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Yolande Johnson

Following her graduation as a physiotherapist, Yolande Johnson explored a range of holistic therapies to enhance her preferred practice of treating the whole person. Whilst she ran a private practice for musculo-skeletal disorders, she qualified in and integrated a variety of CAM modalities including Aromatherapy, Reiki and BodySense therapy into her practice and found herself specialising in chronic conditions, pain, trauma and stress management. Her key techniques became therapeutic touch, breathing, movement and mindfulness.

In 2000, she took on a contract to develop a body therapy team within the mental health team Refugees As Survivors at the Mangere Resettlement Centre. Over the following 5 years, Yolande developed an extensive programme of individual treatment and community groups for refugee survivors of torture and trauma, as well as training and supervision for interpreters and health professionals working in mental health and cross-cultural healthcare. She presented several conference papers on this work.

In 2005, she moved to the ADHB Regional Eating Disorders Service, a tertiary mental health service, and developed the new role of physiotherapist within a multi-disciplinary team. Her role began with facilitating relaxation and dance-movement therapy groups, developed into full individual assessment and treatment, to then becoming a valued member of the interdisciplinary treatment approach for this complex client group, specialising in exercise management and body-oriented treatment for anxiety, body image disorders and trauma.

During this period, she continued a small private practice as a MindBody physiotherapist, working predominantly with complex chronic conditions. She has expanded her education with postgraduate studies in MindBody Healthcare, as well as training as a professional supervisor and a Pilates and Yoga instructor. She has further completed training in chronic pain, breathing pattern disorders, occupational health and safety, the impact of low vision and blindness on child development, mindfulness and sensory modulation, CBT, DBT, FBT and Motivational Interviewing. Yolande's teaching experience includes teaching cross-cultural healthcare at several DHBs, Health Psychology at NZ College of Massage, and Therapeutic Touch in Physiotherapy Practice at AUT.

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