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MANDALA – the word is from Sanskrit, a classical Indian language developed over
                    2,300 years ago means circle.  

The word means ‘infinite’ or a circle – Containment – Wholeness. 

·         The Circle symbolizes-anything from the macro to the micro (universe/cell)

·         The circle can symbolize the dynamic of completeness.

·         In this therapeutic context the circle symbolizes wholeness,  – the whole self.

·         Mandala does not ‘belong’ to any particular culture or religion or person or healing practice.

·         It has been used in Western and Eastern religious practice, e.g.,

§  Orthodox Christian lead light windows, tiled floors

§  Tibetan monks - coloured sand mandalas

§  Druid worship

§  Christian mosaic icons etc.

Although initially the word appeared in  Sanskrit, It was picked up by one of the fathers of psychiatry -a colleague of Freud, Carl Jung. Jung took two years off from his practice of psychiatry and did his own healing through using the use of the containment of the mandala. Jung developed many of his theories from his own intra-psychic journey. 

The mandala is also a symbol. Think about water as a symbol–      

  • many cultures and religions have used water to symbolize a variety of things e.g. cleanliness, emotion, life, re-birth, self sacrifice, cleansing, etc.   

Water, H2O, is essential to life, but, it has many uses. The variety of usage doesn’t
change what it is.

In the same way, over the centuries the mandala has been used for a variety of
purposes by different groups, i.e. worship, healing, decoration etc., however it is
primarily ‘a circle’. 

‘Awareness of the mandala may have the potential of changing how we see ourselves,
our planet, and perhaps even our own life purpose’.
Bailey Cunnigham 


ACCELERATED TRAUMA RECOVERY MANDALA is an Intra Systemic Ego State therapy which utilizes geometric shape, i.e, the  mandala circle, as a container of both intra and inter psyche  material. The shape creates containment, boundaries and safety enabling  externalization and representation through the use of symbols of both conscious and unconscious material. 

A multi dimensional self portrait is gradually constructed. Narrative, affective, and somatic  memory, i.e. right and left brain hemisphere material is  contained and represented in the work. 

Externalization of intra systemic psyche material is initially expressed through the use of symbols, shapes, colours, textures, forms and as the work progresses the participant is more able to use words to express their processes as meaning is made.  

Use of inclusive trauma language invites and enables the whole ‘self’ or ‘multiple ego states’ into the process. A gradual connection within the group and the resultant reduction of alienation between participants enables some risk taking and sharing of individual processes.  This validation feedback loop frequently enables a new experience of having a ‘voice’.  

Narrative and ‘life script’ dynamics are used to establish ‘before and after’ self awareness .  

The newly coalescent ‘alternate ego states’  create a synthesis within the psyche. The temporary synthesis enables increased neural connectivity between right and left brain hemispheres resulting in unprocessed right brain trauma material, previously managed within the limbic system, to be processed and ‘date stamped’. Thoughts, beliefs, values all change to a lesser or greater extent as the domino effect of processed material is experienced within the psyche.


  • Enable access to the inner-world, the inner self/ves

  • Enable a new level of self awareness of the post traumatic avoidance adaptation.

  • Access inner wisdom and our inner spirituality.

  • Reveal right brain memory.

  • Encourage inter-hemisphere connection enabling process and recovery from trauma memory

  • Enable an increased letting go of the trauma

  • Transform the bitterness of past trauma to 'an honoring' of survival.

  • Containment, grounding and processing techniques and the process.

  • Intra-psychic congruence is established with the whole 'self'.

  • Symbolism and representation - externalize with mindful acceptance the hidden acts, thoughts, feelings, 'sensings', of the past in the present.


Lindy Bearup



Moonyah acknowledges that we work on the land of the Wurundjeri Traditional owners.


"Yesterday is already a dream and tomorrow is only a vision,
but today well lived - makes every yesterday a dream of happiness and every tomorrow a vision of hope"
old Sanskrit proverb.