Harmonious Discussions

The Harmonious Discussion Series will be on pause until 2025 as Catherine will be overseas working on some training resources.  Please stay tuned to our mailing list, as she will provide some online only material as her resources take shape. If you have an idea for a future discussion or want to present, please get in touch via our Contact Form.
Our trainings are offered for mental health practitioners who are registered with a regulatory body, and are not suitable for the general public.

These events are sponsored by the Brisbane Harmony Centre and are free to participants. We developed them as community building and educational events for mental health practitioners working with trauma.

We endeavour to stimulate interesting and lively discussions about therapeutic trends and current controversies in psychology, while maintaining collaborative, civil and professional standards of communication, as befits the helping professions.

Together, we can learn, thrive, enjoy each others’ support, and set the tone for appropriate and robust debate in the mental health community and the community at large.

Upcoming Harmonious Discussions
Bookings for Harmonious Discussions
Past Harmonious Discussions

Upcoming Harmonious Discussions

Harmonious Discussions are normally held on a Friday evening from 6pm to 8pm at Brisbane Harmony Centre in Woolloongabba (Ground floor, 6 Broadway Street, Woolloongabba QLD 4102).
Our next Discussion is now open for bookings!

HARMONIOUS DISCUSSION – Thursday, June 9th, 2022 from 6-8pm at Brisbane Harmony Centre

Bringing the Positive back into Psychology

We had such a fun time at our round table discussion in April that we've decided to organise another. In June, you will hear from each of the directors of Brisbane Harmony Centre (Mandy Hansen, Ainsley Salsbury and Catherine Hynes) as they lead a discussion about how to incorporate positivity into your trauma focused practice.

Come and be part of this discussion, which will consider these questions:

  • Are you enjoying your clinical work?
  • What makes it easier to enjoy your work?
  • What challenges have you faced in continuing to stay positive while working with traumatised individuals?
  • How do you weave positivity into your work?
  • How do you maintain your optimism?

We provide wine and cheese and a framing of the discussion, you must sign up to participate.

Ainsley Salsbury is a psychologist, co-owner and co-Director of Brisbane Harmony Centre who has the privilege of working with brave individuals in their healing from traumatic and distressing life experiences. Her approach is respectful and recovery focussed, and integratively draws upon various trauma-informed modalities including EMDR; Therapies for Structural Dissociation; Mindfulness; Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.

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To book onto a Harmonious Discussion, send us an email via the form below. Harmonious Discussions are free to attend, but spaces are limited.

Past Harmonious Discussions

Browse through our past Harmonious Discussions, listed below:

Eighteenth Harmonious Discussion – Friday, 3rd November, 2023.

Controversies in Parts Work with Catherine Hynes.

This was our first hybrid in-person and online event! From the feedback we've so far received, we will very likely stick to this format as it's so nice to be able to hear from our non-local colleagues!

Catherine led a discussion about some controversial aspects of parts work, in particular, the problem of iatrogenesis in dissociation, the challenges of having an insufficient evidence base for parts work interventions, and a brief look at how to treat perpetrator imitating parts, which will definitely be a hot stand-alone topic in 2025 when the series resumes. Together, the participants hammered out the challenges of acquiring a substantial evidence base for complex, long-term, non-manualisable therapy, and the challenges of working clinically when there isn't sufficient empirical support for the interventions we are offering. The discussion was lively, engaging, and nuanced, and with all the expertise present at the event, we see possibilities for the future to develop structures for gathering practice-based evidence and clinical wisdom from experience, and shift the paradigm of evidence based practice towards something that maps better onto the complex reality of clinical practice. Thanks to everyone for being part of the discussion!

Eighteenth Harmonious Discussion with Catherine Hynes

Seventeenth Harmonious Discussion – Friday, 21st July, 2023.

How to be a Neuro-Affirming Trauma Therapist. With Mandy Hansen.

Mandy Hansen led us through a discussion around Neuroaffirming Therapy. This was a lively discussion that provided up to date research, and was centred on the lived-experience of Autistic individuals. We dove into topics such as Double Empathy, Autistic Burnout, the Neurodiversity movement and our own internalised ableism and discussed how we can improve our practices to meet the needs of our Neurodivergent clients. Thank you so much for coming and participating so enthusiastically!

Seventeenth Harmonious Discussion with Mandy Hansen

Sixteenth Harmonious Discussion – Friday, 26th May, 2023.

Racism: the Forgotten Trauma. With Katherine Thornley, Psychologist (Phos Psychology)

Katherine led a fascinating, thought-provoking conversation about the impacts of racism as an ongoing, and sadly, inescapable trauma for many members of our community. She asked participants to use our imaginations, and engage in the narratives and lived experiences of others to explore and formulate the influence of racism on communities and individuals. She offered some welcome suggestions for professional development beyond text books and trainings created by dominant cultural groups, and invited us to consider art as a form of professional development to support the art of therapy. What a great presentation, thank you Katherine! Folks, keep an eye out for more from Phos Psychology.

Sixteenth Harmonious Discussion with Katherine Thornley, Psychologist (Phos Psychology)

Fifteenth Harmonious Discussion – Friday, 17th February, 2023.

Functional Neurological Symptom Disorder: Through the looking glass. With Dr Megan Broughton, Clinical Neuropsychologist & Clinical Psychologist (private practice).

We were delighted to have Megan come and share her expertise with functional neurological disorders, and enjoyed another lively discussion with lots of participant input. We learned about important treatment considerations for clients presenting with functional neurological symptoms, and thought hard together about the mechanisms and formulations of these conditions. Thank you Megan for enlightening us!

Fifteenth Harmonious Discussion with Dr Megan Broughton

Fourteenth Harmonious Discussion – Friday, 4th November, 2022.

Recognising and Managing Resistance – a Wellbeing Strategy for Therapists and Clients. With Catherine Hynes and Ainsley Salsbury

Catherine oriented the group to literature on resistance from therapists experienced in treating dissociative disorders, including Richard Kluft, Colin Ross and Kathy Steele, and Ainsley illuminated the problem with clinical vignettes and a thought provoking fable about responsibility between people. It was great to have an opportunity to consider the nuances of resistance in both those seeking and offering treatment, and to consider how to overcome resistance on both sides to keep therapies moving and improve wellbeing for all.

Fourteenth Harmonious Discussion with Catherine Hynes and Ainsley SalsburyFourteenth Harmonious Discussion with Catherine HynesFourteenth Harmonious Discussion with Ainsley Salsbury

Lucky Thirteenth Harmonious Discussion – Thursday, 21st April, 2022.

Responsibility and Compassion in Therapy. A round table discussion.

Catherine Hynes (Brisbane Harmony Centre) kicked the discussion off by outlining how this dilemma has presented challenges with clients with structural dissociation.

Lyndon Barei (True North Psychology and DBT Brisbane) shared some insights from DBT about the dialectical nature of these two concepts, and the importance of validation in treatment.

Rosanna Tremewan (Willow Psychology Services) identified the challenge of very understandable avoidance of difficult materials in therapy, and reflected on how this can present obstacles to change.

Robin Fraser (Blue Flame Wellness) covered a psychodynamic perspective on this challenge, and noted that in psychdynamic models, therapists are encouraged to enact both the role of the compassionate mother and the responsibility encouraging father in order to avoid splitting defences in clients, underscoring the importance of keeping a balance between both perspectives.

Chelsea Leach (You-Foric Psychology) shared some insights from her forensic work about the importance of creating a compassionate space in order for responsibility to be taken on by clients, and she shared some positive methods of working from restorative justice interventions in which responsibility and compassion have contributed to healing of both offenders and their victims.

Brenton Harris (Narthanya Psychology) shared his perspective using ACT, and includes some provocative questions, asking how you can have responsibility without compassion, and vice versa, and wondering where the limits of our responsibility lie over our emotional responses to our experiences.

Lucky Thirteenth Harmonious Discussion – Thursday, 21 April, 2022.

It was such a pleasure to be able to host an in-house event in person, albeit with masks on, again- our first since Covid started. We welcomed some new faces in the audience, which is always a pleasure as we welcome all mental health practitioners with an interest in trauma informed care to join network. We had a lively and stimulating discussion over a glass of wine and snacks. The presenters definitely provoked thought on this dilemma, and there were many harmonies present in the different approaches. Overall, I believe we can conclude that therapy progresses clients' aims best when there is an active collaboration between the hand that offers compassionate support, and the hand that encourages responsibility.

Twelfth Harmonious Discussion – Friday, 26th November, 2021.

Ainsley Salsbury: EMDR Dilemmas – Reflections from one EMDR Therapist's Experience of Being Called to the Stand.

Ainsley walked us through her experience of how psychology and the law intersect, often in ways which are stressful, unwanted and complex. The law's view of EMDR is particularly fraught and complex when our clients may seek to prosecute traumas which represent criminal abuses against them. It appears there are no clear or certain answers about how to navigate this murky and confronting labyrinth of dilemmas. Ainsley shared her experience, and her considerable preparation for a court appearance, and her hard work and thoughtful exploration of these complexities is sure to embolden and inform us to face this series of challenges bravely and wisely.

Twelfth Harmonious Discussion – Friday 26 November, 2021.

Eleventh Harmonious Discussion – Friday, 20th August, 2021.

Dr Bianca Sebben: Psychedelic-Assisted Psychotherapy.

Bianca walked us through the not-so-weird and wonderful world of psychedelic assisted psychotherapy. Bianca reviewed the controlled trials in this field, detailing the mounting research evidence that psychedelics represent a significant tool in treating mental illness in general and trauma in particular. She walked us through what a typical treatment protocol looks like, session by session, and delighted us with the possibilities that this emerging field is providing for time-efficient, meaning-oriented, holistic healing for mental illness. She also commented on the harmonies between these treatment approaches and parts work and EMDR therapy interventions. We look forward to hearing about more in this area as research develops and therapeutic approaches are further developed. Thanks Bianca for bringing us this fascinating introduction!

11th Harmonious Discussion

Tenth Harmonious Discussion – Friday, 4th June, 2021.

Dr Sarah Schubert: Preparation – science and techniques to create integrative memory processing capacity with complex trauma presentations.

Sarah put together a fascinating, stimulating online event for us from Perth. She presented her informed and well researched thoughts on how to prepare people with attachment trauma for EMDR reprocessing. She dazzled us with a powerful method she's developed, drawing on neuroscience, polyvagal theory, structural dissociation, and EMDR, that assists clients to befriend their parts and integrate them into a cooperative collaboration. As always, Sarah brought us a thought provoking and highly valuable presentation in her warm and encouraging style.

10th Harmonious Discussion with Dr Sarah Schubert

Ninth Harmonious Discussion – Friday, 30th April, 2021.

Dr Sarah Swannell: A closer look at dissociative experiences in Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)

We were delighted by our first post-Covid in-person event at the Red Brick Hotel in Annerley. Sarah presented research of her own and from others looking into the fascinating issue of how dissociative symptoms are address, or not, in treatments for borderline personality disorder. This is what a scientist-practitioner looks like:

Our Ninth Harmonious Discussion: Dr Sarah Swannell: A closer look at dissociative experiences in Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)

Sarah's presentation was fascinating, and like all great research, brought up more questions than it answered, and the discussion afterwards was really thought provoking. We look forward to learning more about this and seeing some of this research incorporated into clinical practice. Thank you Sarah!

Eighth Harmonious Discussion – Wednesday 9 September, 2020.

Dr Sarah Schubert: Trauma-focused therapy: The role and paradox of stabilisation and attachment.

Again modified by the global pandemic, which made our group room too small to host an in-person crowd, and left Sarah in Western Australia due to border closures, we hosted an online Harmonious Discussion with 20 participants.

Our eighth Harmonious Discussion: Dr Sarah Schubert: Trauma-focused therapy: The role and paradox of stabilisation and attachment.

Sarah put together a thought-provoking presentation about the role of attachment in stabilisation that will have many of the participants working more somatically and socially from here on. She gave a most straightforward explanation of polyvagal theory, and tied our work in EMDR Therapy solidly to social neuroscience, and challenged us all to think a little differently about the importance of connection with others during the early phases of therapy. She also tantalised us with an offer to present part 2 – a more practical take, later this year. Thanks to Sarah for such a great talk, we are looking forward to part 2, and thanks to all who attended!

Seventh Harmonious Discussion – Friday 17 April, 2020.

Supporting Mental Health Practitioners through the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Due to the global pandemic, our in-person Harmonious Discussions have been postponed, but that didn't stop us at Brisbane Harmony Centre! Catherine hosted an online event to check in with our network of mental health practitioners about the challenges of working on healing trauma during a global pandemic in which the world feels a little less safe and a little less under control.

Our seventh Harmonious Discussion: Supporting Mental Health Practitioners Through the COVID-19 Pandemic.

We heard from our colleagues about the frustrations, difficulties and silver linings associated with moving our practices online, we shared tips and wisdom that we accumulated rapidly over those early intense weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic. We took time to gather hope for the future, and enjoyed warmth, support and laughter together. Thanks to everyone who participated – our community and the support that we enjoy and offer has never been more valuable than now!

Sixth Harmonious Discussion – Friday 13 March, 2020.

Therapist Book Club: "EMDR and Dissociation: The Progressive Approach" with Ainsley Salsbury.

On 13th March, the clinic hosted the final instalment of a book club Harmonious Discussion related to Gonazalez and Mosquera's "EMDR the Progressive Approach". The lively discussion was led by Ainsley who was one of quite a few participants to also have attended the 4 day EMDRAA conference where the authors were the keynote speakers.

Our sixth Harmonious Discussion: Therapist Book Club: "EMDR and Dissociation: The Progressive Approach" with Ainsley Salsbury.

It was incredibly valuable to collectively unpack the remaining chapters of the book, intertwine the content and wisdom from the EMDRAA conference, and to really feel a greater sense of integrating this approach into working with complex cases and dissociation.

It was a wonderful opportunity to have our learning enriched by the insights, experiences and perspectives of a room full of committed and talented peers. Also a valuable opportunity to socialise and enjoy some lighter moments together.

Fifth Harmonious Discussion – Friday 29 November, 2019.

The Self in Internal Family Systems Therapy.

Thanks to Karen Reid and Marisa Bertello for coming from Toowoomba and sharing their enthusiastic presentation on the Self in Internal Family Systems. They livened us up with great demonstrations, and we thoroughly enjoyed the evening.

Our fifth Harmonious Discussion: The Self in Internal Family Systems Therapy.

We are looking forward to more great events in 2020! 🙂

Fourth Harmonious Discussion – Friday 13 September, 2019.

A Book Club Discussion Part Two: "EMDR and Dissociation: The Progressive Approach" by Anabel Gonzalez and Dolores Mosquera.

We held our second book club and were pleased to have some new faces in the crowd at this event – welcome to all who are passionate about offering high quality trauma informed therapy. Amanda Hansen led us through a couple of very dense chapters, and made sense of some complicated therapeutic concerns for us.

Our fourth Harmonious Discussion: A Book Club discussion, part two

We are looking forward to Ainsley hosting a follow up discussion in the beginning of 2020 to share the wisdom she collects at the Mosquera and Gonazalez training in Sydney in November.

Third Harmonious Discussion – Friday 19 July, 2019.

A Book Club Discussion Part One: "EMDR and Dissociation: The Progressive Approach" by Anabel Gonzalez and Dolores Mosquera.

We recently hosted our first Harmonious Discussion run in a 'Therapist Book Club' format. Thank you to everyone who attended and took a deep dive into the first few chapters of this insightful book, with the presentation led by Ainsley Salsbury.

Our third Harmonious Discussion: A Book Club discussion

The book and the model integrate clinical wisdom, science and knowledge from a broad range of fields. The model seeks to equip EMDR practitioners with a rich theoretical framework for planning and delivering safe effective treatment for people who have suffered early and/or severe traumatisation.

It was incredibly useful to explore and discuss these perspectives as a peer group. We look forward also to future Harmonious Discussions where we can further immerse ourselves in the practical application of this broadly informed framework and associated techniques. These approaches hold so much promise for addressing complexities and getting good outcomes for clients.

The authors will be presenting at a 4 day conference in Sydney in November 2019, which Ainsley will be attending on behalf of Brisbane Harmony Centre. If you are going to be there too, please say hi!

Second Harmonious Discussion – Friday 1 March, 2019.

Stabilisation in EMDR Therapy

Our second Harmonious Discussion was hosted by our colleague Sarah Miller, who skillfully navigated us through a review of the theory and the research covering both sides of the argument for stabilising, and not stabilising people before addressing their traumatic memories in therapy.

Our second Harmonious Discussion was hosted by our colleague Sarah Miller.

We were lucky to have Sarah's incisive presentation in her entertaining and witty style. Fun was had by all, and our discussion raised more questions than it answered. The participating therapists were emotionally engaged by research that may challenge received wisdom in trauma therapy. Food for thought, and further research and discussion.

Watch this space!

Inaugural Harmonious Discussion – 30 November, 2018.

We were delighted to have held our first event on 30 November, 2018.


The event was a raging success, and it was a delight for us to watch our colleagues mingle, learn, and question with a spirited attitude and lots of laughter.

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