About Amanda Woodford

Owner of Holding Space Therapeutic Arts Studio
Artist, creative arts therapist (AThR), academic, supervisor & researcher

Image captured during a movement exploration, companioned by fellow arts therapist Yarn Sullivan, Melbourne 2018.

The arts are central

The arts have always been central in how I navigate the world. Using my hands to create is how I get to know things, especially when words get in the way. During my childhood and youth, I made art, danced and played musical instruments. Today my love of the creative arts carries through into my career as a therapeutic arts practitioner. The arts, with an inquiry-based therapeutic intention, have also been significant in my management of living with on-going pain from an injury.

Please view my linked-in profile for work-based experiences in the arts.

Qualifications and interests

My arts therapy degrees are at a post-graduate level from The MIECAT Institute Inc, Melbourne. I have a Graduate Diploma in Experiential and Creative Arts Therapy and a Master of Arts by Supervision in Experiential and Creative Arts Therapy. I am a registered Creative Arts Therapist (AThR) with ANZACATA, which is the peak professional association for Creative Arts Therapies in Australia, New Zealand and Asia.

My Masters thesis, A Book to Hold Our Stories, inquires into ‘what it is like to live in a different culture’. This is a personal area of interest. In the years that followed my Masters I continue to inquire into this topic. I create and exhibit an artistic work called From Migration to Integration. I co-facilitate a community project called Journeys Within Our Community. More recently, I have contributed to a book chapter titled, Taking a Turn: An image-led Dialogue between Creative Arts Educators and Practitioners in Melbourne, Australia (Allen, Rumbold, Schnaedelbach, Woodford & Tann).

I am now working on a Professional Doctorate. My doctoral research looks at the therapeutic arts to support people living with post operative chronic pain. This research is not just about the pain but also trauma, disability and a body living with something that is on-going. I am a member of The New Zealand Pain Society (NZPS) and the International Association for the Study of Pain (IAPS).

What matters most

I love to nurture creativity and use the arts to navigate what we meet individually or collectively in the world. This is what I hope to share with those who I work alongside. It might be in exploring personal content, community needs or in making sense of professional practice. A sustainable practice is also extremely important to me. To me, this is the materials I use and ensuring that I can meet and respond to the needs of those I companion so that my support may no longer be needed.

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