Dr Gordillo has undertaken PhD research regarding ways to enhance youth resilience using technology.
Based on the results of her qualitative study, Toula has identified that young people regularly use stories and images, online and offline, as a primary way of coping with their mental health concerns.
To understand how stories and images can be used improve young people’s mental health, Toula conducted further research in a Doctor of Creative Arts (Creative Writing) at the University of the Sunshine Coast.
Toula’s creative writing doctoral thesis, entitled Discovering the Bifrost: A Hero’s Journey, included how to deliver positive mental health messages using a Young Adult mythic/heroic fantasy novel.
Dr Gordillo is a Professional Member of the Australian Society of Authors, the Queensland Writer’s Centre, the CG Jung Society of Queensland, the International Depth Psychology Alliance, the International Positive Psychology Association (IPPA), and the Australian Child and Adolescent Trauma, Loss and Grief Network (ACATLGN).
Toula has worked in private practice and schools for twenty-five years. She regularly delivers important social, psychological, historical and cultural information to assist students and clients using a range of interventions and therapies that are evidence-based, ancient and narrative. She is widely published in numerous academic and non-academic magazines and journals including: Youth Voice Journal,
Viewpoint, The Artifice, and Immanence—Journal of Applied Myth, Story & Folklore, and others.
Dr Gordillo is an international guest speaker and has presented on the use of technology and ancient, mythic, heroic and modern stories and images at Wakatipu State High School, New Zealand; Cambridge College, India; and at numerous other conferences.
These include: the International Mental Health Conference and the Anti-bullying Conference (facilitated by the Australia and New Zealand Mental Health Association); the University of the Sunshine Coast Children’s Media Symposium, Sunshine Coast TAFE Youth Mental Health Conference and Central Queensland University Narratives in Health Conference.