In The Longest Journey: finding the true self Amanda Stuart describes how her clients have overcome a range of emotional difficulties, including anxiety and depression, to find ‘the true self’ and to become happier and more fulfilled in their lives.
The clients’ stories are often told in their own words. Their experiences include sensitive issues such as sexual abuse and a parent’s suicide, topics that are still taboo in our society.
Since training as a counsellor and psychotherapist, Amanda Stuart has worked with individuals, couples and families. The main focus of her work with clients is to develop their sense of self, to improve their relationships (particularly with partners), and to enable both men and women to change negative patterns in their lives.
Amanda encourages her clients to use their creativity as a means to healing emotional pain, through writing, drawing, painting or music. Exploring clients’ dreams is a significant part of her work, leading clients to a richer understanding of their emotional life.
The Longest Journey also offers gentle advice to parents, encouraging them to understand their child’s feelings from a young age.
Amanda grew up in England and came to Australia in her early twenties. She worked in the library of a Melbourne boys’ school for fifteen years, running the year 7 and 8 library for seven of those years. It was in this role that Amanda first became aware that young people often struggle with their feelings, and her interest in the emotional life began. Completing an Arts degree and a Diploma in Education, she taught modern languages at secondary level. Her time as a teacher confirmed her sense that many people need help to handle their emotions and improve their self-esteem. She decided to change her career path.
Amanda divides her time between Melbourne and the Mornington Peninsula. She lives with her husband and Daisy, a labradoodle.