• Anni, ZHUCHI and dramatic mental health!

    Drama has played a role in psychotherapy for decades now.  Psychodrama as technique was developed by Jacob L. Moreno (1889–1974) and it includes elements of theatre, often conducted in a space, and props are often used.  The rationale is that by closely recreating real-life situations, and acting them out in the present, clients have the opportunity to evaluate their behaviour and more deeply understand a particular situation in their lives.  By using spontaneous dramatisation, role playing and dramatic self-presentation, clients are able to investigate and gain insight into particular areas of their lives.

    In training for therapists, drama is also often used to the same ends.  By role playing, participants are able to practice skills they are learning and therefore embed knowledge more fully.  Many people learn kinesthetically which in short means a person uses their body and sense of touch to learn about the world around them. Therefore, it's likely that through the use of the body and senses (doing), learning is more strongly embedded.   

    ZHUCHI places a strong emphasis on learning through doing and all the training available has a strong experiential component for this reason.  

    But ZHUCHI wants to take this style of learning to a different level and it is with HUGE delight that we can announce the beginnings of a collaboration with stunning Australian actress Anni Finsterer. The goal of the collaboration is to marry Anni's experience as an actress and corporate dramatist with the world of mental health, and devise a collection of training opportunities that will bring real issues "to life".  

    As a skilled actress, Anni will work with participants to find a number of ways to resolve and respond to difficult situations, relationships and clients. As an AFI award winning actress, not a mental health clinician, Anni will bring a realism to resolving difficult situations that may not otherwise be achieved in the typical workshop role-play.  Anni is also on Team ZHUCHI because she is no stranger to stigma and the potential damage negative perceptions can have. 

    Anni has a story of courage, persistence, self-belief and hope.

    When she was involved in an horrific car accident at seventeen, Anni's dream of an acting career seemed to some an impossibility. Even the medical professionals involved in her care, scoffed at the dream.

    Another accident, even more physically devastating, was to come and she has since endured more than 23 operations including skin grafts and facial reconstruction.

    Professional Bio
    Anni Finsterer graduated with a Bachelor of Performing Arts from University of Western Sydney in 1987. In 2009, she earned a Graduate Diploma of Education in Drama and English from the University of New England.
    Anni was awarded an AFI Award in 2009 for Best Supporting Actor in a Television Movie for Ann Upfield in Three Acts of Murder.

    Other film credits include Johnny Ghost, To Have and To Hold, The Boys are Back, Prime Mover, The Clinic and Strange Fits of Passion.

    Anni has appeared in numerous television series including City Homicide, All Saints, Home and Away and Love My Way.

    In theatre, Anni has worked for both major and independent companies including Sydney Theatre Company, Australian People's Theatre, Melbourne Theatre Company, Company B Belvoir, Queensland Theatre Company, Griffin and Bell Shakespeare. She played major roles in Macbeth, (Macbeth and Lady Macbeth,) Hamlet, The Women of Troy, Othello and Antony and Cleopatra. In independent theatre she toured Europe and Asia with American Drama Group Europe.

    Anni also works as a Corporate Dramatist and Educator of Speech, Drama and subject English.

    Anni lives in Sydney and is married with two children.

     

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