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Ms Karen Anderson

Ms Karen Anderson

Mobile 0413 804 887
Psychodynamic Psychotherapist, Counsellor

Being Centred

Mobile 0413 804 887

Karen is a psychotherapist, counsellor, couple and family therapist, and group therapist who has extensive experience working within educational, welfare and health sectors. Karen works psychodynamically and embraces a holistic approach towards assisting people to achieve psychological and emotional health and well being.


  • 120A St Leonard's Ave, West Leederville, Perth WA 6007 08 9382 8446 PHONE 08 9382 8446


  • Counselling, Psychotherapy, Couples Therapy, Family Therapy, Group Therapy, Workshops / Courses, Professional Training, Clinical Supervision, Phone Consultations, Online Video Consultations 
  • Karen has a particular interest and extensive experience in working with people who have a life threatening illness or disability. Karen also specialises in bereavement, grief and loss as well as in relationship and couple therapy.

    During Covid-19 period 2020, the following services are available:
    * In-person sessions respecting Federal Government physical distancing guidelines
    *Telehealth including Skype, Zoom and Telephone counselling

    Karen is an Accredited Clinical Member (Reg. No. 20042) of PACFA.

    Areas of Special Interest

  • Adoption / Foster Care, Anxiety / Panic Attacks, Burnout, Childhood Issues, Communication Issues, Cultural Issues, Disability, Divorce / Separation, Existential Issues, Fertility / Pregnancy, Grief / Bereavement, Life Threatening Illness, Life Transitions, Relationship Issues, Self Development, Stress Management  
  • MODALITIES / Approach

    Developmental, Existential, Experiential, Mindfulness, Person Centred, Psychodrama, Psychodynamic, Systems Theory

    'Being Centred' developed from the belief that for a person to resolve issues, make decisions and find inner contentment within themselves, they need to first begin to feel connected with their own being and personhood - to feel a sense of being centred within themselves and who they are. To have a sense of being in relationship with oneself and the world around oneself enables a person to move readily with the ebb and flow of life.


    • Masters in Social Sciences (Counselling) - 1998 - Edith Cowan University
    • Grad Dip Arts (Counselling) - 1990 - Edith Cowan University
    • Certificate in Action Groupwork - 1996 - The Wasley Institute
    • Bachelor of Education - 1984 - Western Australian College of Advanced Education
    • Diploma in Business Management - 2005 - Modal Pty Ltd

    Professional Associations

    • Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia

    Quality Provision

    Karen served on the Management Committee of the Psychotherapists and Counsellors Association of Western Australia (PACAWA) for many years as well as serving on the Training Standards Sub-Committee of the Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia (PACFA) for several years. She has served as a Board Member on several community based agencies.

    Karen is a Member of Palliative Care WA and of the Australasian Palliative Care Link (APLI).


    Karen is a permanent staff member in the Counselling and Psychotherapy team in the School of Arts and Humanities at Edith Cowan University, teaching in undergraduate and postgraduate courses in Perth (2001 - current) and previously off-shore in Singapore (2001 - 2010).

    Karen commenced her private practice in Subiaco, Western Australia in 1992 and has maintained this practice now for 28 years.

    Karen has worked in the provision of psychosocial care in oncology, palliative care and disability for 20+ years.


    Available for client consultations on
    Fridays 8.00am to 4.00pm.
    Other times on weekdays are available
    upon discussion with Karen.

    Transport and Parking

    Being Centred is located in close walking distance to train and bus services and easy access to the Mitchell Freeway.


    $140 Standard Individual Consultation
    $180 Couple & Family Therapy
    $150 Clinical & Professional Supervision
    Discounted fees are available. Selected services are via subsidy.

    Payment Options

    Payment is required at time of consultation.
    Cheque, cash and internet bank transfer
    is accepted.

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    10 Questions with Karen Anderson

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

    • I grew up in a family as one of four children and my younger sister was severely intellectually disabled. I know this to have been a powerful influence upon me at many levels. I was very attuned to the emotional nuances in many of the people around me. Later as a teacher working with the first Vietnamese and Kampuchean refugees here in Western Australia I knew I had the compassion to be with and support them however I realised fairly quickly that I needed to learn more about the experience of psychological trauma in order to be of further and greater assistance. I had also been one of the initial teachers establishing the school on Home Island on the Cocos (Keeling) Islands.

      The love I felt for and received from the Cocos-Malay people influenced me in wanting to train more specifically in counselling and psychotherapy so as to be able to better support people from different cultures as they made cultural transitions. In short, I understood early in my life that I was capable of feeling deep compassion however, that alone was not sufficient to work well with people. I knew I needed to learn something about psychological theory and knowledge as well. I needed to bring together the ‘heart and feelings’ with sound theoretical knowledge so as to apply both for the benefit of others.
    • Which philosophical approaches have influenced your professional/personal development?

    • My original training in developmental and educational psychology gave me an appreciation for the important process of attachment and when ruptures to attachment occur the subsequent impact of loss and hence the experience of grief. At the time in the 1970s and 1980s I was greatly interested in the writings of such people as Gregory Bateson, Salvador Minuchin, Jay Haley, Virginia Satir, Margaret Mead and Ram Dass.

      After the diagnosis of schizophrenia and the subsequent suicide of my first husband in our mid twenties, my father introduced me to the writings of Victor Frankl and so began my interest and direction in existential psychotherapy. Since then I have continued to deepen my understanding and knowledge with regards to existential concerns and issues. Along the way I have been strongly influenced by systems theory, systemic thinking, psychoanalytic and psychodynamic theory. Throughout all of this time at a more personal level I explored Buddhism and Taoism and their valued application to living an enriched, meaningful and purposeful life – both personally and professionally.
    • Which particular aspects of health or the human journey are you interested in?

    • In terms of human nature I have always been curious about the capacity of resilience – why and how some people are more or less resilient than others. I’m curious with how some people tolerate difficult or complex life events substantially more ably than other people and how they learn to grow and expand their own self and consciousness from difficult life challenges.

      Within my own family-of-origin experiences I learned about the human capacity of vulnerability and its implications for living a life wisely and usefully as opposed to succumbing to relentless destructive thinking. I remain in awe of the human spirit’s potential to endure and rise beyond difficult cognitive, emotional and physical as well as spiritual duress. My personal experience has led me to now view ‘adversity as a seed for growth’. My life experiences have also taught me enormously to deeply respect and value emotional intelligence as independent from intellectual intelligence.
    • What method/s do you use?

    • Regardless of whichever theoretical method or approach I might select to apply or use in my work with a client, I endeavour always to function from a position of ‘being centred’ within my own self. It is important to how I work that I am able to ‘be’ first and foremost with another rather than ’do’ something to or with the person. Hence, my clinical practice of 20+ years has been called, ‘Being Centred’. My capacity to ‘be with’ others in the therapeutic setting effectively has grown and developed over the years.

      In an operational sense I do think developmentally, systemically and psycho-dynamically when working with clients to explore their presenting concerns and issues. I believe the experiences within my own family-of-origin particularly with regards to my sister’s intellectual disability and the various associated dynamics arising within the family system, influenced me greatly in naturally developing a heightened availability to readily attune to unconscious emotionality within those around me. This has been a useful skill as a therapist. Similarly, I have always resonated with existential thought processes and so it’s not surprising I’ve ended up specialising in working in the field of psycho-oncology and palliative care.

      I regard reflection as an essential technique/method for me to work therapeutically. I have continuously incorporated frequent professional reflective practice in the form of regular clinical supervision – both individual and group supervision. I also actively personally reflect on a routinely daily basis with various meditation practices.
    • When do you think the client will start to feel that progress is being made?

    • Tough question!! This will vary with each and every client and is determined by such variables as contextual influences, social-cultural influences, historical and personality factors and a host of other influences. I find this an extraordinary difficult question to respond to and am not sure at all that there is any clear answer possible.
    • How has therapy made you a better person?

    • My own personal therapy has stretched me enormously. In the 1970s and 1980s in particular, like so many others I undertook a broad selection of various individual and group therapies as part of the encounter movement. Some of these were personally ‘brutalising’ and even ‘bruising’ but in later years I am grateful for having lived through this period and having been exposed to some of these techniques for the simple reason they challenged me in ways I would never have willingly chosen. Having submitted myself to personal therapy over the past 40 years whilst training, developing and maturing as a counsellor and psychotherapist myself, I now feel humble and privileged to have had the opportunity to expose myself to such explorations.

      I view my therapy as having been an ‘investment in life’ rather than an ‘expense’. All of it, the good and the bad, the useful and the decidedly not useful, has without a doubt improved me as a human being, has expanded my mind and thinking and has added depth to my soul.

      Working as a counsellor, psychotherapist and couple and family therapist has enriched who I am substantially. I do believe I have learned and gained from and been taught by my clients in significant ways about the humility of what it means to simply be human. Of course I am a better person for having experienced sharing together with so many others, their and my own internal worlds. It’s a priceless gift.
    • What do you like most about being a therapist?

    • In short, I deeply value the aspect of sharing and exploring with another fellow human being the realm of their internal psychic world, our internal worlds as we explore and reflect together. To experience the relational dimension with another in a discrete and defined therapeutic space and time and then to reflect upon the multiple layers encountered within that experience is highly satisfying and enriching.

      To ‘be with’ whilst demanding high levels of concentration and focus, is enormously gratifying. It’s not common to experience the same in my regular, ‘outside-of-the-therapeutic setting’, social world of reality. I find it wonderful to be able to work with meaning at the deeper level which occurs within the therapy room. This is also true with both individual and group clinical supervision.

      There is something about being in the presence of suffering which is levelling for me. It grounds me and reminds me of the fragility and vulnerability of what it means to be human which is again gratifying.
    • Do you ever have 'bad hair' days?

    • Absolutely!! There are days when I am out of sync with my own self and this does impact upon my work in the therapy room and with associated administrative functions. I do notice times when I breathe a sigh of relief when a client phones in to cancel or rearrange an appointment. These are days when I do attempt to counteract the sense of being ‘off centre’ by increasing self care strategies including such things as taking time to go outside of my consulting room during breaks and briefly walking about in the fresh air and connecting with nature.
    • What do you think is the most significant problem we face, in the world today?

    • Overpopulation. Raping of the earth’s below and above ground natural resources without longer term care plans. Not heeding the planet’s groans of suffering – weather implications, environmental destruction. She’s actively crying out and giving us warnings but we still don’t appear to be listening!
    • Can you share the name of a book, film, song, event or work of art that inspires you?

    • The things which have inspired me and continue to do so are many and varied:
      • Victor Frankl’s book, “Man’s Search for Meaning” given to me by my father
      • My father’s letters to me and the wisdom of his writings
      • The films, “Brother Sun, Sister Moon” (early1970s), “Easy Rider”, “WoodStock” (late1960s) and "As it is in Heaven" (2003)
      • Watching Margot Fonteyn and Rudolf Nureyev dance Swan Lake and Giselle
      • Leonard Cohen singing ‘Bird on a Wire” and “Hallelujah”
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    Karen Anderson

    Psychodynamic Psychotherapist, Counsellor

    Karen is a psychotherapist, counsellor, couple and family therapist, and group therapist who has extensive experience working within educational, welfare and health sectors.

    Karen works psychodynamically and embraces a holistic approach towards assisting people to achieve psychological and emotional health and well being....

    • West Leederville
    • Developmental, Existential, Experiential, Mindfulness, Person Centred, Psychodrama, Psychodynamic, Systems Theory