About Me

“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it” – Mawlana Jala-al-Din Rumi

Expertise

In 2008 I was awarded the Australian Psychological Society Prize for the most meritorious Psychology student across James Cook University Cairns and Townsville Campus. I was offered a scholarship to undertake a PhD which I completed in 2017. My PhD was on the neuroscience of emotion. This topic took me on an extraordinary journey including two episodes of Psychosis.

I taught Psychology for several years at James Cook University Cairns Campus: Introduction to Psychology I and II, Sensation and Perception, Memory and Cognition, Psychopathology, and Theoretical Foundations of Modern Psychology. I teach students any genuine education leads to humility, compassion and purposeful action. Students are also my teachers.

I have co-developed and co-facilitated psychosocial intervention programs for mental health, dual diagnosis and family domestic violence. I have spoken at many high schools across Far North Queensland under the Living Proof program with the Mental Illness Fellowship North Queensland to inspire recovery. I have volunteered at Lifeline for individuals at risk of suicide.

I have worked as a Psychologist for First Nations people living in Cape York communities, in Far North Queensland, Australia. I have supported children, adults and families who continue to experience ongoing systemic oppression, injustice and intergenerational trauma. My education, lived experience, and countless stories point to the need for human rights and a trauma informed Australia if we intend to embrace life fully.

Welcome to Walu Wugirriga. Eastern Kuku Yalanji Country. #HealingTrauma

In October 2020 I joined Twitter to share my education for human rights and social change. From there I was asked to be the Psychologist for over 35 Indigenous Health experts at the 2021 Closing the Gap on Indigenous Health Conference. I was also asked to be on an expert panel to help select the best organisation for a new Adult Mental Health Service in Queensland.

I was also invited to be interviewed on Brainwaves 3CR Community Radio to share my lived experience of Psychosis to inspire recovery. I was invited back to share the vision for a trauma informed Australia: You and I breaking the cycle of injustice and trauma together by turning Trauma Informed Care into a mindset for personal, social and political change. You can listen to my first interview with Brainwaves here:

https://www.3cr.org.au/brainwaves/episode-202107211700/dr-louise-hansen-lived-experience-psychosis

Human rights are vital for survival and wellbeing. I would like the Australian Government to implement all recommendations from the 2021 Human Rights Watch World Report: Australia and partner with Blue Knot Foundation National Centre of Excellence for Complex Trauma for a trauma informed Australia. You can add your name to this call if you are an Australian:

https://www.megaphone.org.au/petitions/i-can-t-call-australia-home-i-can-call-for-a-trauma-informed-australia

My lived experience story of Psychosis has since been published in Mad In America: Science, Psychiatry and Social Justice. I was also invited to speak at the 2022 Australian Youth Defence Forum about Trauma Informed Care for Survival and Wellbeing. You are welcome to listen to Dr. Cathy Kezelman AM, the President of Blue Knot Foundation National Centre of Excellence for Complex Trauma, and I chatting together with Brainwaves 3CR Community Radio about the value of Trauma Informed Care here:

https://www.3cr.org.au/brainwaves

It is time for a trauma informed Australia.

For the First Nations people of Australia who are still subject to ongoing oppression, systemic injustice and intergenerational trauma.

For Tharnicaa, Kopika, Priya, Nades. For each person who sought asylum in Australia and are instead being held in indefinite detention.

For everyone one of us.

Integrity.

🕊

With love,

Dr Louise Hansen
Psychologist
PhD in Psychology
Human Rights Activist

#HealingTrauma #Justice4Australia #YouBelong

Education

Doctor of Philosophy, Psychology (2017)

Bachelor of Psychology, 1st Class Honours (2008)

Bachelor of Education-Bachelor of Psychology (2007)

My mother Gelma Meoli who gave me the opportunity to follow my bliss (2008).

About Myself

Privilege allowed my personal dreams to come true. My passion is to facilitate the development of a trauma informed world to allow that to become a reality for anybody. Since I was born in Australia, my primary focuses include supporting the Uluru Statement from the Heart, the need for human rights and climate action, and trauma informed systemic changes that are culturally safe.

My Lived Experience of Psychosis

My lived experience of Psychosis was the single most important thing to happen to me. If I had not become unwell I would not have had to recover and understand the difference between knowledge, experience and wisdom.

My Experience of Diagnosis

The first Psychosis I had I was terribly paranoid because I had been trained in Psychology to question everything including the strengths and dangers of a diagnosis. The second Psychosis I was more trusting because I had an established relationship with a medical team and there was more of an emphasis on the principles of trauma informed care. I also had more insight to understand what was happening to me so I was more willing to trust other people to take care of me in a situation where I was clearly unwell.

My Current Role

My passion today is sharing education freely for personal, social and political change. My experience is that the current systems we have include historical timelines based on oppression and injustice that have been and still are largely traumatising. I would like to see systemic changes that include what we know works well from science as well as acknowledging the limitations of using the scientific method alone for survival and wellbeing and why wisdom traditions have existed for so long and continue to endure today and how both converge to establish a sense of safety, truth, freedom, health and wellbeing.

Application of Lived Experience

Today I focus on supporting a persons’ needs at the time and sharing Trauma Informed Care, trauma informed tools, and harm minimisation, so that they can establish a sense of stability, clarity, the ability to regulate their emotions, and a sense of connection and belonging. I share my lived experience openly if I feel it will benefit the person. Sometimes it does. Sometimes it does not. So I have learnt over time if it is appropriate to share, then it is okay to share. If it is not necessary then it is more beneficial to focus on the person’s immediate world and how to support them to establish a skill set for survival and wellbeing.

What Have I Found Most Embraced

Being real, honest, down to earth, curious, interested, willing to listen and learn from the person experiencing trauma, explaining the principles of trauma informed care, trauma informed tools and harm minimisation, in a culturally safe way, and why our systems ultimately require systemic change.

What Have I Most Embraced

I have come to accept the strengths and limitations of my own profession and I am now focused on learning what works from a diverse range of people based on their own lived experiences. I would like to take people outside of Psychology and back into reality and their own world and what they are capable of rather than simply seeing themselves as a diagnosis. I still stick to key trauma informed frameworks. However, the beauty of Trauma Informed Care is that it is incredibly versatile and will vary from person to person, country to country and culture to culture. I acknowledge that there are some non-negotiables in life that are universal to us all for survival. However, once these are tended to on a daily basis that we are unique human beings which means we will express ourselves in undefined ways and this is something I am very passionate about supporting in a safe way. This is also why I am strongly passionate about the Uluru Statement from the Heart, the need for human rights and climate action and our systems becoming trauma informed since it is my understanding that this is what will be required within Australia to ensure that survival and wellbeing becomes a shared reality for us all.

Awards

Filipino Martial Arts – Gold Champion at the Kali 3D International Training Camp in Batangas Philippines (2017, 2019)

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu – Quadruple Gold Champion at the Queensland State Championships (2017)

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu – Double Gold Champion at the North Queensland Championships (2016, 2017)

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu – Double Gold Champion at the Far North Queensland Championships (2016)

Australian Postgraduate Scholarship to undertake a PhD in Psychology at James Cook University Cairns Campus (2009)

Australian Psychological Society Award for Cairns and Townsville Jame Cook University Campus (2008)

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu – Quadruple Gold at the Queensland State Championships (2017) after my first episode of Psychosis (2012).

“To me, the extraordinary aspect of martial arts lies in its simplicity. The easy way is also the right way, and martial arts is nothing at all special; the closer to the true way of martial arts, the less wastage of expression there is.” – Bruce Lee

Accredited Training

Indigenous Mental Health First Aid (2021)

Dr Janina Fisher – Transforming Trauma Related Stuckness (2019)

Inner Engineering with Sadhguru – Meditation, Postures, Breathing (2019)

Isha Yogasanas with Sadhguru – Meditation, Posture, and Breathing (2019)

Alcohol Tobaccos and Other Drugs Service – How to work with clients who misuse Alcohol and Other Drugs (2018)

Blue Knot Foundation National Centre of Excellence for Complex Trauma: Level 1- Trauma Informed Care for Domestic and Family Violence (2018)

Blue Knot Foundation National Centre of Excellence for Complex Trauma: Level 2 – Working Therapeutically with Complex Trauma Clients (2018)

MAYBO – Conflict Management & Resolution (2018)

ASK Disability Support Training – St John’s Community Care (2017)

Dr Greta Holloway – Child and Family Assessment and Intervention Training (2015)

Lifeline Telephone Crisis Support Course (2015)

Assist Suicide Intervention Training (2015)

Mental Health First Aid (2015)

“The Uluru Statement from the Heart is an invitation from First Nations to all Australians to realise a better future. Learn more and help us educate other Australians.”

https://ulurustatement.org/the-statement/
Youth And Truth: Unplug with Sadhguru.

“True human capabilities will not find expression in competition. True human capabilities will find expression only in absolute relaxation. Your mind, your body will work best, will find fullest expression, only when you are joyful and peaceful, and quiet within yourself.

“Why do you need to be pleasant within? The answer is self-evident. When you are in a pleasant inner state, you are naturally pleasant to everyone and everything around you. No scripture or philosophy is needed to instruct you to be good to others. It is a natural outcome when you are feeling good within yourself. Inner pleasantness is a surefire insurance for the making of a peaceful society and a joyful world.”

Jagadish Vasudev,
venerated as Sadhguru.
Indian Yogi and Founder of
Isha Yoga Centre, Tamil, India.

https://www.consciousplanet.org
My partner Marcelo Alegre Rubic who taught me do not let anyone control your life. #YouBelong

Trauma Informed World was inspired by Kopika and Tharnicaa; two faces that remind us everyday of Australia’s cruel refugee system. One of many systems in Australia that remind us of the negative operation of power. #HomeToBilo

Kopika (left) and Tharnicaa (right) were kept at Christmas Island Detention Centre for nearly two years despite trauma informed calls to return them to Biloela, Queensland. Tharnicaa has spent most of her life detained by the Australian Government and is still in community detention to this day. #YouBelong

https://www.hometobilo.com
Xavier Rudd – Spirit Bird (2012):

“Give it time and we wonder why
Do what we can laugh and we cry
Sleep in your dust because we’ve seen this all before
Culture fades with tears and grace
Leaving us stunned hollow with shame
We have seen this all, seen this all before
Many tribes of a modern kind
Doing brand new work same spirit by side
Joining hearts and hands
and ancestral twine, ancestral twine
Many tribes of a modern kind
Doing brand new work same spirit by side
Joining hearts and hands
and ancestral twine, ancestral twine
And slowly it fades
Slowly it fades
And slowly it fades
Slowly it fades
Spirit bird she creaks and groans
She knows she has seen this all before
She has seen this all before, she has
Spirit bird she creaks and groans
She knows she has seen this all before
She has seen this all before, she has
And slowly it fades
And slowly we fade
And slowly we fade
Slowly it fades
Slowly it fades
Soldier on, soldier on my good countrymen
Keep fighting for your culture now,
keep fighting for your land
I know it’s been thousands of years
And I feel your hurt
And I know it’s wrong and you feel
You’ve been chained and broken and burned
And those beautiful old people,
Those wise old souls
Have been ground down
For far too long
By that spineless man,
That greedy man,
That heartless man
Deceiving man,
That government hand
Taking blood and land
Taking blood and land
And still they can
But your dreaming
And your warrior spirit lives on
And it is so so so strong
In the earth,
In the trees,
In the rocks
In the water,
In your blood
And in the air we breathe
Soldier on, soldier on my good countrymen
Keep fighting for your children now,
Keep fighting for your land
Slowly it fades
Slowly it fades
Slowly it fades
Slowly it fades
Stand strong, keep the fire burning
Stick together, gotta keep the wheels turning
Forcing companies to stand aside
Forcing government to recognize
The power of this tribe
Give it time and we wonder why
Do what we can, laugh and we cry
Sleep in your dust because we’ve seen this all before.”

#YouBelong

https://youtu.be/TmxSxKxBbQE

This is my favourite song in the world.
It was released the year of my first Psychosis.
I did not know that until I made this website.
#IncarcerationNation

https://incarcerationnation.com.au

“Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” – James Baldwin
“Feeling overwhelmed by the amount of support we received overnight! We’re able to fund one more Indigenous Psychology student for a full three year Psychology degree from just a 10 minute appearance on ABC #TheDrum.” – Dr Tracy Westerman AM

If you would like to donate, please visit:

https://www.thejilyainstitute.com.au/about-us/
Former Socceroo, Adjunct Professor, Human Rights Activist Craig Foster AM:

“Confronting racism is a profoundly positive act of citizenry.”

https://craigfoster.net

“You must resist attempts to convince you that torture and the breaking of humans is strong, and care and compassion is somehow weak when the exact opposite is evidently true. It takes strength to lift another person up, a community, to give something of what we have, to another. It takes real courage to speak out for a colleague or community when they’re in need. The terrible irony is, First Nations aside, we’re all ‘asylum seekers,’ aren’t we?”

Full speech below:

Australia and the World
Courage, Solidarity, Humanity and Leadership.
Or Refugee Torture, Human Rights Abuse, Xenophobia and Climate Inaction.
From Local to Global.
Annual Australian National University Address
National Press Club, Canberra.

https://craigfoster.net/australia-and-the-world/
Kon Karapanagiotidis AM. Lawyer, Founder and CEO of Asylum Seeker Resource Centre:

“Being fierce advocates is at the heart of what we do at the ASRC and now even that is under attack. We’ve joined forces with Hands Off Our Charities (HOOC) alliance made up of charity and civil society across the country to fight against the new regulations that could see charities deregistered for engaging in advocacy activities.”

https://asrc.org.au

Advocating for asylum-seekers: lessons from the pandemic:

https://youtu.be/MKG849csk74
“Australia’s political system is too broken to tackle climate change, and big polluters are determined to keep it that way. But we have a plan:”

https://www.climate200.com.au

You can listen my talk with Dr Cathy Kezelman AM, President of Blue Knot Foundation on my own healing journey, training and study and how it has informed my work and advocacy for a trauma informed world here:

Trauma Informed World acknowledges and respects Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the Traditional Custodians of the land and waterways on which this educational resource was inspired. I acknowledge and respect Elders past, present and emerging. I honour the continuation of educational, cultural and spiritual practices and celebrate the extraordinary diversity of people and relationships worldwide. This website contains images of deceased persons. There are also swear words in some of the songs presented that portray intense emotions. This website is not intended to trigger people who have experienced trauma. However, if you do find any of the content triggering, each page has a link to Australia’s National Helplines and Websites for immediate mental health support. These are my own personal views and comments and may not reflect the views of my employer.

Australia’s National Helplines and Websites:

https://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/national-help-lines-and-websites

To provide the best information possible, Beyond Blue has listed national helplines and external services. All services linked to Beyond Blue are reviewed before they are posted.