I am Nidhi Amanda Chaitow, a multi-faceted and experienced psychosocial counsellor; drumming and rhythm therapist, and group facilitator. With more than 25 years' experience as a therapeutic drumming facilitator, life skills educator, conscious counsellor and mentor, I have worked for many different clients and organisations in Cape Town, Johannesburg, the Garden Route and around the world. Based in the Garden Route and Cape Town, I run a psychosocial and psychosexual practice and offer a wide range of therapeutic workshops and programmes. Using the powerful tools of mindfulness, somatic movement, drumming and spiritual connectivity for integration, transformation, and healing, I am passionate about empowering people to maximise their potential and celebrate their own unique rhythm.
Having run the Drum Cafe on the Garden Route for several years, I discovered first-hand the remarkable healing power of individual and collective rhythm. I have taught transformational drumming, life skills and spiritual awareness to individuals, groups, institutions, non-profit organisations and NGOs across South Africa. These include Lifeline Garden Route, Hospice Knysna, Oasis Addiction Centre in Plettenberg Bay, Eco Ed in Harkerville, Minnesota State University, Afrika Tikkun, Nechama, Jewish Seniors Cape Town, and currently KILT (Knysna Integrated Learning and Teaching).
In 2005 I was one of the co-founders of Eden Campus (now called Tsiba Eden), near George in the Garden Route. The campus officially opened in February 2006 with 80 students from various local communities and I held the position of Campus Director and Lifeskills Educator.
In 2007 I began participating in Knysna Hospice's Caring for Carers research programme, for which I created a modality called "Finding your Rhythm". This programme continued until 2010.
In 2008 I was the Facilitator for a group of students from Minnesota State University who were conducting a service learning programme with students from Eden Campus. Thereupon, I was invited to co-author a paper for the Psychological Journal of USA. Subsequently, I wrote, developed and facilitated various empowerment, drumming and life skills programmes.
In 2016 I completed a Bachelor of Applied Social Sciences Degree at The South African College of Applied Psychology (SACAP) in Claremont, Cape Town (www.sacap.edu.za) with additional modules in Grief and Loss and Somatic Counselling Thereafter, I worked as a volunteer bereavement counsellor for Nechama (a Jewish bereavement counselling service) and began my own counselling practice (Conscious Counselling).
In 2015, while studying, I had been contracted to run a programme for Afrika Tikkun in Mfuleni, Cape Town. In this programme, for which my contract was renewed in 2016, I taught Drumming and Lifeskills to groups of learners and their facilitators. This was the forerunner to my "Rhythms of You" Empowerment Programme, which I am currently running in Knysna in association with KILT.
To add to my basket of skills, I have completed certificate training in Music in Creative Detoxification and Rehabilitation, in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) with Older People, and in Palliative Care with St. Lukes Hospice. Some of my other areas of research include :
the psychosocial aspects of trauma
the precursors for addiction and abuse
psycho-sexual health and wellbeing
Psychosocial Practice: I opened Conscious Counselling in 2016, in Cape Town and run my practice Hoekwil, on the Garden Route, seeing clients daily both in person and on-line. I have been working with some of my clients for over a year, dealing with trauma; bereavement, loss and grief; addiction and eating disorders; PTSD; emotional wellbeing; life-cycle transitions; and honouring the rhythms and challenges in life. I worked as a Care Coordinator for Temple Israel Progressive Jewish Congregation at the Temple in Wynberg, until June 2018 where I was working with the psychosocial needs of the diverse community that makes up the congregation. I am not registered with the HPCSA as yet but am working towards this.
Transitions to Eldership: In 2017, after years of researching conscious ageing and being focused on becoming an inspired Elder, I developed a body of work which I have call Transitions to Eldership. This work embraces the developmental stages in life in which there is a change of status or role. In order to honour and support these transitions in a conscious way, I facilitate several processes. These explore the inner child, the free spirit young adult, the creative adult, the graceful elder and the various rites of passage around these developmental stages in our lives. Up to now I have presented Transitions to Eldership workshops in Cape Town and on the Garden Route; in future I plan to run these online.
Vision & Mission: My practice, Conscious Counselling, creates a safe, gentle, holding space of authenticity and truth, which offers you the opportunity to explore what feels BROKEN or OUT OF BALANCE in your life. I provide a sacred space and time to consciously go into yourself and have an honest conversation. My aim is to allow you to take a step into the unknown and to learn what is there to be explored. By discovering and honouring the rhythm of the stillness within, we find the space where transformation begins.