Dr Alison Robb
Alison trained as a theatre director at the Flinders University Drama centre, working in the industry for about 10 years as a director, assistant director, stage manager and theatre technician. During this time she worked for companies such as State Theatre South Australia, the Bakehouse, Junction Theatre and Vitalstatisix. Her work has sent her to the US as an assistant director and the UK to participate in industry workshops. Her community engagement as a theatre practitioner included participation in support groups for artists, such as Arts Anonymous and the Sophia Women Artists' Network.
Alison consults to arts organisations. teaches and prepares/delivers resources, seminars and workshops. Alison is a psychologist with non-practising registration. She is on sabbatical from the psychology world in 2019 to focus on her arts practice and arts/event work.
PROFILE PHOTO by Olivia Power, Marketing and Engagement Manager for Helpmann Academy
Combined PhD/Master of Clinical Psychology (2017), The University of Adelaide
Bachelor of Health Sciences (Honours) in Psychology (2012), The University of Adelaide
Graduate Diploma in Psychological Sciences (2011), The University of Adelaide
Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Drama (1999), Flinders University
Awards & Achievements
Early Career Research Award (2012). Australian Society of Performing Arts Healthcare (Sydney) for "Being Inside the Story" (presentation based on Honours research).
Australian Postgraduate Award (2013-2016)
Alison taught in the psychology undergraduate program at the University of Adelaide in 2018 and has been engaged to teach into the qualitative methods course at Flinders University in 2019.
Arts Mental Health - Alison has presented keynote addresses, professional development seminars, structured discussions and skills-training workshops in the area of performing arts mental health. She has a strong interest in acknowledging and addressing the specific challenges and joys of crafting a life in the arts.
Mindfulness Meditation and Guided Visualisation - Alison is an experienced meditator who has taught meditation and visualisation in various contexts, including to community groups, clinicians, psychology students and students at the Flinders University Drama Centre
Mental health for health professionals - Alison has a longstanding interest in breaking down the stigma of seeking help in the health professions, both for students and practitioners. Alison is committed to being a "clinician's clinician" and to teaching emerging practitioners skills for long-term self-care.
Building Resilience - Alison enjoys developing context-specific resilience toolkits and running skills training seminars to broaden and build resilience.
Skills for Therapists - Alison uses her performing arts background to develop and teach programs aimed at building capacity in therapists to identify and utilise interpersonal dynamics (including their own emotional responses) productively in the therapy room.
Due, C., Ziersch, A. M., Robb, A. & Green, E. (2018) Psychological trauma and access to primary health services for asylum seekers and refugees in Australia. The European Journal of Public Health, 28 (suppl 1). doi: 10.1093/eurpub/cky048.089
Robb, A. E. & Due, C. (2017) Exploring psychological wellbeing in acting training: an Australian interview study. Theatre, Dance and Performance Training. doi:10.1080/19443927.2017.1324518
Robb, A. E., Due, C. & Venning, A. (2016). Exploring psychological wellbeing in a sample of Australian actors. Australian Psychologist. doi:10.1111/ap.12221
Robb, A. E., & Davies, M. (2015) 'Being inside the story': a phenomenology of onstage experience and the implications of flow. About Performance, 13: 45-67.
Robb, A. E., & Due, C. Actors define psychological wellbeing: through the lens of social identity. In preparation.
Robb, A. E., & Due, C. Supporting psychological wellbeing in student and professional actors: an applied ecological scoping study. In preparation.
Psychologist (non-practising) - AHPRA
Member - Australian Society for Performing Arts Healthcare
Member - Psychology and Health Forum www.phf.net.au
Alison has worked in private practice seeing adult clients for one-on-one and group therapy. She consults to arts organisations and develops & presents workshops, as well as maintaining her own artistic practice. Alison has undertaken research for the Southgate Institute for Health, Society and Equity (Flinders University) in the area of refugee and asylum seeker mental health.
- adult mental health
- performing arts wellbeing
- LGBTIQ+ wellbeing
- wellbeing of health professionals and students in training
- acceptance & commitment therapy
- schema therapy.
Arts Consulting, Presentations and Workshops:
"Cultivating Resilience" (2018), seminar for Helpmann Academy and fact sheet development
"Mindfulness in Motion" (2018), 2x 90 minute mindfulness workshops for Adelaide Dance Festival."Building Personal Resilience" (2018), half-day workshop for Melbourne Theatre Company's Women in Theatre program.
"Cultivating Coping" (2018), presentation and round-table for Country Arts SA.
"Tour Management Kit" (2018), reseach and write content for the Arts Wellbeing Collective, Arts Centre Melbourne.
"Resilience in the Arts" (2017), keynote presentation, Northern Australia Regional Performing Arts Centres Association, Logan QLD.
"Mental health in the arts workplace" (2016), break out session for Australian Performing Arts Companies Association conference, Melbourne.
"Here I stand: cultivating resilience in the face of chaos" (2016), keynote and workshop for Victorian Theatre Forum https://www.youtube.com/watch?list=PLSTWTJWWiUNkVP0nVs2x3Rv75rpIlRj5&v=YpVyOzrE_Oc
"Making it healthy: keeping theatre makers safe" (2015), curate and chair panel for Australian Theatre Forum, Sydney Festival.
"The Singer and the Psychologist" (2015), presentation for Australian National Association of Teachers of Singing, Adelaide.
"Wellbeing: how are you going and what do you need?" (2014) Arts Industry Council of South Australia, Adelaide.
Recent Arts Work/Practice:
Drawing Fundamentals - Adelaide Central School of Art (student)
Moonlight Cinema 2018/19 season - cinema worker
Ongoing: portrait painting
Stage management team, "Intimate Space" (2017), Restless Dance Theatre, Adelaide Festival of Arts.
Poetry booklet. 'in betweens' - 9 poems for when you're tired of looking at your phone but can't quite face other people yet (2016). Distributed on campus.
Group exhibition. "Eclectic" - student artwork in Hub Central during the South Australian Living Artists Festival (2016). 2 paintings exhibited.
Alison volunteers her time and skills in the arts community and the psychology community. Some recent examples other than conference appearances include:
"Combatting Post-Fringe Blues" (2018) workshop for Adelaide Fringe
"Mental Health: Let's Talk About It" (2017) workshop for Adelaide Fringe
UnFunk Your Mind, Adelaide (2015). A group of local creative practitioners gathering to share stories and information about mental health. Alison was invited as a mental health speaker for sessions on anxiety and depression.
Adminstrator of Psychology and Health Forum (2016-18), a peer network for mental health professionals, researchers and students providing low-cost CPD, resources and social connection (www.phf.net.au)
UniSA (2018) - filming of example therapy videos for clinicians-in-training.
Visualising Mental Health, UniSA (2016). Consultation with final year design students, with the aim of creating new educational and clinical tools on the topic of "What's the deal with feelings? What are normal emotions and how can I deal with them?" Final products exhibited at the Kerry Packer Civic Gallery, October 12th-November 4th. http://www.unisa.edu.au/Business-community/Hawke-Centre/Kerry-Packer-Civic-Gallery/2016-exhibitions/Art-Bus/
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Entry last updated: Wednesday, 23 Jan 2019