WHO ARE WE?
Creative MindHealth is a Zimbabwean based foundation, with a passion for growing a resilient, connected and thriving community. We offer a platform for professional and creative therapeutic interventions that support individual and collective healing.
We are a social enterprise that celebrates diversity, and promotes collaborative and engaging programs. Our focus is on restorative and transformative practices, with particular interest in expressive arts, trauma informed models of care, somatic and body-based techniques and storytelling in all its forms. All programs showcase best practice interventions and are evidence based. Expressive arts and trauma informed programming provide a fascinating and highly effective, proven alternative to other forms of traditional therapy techniques. We offer safe spaces that are confidential and non-judgemental, as well as fun and interactive.
We look forward to welcoming you on a journey of self-discovery, courage and creativity. Let the fun (and healing) begin!
Vanessa Hounsell is an Expressive Arts Therapist. Vanessa’s combined history as a professional artist and writer, with a background in ballet and modern dance, as well as mindfulness, and some musical training, coalesced beautifully with a keen interest and involvement in counselling, when she decided to study art therapy, through the Centre for Clinical and Educational Art Therapy (CECAT), Sydney, Australia. Having existing knowledge, training and experience in the full range of creatively expressive modalities that are used within expressive arts therapy was to her immense advantage.
Having originally graduated with two years of Architecture, and majors in Economic History and English literature from the University of Cape Town in 1990, Vanessa first realised the importance of art therapy in year 2000, whilst living in the UK, where she produced paintings for an exhibition called ART in Hospitals, located at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital, London, where she prepared and presented thirty paintings that were exhibited over a three month period. It was only years later, having relocated to live with her partner in Zimbabwe, that she undertook formal training with CECAT for four years, where she remains registered as an Art Therapist.
Having added many years of teaching experience to her working life, she now combines her art therapy practice with art teaching.
Vanessa continues to run her expressive arts therapy private practice, as well as undertake consultancy work for NGOs, alongside her role as co-founder and Director of Creative MindHealth Zimbabwe. Referring to herself as a lifelong student, she is also currently completing a Msc Psychology, as professional development.
She is a registered art therapist with CECAT, a member of The British Association of Art Therapist’s (BAAT), a member of the South African Society of Artists (SASA), and a member of The Therapist’s Support Group (TSG), Zimbabwe. She also currently holds the honorary position of Visual Arts Director for The National Allied Arts of Zimbabwe, and is an accredited Mental Health First Aider, UK.
Vanessa is a founding director of Creative MindHealth and welcomes you to get in touch.
Susan Wyatt is an Occupational Therapist, graduating from the University of Queensland, Australia in 2009. Susan has specialised in clinical mental health, with a particular focus on transcultural mental health, group-based processes and trauma healing practices.
Susan is a trauma sensitive yoga teacher trainer, an Alternatives to Violence Project facilitator, a believer in fun, and a passionate community builder. She recently cowrote a chapter for the internationally collaborated book ‘The Power of Togetherness’; she presented with the Boston Trauma Research Foundation in 2021, and has contributed to discussions on mental health policy development through the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO forum.
Susan is a founding director of Creative MindHealth and welcomes you to get in touch
Dr. Olga Nel
Dr. Olga Filippa Nel holds a PhD in Psychology from the University of South Africa. She is a licensed and registered Clinical Psychologist in private practice with educational training and experience and an International Associate of the American Psychologists’ Association, as well as a member of the Zimbabwe Psychologists’ Association.
Her work, which spans almost two decades, includes therapeutic interventions and coaching for children, adolescents and adults with a CBT focus, the administration and interpretation of psychometric measures in educational and clinical contexts, talks to various professions and the public and life-skills lessons. She is also a part-time lecturer at Arrupe Jesuit University, in Harare, Zimbabwe, an examiner for the University of South Africa, is a published author and has spoken at several local and international conferences.
She is a co-founder and co-ordinator of the Zimbabwe School Counsellors Group, organising development and training talks. In the aftermath of Cyclone Idai and during the Covid-19 Pandemic, she launched the initiative Counsellors on Call to offer support to those affected. She was appointed psychological advisor to the Italian Embassy in Zimbabwe during the COVID-19 crisis and is running a support hotline for Italian nationals.