wellness

Health & Wellbeing

MENTAL HEALTH MATTERS: WITH BROOKE CEFAI

Brooke Cefai

Mental illness continues to be a major health, social and economic issue in Australia with one in five people experiencing mental health concerns in any one year (ABS 2008).

For many dealing with a mental illness is a prolonged battle that requires ongoing psychological support. Here in Australia our systems don’t often support this need. Awareness campaigns grow stronger each year as we actively challenge the stigmas that prevents people from seeking help, robbing them from having important conversations. Despite these tremendous efforts a huge number of barriers still exist, one of which Is something I’m hugely passionate about changing; access to counselling & psychological services.

In Australia those that cannot afford private counselling (a large percentage of the population) are reliant on a capped/subsidised and overburdened public system or will need to seek the aid of charities with extensive wait lists. For many time is of the essence and it means they simply go without the support they so desperately need.

We are fortunate in Australia that our system has some supports in place, and having worked in the community sector for many years I am all too aware of the multifactorial and complex reasons why there are still so many unmet needs because of inadequate funding, quality of services, understaffed centers/hospitals ill equipped to be dealing with the demand and a lack of focus on early intervention & prevention

As a therapist in private practice charging market rate and as one who has my own weekly counselling and pays market rate, (yes we all know I’m a firm believer that counsellors should have counsellors) I am all too aware of how expensive therapy is!

I often ask myself what more can I do as a therapist?

When I began private practice I wanted to offer as many services as possible to those that wanted to use them. As a result I make available a number of appointments each week for those that don’t have the ability to pay market rate, doing what I can to help you utilise my service at a discounted rate OR I will find a service that is appropriate for you if mine is not

It is simply a matter of reaching out…

As mental health awareness week slowly comes to an end I encourage everyone to have a closer look at your mental health needs, is seeking support something you’ve been putting off? Are your symptoms getting worse and you’ve been ignoring them hoping they will disappear? If so now is the time to be proactive and reach out.

The saying ‘People fear what they don't understand and can’t conquer’ rings true, but we need not forget, understanding and working through your symptoms or illness won’t make them any worse & early intervention often leads to more positive outcomes (for any illness)

If you identify with this please make contact and let’s put a plan in place to help you move towards wellness.

About Brooke Cefai

Brooke Cefai is a Melbourne based Counsellor & Wellbeing Facilitator who has spent two decades working in a number of diverse counselling and wellness settings in Sydney & Melbourne. This includes the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, Victims Services NSW, PWD Abuse & Neglect Hotline, Mission Australia Counselling Services, and Essential Energies Wellbeing Centre. Brooke’s qualifications include a Graduate Diploma of Counselling and Masters of Counselling and Psychotherapy. Wellness qualifications include a Certificate of Metaphysics and Advanced Certificate of Spiritual Healing. She is professionally registered with the Psychotherapy & Counselling Federation of Australia (PACFA).

Brooke uses a holistic approach to counselling that draws on a number of counselling models and techniques chosen specifically to meet a person’s current needs. This approach considers physiological and psychological disorder as part of a greater whole and will focus on the relationship between body, mind and spirit to empower individuals to unlock their innate wisdom and potential. Brooke is further guided by a psychodynamic framework meaning within sessions the aim is to bring unconscious elements within one's life into consciousness and often requires an exploration of your past to understand the current impact on the present. Brooke is available for private counselling sessions at MISS FOX, online, and at her South Melbourne clinic.

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Health & Wellbeing, Events

WHAT IS... KUNDALINI YOGA?

Kundalini Yoga Melbourne

Kundalini is a real and powerful energy available to you at all times. It represents your infinite creative potential. 

Through Kundalini Yoga, you awaken this energy in order to be able to call upon the full potential of your nervous and glandular systems, and to balance the subtle system of chakras (spiritual energy centres) within the body. Physical and mental changes are initiated that affect the body, mind and spirit simultaneously. It is a dynamic tool for expanding awareness, so that you can achieve your personal best.

In Kundalini Yoga, there is no “perfect posture” to attain. The focus is breath and movement and is accessible by all, including those that have never tried yoga. It is an energising and elevating practice.

The effect of Kundalini Yoga is moving energy through the chakra system, stimulating the energy in the lower chakras, raising it to the higher chakras, and then balancing all the chakras. The techniques of Kundalini Yoga allow us to breathe through unconscious blocks and boundaries that limit our potential, and help up better connect with our intuition.

Kundalini energy strengthens the nervous system and optimises heart rate variation to combat depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders as well as improve immunity. It is an antidote to many of the systemic effects of stress. It enables us to harness the energy of the mind and the emotions, so we can be in control of ourselves, rather than be controlled by our thoughts and feelings. The practice of Kundalini Yoga leads to higher consciousness and ultimately, self mastery.

Join us for Community Yoga Classes at MISS FOX, with Kundalini Yoga Teacher, and founder of MISS FOX Melbourne, Victoria Fox (RYT-200). This is a modern Kundalini Yoga practice. Register for our August 26th class here.

To be kept updated on future classes follow us on instagram @missfoxmelb. We look forward to raising Kundalini with you.

Vegan Recipes

RECIPE: VEGAN RAW COCONUT AND CACAO FUDGE

At MISS FOX, we're fans of more mindful, more sustainable eating. This recipe for vegan, raw, coconut oil fudge is one of the healthiest treats you can make, with just 4 simple ingredients and no cooking.

Raw coconut oil is arguably the best fat on the planet -- it is antibacterial, helps speed up your metabolism, decreases your appetite for bad fats and sugar and boosts brain function. Raw unprocessed Cacao is supercharged with natural antioxidants helps boost serotonin to relax you, decreases appetite and cuts cravings for sugar. Both ingredients are also wonderful for your skin.

Ingredients:

3/4 cup (heaping) raw virgin coconut oil (we love Loving Earth Raw Organic Coconut Oil, available at MISS FOX)
3/4 cup (exact) raw cacao powder (not cocoa powder)
3-4 tablespoons raw honey
1 pinch of sea salt
Optional: 1/4 cup of any combination of cacao nibs, coconut flakes, chopped walnuts or pistachios, freeze dried raspberries or strawberries.

Directions:

In a stand mixer, or in a bowl with a whisk, whip the coconut oil until it’s a little fluffy, for about 2 minutes. Add in the Cacao powder, honey, and sea salt. Continue to whip the ingredients together until they become smooth and homogenous, for about 1 minute. If you just want plain fudge, then you are ready to put the mixture into a glass pan or cake tin about 20x20cm lined with baking paper. Smooth the top out. If you like a little texture, add some suggested optional extras either into the mix or sprinkled on top, chopped or whole -- but you can leave it plain and it’s just as delicious. Put it in the fridge and let it set for a couple of hours, then cut it into squares so it’s ready to eat when you want it. Coconut oil is fragile, and will melt when it gets room temperature or hotter, so store in a sealed container in the fridge.

A delicious, healthy alternative to chocolate that tastes good and is so good for you. Enjoy x