Monica Karst is an accredited social worker and the Director of Safe Haven Counselling, which is based in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne, Australia.
Monica uses a range of therapeutic approaches to support individuals to overcome difficulties and live the lives they wish to. She brings together a trauma-informed, person-centred perspective to focus on the unique individual needs of her clients. Monica is clinically trained in a range of evidence-based and emerging therapies, including Havening Techniques®, Eye-Movement, Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) and mindfulness practices. Her clients leave sessions having focused on their current experiences, responded to wounds from the past and able to go on to live the future they aspire to and deserve.
Monica specialises in supporting people to address their recent and past histories of trauma. She has supported hundreds of clients who have experienced violence and abuse as children and adults. She has worked comprehensively with people who use violence to address cycles of violence and trauma that are often generational. Monica is also passionate about supporting individuals and families whose life experiences have shaped them in ways that limit their potential to live the life they wish. She is skilled in supporting parents who have experienced pregnancy loss, grief and bereavement. Through this work, Monica helps the people she works with to develop a positive view of themselves and enriches their capacity to be who and what they wish.
Monica has extensive experience providing therapeutic services, programs and practical support in an array of settings. She started her social work career working with people who had committed violent acts, working in both in prison and community settings. She honed her ability to separate people from their behaviours, to see the whole person and support them where they are. She has developed creative strategies to support people to focus on the life they wish to live and to find ways, both practical and therapeutic, to support this. Monica has in-depth skills and knowledge in how to best support people from all walks of life, including those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and also people from the LBGTQI+ community.
After working for eight years in the criminal justice system, Monica worked in trauma services, hospitals, community services, prisons and not-for-profit organisations in a counselling and leadership capacity. She has become known for the warm and engaging manner in which she supports the people she works with. Monica has a distinctive ability to help people define the emotional core of their lived experiences and find paths to real and transformative healing. She has been trained and skilled in various techniques bringing the rapidly developing knowledge of neuroscience together with traditional and progressive therapeutic approaches.
Monica believes that trauma is a normal response to exceptional circumstances, however real and comprehensive healing can occur in a safe space.