The first kind of WEIRD* is made up of people who live in the everyday world of problems and solutions, and sometimes need to talk about extraordinary experiences -- like death, trauma, abuse, recovery, loneliness, being diagnosed with a mental illness etc.
The second kind of weird is populated by those who have extraordinary experiences in their everyday lives -- such as empaths, channels, healers, dreamwalkers, deva avatars, walk-ins, shamans, alchemists, seers, scribes, sensates, metasens, etc.
*Western, Educated, Industrialised, Rich, and Democratic (WEIRD) as discussed in Henrich, Heine & Norenzayan's 2010 paper The weirdest people in the world?
We lose our way in cities; we get lost in books, lost in thought; we are always looking for meaning in our lives as if we'd know what to do with it once we found it
-- R. B. Kitaj
Combining unconventional insight with mainstream methodology.
The decision to specialise in weird is about filling a gap in the mental health and mindfulness industries. Both of which take a pathological approach to the so-called human experience, with no room for an alternative understanding even when pathology itself causes harm. Both of which expect a results-driven process to provide the best possible care, when this is not always the case.
Although I have a traditional education in counselling and sociology, my work is based on the unorthodox view that pathology is not a necessary part of the therapy process. I take a more open-ended approach, one akin to the original therapaea who scribed people's dreams and listened for the purpose of the gods by being present to the person and their telling.
Coming from this unanchored point of view, with no prescriptions about what should be, allows for a multitude of happenings to occur in the room and in all the rooms of our life. Each client must discover for themselves what this means. For some a healing, an integration, or a letting go. For others an introduction to new ways of being. For a select few the process will be meaningful beyond words, without the need for qualification.
Academically speaking, MetaphOracle is examining the invention of a gaze within the actual experience of a client and then, by remaining open-ended to the client's ongoing experience and my own, we arrive again and again at excitation.
Excitation refers to all the stuff that happens in any moment. It's usefulness lies in not needing to divide up the moment of happenings into categories nor to map them out in relative terms. It's like being loved - you can feel pain but in the presence of being loved that pain takes on a different texture, it is contained somehow, and the performance of meaning takes a back seat to its nature.
Any narrative that predetermines all responses or prohibits any counter narratives puts an end to narrative itself by suppressing all possible alternative actions and responses, by making itself its own end and the end of all narratives.
-- David Carroll
Aloha! I'm a therapist. I specialise in both kinds of weird.
Melanie Brockwell is the founder of MetaphOracle. She has a Diploma of Counselling from the Australian Institute of Professional Counsellors and a Bachelor's in Society, Life & Learning from Macquarie University. She specialises in out-of-the-box projects of distress, design, debrief and development. Melanie is highly intelligent and deeply considered with a bespoke approach to being with that employs formal, folk and fringe operations to meet client needs.
She is not affiliated with any religious, spiritual, therapeutic or academic theories. Her work is an innovative mix of curious compassion and inclusive leadership -- two concepts she details in her first book, H2BM. She offers mentorship to other academics and professionals who find themselves working within a structure they wish to change or, with tools they wish to upgrade. She also plans to publish a Ph.D on her research.
In addition to her private practice, Melanie designs open-ended online experiences. These self-paced processes ask questions and inviting the user to make visible their own assumptions about the answers they provide. These assumptions, once discovered, then become the objects of inquiry; the user is invited to ask after their own judgements about these assumptions. The user's assumptions and judgements are, at all times, accepted as purposeful and worthwhile. Nothing is identified as pathological.
Before MetaphOracle, Melanie operated as a counsellor and confidante in many other positions - bartender, data entry clerk, personal assistant, waitress, bottle shop attendant, arts co-ordinator, social and emotional well-being facilitator, song writer, business and web techspert, cosmetics and candle-making instructor, oracle card reader, artist, and call centre officer. While her C.V. looks meandering and fickle it's the ultimate demonstration of being with; it shows what happens when we focus on the value of our experience more than the appearance of competence, on the richness of our awareness more than the performance of compliance, and on the wholeness of living more than the perception of consistency.
Melanie developed many of her skills treating friends and family. She has helped heroin users through detox, averted suicidal crises, recovered trippers from lost hallways of their minds, counselled people in times of overwhelming guilt, grief, and confusion, and much more. Other skills were innate and only recognised when she found herself able to connect with individuals considered dangerous or unsavoury by most -- drug dealers and gang members, for instance. Not to mention all her encounters with other-worldiness of vortexes and visions that allows her to see what clients are going through and make her a most welcome presence in the lives of those who feel threatened by the mental health system or let-down by for-profit spiritual/business services.
Therapist | Consultant | PD Curator
While I do not have any set beliefs, I have found that some of us do not need problems to (re)solve. We can enter therapy without a "because".
In that spirit, it is also possible to navigate life's brutality with an unBranded identity. We can simply have who we are in a series of moments and not "seek out" an end.
Diagnosis is a mediator who speaks for you before you have the chance to be properly introduced. The wholeness of who you are is more complex than any #tagline.
Oftentimes, in order to be truly unBranded, we need someone to meet us where we are. With reflexion, we can see the order and purpose of an otherwise "chaotic self".
Phone: Most clients prefer the convenience of a call.
Skype: Some opt for a video feed.
Online: All online experiences are accessed via the store.