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Education, Honors & Awards
BPsych, BPed, Psychology, Pedagogy - Charles University in Prague; Bachelor's degree, Psychology, Sociology, German - UNE Armidale, NSW, Australia; Bachelor's degree, Psychology, Sociology - University of New England (AU)
My main hobby is also my work. As a specialist sexual abuse counsellor/therapist, I am now writing a manual for Equine Assisted Therapy and Learning, aimed specifically at children, adolescents and adults who have experienced sexual violence, abuse and/or assault. My other hobbies include the outdoors with the horses, dogs and a cat, nature, writing, poetry, research, and last but not least - spending time with my family. I love the sea and participated as an intern with the Oceania Project in the research of Humpback whales. I am a firm supporter of Sea Shepherd and their ongoing protection of the cetaceans and marine life and our oceans in general. My favourite authors are Roger Payne (Among Whales), Linda Kohanov (Tao of Equus, Riding between the worlds and Power of the Herd), Axel Munthe (The Book of St. Michele), etc. My mentors and inspiration are: Klaus Ferdinand Hempfling, Kathleen Ingram, Linda Kohanov, Mark Rashid, GaWaNi Pony Boy
My family members originate in the Czech Republic, Germany with some Jewish ancestry and the Ukraine. Thanks to this I speak Czech, German, Russian and English. My Grandfather Josef Dusek was and remains a bright star in my memory. He, together with my Grandmother, mum and aunt ensured my happy, care free childhood. Nothing was impossible for Grandpa. His faith in me and my abilities got me where I am today. Among other gifts he bestowed on me talent for languages, supreme story telling skills and a close connection to animals, especially horses.
My professional path started in the Czech Republic as a specialist educator for children with hearing and speech impairment. After completing my Psychology/ Pedagogy degree I worked as a High School Teacher for four years. In 1989 I married an Australian citizen and relocated to Australia, where I completed another degree in Psychology/Sociology and German. I then worked for five years as a Child Safety Officer at the Department of Child Safety. After that I applied for the position of a specialist sexual abuse counsellor/educator at Phoenix House Ass. Inc. This is my twelfth year in this role. I utterly enjoy working at Phoenix House, as it offers a wealth of training, but also space for new, innovative approaches. I founded Trails of Discovery (the equine assisted therapy component of counselling at Phoenix HOuse) 8 years ago. Since then we conducted two research projects together with the Central Queensland University into the benefits of Equine Assisted Therapy (EAT) and survivors of sexual abuse. The outcomes in the reduction of symptoms such as anxiety, depression and trauma symptoms are clinically significant and superior to individual/clinical counselling, across ages, cultures (indigenous and non indigenous) and genders. Both papers were published and are available on my Linked In page. This research is one of the very few so far conducted in the area of EAT and sexual abuse. Currently, I am writing a manual for EAT and survivors of sexual abuse, as well as a book about our and our client's experiences in our EAT program. Last year I founded a private small business Equine Sundance, aimed at personal growth and development, as well as team building, leadership skills, awareness and mindfulness with the help of horses.
Helena is a free spirited professional with over 15 years of experience specializing in child protection and in counselling children and adults who experienced sexual abuse. Embarking upon a career of helping sexual abuse victims and children from dysfunctional families, Helena's passion for her field continues to grow with every breath she takes. Her detail to her research studies, and continuing education in the field of Equine Assisted Therapy will soon result in new breakthroughs that will help the future of those who experienced sexual abuse in childhood, adolescence or adulthood, to reclaim their lives. Helena is a well diverse professional, counselor/educator, who has completed many certificates and degrees with a passion to always excel past her limits. Helena is a founder of Trails of Discovery (an Equine Assisted Therapy Program within Phoenix House Ass. Inc.) and of Equine Sundance, a private small business. Equine Sundance is about second chances, about renewal and achieving peace and harmony within and without. As a counselor at Phoenix House and the creator of Equine Facilitated Therapy (EFT), a program for children, adolescents and adults, Helena also develops and facilitates training and workshops for professionals who are interested in trauma counseling and EFT. She is also embarking upon writing her first book, which should be out in the near future.