About Melanie White R.N. CMHN
Without writing a detailed biography I will try to answer the questions that people are most likely to want to know before deciding to jump in and make an appointment.
Are you a Registered Health Professional?
Yes, I am a Registered Nurse, having qualified in 1987. I am registered with the Australian Health Practitioners Regulation Agency (AHPRA). You can look me up on their website. My registration number is NMW0001290862. This means I am held accountable for my actions.
What qualifications do you have?
I hold a Bachelors Degree in Nursing with First Class Honours and a Master of Nursing. I also hold a Post Graduate Diploma in Mental Health Nursing. I am a Credentialled Mental Health Nurse through the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses.
How long have you worked in mental health?
I started as a Registered Nurse working in public and then private psychiatric hospitals in 1988-1990. Then in 1991, upon getting married and moving to the UK, I began work in Child, Adolescent and Family Community Mental Health. I stopped working in 1995 to stay home and care for my children but continued studying, notably at the Tavistock Clinic in London which gave me a sound introduction to Attachment Theory. In 2001 I returned to Australia and decided to take a break from psychiatric nursing, instead working in Paediatrics and Emergency. This also included a year working in New York in Neonatal and Paediatric Intensive Care. In 2008 I decided to take a break from clinical work and worked in research and tertiary education for the next 10 years, which included teaching and research in mental health nursing. I returned to clinical work in 2019 as a community mental health nurse and remained there until deciding to branch out into private practice in 2022.
What is your interest in people who hear voices?
I first took an interest in hearing voices (aka Auditory Verbal Hallucinations) while undertaking research in 2013. I learned everything I could about it, and also became very interested in the Hearing Voices Movement. I studied the Maastricht Interview Protocol and used this when working with people with schizophrenia to make sense of the voices they were hearing. I was fortunate to witness first-hand the big improvement it made in people’s lives. In 2019 I met Eleanor Longden, probably the most famous voice-hearer in the world, and heard about the latest research. I made a vow to myself that I would do my utmost to see that the benefits of this research reached the people who needed it most i.e. people who have been diagnosed with a severe mental illness such as schizophrenia and are frequently told that medications will resolve their auditory hallucinations. I also peer review manuscripts submitted for publication on this topic for the journal “Psychosis”. It’s an area that I feel passionate about, and I strongly feel that if the voices were better understood we could offer so much more to people who are distressed by the voices that they hear.
What training have you done in trauma, EMDR and SSP?
I did my foundational trauma training with the Blue Knot Foundation and NICABM. Since then I have completed advanced training with PESI and continue to attend online webinars, conferences and courses with Bessel van der Kolk, Peter Levine, Janina Fisher, Deb Dana and Gabor Mate.
I did my EMDR training with Graham Taylor and became a fully qualified member of EMDRAA in 2021. I attend the annual conference and webinars thoughout the year, and well as attend a monthly EMDR peer consultation group. I have completed Advanced training in EMDR with Phil Manfield and also completed basic and advanced training in The Flash Technique with Phil Manfield.
I completed SSP training with Unyte ILS in 2021 and then completed further training with them in 2022. I am a certified provider of the SSP. This training solidified my understanding of Polyvagal theory and I am a firm believer that people need to feel safe before they can benefit from interventions to reduce the impact of trauma in their lives.
I also have lived experience of early childhood trauma and disrupted attachment, as well as experience as a consumer of both the good and the bad of our mental health services. I don’t utilize those services anymore but having first-hand experience helps a lot with empathizing with clients about their experiences.
Do you have business registration?
I am a Registered Business owner. My ABN is 27175613492
Why should I trust you?
Trust needs to be earned and this usually happens within the therapeutic relationship. So, it isn’t going to happen before you meet me. Having said that, there are some things that may help you decide that it’s worth taking the risk to meet me.
I’m serious about my business and protecting clients. I use encrypted telehealth services for maximum privacy, not Zoom. I have professional indemnity insurance, which I hope will never have to be used, but it is there.
My personal and professional philosophy is to be respectful of all people and to put my clients at the centre of what I do. My approach is one of curiosity and collaboration in everything. I listen to what people tell me about themselves and work collaboratively with them to help them achieve living life in the way they want to live it.