About Me

MeHello, my name is Maria Michalos I am a counsellor and psychotherapist with a Masters degree with Adelaide University. I am also a registered counsellor with Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia (PACFA). The past few years I have been developing mindfulness and visual art programs and workshops in education, mental health, disability and community services throughout South Australia. I have extensive knowledge in visual arts and have been teaching it since 2005 to children, youth and adults. I have 20 years experience as a graphic designer and a visual artist with a strong background in mindfulness and meditation techniques. This includes MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction) and training with the Mindful Schools Curriculum from USA. My educational background also includes a Graduate Diploma in Management (arts and cultural) and Advanced Diploma in Graphic Design and Visual Arts. My aim is to help people achieve their goals for better health and wellbeing.

What I Do

I help people find ways to deal with stress and anxiety, to experience more calm and focus in their lives.

I have worked with children and youth who have autism, trauma related backgrounds, grief, loss, personality disorders, and learning difficulties. I also help adults find ways in coping and dealing with stress through counselling and psychotherapy. I specialise in art therapy practices, mindfulness, cognitive behavioural therapy, hypnosis techniques related to mental health disorders and disabilities.

I work with groups developing art based therapy workshops in local communities. I also work individually providing counselling and psychotherapy.

The Mindful Arts Program

Mindful Arts is a program which was developed in 2013, because I have a strong passion to help people understand the way they can use mindfulness techniques with visual arts in therapy. People who are able to express themselves by creating art can help with their emotions, mental health and general wellbeing.

The program was developed based on current research on mindfulness in education as well as the National Visual Arts Curriculum. The Mindful Arts program is a combination of visual arts and mindfulness.

The program can be implemented as a 10 week program once per week or twice a week for 5 weeks, for schools, as an after school program and communities. This program has been developed in consistency with the current National Visual Arts Curriculum in Australia and has been designed for children and youth. The students will learn visual arts techniques and the use of materials and processes.

The program includes social and cultural practices with the enjoyment and confidence to communicate ideas through making and responding. Students will experience mindfulness activities that enrich art making which helps them feel more relaxed and attentive in their lessons. It helps students become more aware of their emotions in body and mind. It can also help them with greater focus, it has the ability to help students with tools how to calm down when upset and make better decisions. In just 10 weeks students will learn to become more mindful through the use of visual arts, allowing them to express freely and learn new life skills.

Benefits of the program also include:

Better focus and concentration
Increased sense of calm
Decrease stress and anxiety
Improve in impulse control
Can express their emotions through visual art-based forms
Develop skills in visual arts
Develop life long skills