What kind of therapy do we do?

We have all studied and worked in Family Therapy, Systemic Therapy, Narrative Therapy and associated fields.

Family Therapy has its origins in the USA in the 1950’s. At that time a growing number of practitioners became increasingly uneasy with the prevailing practice of focusing on the inner life of clients without taking into account the significant relationships in their lives and the part that those relationships played in the clients problems. Since then a wide range of models have developed under the umbrella term of ‘Family Therapy’. In general terms Family Therapy emphasizes that the relationships you have with other people, in particular family, play a significant role in how you understand the difficulties you are facing and the ways you respond to those difficulties. In taking this approach Family Therapy focuses on things such as relationship patterns, family history and family structure. Family Therapy is applicable not only to intimate relationship problems and family problems, but also to individual problems.

In the 1980’s and 90’s Family Therapy came under attack for being too narrow in its approach. It was partially in response to these criticisms that Systemic Therapy and Narrative Therapy emerged. Systemic Therapy may be understood as a general term for models of Family Therapy that have been extended and refined to take in larger community and cultural systems. In working with a client(s) Systemic Therapy takes into account larger systems such as the education system, health system and work place. It also addresses the impact of larger ‘systems’ at the level of society, such as gender, race and class, in the lives of clients.

Narrative Therapy, like Systemic Therapy places importance on the different ways in which family, community and culture influences the difficulties clients face. Narrative Therapy may be understood as a form of therapy that has emerged from Family Therapy with its own particular theory and practice. Narrative Therapy in particular, but also Systemic Therapy, places importance on the relationship the client(s) has with themselves. Consequently there is considerable effort made to address problems with clients in ways that fit with the client’s preferred way of living.

Why come to us?

Collectively, we bring an extensive and diverse range of experience (see individual biographies). One of our core beliefs is that we can improve the quality of the service we each offer to clients by consulting with our colleagues and at times working together. Sometimes two heads are better than one, particularly if the problems are complex and of a long-standing nature. In this situation, with our client’s permission, we consult our colleagues about what they think might help the situation. Sometimes we might have a “live” consultation, which involves one of our colleagues coming in on a session. Some of us do joint work. For example we offer couple counselling with a male and female counsellor for those couples who feel that a gender balance will make them feel more comfortable.

How we work

Collaboration is a principle we hold dear at the Karuna Centre. We work with you and alongside you to help you find solutions suited to your unique circumstances. We also work from the understanding that how people make sense of their lives is strongly influenced by their relationships with other people and the community in which they live. Finding solutions often requires that people think about their difficulties in these contexts, sometimes involving other people and taking action where appropriate. We are willing to work collaboratively with you and with other members of your family, or other professionals such as medical practitioners or teachers. This may at times involve varying combinations of individual, couple and family sessions. We also offer the option of having two counsellors working together with you. (You may wish to read the section on confidentiality).

Where do we work

David operates at:
10/10 Kennedy Street