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Ability Therapy Specialists ~ Armidale New England NSW Australia

Independent Consulting with Individuals, Couples, Families, Children ~ NDIS Registered Provider of Behaviour Support, Counselling Therapies with Creative Arts, Rehabilitation, Employment, Paediatric Early Childhood Intervention

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Learning

Finding Your Path in Life

One of the amazing parts of counselling psychotherapy is when a person is seeking where they belong. We feel lost, afraid, alone, stressed out, and even desperate. But only one sleep can change all that. We honestly never know what is around the corner. Life is actually a massive adventure, and we have no idea where we might end up.

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For some of us, not knowing is stressful. Do you think the bee knows exactly where her next bunch of flowers might be found? Surely I can imagine, a bee flying around not sure where the flowers might be growing and blooming. Even whatever sensors they have probably leave them with not knowing, maybe a sense of intuitive instinct. Why should human beings be all that different?

When I was a young man, several really close friendships fell apart leaving me pretty much all alone in the world for the first time in my life. The crisis lasted for a few years because there was no clue inside me of how to cope. Towards the end of this searching someone flatly told me to “go see Redge Craig.” He was a senior counsellor in our region of Canada.

After sitting down with Redge, and sharing the ending of those friendships that still made me feel lower than low, he leaned forward and said something that I cannot easily forget. He said, “How deeply you really cared for each of your friends, and that love you have for them is just as strong now, inside of you.” For some reason, his saying this was like light bulbs going off inside my body. For the first time, it dawned on me that instead of feeling defeated by loss, I could actually feel good about my capacity to care for others. This was a huge turn around that led me toward a new path in life.

Counselling can be like this for many people. It never ceases to mystify me how people come to therapy on the cusp of healing, change, and new pathwork.

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Australian Counselling and Psychotherapy

People from around the world ask me whether there is a distinct form of Australian counselling and psychotherapy. My response is immediately, yes!

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Over the past three decades my work has brought me to many conferences. Over time presenting and doing keynotes has given me a unique perspective. Teaching counselling training at universities, and maintaining interest in the field long after leaving full time academic work, has given me many strengths in understanding Australian approaches to psychotherapy and counselling.

For one, Australian Aboriginal culture is unique around the world. Nothing exists like Aboriginal ways arising from the Dreamtime, deeply connected with Country as Sacred Place, and the many quite profound ways this translates into familial values, community identity, and as time goes on influences within mainstream Australian culture that are often overlooked by people who grow up in this country.

Secondly, Australia is completely unique in its very landmass, and how this holds a great deal of influence, meaning, and inspiration for Australian music, art, science, and culture. Australians have an existential basis in this place we call home, our country, our land and sea. Australians unconsciously and often in full awareness gravitate and hover around the Centre, the desert as heartland, the place of unconscious, that tends to dominate our consciousness. This forms a rich compost layer within the Australian psyche. A hinterland for dreams, vision, and mysticism. A source of enormous power in creativity and problem solving.

Thirdly, Australian counselling and psychotherapy has its own unique professional traditions within the fields of education, public health, and ironically as an offspring of the psychology professional body’s decision to become highly exclusive and begin shutting down their grandfather clause during the late 1990s. Besides, the profession of counselling in Australia grew very quickly to be extremely diverse due in large part to a great deal of healthy competition between factions. This resulted in hundreds of smaller professional and specialist bodies being formed – something that is still sorting itself out as the next couple of generations of therapists cope with the confusion and mess handed down to them by their senior founders.

Finally, Australian counselling and psychotherapy are often places of advanced innovative research and advancements in our understanding of qualitative issues. We can think of a dozen studies that match this criteria, across the areas of child sexual abuse, abuse recovery, trauma and healing, Aboriginal cultural methods in therapy, sexuality and identity, sexual health counselling, ageing and community practice, couple and relationship issues, depression and anxiety, just to name a few. Perhaps in contrast, as a professional body psychology tends toward advancements in quantitative research outcomes.

Unlike psychology perhaps worldwide, counselling in Australia is unique because as a profession counsellors and psychotherapists are not as interested in “rats and stats” as the focus is on human relationships, understanding the dynamics of healing and change outcomes, and actual practice based outcomes that advance our knowledge of evidenced based therapeutic strategies.

These are just a few of the ways that Australian counselling and psychotherapy are unique around the world. There is much to be thankful for in Australia. And most Australians are not aware of the incredible resources we have in our communities and across our nation in the form of counsellors, whose work is often hidden and unassuming, but whose efforts form part of the social fabric of our community.

Who Comes from Where?

Our service is based in beautiful Armidale. But we find that our clients come from all over the New England and now from Coffs Harbour and Mid North Coast. We have had several from Tenterfield in the North. To the West we see people from as far as Moree. The South brings people from beyond Tamworth, and of course Tamworth itself.

We are now doing a fortnightly clinic in Inverell due to the excellent efforts of Individual Ability Supports (IAS Inverell). They asked our service to come over and they provide clients with supports to attend the clinic.

We are interested in helping via a clinic in Tamworth or Coffs Harbour, should providers in those areas seek to engage with independent senior therapist expertise. The model of independent professional practice and the wide range of services available to NDIS participants are actually not that well known or understood by NDIS providers and participants. People have little awareness of what is actually possible, and what best practice actually looks like.

At the cutting edge of the therapeutic fields of counselling, psychotherapy, and behaviour support there are many options for people. We suggest you explore this site for ideas. And get in touch if you have an NDIS Plan, or are looking for private therapy. If we can help or suggest another option, and if we cannot assist ourselves, we are happy to refer to other providers across the region.

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GLBTI2S Couple and Marriage Counselling – Video

On the cusp of Australia’s revealing the results of our postal vote on same sex civil marriage, show host Dr Joseph Randolph Bowers discusses the dynamic of professional supportive counselling and psychotherapy for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, and Two Spirit couples, marriages, and families. His message is profound and provocative. Intentional relationships and families are places to grow mature loving human beings. At the same time, he concludes that minority couples face many of the same dynamics and issues that straight couples and marriages deal with.

Ask A Therapist Episode 6 Couple Counselling vs Mediation? What is Available for Couples?

Episode 6 What is Available for Couples? looks at the enrichment-to-counselling-to-psychotherapy-to-mediation-to-litigation spectrum in couple relationship services. With five areas on the spectrum Dr Bowers offers couples a realistic view on how to seek help depending on their needs at the moment.

Ask A Therapist Episode 4 What is “Ability” AKA “Ability” Therapy Specialists

Episode 4 What is “Ability” explores this amazing word and what this means for people today – and what it can mean for you…

Ask A Therapist Episode 3 Workplace Stress – Help Please?

Episode 3 Workplace Stress looks at the natural ways we can work with our mind for a change, to de-stress, and find a new perspective.

Ask A Therapist Series Episode 2 What is Intellectual Ability?

“Episode 2 What is Intellectual Ability?” covers the cognitive intellectual and adaptive social skills and capacities that people have. This is huge!

Ask A Therapist Video Series, Episode 1 What is Intellectual Disability?

“Ask a Therapist” Video Series is based on participant’s questions and topics of interest. “Episode 1 What is Intellectual Disability?” covers the cognitive intellectual and adaptive social aspects of Intellectual Disability. Dr Joseph Randolph Bowers is our host to this question and answer series. Questions are welcome please send them by email via the Contact page at http://www.abilitytherapyspecialists.com.au and thank you for your participation.

Facebook users can send questions in comments or direct message, thanks heaps. Linkedin users please message Dr Bowers, or visit our website as above.

 

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