Empowering people through change
My name is Kerri-Anne Chilvers. I am an Alice Springs-based psychologist and trauma therapist. For the past 10 years, I’ve dedicated my life to learning everything I can about trauma and how to recover from impacts of trauma. This has involved me going on my own journey of trauma healing, as well as undertaking training in Somatic Experiencing and numerous other trauma specific treatment approaches.
Driven by my passion to help others wanting to break free of their struggles with addiction, depression, numbness, anxiety, anger and violence, all of which I believe are the result of unresolved trauma, my practice focuses on the provision of trauma specific therapy. I also offer trauma informed supervision and training in Trauma Informed Practice and Care for people working in Central Australia with people whose lives have been impacted by trauma.
How I First Came to Central Australia
I grew up in the small country town of Gympie, Queensland.
After my father died when I was 6 years old, my mother moved my two sisters and I around a lot. Always being the new kid at school, I never had the chance to develop lasting friendships or have that sense of belonging that comes from being part of a community.
That was until 1976 when my mother accepted a job as a teacher at the Yuendumu School. Yuendumu was very different then. We were welcomed and very quickly became part of the community. I have fond memories of living there back then, going out with the Warlpiri women and children on the week-ends collecting bush tucker, trying to learn how to speak in Warlpiri, sitting under the stars with the whole community (dogs included) watching Chuck Norris movies, hanging out and dancing at community concerts. My favourite band then and to this day is the Warumpi Band.
I left Yuendumu in 1981 and returned to Queensland, but that experience of ‘being part of a community’ always stayed with me and Yuendumu and the people there stayed in my heart.
My Return to Central Australia
My husband and I and the youngest of our 7 kids arrived in Yuendumu in January 2013, 20 years after I had last visited. I had been offered a job with WYDAC (Warlpiri Youth Development Aboriginal Corporation) as the Mt Theo Outstation Program Coordinator, where I worked for two and a half years. It was as a result of working with the young people at Mt Theo that my interest in trauma first began.
In 2015, we moved into Alice Springs and I then helped to establish Tangentyere’s Domestic Violence Specialist Children’s Service and was working with young Aboriginal people impacted by domestic and family violence. I also trained as a facilitator for the Men’s Behaviour Change Program.
In 2017, I returned to Yuendumu in the role of Community Psychologist with ADSCA’s Remote AOD (Alcohol and Drugs) Workforce Development Program and started my training in Somatic Experiencing. I then moved into the role of Clinical Supervisor, providing Supervision, mentoring and support to both Aboriginal and Non-Aboriginal staff members of the Remote AOD Workforce. I also worked at the Youth Detention Centre for a period of time.
Once I completed my training in Somatic Experiencing, I returned to ADSCA as a Trauma and Addiction Therapist. This is the work I have been doing for the past few years and it was through this work that I found my niche as a trauma therapist.
My Passion Project
Be the Boss of Your Feelings (BOYF) is a 10 week, trauma informed, culturally responsive, experiential learning program designed for Aboriginal men in prison to help them address issues of substance use and violence.
Originally developed by Trauma Counsellor Nikki McCoy and myself, the BOYF Program uses Indigenous based healing modalities, such as Dadirri (deep listening) and story telling, alongside experiential modalities, such as somatic experiencing and psychodrama and other dynamic group based processes to help the men learn about their feelings and how to become more in control of them; and to explore the links between trauma, emotional dysregulation, substance misuse, family violence and offending behaviours.
Be the Boss of Your Feelings Program has now successfully been run twice in Alice Springs Correctional Centre and in the future, the program will be run by Aboriginal Men (former participants) for Aboriginal Men in prison.
My Skills and Qualifications
- AHPRA Registered Psychologist: PSY0001404839
- AAPi Member – Australia Association Psychologists Inc.
- Somatic Experiencing® Australia
- Bachelor of Psychology (1st Class Honours)
- Masters in Clinical and Health Psychology (Coursework Completed)
- Graduate Certificate International Relations and Community Development
- Graduate Certificate Social Sciences (Men’s Behaviour Change)
- Graduate Certificate Developmental Trauma
- Graduate Certificate Indigenous Trauma Recovery Practices
- Somatic Experiencing Practitioner (Certified)
- Trauma Informed Stabilisation Treatment Certified Practitioner
- NeuroAffective Touch
Supervision, Training and Mentoring Qualifications
- Bouverie Clinical Supervision Training
- Certificate IV in Workplace Assessment and Training
- Cultural Competency – Working with Aboriginal People
- Mental Health Assessment for Aboriginal People – Tracey Westerman
- Bridging the Gap – Cross Cultural Communication Competency
Other Relevant Training
- Diploma in Life Coaching
- NLP Practitioner Certification
- Certificate in Attachment Focused Sandplay Therapy
- Certificate in Emotional Release Counselling
- Heartmath (Heart Rate Variability) biofeedback Training
- Neurofeedback Training (EEG Biofeedback)
Ways to Work with Me
Confidential one-on-one trauma specific therapy with face-to-face and online options available Australia-wide to support your needs
Trauma-informed professional supervision to help you or your employees avoid secondary trauma and thrive in the workplace
Online training, individual mentoring, and supervision in Trauma Informed Practice for people working in Central Australia and surrounds