Do you sometimes feel like your role as Beauty Therapist has a double meaning?
Any Beauty Therapist will tell you there are plenty of occasions where they feel they’ve almost taken on the role of actual therapist. The client-practitioner relationship can be a close and personal one, and even when it’s not, it isn’t uncommon for clients or patients to unload during their appointments. As a result, practitioners can often play a large role in their client’s wellbeing.
Many practitioners already believe that to address external concerns on the skin and body, one must holistically address the underlying causes within. For those that want to take this nurturing and support to the next level, it turns out converting your pseudo-counselling into actual counselling may be easier than you expected. Victoria Fox, founder of multi award winning Melbourne salon Miss Fox, tells us she has been on this very career journey, having completed a Certificate in Holistic Counselling and now undertaking a Diploma in Holistic Counselling. Her client approach, she tells us, has completely evolved ever since.
Tell us about your Holistic Counselling experience
Counselling is a personal growth tool for those interested in enhancing their experience of life. A holistic approach includes working on an emotional, mental, physical and spiritual level, allowing life to transform naturally as part of a “whole person” therapy.
My studies have been completed at The Awakening Group, who have schools in Melbourne and Brisbane. This progressive school has taken mainstream psychology and combined it with the latest in neuroscience, attachment theory, arousal regulation, systemic constellation work, trauma healing techniques and a process of self-enquiry to help address an array of issues, stressful thinking and trauma that a person may carry.
The dynamic and creative techniques, some of which have been developed by The Awakening Group founder, Brenda Sutherland, form a psychobiological approach to counselling that address issues very quickly and often much more effectively than traditional “talking” therapy, or medication.
Brenda Sutherland B.Soc.Sc.(Psych) is a Holistic Counsellor, Trainer and Consultant with her practice grounded in over 30 years experience, including Psychology, Art Therapy, Tantra, Kinesiology, Family Constellations and The Work of Byron Katie. She has based the school on the belief that each of us has the power within to transform and to live our heart’s desire, and teaches how to take relationships, life, career and love a step further in authenticity, so you can be the person you’ve always dreamed yourself to be.
What drove you to undertake the qualification?
My life has been completely and positively transformed through counselling, mentoring and coaching. It was about 4 years ago that I had a huge inner crisis and breakdown in my sense of self. This was at the height of my entrepreneurial and business journey, and related to a search for meaning beyond material successes. Having directly experienced the power of doing ‘the work’ on myself, I wanted to be able to share this with others.
I’ve always felt a strong drive to make a contribution to the world and its state of consciousness, and am constantly seeking ways I can fulfil this mission. I believe that when people realise their amazing potential and the limitlessness of their personal power, the world becomes a brighter and more beautiful place for all.
Along with my business, yoga, meditation and shamanic training, this Counselling qualification is a part of my “toolkit” so that I can support people in their personal and professional evolution. What has come as an added benefit in undertaking this study is the huge transformation in my own self awareness, self confidence, creativity, communication, and compassion for self and others. It is impossible to counsel others without doing the work yourself, so the study itself has been an epic experience in self-mastery and self-love.
How does it tie in with your work and concept at MISS FOX?
At MISS FOX, we believe in the power of self-care: how you connect with yourself is how you relate to the world around you. The better that relationship and experience within yourself, the more radiant you are outwardly — and that has a ripple effect on others. We promote holistic and empowering self-care therapies in the form of luxury grooming, spa, skin, health and wellbeing services. All are mindfully selected and combined for radiant beauty on a mind, body and spirit level.
Holistic counselling naturally ties into our message, and in fact has been part of our menu for some time through our in-house counsellors. Holistic counselling is slowly gaining more momentum, due to increasing societal focus on wellbeing, more public and private conversations about mental health, and growing awareness that we are more than our bodies, and there is more to life than work and money.
Beauty Therapy, like life, is so much more that what happens outside, and the more MISS FOX can offer to nurture our guest’s inner beauty, emotional and spiritual wellbeing, the better and more beautiful in my opinion.
How do you anticipate this will improve the client journey?
At MISS FOX, our menu is designed to lift and nourish the spirit, the mind, the emotions and the body at the same time. This means that we address the concept of self-care with reference to the whole vision. A holistic approach recognises that the mind, body, spirit and emotions are all intrinsically linked and must be treated as a whole for optimal wellbeing. Nothing occurs in isolation, everything in our life is interconnected. Therefore, one activity in one area of our life will affect all other areas. For example, you might find that after you started journaling daily, you began sleeping better, and when you began sleeping better, your immune system improved, and when this improved, so did your skin. This is the interconnected nature of all things, and this is the power of holistic solutions. Holistic Counselling improves the client journey, because everything improves the client journey.
Do you feel that practitioners are already ‘therapists’ in a way?
If you reflect on your favourite practitioner of beauty, spa or clinical treatments, you will realise it’s not just about how they make you look, it’s about how they make you feel. The very best Beauty Therapists naturally take a holistic approach, whether they call it that or not. They care about the client on a mental, emotional and soul level, as well as physical.
Whilst we certainly encourage our team at MISS FOX to open themselves this way, we also teach them how to work with clients in a way that is healthy, sustainable and supportive. Our industry naturally attracts wide-hearted, sensitive and empathic practitioners that must learn to practice their own self-care, professional and personal boundaries so they can always serve clients from a space of wholeness and strength.
Would you recommend it to other practitioners?
I would encourage all people to invest in their personal development, whether that be through receiving counselling, attending courses and workshops, reading books, getting a mentor or pursuing further study. If a health and wellbeing practitioner or Beauty Therapist felt called to study counselling, I could not recommend this course more highly. It is available as a 12 month Certificate qualification or 2 year Diploma. It is a unique opportunity and life-changing journey to true healing and awakening, both personally and as a professional. From here we can truly facilitate our clients’ personal transformations, from a deep place of knowing and loving ourselves.
As Holistic Counsellors we work collaboratively with a client, looking to find the right pieces of information that would relieve the client of stressful symptoms and take them to a place of true wellbeing, their true nature. I believe accessing our true nature is where true beauty lies.
This article originally appeared in our February 2020 edition of SPA+CLINIC – which you can now view for free online, alongside past print editions of SPA+CLINIC too!