Hello, my name is Barbara Amalberti and I am a counsellor specialised in migrants and expats issues.
I moved to Melbourne in 1992, to follow my Australian partner.
I spent the first few years of my life in Melbourne struggling with a variety of issues.
I suffered from severe panic attacks, that stopped me from doing things I wanted to do. I felt insecure and fearful, grieving the loss of my identity. I felt guilty for leaving my parents and not being able to be near them to support them. I had difficulties accepting the present and embracing life in my new country.
To overcome these problems I tried different therapies. In hindsight I realise that none of the professionals I saw were experienced with expats and the difficulties we face when moving to a new country.
In 2003, after taking part in the Hoffman Process, an intensive residential personal development retreat, I became aware of the importance of taking responsibility for my own choices.
I realised that I had been spending my time and energy focusing on blaming, feeling guilty and thinking how much better my life would be, if I was somewhere else.
If you are an expat, you will be familiar with some of these feelings and how hard it is to live to your full potential while facing these challenges.
With new found awareness and confidence I took charge of my life and went back to study to become a counsellor.
My interest in a holistic approach directed me, firstly, toward a Diploma in Holistic Counselling, at the Australian College of Natural Medicine, in Melbourne. While acquiring and developing my counselling skills, I had the opportunity to learn about a range of complimentary practices and their benefits to general wellbeing.
To further my training I completed a Graduate Diploma in Counselling and Human Services, at LaTrobe University, in Melbourne, in 2007.
In the past years I have developed an interest in ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy) and I took part in an Introductory Workshop in Melbourne and completed an Advanced Online course, with Dr. Russ Harris.
When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.