Silvana Forlini

Meet Silvana Forlini, Counsellor

Each month we spotlight an ACA member in the ACA Monthly Bulletin, our monthly newsletter. The Member Spotlight is designed to showcase the work of our members to you! We hope their stories inspire or spark interest. Let’s share our experiences within our counselling community.

What motivated you to pursue a career in counselling?

From a very young age I had the ability to compartmentalize thoughts and situations and navigate them in a progressive way. I believe everyone has the skills and abilities necessary for change, but they don’t know how to find them. I believe people can make choices when they know what choices they have. I pursued a career in counselling to help people find the tools necessary to help themselves. I find that gratifying and very empowering (for my clients and for myself).

What specific areas do you primarily work within?

I specialise in anxiety (generalized and phobias) and trauma, in women’s health and stress related IBS.  As we know, all human suffering originates in how we perceive situations. Our subconscious mind creates narratives which become internalized as the truth; most of the time this is a subconscious process. After completing my master’s in counselling, I was attracted to the idea of tapping into the subconscious mind to produce new ways of seeing, fresh solutions to a problem. Then I trained in Clinical Hypnotherapy and in EMDR Therapy. These methodologies (complementary, NOT alternative) allow clients to shift perception, reduce anxiety and create long lasting changes that arise from within.

Can you share a recent success or achievement in your counselling work that you're proud of?

Anxiety, trauma, and stress related phenomenological conditions include mental and physical stress. Overcoming these require a holistic approach which takes into consideration mental, emotional and physical strategies. I teach my clients emotional regulation, trauma processing and dealing with sensors. This results in a deep sense of empowerment (which is a felt sense that people with those conditions lost long ago). I am satisfied when, after a few sessions, a client does not need to see me anymore.

What is the most rewarding aspect of being a counsellor for you?

For me is getting to know the people who come into my room, their resilience, and their growth. I listen to their stories, and I get to learn so much about their lives, their suffering, and their future. Every person that comes into my room leaves me with a new way of seeing; I benefit from the session as much as they do.

How do you contribute to the betterment of the profession and your community?

I participate in different supervision group, and individual. I also have the privilege to present information (on anxiety, chronic pain management, life transitions) to different organizations. I use these opportunities to strongly emphasize growth comes from within, and that tomorrow is better than today if we choose to. 

Are there any projects or initiatives you're currently involved in?

Yes, I am involved in the Multicultural Men’s Group supported by Multicultural Community Councils SA.  The programme aims at addressing mental health and wellbeing for men from 4 communities: The Association of the Burundian Community of SA, the Australians for Syria Association, the Latin American Society of SA (LASSA), and the Kabadu Men’s Club of SA.  We endeavour to start a lien of communication to reduce stigma and isolation in these communicates.

What advice would you give to someone considering a career in counselling?

I recommend to train in many therapies to be able to see what resonates with you. The methodologies we apply must be congruent with our personalities and beliefs, and the needs of the clients. Don’t take it personally if a client doesn’t align with you. That person might need a different approach, or simply a counsellor who has a different personality. Always be willing to refer to someone else if you feel the collaboration is not happening.

Is there a quote or philosophy that inspires your work?

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way. To choose how to respond”
― Viktor E. Frankl, 

Final thoughts

I want to share that in June it will be 27 years since I arrived in Australia. Every day I reflect on the opportunities I and my children had in this beautiful country. Every day we can ask ourselves, “are there any reasons to smile today? “; I bet the answer is “yes”.  

Recent Posts

Scroll to Top

Advertising Enquiries