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Mr Graeme James

Mr Graeme James

Mobile 0412 518 024
Psychotherapist, Counsellor

Mobile 0412 518 024

People consult me about diverse personal, emotional and relationship problems. I work with adult individuals and couples to help them find their way through difficulties by providing emotional support, clarifying issues, developing meaning, building hope, and exploring choices. My approach is gentle, unfolding and I work at a pace that feels right for you. While I work with many differing issues my work often helps people just to be themselves amid life's difficulties.

PHONEPRACTICE LOCATIONS

  • Suite 3, 9 Fletcher Street, Byron Bay, NSW 2481 0412 518 024 PHONE 0412 518 024
  • Bangalow Professional Centre, Suite 4, Lot 1 Ballina Rd, Bangalow, NSW 2479 PHONE 0412 518 024 0412 518 024
  • Online via Skype, Zoom or FaceTime , from anywhere in Australia, NSW PHONE

Services

  • Counselling, Psychotherapy, Clinical Supervision, Phone Consultations, Video / Skype 
  • Areas of Special Interest

  • Anxiety / Panic Attacks, Burnout, Depression, Dreams, Existential Issues, Grief / Bereavement, Intimacy Issues, Life Threatening Illness, Life Transitions, Men's Issues, Relationship Issues, Self Development, Spirituality / Religion, Trauma Recovery, Workplace Issues  
  • MODALITIES / Approach

    Existential, Narrative Therapy, Person Centred, Psychodynamic, Solution Oriented, Systems Theory

    My aim is to help you better manage life’s crises, losses and upheavals. Drawing from recognised and respected approaches to counselling, and guided by your story and experience, we find a way that works for you. I don't try to make everyone fit one method of working. Instead, we work together to understand your issues and problems and to utilise your strengths.

    ACCREDITATIONS

    • Master of Counselling Honours - 2018 - University of New England
    • Master of Counselling - 2007 - University of New England
    • Bachelor of Counselling - 2002 - University of New England

    Professional Associations

    • Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia

    Quality Provision

    I aim to provide an ethical and quality service that is useful in your circumstances. I am committed to ongoing my ongoing personal and professional development through reflective practice and regular supervision. As a counselling educator I also have a strong interest in the research that informs my counselling, psychotherapy and supervision practice.

    Background

    I have been in private practice since 2002 and work with a diverse range of clients. I also offer supervision and reflective practice to a wide range of health professionals including counsellors, psychotherapists, psychologists, doctors, nurses, educators, and students. I have managed Lifeline Sydney, worked with Medibank Health for Beyondblue, been Director of Sydney Campus with ACAP and am a casual teacher at a university counselling program. My research investigated therapist’s experiences of their own serious or life threatening illness. I have written book chapters and presented my work at conferences.

    Appointments

    To make an appointment you can call me directly on 0412 518 024 or contact me via email. I am available in Byron Bay, Bangalow and online via Skype, Zoom and FaceTime.

    Transport and Parking

    There is street parking near my practice in Byron Bay and Banglow in the Northern Rivers NSW.

    Fees

    My usual fees are in line with those of therapists with similar qualifications and years of experience. I am happy to discuss your circumstances, possible needs, and fees during an obligation free phone enquiry.

    Payment Options

    Fees are payable either by cash or within 7 days by direct bank transfer. I will provide you with an invoice and or receipt.



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    10 Questions with Graeme James

    • What led you to choose psychotherapy or counselling as a profession?

    • I didn't want to be a counsellor or therapist. Initially I worked in marketing. After years of encouragement from a friend I finally became a volunteer Lifeline counsellor way back in 1987. Very quickly I grew up on the telephones and came to realise how very complex and demanding life is. When I left the corporate world I retrained, became engaged in managing Lifeline centres, started a private practice, and went on to work in counsellor education. So you might say I now have a passion for the field.
    • Which philosophical approaches have influenced your professional/personal development?

    • No one particular approach is right for everyone. Usually one approach or another will resonate with us more than others. Learning how to be a therapist and work with others requires much more than going to university and engaging in supervision. It also means engaging in our own personal work and learning who we are as a therapist and what we bring to the work with clients. So my influences are diverse. I am drawn to psychodynamic and analytic ideas from my own experience as a client; person/client centred/ humanistic and strengths approaches form working with Lifeline; cognitive behavioural approaches from my time with Medibank Health and Beyondblue; and systemic, narrative, constructivist and post modern approaches from my university training. I have done quite a bit of living in my time working in this profession, so underpinning everything, I am an existentialist. We all face challenges making meaning from life's ups and downs.
    • Which particular aspects of health or the human journey are you interested in?

    • I am interested in how we grow and develop as people. We take in experiences when we are little and over time, have to navigate life when we are big. Sometimes we have good experiences to draw from, and sometimes not. Change and development can involve trauma and loss as well as more safe and supportive experiences. Some experiences are truly awful. While we can't change what has happened to us, these things can in time help us to learn and grow as people. We are not static but rather dynamic and changing. We tell ourselves stories about who we are and who we can be, or others tell these stories about us. For many of us, our challenge is to discover how to be ourselves. Much of my work is about helping people to slowly but surely unpack and discover this. It might more readily be called anxiety, depression, living with trauma, or relationship difficulties. I help people understand themselves and their relationships in and with life. Who am I amid the context of life's difficulties? What shaped me and who am I becoming? What is important to me in life now? How can I live more fully in the context of my life?
    • What method/s do you use?

    • I am an integrated therapist. I draw from differing approaches depending upon your difficulties, interests, abilities and readiness for change. I don't work with every person in exactly the same way. Rather I tailor my approach to your circumstances. What the research (e.g. Asay and Lambert, or Norcross and Lambert) says is that is that method or technique only accounts for about 15% of why therapy works. 40% of improvement can be attributed to clients themselves - your strengths, amount of support, persistence, curiosity and motivation to learn from your circumstances, and even the events of life when things go better. The next, 30% comes from the quality of relationship between you and me - that it be caring, genuine, affirming, and encouraging. It should feel like working with me is a good fit for you. What becomes important regarding methods, is that the way I choose to work with you should help you to make sense of why you feel the way you do. I draw from psychodynamic, cognitive behavioural, humanistic, existential, strengths, systemic and emotionally focussed approaches.
    • When do you think the client will start to feel that progress is being made?

    • Often people tell me that the first thing they feel is some relief from sharing their story and being heard in a non-judgemental relationship with me. I try to bring an empathic and gentle curiosity so that people can explore their story and understand themselves better. Life can be pretty challenging going forwards, and often it seems to make more sense looking backwards. When people can look back and notice themselves changing, session by session, becoming more competent, coping better, facing difficulties without suffering so much with their problems, then they can begin to tell a story of change and progress. I have had clients tell me things like, 'I still have the same feelings and reactions to life's events, however, they no longer get the better of me. They don't trigger or frighten me so I am able to manage better now' (numerous clients and not a direct quote). This kind of change leads to increased hope. Interestingly, hope and expectancy that counselling or therapy will help provide the remaining 15% of what leads to good outcomes in therapy.
    • How has therapy made you a better person?

    • I have been a client, practice as a therapist, supervise other therapists and also train counsellors and therapists. Each of these experiences provides an opportunity for me to learn by reflecting upon myself and life. These different lenses into therapy help me to I understand what it is like to have difficulties, and to also work with them over time towards improvement. I think it is important that any therapist you might wish to see has some insight into suffering, and not just from a text book. The research (e.g. Norcross) shows that most therapists deeply value their own therapy, as do I. This is the real seat and foundation of therapist learning more so than any training - as it has been for me. Importantly, therapy is not a one sided deal. It takes two. Therapists help their clients to change. Clients are also remarkable and resourceful people too. So clients can inspire their therapists too. It is a reciprocal process sometimes, something the text books don't often mention. It is however incumbent upon therapists to manage our selves so as not to adversely interfere with your progress.
    • What do you like most about being a therapist?

    • It is a thoughtful, purposeful and meaningful way to live. The work is stimulating and it is great to see people grow and develop over time.
    • Do you ever have 'bad hair' days?

    • Therapists are people too. While the context of everyone's life is different, we all have potential for 'bad hair' days. Why should it be any different for therapists? The world will shift and change around me just like it will for you. My responsibility to you however is to manage what is mine so it doesn't adversely influence what is yours. I do this by engaging in reflective practice about my work. Just as I supervise other therapists I also engage in supervision online with a senior clinician in a capital city. To manage confidentiality I do not reveal details of client identities.
    • What do you think is the most significant problem we face, in the world today?

    • Everything is changing in a fast paced, socially and technologically connected world. It can amplify or detract from the meaning of everything. Whether we are young or old, most of us face changes of how to be ourselves at some point in time. This can take many forms like anxiety or depression for example. Along side of this, most of us like to know that we matter to loved ones, friends or family. The areas I most enjoy working upon involve some growth in our sense of self about who we are and can be in the world, and how to relate with others or ourselves better.
    • Can you share the name of a book, film, song, event or work of art that inspires you?

    • I like many forms of music, art and film, though tend to be drawn to music of my era like prog rock or contemporary jazz and fusion - each requires active engagement from the listener, a bit like therapy itself.
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    Mr Graeme James

    Graeme James

    Psychotherapist, Counsellor

    I draw from broad counselling and psychotherapy experience to help during life's difficulties. In addition to providing counselling and psychotherapy, I teach counselling at university and provide supervision and reflective practice to a wide range of health professionals....

    • Byron Bay, Bangalow
    • Existential, Narrative Therapy, Person Centred, Psychodynamic, Solution Oriented, Systems Theory