Phoenix Institute of Australia

About Phoenix

Research Centre

Phoenix Centre for Holistic and Transpersonal Research

Mission Statement:
The objective of the centre is to investigate the therapeutic potential and transpersonal dimensions of human consciousness in relation to counselling and therapy.

Research foci include:

• holistic and transpersonal healing modalities
• the therapeutic potential of altered states of consciousness
• spiritual emergency and psycho‐spiritual dimensions of healing
• holistic and transpersonal education and counselling techniques
• ecopsychology
• cultural storytelling and communication design
• traditional models of healing.

Members of centre:

Professor Bernie Neville
Senior Research Fellow (Director)

Dr Bernie Neville is a retired Adjunct Professor of Education at La Trobe University where he was involved for many years in the professional education of both teachers and counsellors. He is the author of Educating Psyche: Emotion, Imagination and the Unconscious in Learning and Olympus Inc: Intervening for Cultural Change in Organizations and numerous papers on Education and Counselling. He is president of the Australian Association for Holistic and Transpersonal Counselling.


Dr. Geoff Berry
Senior Research Fellow

Geoff received his PhD from Monash University (2010) for a thesis that analysed the various ways light is used as a symbol in religious, philosophical and political rhetoric. Previous to this he received an MA from Deakin University (2005) after composing a modern myth in an underworld journey style. He spent 2012 on an EU-funded trip to Ireland, France and the UK to research the utopian imaginary in relation to ecological concerns. Geoff is a Zen practitioner who maintains a keen interest in indigenous knowledge and new scientific paradigms that underpin education in holistic and transpersonal training modalities and therapies. He is currently researching creative responses to psychospiritual dilemmas in terms of the human relationship to nature.

Research Conference Report 2014      Conference Presentation 2014

Dr. Judith Ayre
Senior Research Fellow
Judith is a counsellor and psychotherapist who works holistically within a Transpersonal and soul-centred framework. She uses experiential and arts-based practical processes with couple and families, as well as individuals. Judith is on the Individual Register of the Psychotherapists and Counsellors Federation of Australia and she also teaches at La Trobe University.

Dr Janine Brophy Dixon
Senior Research Fellow

Janine is an artist, art therapist and researcher. She completed a PhD at La Trobe University (Health Sciences), with an arts-based inquiry into experiences of mother-daughter separation and dislocation. Janine is interested in the area of community arts and health and has created several art-based projects by developing postcard communication methods for children, youth and the aged. Having a background in social work, Janine has a varied history of practical experiences, including many years working as an art therapist in private practice and with people recovering from drug and alcohol abuse.  A period in Alice Springs working with traumatised Aboriginal children was followed  by art-based projects with those affected by the Black Saturday bushfires. Janine has presented her research and projects both nationally and internationally and has been a guest lecturer at several universities including, New York University, Adler School of Psychology in Chicago, MIECAT and the art therapy masters degree at La Trobe University, Bundoora.


Dr. Kim Dunphy
Reserach Fellow

BA., Grad. Dip. Movement Dance, M. Ed, PhD.

Kim Dunphy is a dance movement therapist and performing arts educator who has extensive experience working with diverse client groups, including people with disabilities, people from diverse cultural backgrounds, children and the elderly, in a range of settings.  She is Vice-President of the Dance Movement Therapy Association, and has previously been a Board Member and President of Ausdance Victoria.  Kim is also Director of NGO Many Hands International based in Timor-Leste where she works to promote development through culture. Her research and practice interests focus on understanding the nature of therapeutic or social change through the arts.  Her PhD at Deakin University explored the role of arts in social change in Timor-Leste.  She has published widely in international journals and books on dance-movement therapy, including  her books, Freedom to Move: Movement and Dance for People with Intellectual Disabilities with Jenny Scott, (Elsevier 2003) and Dance Therapy Collections 3 with Jane Guthrie and Elizabeth Loughlin (DTAA 2009). Forthcoming publications include journal articles,  Exploring dance-movement therapy in Timor-Leste, American Journal of Dance Therapy, with  Meredith Elton and Alex Jordan, and book chapter Dance movement therapy and student learning and well-being in special education with Sue Mullane in Karkou V., Oliver, S. and Lycouris, S. (eds) The Handbook of Dance and Wellbeing, Oxford University Press: London.

Bill Gale
Academically, Bill holds a Master of Enterprise Innovation, has studied Systems Analysis and Design, and an Advanced Diploma in Transpersonal Counselling. In addition, Bill is a Registered Behavioural Coach, has an Executive Diploma in Business Coaching, a Certificate in Workplace Coaching, is a Trainer of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) and a Master Practitioner of both NLP and Neuro-Semantics. He is also accredited in a number of psychological profiling instruments. Bill was the Founding President of the Australasian Institute of Professional Coaches Inc.

Bill’s academic career has enabled him to add a strong theoretical base to his practical experience.  From 1997 - 2000 Bill was a Director of the Swinburne University of Technology’s Graduate School MBA Program. He was also, at the time, Chairman of the University’s Strategic Working Party for the then new Graduate School (now the Australian Graduate School of Entrepreneurship or ‘AGSE’). Upon invitation Bill has also lectured on a ‘sessional’ basis in a variety of post graduate Strategy, Leadership, Management and Human Resource Management based disciplines at Swinburne University, Melbourne (University) Business School, Mt Eliza, Monash University, La Trobe University, The Centre for Innovation and Enterprise and in the Corporate sector where he is well recognised for his ability to focus such programs around the integration of both practice and theory.

Prior to 2009 Bill was instrumental in establishing a number of new enterprises, was principal of a successful international consultancy and had a significant role in community led recovery following the Victorian Bushfires of 2009, Australia’s largest natural disaster. He is now looking to bring his experience to the Phoenix Institute.

Recent publications

Neville, B. (2013) Educating Psyche: Emotion, Imagination and the Unconscious in Learning. Third expanded edition. David Lovell Publishing.
Neville, B. (2013) The Enchanted Loom. In M. Newberry, A. Gallant & P. Riley (eds) Emotion and School: Understanding How the Hidden Curriculum Influences Relationships, Leadership, Teaching, and Learning (Advances in Research on Teaching, Volume 18), Emerald Group Publishing.
Neville, B. (2012) Celebrating the solstice. In A. Lowe, (Ed.) Jung Talks. C.G. Jung Society of Melbourne.
Neville, B. (2012) One of the teachers smiles at me. International Journal of Holistic Education (Vol 1: 23–32).
Neville, B. (2012) The life of things: therapy and the soul of the world. Ross‐on‐Wye, UK: PCCS Books.
Berry, G. (2013) An Ecocritical Investigation of ‘The Waste Land’. In The Cambridge Companion to T.S. Eliot’s ‘The Waste Land’ (Cambridge University Press).
Berry, G. (2013) Utopian Dreaming and the Environment. Guest Editor’s Introduction to the Green Letters special issue.
Berry, G. (2013) Out of the Ruins? Ireland’s Ghost Estates and the Environment. In Advances in Ecopolitics (Emerald Publishing).
Berry, G. (2013) The Symbolic Quest Behind Today’s Cities of Light – and its Unintended Ecological Consequences. Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture (7.1: 7–26).
Berry, G. (2012) Urban Light and the Ecological Crisis: Planetary Imagery and the Night. In Proceedings of the International Conference ‘Reading Nature: Cultural Perspectives on Environmental Imagery’ (Universidad Complutense de Madrid).

Recent conference presentations:

Neville, B. Anxiously congruent; congruently anxious, 10th International Conference of the World Association for Person‐Centred and Experiential Psychotherapy and Counselling. Antwerp 2012.
Neville, B. The polytheistic organization, National Conference of the Australian Association for Personality Type, Melbourne. 2012.
Berry, G. Primal Fire and Celestial Light, European Ecopsychology Conference, Hawaii 2013.
Berry, G. Critical Ecotopias Indigenous and Literary, ASLE‐UKI Conference, University of Worcester UK 2012.
Berry, G. Out of the Ruins and Into the Light? Irish Environmentalism and Utopian Thinking, Ralahine Workshop, University of Limerick, Ireland 2012.
Berry, G. Light – Intercultural Symbol of Utopian Hopes and Desires, Invited Guest MA Seminar, University of Limerick 2012.


Phoenix Institute Research Symposium, 2nd December 2013. Members of the Phoenix academic community present their research findings. Event held at the Institute. Keynotes by members of the centre.