselling in the Newcastle area as well as Scone and Tamworth. From 2010 to 2014 she worked for ASeTTS in Western Australia providing treatment to asylum seekers in remote detention centres. In 2013 she was seconded for 4 months to work as a counsellor/art therapist on Nauru with adults and children in detention. She found the art therapy combined with counselling beneficial in the context of prolonged detention and hopelessness. Amanda introduces art therapy in the sessions where another form of communication and creative approaches are beneficial.
Prior to 2010 Amanda worked as an art therapist and later Head of Education and Therapy for Ruskin Mill Educational Trust in the UK, working with young people who were unable to take part in mainstream education due to diagnoses such as Asperger’s and ADHD. It was here in the colleges working with experiential education, that she developed art therapy groups based on art history through the ages working with traditional art techniques.
Amanda is a graduate of a 4 year Masters in the Hauschka method of art therapy in the UK (based on Anthroposophical Medicine – developed from Rudolf Steiner’s indications for healing and medicine), and has a Graduate Diploma in Counselling from ACAP in Sydney. She is registered with PACFA as a professional counsellor and with ANZACATA as a professional art therapist.
Amanda was inspired to train in art therapy and later counselling from her experience creating stories, puppet shows, and working with movement, song and rhyme and creative activities with children in a Rudolf Steiner Early Childhood Centre in Armidale NSW.