By Sarah Mooy, Psychologist, ANZACBS Member
Each month, the ANZACBS Communications Team highlights the work of one of our members. Today we introduce you to Toni Hanna, Social Worker and ACT Therapist, South Australia.
**Internet Gremlins are preventing us from including a profile pic, so you”ll have to see Toni here**
Toni is an Accredited Mental Health Social Worker from South Australia who runs her own Private Practice. She has worked in the field for 23 years helping a wide range of people from diverse backgrounds. Toni was drawn to ACT in 2009, undergoing her first PD training and, as you may have experienced yourself, she felt she had found her professional home at ACBS.
One evening, after several attempts to connect, we had the chance to sit down and catch up for a chat. We had met briefly in Perth last year, however we had not spoken at length, so it was a great opportunity to get to know Toni.
We began our discussion talking about who Toni would like to collaborate with in ACBS given the opportunity…. there are so many amazing people it’s hard to choose! Toni shared her love of working with children, young people and families, those on the Autism Spectrum and others working in the Social Work field. Toni’s passion is evident listening to her as she shares that she would like to collaborate with anyone else who has the same interests as her.
Our conversation flowed in the direction of the things that inspire Toni within CBS. Toni spoke of how she felt science was missing from the Social Work field at times and CBS filled this void for her. The science of human behaviour and compassion in CBS inspired Toni to learn more and bring that to her clients. Toni talked of the synergy between the individual and the broader context in her ACT work too, sharing this was something she really connected with.
“I love the synergy between the individual and the context.”
ACBS is evolving and Toni shared her passion for the Women of ACBS SIG, stating that she has been inspired to speak out more on the listserv and Facebook pages. There are many members that inspire Toni within our community too. She spoke of Lisa Coyne, Robyn Walser, John Forsyth and Kelly Wilson, to name a few, and their ability to really live ACT. Who inspires you?
Toni shared that her favourite book is Mindfulness for Two by Kelly G Wilson, as she really connected with aspects of the book emphasising the importance of a clinician’s self awareness when engaged in the therapeutic relationship with clients.
Our chat moved in the direction of ACT/CBS in Toni’s personal life, her response, “it’s everywhere,” from herself to her children. She shared that it was most evident in her parenting and ability to support her children, in ways that she may not have, if it wasn’t for ACT.
Toni’s work over the years has been varied and diverse, working with NSW Department of Health, Non-Government Organisations, the Courts, Local Council and the Rehabilitation Industry. Through her work, Toni has supported those experiencing Drug and Alcohol Addiction, Domestic Violence, Workplace Injury and within Indigenous Communities.
We spoke of her work with Indigenous Communities and how these experiences are ones she cherishes. One of the most memorable ACT moments Toni has had was whilst working with a 50yr old Indigenous landowner, who was experiencing emotional pain. He asked, “Is this normal?” referring to the pain. Toni was able to share the commonness of human suffering through her work so he could understand his feelings were typical; something he didn’t realise, and hadn’t been told before.
Toni continues her work with children, young people, adults and families in South Australia at her Private Practice.
If you would like to connect with Toni, you can contact her by email.