SJS Music and Counselling

                                  About Sarah Strachan

Qualifications as a Melbourne Musician...

Sarah holds Grade 6 AMEB in classical piano and is studying towards sitting Grade 8. She also holds a Diploma in Music (Composition) which she studied at Box Hill Tafe. Here she studied blues, jazz and film composition. Sarah also undertook music composition units at Australian Catholic University. 

She has a passion for teaching and managed her own music teaching business for 7 years - SJS Music Tuition in Upwey, Victoria - before taking a small break to focus solely on her work in the mental health profession. As a music teacher she has also worked at The Patch Primary School and Ferntree Gully North Primary School. She has taught songwriting classes at Andrea's School of Voice in Ferntree Gully and at the annual camp for Mater Christi Catholic Girls' College. 

Sarah is also a composer and a performer. In 2014 Sarah released her debut original progressive rock album, "Looking Over My Shoulder", under her own label, SJS Music Productions, for which she sang, composed, arranged and co-produced. She has been writing and performing her original music for 5 years - performing all over Melbourne at venues such as the John Curtin Bandroom, Sooki lounge, Gertrude's Brown Couch and many more. Taking a break from songwriting, Sarah is currently working honing her production and composing skills with the aim of working in Game Audio.

You can find out more about Sarah's music at: https://sjsmusicproductions.wordpress.com 

Qualifications as a Counsellor in Melbourne...

Sarah holds a Bachelor of Arts(Psychology). Within this degree Sarah also undertook a double minor in counselling and music. But Sarah believes that life experience is also very important if one wants to help others. Sarah has practised yoga and meditation for 8 years, undergone her own extensive counselling and attended the Cairn-Miller Human Relations Group for 5 years (a psycho-educational and self-discovery group, with a strong psychotherapeutic basis).

For several years now Sarah has worked for mental health organisations such as Mind Australia, Each Community Access Services and Mentis Assist. Here she has worked as a Mental Health Practitioner for people struggling with mental health issues - providing counselling, linkages into community groups and other services (psychiatrists, psychologists, legal services, etc), providing access to food and clothing, and aiding individuals in working towards their own recovery goals.

She has also facilitated gardening, music therapy and yoga/meditation groups in her work and loves the creativity and healing this can bring people.

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From my experiences, this is what I have learned helps people:

  • Genuine care and active listening
  • Being creative with art, music and symbol work (I have used these in my own therapy as well as when I was growing up, and in facilitating groups in my work)
  • Recognizing a person’s individual experiences rather than just labeling them a “Borderline”, etc.
  • Yoga and meditation
  • Exercise and walking
  • Nature
  • Challenging negative thoughts
  • Self-knowledge
  • Learning to process one’s emotions
  • Understanding one's-past
  • Counselling

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I myself see teaching and counselling as two ways to help a person become more fully themselves. 

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I would love the opportunity to work with you – whatever walks of life that you are from, whether you want personalized music lessons or inspiring counselling sessions or something in between!

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