Our Services

Counselling

Dr. Bob believes that people who seek out the services of psychologists are the strongest and healthiest people on the planet. He is proud that he has attended with psychologists several times in his own life, out of his personal commitment towards understanding himself and his children.

Seeing a psychologist is similar to going to the gym. In general, people who go to the gym are stronger and fitter, and they go because they are committed to their health. It’s the same with psychotherapy. And even after being a therapist for more than 30 years, Dr. Bob still is learning and growing from his daily contact with the people with whom he has the pleasure to work.

In terms of approach, Dr. Bob is strongly “humanistic” and supports the work of Carl Rogers, the founder of “client centered therapy”. Rogers believed that clients have everything they need to deal with their challenges and achieve their goals, and the therapist is merely a facilitator. Dr. Bob has likened his work to that of the sherpas who help people climb mountains in the Himalayas. The journey belongs to the client, and the client knows what they want and how they experience it. Dr. Bob may know some good paths up the “mountain” to make the climb easier and more rewarding.

Individual

Dr. Bob works with many individuals who want to understand themselves, their relationships and their families better. The desire for individual therapy may come from wanting assistance to meet challenges, and / or personal growth and self knowledge.

Children

Individual therapy with children, which can take the form of play with younger children, is often very helpful to their self-esteem. Dr. Bob believes children should have control over as much of their lives as possible, and that talking with him should be their choice. It is not imperative that Dr. Bob work directly with the child for the therapy to be beneficial. The main changes typically come from parents approaching things differently.

 

Parenting

Not surprisingly, a focus of The Parenting Centre is parenting! Using the unique Parenting Centre model, Dr. Bob helps parents get in touch with their enormous power to resolve challenges, move towards joyful and peaceful parenting, and raise happy children with strong self-esteem.

Couples / Relationship

Dr. Bob has over three decades of experience working with couples. The goal of couples counselling is for each individual to gain greater insight into the dynamics of the relationship, and clarity on how they want to proceed. At the end of the counseling each individual will hopefully feel a greater sense of happiness and peace, whether the relationship continues or not.

Families

Human beings are complex, and for that reason family dynamics are very powerful and complicated. Dr. Bob has many years of experience in providing Family Therapy, and he has also taught Family Therapy and Family Systems Theory to masters and doctoral students. Family Therapy at The Parenting Centre moves away from blame and identifying someone as “the problem” and moves towards open communication, respect and love for all family members.

Mediation

Dr. Bob is a Registered Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner (Mediator) and has been actively practicing mediation since the mid 1990’s.

Mediation Process

Mediation is a process in which the participants, with the support of a mediator, identify issues, develop options, consider alternatives and make decisions about future actions and outcomes. The mediator acts as a third party to support participants to reach their own decision.

The mediator(s) may assist the participants to:
a) Communicate with each other; and
b) Identify, clarify and explore disputed issues; and
c) Generate and evaluate options; and
d) Consider alternative processes for bringing any dispute or conflict to a conclusion; and
e) Reach an agreement or make a decision about how to move forward and/or enhance their communication in a way that addresses participants’ mutual needs with respect to their individual interests based upon the principle of self determination.

Mediation processes are primarily facilitative processes. The mediator provides assistance in managing a process which supports the participants to make decisions about future actions and outcomes.

Some mediators may also use a ‘blended’ process that involves mediation and incorporates an ‘advisory’ component, or a process that involves the provision of expert information and advice, where it enhances the decision-making of the participants provided that the participants agree that such advice can be provided. Such processes may be defined as ‘conciliation’ or ‘evaluative mediation.’ Practitioners who manage such processes and provide expert advice are required to have appropriate expertise (see Section 2(7) of the Mediator Practice Standards below) and obtain clear consent from the participants in respect of undertaking any ‘blended’ advisory process.

Mediation processes are a complement to, not a substitute for, the need for participants to obtain individual legal or other expert advice and support. Mediation processes may not be appropriate for all individuals or all circumstances.

From “Australian National Mediator Standards” (March 2012)

Mediator Practice Standards are available at:

http://www.msb.org.au/sites/default/files/documents/Practice%20Standards.pdf

If you are unable to access the Internet please request a copy of the standards from your mediaton

Advisory Mediation 

Traditionally, mediators were not permitted to share their opinions, and only worked to facilitate an agreement between the parties. Under Australian law, mediators with qualifications in other professional areas may provide “Advisory Mediation” with the consent of both parties. For example, if parents were working on a financial agreement and their mediator was a qualified accountant, the accountant could provide financial or tax advice to guide the agreement, if the parents consented.

As a clinical psychologist, Dr. Bob is able to offer the benefit of an impartial professional with over 30 years of experience, to advise parents of what may or may not be in their children’s best interests. This advice has no authority; parents are free to ignore it. Typically parents genuinely want what is best for their children, and realize they are not sufficiently detached to make that assessment by themselves. For that reason, Advisory Mediation can offer a great deal more than traditional mediation.

Separation and Co Parenting Counselling

Having raised two children as a single father, and being a solicitor and family mediator as well as a psychologist, Dr. Bob has a unique insight into the issues of separation and how they affect children. He works with parents who are considering separation, going through separation, or are dealing with post-separation co-parenting.

 

The end of a relationship can be emotionally devastating, regardless of which partner initiated it. The emotional trauma is multiplied when there are children involved. Our court system creates additional trauma and conflict for parents, when what they need is support and an opportunity to heal. Dr. Bob works with parents post separation to deal with their own feelings about the end of the relationship and to help them feel optimistic and unafraid about the future.

Parenting Plans

 Parents are able to write their own parenting plan. Once both parties have agreed on the terms and sign the document it becomes an official parenting plan.

A parenting plan is a legally relevant document, but it is NOT a court order and cannot be enforced by a court or by the police. It is legally relevant in two ways: If there is a subsequent court case, the parenting plan can be submitted as evidence. Also, a new parenting plan supersedes an existing court order.

Although no specific format is required for a parenting plan, parents are welcome to use the template used by The Parenting Centre which is available here.

Dr. Bob is available to assist parents, individually or together in developing a parenting plan.

Property Agreement

 Money, time and conflict can be saved if parties can agree on how to distribute property upon separation. Parties can prepare their own agreement in regard to their joint asset pool, and how the assets will be divided / split. 

The parties can use the information on this template as the basis for an application to the Court for consent orders. Parties are welcome to use the template used by The Parenting Centre which is available here. 

Dr. Bob is available to assist parties in agreeing on a property agreement. 

Human beings are complex, and for that reason family dynamics are very powerful and complicated. Dr. Bob has many years of experience in providing Family Therapy, and he has also taught Family Therapy and Family Systems Theory to masters and doctoral students. Family Therapy at The Parenting Centre moves away from blame and identifying someone as “the problem” and moves towards open communication, respect and love for all family members.

Consent Orders

 If parents want a court order but want to avoid the court process and conflict, they can make an application to the court to adopt their parenting plan as parenting orders. If the court agrees, their parenting plan will become a “Consent Order”; where the court is issuing an order but there is no dispute. A consent order has the exact same authority as any parenting order.

Although it is sometimes helpful to have a solicitor file the application for consent orders, it is not required, and may not be necessary if the parents don’t mind doing the required paperwork themselves.

 

Conflict Resolution

 Unfortunately, separated parents often do not agree on what is in the best interests of their child or children. Parents who are unable to reach an agreement on a parenting plan can seek mediation through organizations such as Family Relationship Centres and Relationship Australia. Alternatively they can seek “Advisory Mediation” at The Parenting Centre.

 

 

 Fees

Dr. Bob’s time is billed at $225/hour.   Clients with a “mental health plan” from their GP’s are eligible for a rebate of $126.50 for psychotherapy/counseling sessions.  The Parenting Centre offers bulk billing (no out of pocket expense) for psychotherapy/counseling sessions (not mediation) for clients with both a mental health plan and a Centrelink concession card.  Medicare provides for up to ten (10) sessions in a calendar year

Please refer to the attached fee structure for consult costs.