Building people’s awareness of their strengths and weaknesses is an integral part of any therapy.

Just because we have vulnerabilities, what we perceive as weaknesses, it does not mean we are less of a person for admitting it.

It is actually a strength.

Hi. I am Melissa Middleton (M. Couns), Founder and Director of Rising Strong Counselling and Training Services. It is a huge pleasure that you have taken the opportunity to see what “Rising Strong Counselling and Training Services” is, and how it can support you, as an individual, couple or service.

This organisation has come from a very deep part of me that has been growing since I was a little girl. After losing my sister and my Mum at a very young age, I was continually frustrated and the lack of services to support me in a way that made me feel connected and supported. Nothings that was available at the time, catered for my age, for my situation or the complexities of the issues that I was facing.

It further entrenched my suffering, and therefore, my desire to help people became a burning desire from my adolescent years. It is important to share that even though my losses happened years ago, it does not mean that there is an end to the adjustment or the need to attend to emotional pain. As you get older, it just changes and there for, adjustments in life need to happen intermediately. It is one of the greatest and only ”advice” I have for people that choose to work with Rising Strong.

There was a time when I wanted to travel the world to try and ease the pain of loss, and in that, lay my greatest gift. The struggle that I had was a space where I would be able to not only walk with people in their pains, but build people using their inner strength- they may not know that they even had. “Strength based” development in any person is by far the most successful. And my travel allowed me to see and experience programs and counselling that did exactly that.

I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move.              
                             – Robert Louis Stevenson       

When I started “moving” and travelling the world I found survival and resilience stories everywhere, and that is when I discovered that this is the most powerful and privileged space to work- with people who are hurting the most. This journey saw my career in children’s camp’s begin, and I started working with children with chronic and life threatening illnesses, as an adventure therapist. I ran high roles, games sessions, canoed, had camp fires, sung, and assisted the most vulnerable children grow and do amazing things that they felt they could never do, that is, until they came to camp. The magic of this space helped them uncover a strength within themselves that had been buried in their grief of their situation. Their camp experience helped them overcome fear and doubt, to reinvent themselves beyond their own wildest expectations. I thought this was so amazing that it triggered a fire within me that I knew I felt at home with. It was truly a space that I needed to explore and bring back to Australia. One of the take away messages I received from a past business partner was “a mind once stretched, will never return to its original size” (Nieche), and so this is where the roots of my work originated from.


Now with, 15 years of adventure therapy internationally, and 10 yrs of corporate training- developing organisations who needed help with developing their people through uncovering emotional intelligence, highlighting resilience and vulnerability, to allow growth; and so the roots of Rising Strong Counselling and Training Services grew. 

I have often thought about what would have happened to my career if I had not had the profound loss in my life at an early age to spark my intrigue to want to become a therapist in the first place? But I know that this is the space where I belong doing the “heart’s work” with people in their most vulnerable space with respect and non-judgement. The longer I stay in the industry, and the more people I assist to help realise their potential, it is clear that I would not have been comfortable doing anything else!. 

Once we believe in ourselves,we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that
reveals the human spirit.
– E. E. Cummings       

Rising Strong Counselling and Training Services

Officer, Victoria. 3809

0467 961 949  -


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