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Client Testimonials

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Qualifications & Professional Trainings

My name is Anne Thistleton (BEd; MREd; MCouns; Grad Dip. Nut Med (Mental Health); Cert EF & TTh; Cert SP & SW; SEP; CCPT, CCA, CSP; CIME) aka The Baby Calmer & Anne Thistleton Counselling.

The Baby Calmer, offers a unique, in-home counselling service (based in Brisbane, Australia) that provides therapeutically nurturing, family centred support, practical guidance, emotion focussed approaches, and gentle and effective solutions, to parents who are experiencing the stress, exhaustion and frustration associated with a continuously crying baby, a sleepless baby, or an overwhelmed toddler.

As well as working with parents and their children in the home, I also provide an Individual, Family and Relationships Counselling Service - Anne Thistleton Counselling - where I offer the following modalities: Somatic Experiencing; Somatic Touch Therapy; Transforming Touch and Transforming Intentional Touch; Neuro Affective Touch Therapy; Sandplay Therapy and Symbolwork for children and adults; Play Therapy; Filial Therapy; Synergetic Play Therapy; Pre, Peri and Postnatal Trauma Therapy; Bonding and Attachment Therapy; Breastfeeding Therapy; Brainspotting with adults, children and babies; Interactive Drawing Therapy; Craniosacral Therapy; Aromatherapy; Nutritional Medicine - Mental Health. 
I also offer the Safe and Sound Protocol to clients - both face-to-face and remotely.

My counselling practice focuses on supporting clients who present with symptoms related to post-natal depression, birth trauma, marital stress, family conflict, grief and loss issues, challenging and misunderstood behaviours in young children and adolescents, ADD/ADHD, and school/workplace bullying and harassment.
I hold a Bachelor of Education (with a specialisation in Early Childhood Education), a Master of Education, and a Master of Counselling, along with a Graduate Diploma of Nutritional Medicine - Mental Health.  
I have a passionate professional interest in the area of Pre & Perinatal Psychology, in particular, the impact of birth trauma on infant and early years development. I have completed a four year post-graduate study and training program in this area, through Emerson Training (California, USA), under the tutelage of Dr William Emerson (pioneer and world renowned expert in the field of Pre & Perinatal Psychology and Birth Trauma).  I am a qualified Pre, Peri, Postnatal and Birth Trauma Therapist for babies, children, teenagers, adults and birth workers.
I am also a qualified Somatic Experiencing Practitioner (developed by Peter Levine) - having completed a three year training program in this modality.  I also have over 70 hours of training in Somatic Touch (developed by Kathy Kain), and have completed over 180 hours of training in Craniosacral Therapy.  I am also a Brainspotting Practitioner (having completed training levels 1, 2, and 3, and a Master class with Brainspotting developer Dr David Grand).  I have recently  completed the Transforming Touch and Transforming Intentional Touch training with Steve Terrell at Austin Attachment, USA, as well as the NeuroAffective Touch (foundational) training with Dr. Aline LaPierre at The NeuroAffective Touch Institue, USA.
I am a qualified Play Therapist and Filial Therapist (through Play Therapy Australia), as well as a certified Synergetic Play Therapist - having trained with Lisa Dion, at The Synergetic Play Therapy Institute, USA.  I have also completed formally recognised post-graduate study and training in the areas of Sandplay Therapy and Symbolwork, and Emotion Focused and Transpersonal Therapy, through the Expressive Therapies Insititue of Australia.
I also hold a Grad Dip in Nutritional Medicine - Mental Health.   I find that clients benefit from the incorporation of nutritional medicine for mental health in my work, especially in relation to its usefulness in supporting mental health and sleep issues. 
I am also a Certified Clinical Aromatherapist.

I am a qualified Mediator, Certified Infant Massage Educator and registered 'Circle of Security' Parenting Educator.  I am also a certified HUG Your Baby Educator, a qualified Gottman's Bringing Baby Home Educator, a certified Happiest Baby on the Block Educator, and a certified Dunstan Baby Language Educator.

My professional philosophies and approaches to supporting and guiding parents are very much based on sound research, as well as current insights into infant and early years development. A strong focus is placed on supporting, fostering and preserving attachment  and the emotional bond between parents and their children. As such, clients can be assured that I never endorse the use of any forms of controlled crying or other ignoring strategies in my work.

My Professional Framework is Centred on these Key Counselling / Parenting Therapies, Modalities, Theories and Approaches:
  • Attachment Theory and Approaches
  • Psychodynamic Theory and Approaches
  • Aware Parenting Approaches
  • Family Centred Approaches
  • Client Centred Approaches
  • Somatic Experiencing
  • Somatic Touch
  • NeuroAffective Touch
  • Transforming Touch
  • Transforming Intentional Touch
  • Clinical Brith Trauma Therapy
  • Bonding and Attachment Therapy
  • Play Therapy
  • Filial Therapy
  • Synergetic Play Therapy
  • Sandplay Therapy and Symbolwork
  • Emotion-Focused and Transpersonal Therapy
  • Brainspotting
  • Interactive Drawing Therapy
  • Craniosacral Therapy
  • Nutritional Medicine for Mental Health
  • Clinical Aromatherapy
  • Safe and Sound Protocol

Current Professional Registrations:

  • Registered Teacher in Queensland - Registration Number 786574 since 2000
  • Clinical Member of PACFA (Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia)
  • BLUECARD - Registration Number 416347/4
  • Grad Dip. Nutritional Medicine (Mental Health) - Health Schools Australia 2015
  • Grad Cert. Emotion Focused & Transpersonal Therapy - Expressive Therapies Institute of Australia 2008
  • Grad Cert. Sandplay Therapy and Symbolwork - Expressive Therapies Institute of Australia 2008
  • Master of Counselling - Australian Catholic University 2007
  • Master of Religious Education - Australian Catholic University 2003
  • Bachelor of Education - Australian Catholic University 1999

Other Post-Graduate Qualifications:

  • Synergetic Play Therapist (Synergetic Play Therapy Institute, USA, with Lisa Dion) 2021
  • Brainspotting Practitioner - including Levels 1, 2, 3, Masterclass and Brainspotting with Babies and Children (Brainspotting Australasia) 2019
  • Clinical Play Therapist (Play Therapy Australia, Australia) 2018
  • Certified Clinical Aromatherapist (ISHA, USA) 2018
  • Somatic Experiencing Practitioner SEP (Somatic Experiencing, USA) 2017
  • Craniosacral Practitioner (Craniosacral Institute Australia) 2017
  • Pre, Peri, Postnatal and Birth Trauma Therapist - Clinical Birth Trauma Therapy Training (Emerson Training, USA, with Dr William Emerson) 2012

Other Post-Graduate Professional Trainings:

  • Neuroaffective Touch - Foundations (The NeuroAffective Touch Institute, with Dr Aline LaPierre, USA) 2021
  • Transforming the Experience-Based Brain (Transforming Touch / Transforming Intentional Touch - Austin Attach, USA with Steve Terrell) 2021
  • Theraplay - Level one and MIM (Compass Seminars Australia) 2021
  • Touch Skills for Therapists (Somatic Experiencing Australia, with Kathy Kain) 2019
  • Healing Trauma with Guided Drawing (The Institute for Sensorimotor Art Therapy) 2019
  • Somatic Experiencing: Trauma Healing for Kids (Somatic Experiencing Australia, with Maggie Kline) 2014

Current Post-Graduate Study and Professional Trainings - in progress:

  • Pre and Perintal Psychology Educator Certification - APPPAH, USA: anticipated completion December 2023
  • Healing Early Developmental Trauma and Insecure Attachment - Myrna Martin, USA: anticipated completion December 2023

Current Certifications:

  • Bringing Baby Home Certified Educator - The Gottman Institute 2014
  • Certified HUG Your Baby Educator - HUG Your Baby USA 2013
  • Level 1: Bridging the Couple Chasm - Gottman Couples Therapy: A New Research-Based Approach (A Workshop for Clinicians)  - The Gottman Institute 2012
  • Registered "Circle of Security" Parenting Educator - Circle of Security USA 2010
  • Certified Infant Massage Instructor - Qualified with Infant Massage Australia 2010
  • Certified Happiest Baby Educator - 2008
  • Certified Dunstan Baby Language Educator 2008

The Baby Calmer's Professional Development Dairy:

As a professional service provider, I am committed to continuing to - update my practice with new information and research findings, improve and broaden my knowledge and skills, and develop my professional qualities. This enables me to deepen, expand and refresh the approaches I use to best support my clients.  My most recent professional development has encompassed the following facilitated learning opportunities:



  • Embodied Play Practices for Healing Attachment Trauma in Adults and Children - combining Somatic Experiencing and Integrative Attachment Family Therapy with Dr Peter Levine and Dafna Lender (24 hours: Ergos Institute of Somatic Education, USA, May 2022)
  • From Trauma to Formativeness:  Trauma as Distortions of Form with Dr Jim Feil (24 hours: Prenatal and Perinatal Healing Online, USA, April 2022)


  • Essential Teachings for Pre and Perinatal Psychology with Dr William Emerson (6 hours: Association for Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Health, USA)
  • Formative Embodiment with Jim Feil (8 hours: Centre for Prenatal and Perinatal Programs, USA)


  • Somatic Experiencing (6 Day Intermediate Level II Training, Brisbane:  Linda Stelte, Somatic Experiencing, USA)
  • Clinical Aromatherapy (3 Day Certification Level IV, Brisbane:  ISHA, USA)
  • Craniosacral Therapy (4 Day Certification Level 4, Adelaide: Craniosacral Institute Australia)
  • Craniosacral Therapy (4 Day Certification Level I, Sydney: Craniosacral Institute Australia)


  • Somatic Experiencing (6 Day Beginner Level II Training, Brisbane:  Maggie Kline, Somatic Experiencing, USA)
  • Somatic Experiencing (6 Day Intermediate Level I Training, Brisbane:  Linda Stelte, Somatic Experiencing, USA)
  • Clinical Aromatherapy (3 Day Certification Level III, Brisbane:  ISHA, USA)
  • Aware Parenting Instructor Mentoring Course (9 Month Mentoring Program, Australia: Level II Instructor, Australia: Aware Parenting Institute, USA)


  • Somatic Experiencing (6 Day Beginner Level I Training, Brisbane:  Maggie Kline, Somatic Experiencing, USA)
  • Trauma Through A Child's Eyes (5 Day Professional Training, Byron Bay: Maggie Kline, USA)
  • Clinical Aromatherapy (6 Day Certification Level I and II, Brisbane:  ISHA, USA)
  • Bringing Baby Home (2 Day Educator Certification Training, Sydney: The Gottman Institute, USA)
  • Raindrop Technique (3 Day Practitioner Training, Brisbane: Raindrop Australia)
  • The Neurobiology of Trauma - What is Happening in the Brain of Someone with Unresolved Trauma (Lecture: Ruth Lanius PhD, NICABM, USA)
  • The Power of EMDR to Treat Trauma: Identifying, Reprocessing, and Integrating Traumatic Memories (Lecture: Francine Shapiro PhD, NICABM, USA)
  • Beyond the Brain: How the Vagal System Holds the Secret to Treating Trauma (Lecture: Stephen Porges PhD, NICABM, USA)
  • Building the Body's Resources: Why Focusing on the Present Moment Can Help Us Heal Trauma (Lecture: Pat Ogden PhD, NICABM, USA)
  • How Expanding Our Perspective on Trauma Can Improve Diagnoses, Increase Effectiveness, and Lead to New Treatment Strategies (Lecture: Bessel van der Kolk MD, NICABM, USA)
  • Creating Safety in Practice: How the Right Tools Can Speed Healing and Reduce Symptoms for Even the Most Traumatised Clients (Lecture: Peter Levine PhD, NICABM, USA)


  • Birth Story Listening / Birth Story Medicine (20 hour Professional Training: Birthing From Within, USA)
  • Bonding Therapy (Practitioner Training: Dr Tony Madrid PhD, USA)
  • HUG Your Baby (Educator Certification: HUG Your Baby, USA)
  • The Neurobiology of Mindfulness: How Being Present Can Change the Brain (Lecture: Dr Dan Siegal, NICABM, USA)
  • Getting to the Root of Trauma:  Why It's Critical to Understand the Role of Memory in Trauma Therapy (Lecture: Peter Levine PhD, NICABM, USA)
  • How to Help Patients Rewire a Traumatised Brain - Applying the Latest Strategies to Speed Healing and Reduce Symptoms for Even the Most Traumatised Clients (Lecture: Bessel van der Kolk MD, NICABM, USA)
  • Beyond the Brain: Using Polyvagal Theory to Help Patients 'Reset' the Nervous System After Trauma (Lecture:  Stephen Porges PhD, NICABM, USA)
  • Why a Body-Oriented Approach is Key for Treating Traumatised Patients (and what it looks like in practice) (Lecture:  Pat Ogden PhD, NICABM, USA)
  • The Neurobiology of Trauma Treatment: How Brain Science Can Lead to More Targeted Interventions for Patients Healing from Trauma (Lecture:  Dr Dan Siegal, NICABM, USA)
  • Soothe the Fear of a Traumatised Brain:  How a New Intervention is Changing Trauma Treatment (Lecture: Sebern Fisher MA, NICABM, USA)


  • Sally Denning - A Step in the Right Direction: How Dance Movement Therapy Strategies Can Assist Children to Heal from Trauma (Australian Childhood Foundation)
  • Dr Ed Tronick - Stress, Resilience and Infant Mental Health: Understanding the Lifespan Implications of Social-Emotional Development and Self-Regulatory Processes in Normal and Compromised Children.
  • Drs John and Julie Gottman - Level 1: Bridging the Couple Chasm - Gottman Couples Therapy: A New Research-Based Approach (A Workshop for Clinicians)  - The Gottman Institute.
  • Dr James McKenna - Mother Infant Attachment in Evolutionary and Cultural Perspecive
  • Dr James McKenna - What is the Relationship Between Bed Sharing and Feeding Method?
  • Dr James McKenna - Sleeping with Baby: Biological No-brainer or Prosecutable Offense?
  • Dr David Bercelli - Trauma Releasing Exercises: Workshop


  • Babette Rothschild - The Body Remembers: Practical Therapeutic Applications of the Neurobiology of Trauma.
  • Richmond Heath - Trauma Releasing Exercises: Level One Practitioner Training
  • Dr David Bercelli - Trauma Releasing Exercises: Workshop


  • Dr Dan Siegal - A seminar with Dr Dan Seigal: Beyond Survival
  • Dr Brigid Jordan - Play, Words, the Infant's Representational World and Infant Parent Psychotherapy.
  • Dr Sarah Mares - Conversations between Infant and Parent.
  • Dr Brigid Jordan -  When Psyche and Soma Collide: The Impact of Neonatal Illness on Infant Emotional Development and the Infant Parent Relationship.
  • Dr Peter Schmidt - Specialist Paediatrics/Neonatology
  • Frances Salo - What the Baby Brings and how the Therapist Responds, in Triadic and Group Interventions.
  • Dr Bruce Perry - Transforming Childhood Trauma: Connecting with Empathy and Compassion.
  • Dr. David Lake and Steve Wells - Emotional Freedom Workshop - Applying Energy Techniques to Solve some of Life's Toughest Challenges.
  • Dr Steve Harvey - The Power of Play: Dynamic Play-based Assessment and Intervention Approaches.
  • Dr Andriano Cattaneo - Growth Monitoring: Does it Help Identify Growth Problems?
  • Dr Bryan Vartabedian - Colic Solved: Reflux and the Crying Baby.
  • Dr Lane Strathearn - It’s More Than Milk: Attachment, Oxytocin and the Maternal Brain.
  • Nina Berry -  “It’s All Formula to Me:” Mother’s Understandings of Toddler Milk Advertising.
  • Dr Andriano Cattaneo - From Good Policies to Good Practices: Strategies and Interventions that Work.
  • Dr Bryan Vartebedian - Allergies: The Other Reflux.
  • Dr Mark Westaway - Environmental Medicine & Confessions of a Medical Detective.


  • Dr Allan Schore - The Neurobiology of Childhood Trauma and Attachment.
  • Dr Stephen Matthey - "The Alarm Distress Baby Scale (ADBB): An Introduction and Applications. The m-ADBB is an observational checklist of infant behaviour during routine physical examinations, which assesses the infant's social behaviour, and thus screens for infant social withdrawal.
  • Dr Denis Spangler - Development and Prevention of Allergies in the Newborn.
  • Amy Spangler - Keeping it Simple: What Mothers Need to Know About Breastfeeding.
  • Barb Glare - 1800 Mum 2 Mum: The ABA Helpline: Who's Calling and Why?
  • Dr Michael Abou Dakn - Mastitis and Abscess: Perspectives on Diagnosis and Treatment.
  • Dr Michael Abou Dakn - The Role of the Father During Birth and Breastfeeding.
  • Dr Donna Geddes - Suck Swallow Breathe.


  • Dr Aletha Solter - How Children Heal from Stress and Trauma.
  • Dr Aletha Solter - Discipline Without Punishment or Rewards.