What does it mean to be a professional psychotherapist? I profess a competence to respond to people in mental and emotional distress, to attend to personal issues, to assist couples in navigating the often difficult territory of whether or not to stay together and work at it, or to part company, and go separate ways.
The usual metaphors of practice refer to healing emotional injury, repairing damage and recovering from trauma. Many of us have incurred traumatic experiences in our distant past and only come to realize the consequences years or even decades down the track. There are all manner of personal issues that bring people to therapy. What makes my style of practice distinctive is a focus on the detail of each individual’s situation and history and then together creating effective strategies for improvement, and to relieve suffering, enhance understanding, to move on or adjust as needed and develop as a person.
As a supervisor, I work with trainees and qualified psychotherapists, counsellors, psychologists, social workers, mental health practitioners, psychiatrists, developmental paediatricians,registrars, and other doctors, to improve and develop their clinical work. Supervision revolves mainly around confidential case discussions, sometimes in one-to-one sessions and sometimes in groups. Currently, I run five supervision groups for different professional groups including one legal firm supporting clients of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse. As as a method for ongoing professional development, we can never exhaust the value of case discussions as every ‘case’ is different and so is every ‘therapist’.
The call to write has grown and continues to grow, I have over 100 publishing credits, mostly journal articles. My biggest writing project is a book series (see Current Projects) called The Meaningful Living Series and I now have the first book in print called How Two Love and subtitled Making your relationship work and last. It is based on my work as a couples counsellor and marital therapist.
- Over 40 years of clinical practice as a psychotherapist,
- Founded Amygdala Consulting with Cath, I remain a director there, see www.amygdala.com.au
- Founded The Churchill Clinic as Director of Training for 18 years from 1991 to 2008,
- I taught over 2000 classes, seminars and workshops there as well as overseeing the running of the school in general and functioning as Head of the Faculty,
- Founding President of the Psychotherapists & Counsellors Association of Western Australia, (Inc.), in 1993, and remained on the management committee for 10 years,
- I was awarded an Outstanding Achievement Award for my work there,
- I served on the Standing Committee of Educators and Trainers in Counselling and Psychotherapy for a number of years which involved regular meetings over East,
- That lead to the formation of the first national professional association for counselling and psychotherapy called PACFA, Psychotherapists & Counsellors Federation of Australia, and its register where I have been a Clinical Member,
- I served on the founding Management Committee and Training Committee there,
- I joined the Editorial Advisory Board of the national journal Psychotherapy in Australia from its second issue in 1994, and remained for 20 years,
- Advisory Board Member of ASCA (Adult Survivors of Child Abuse) now re-named The Blue Knot Foundation, and
- Editorial Advisory Board Member of Virtual Medical Centre and Virtual Psychiatry Centre, an online resource for doctors and the public,
- Accredited as a supervisor for psychiatry registrars (in psychotherapy) by the Royal Australian New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (since 2007), and
- PhD in Psychology (Psychoanalysis), my dissertation was called The Psychosomatic Metaphor and subtitled, The Poetics of Healing,
- I was privileged to be taught by and receive my first 8 years of clinical supervision from R.D. Laing between 1976 and 1984,
- I was privileged to study with and receive many years of supervision with John Heaton between 1974 and 1990,
- I was privileged to study with and receive group supervision from Christopher Bollas, and
- I was privileged to have a training analysis with Rosemary Gordon from 1977 to 1983.
- Lastly, I have launched and presided over 4 separate charities in the UK and Australia, The Oxford Centre for Human Relations with the late Mary Duhig from 1976, Aesclepion (London) from 1982, Australia Dreaming (Perth) with the late Michelle Fox from 1998 and The Churchill Clinic, Inc., (Perth) from 1991 to 2008.
For a comprehensive account of my career including a list of publications and references, please email or message me (go to Contact) and request to peruse my résumé.