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Ms Martina Palombi

Ms Martina Palombi

Mobile 0423 184 955
Psychotherapist, Counsellor

Bondi Psychotherapy

Mobile 0423 184 955

I have helped hundreds of people explore what keeps them stuck in life & relationships and have supported people to get unstuck and live a more satisfying life. During challenging times, or due to a challenging past, accessing the choice to grow and live a healthy & productive life can be difficult. With the support of an experienced and neutral therapist energy that is bound in reactivity can be redirected toward one's life path and becoming one's best Self.

PHONEPRACTICE LOCATIONS

  • Suite 701b, level 7, 9-13 Bronte Road, Bondi Junction, Sydney NSW 2022 0423 184 955 PHONE 0423 184 955

Services

  • Counselling, Psychotherapy, Couples Therapy, Family Therapy, Coaching / Mentoring, Phone Consultations, Online Video Consultations 
  • Psychotherapist & Counsellor for Individuals, Couples & Families

    COVID-19:
    I am providing Zoom or Phone sessions for those who would like but also face-to-face counselling.
    During this public health situation we are going above and beyond in sanitising our office each day and between clients as well as adhering to other recommended strategies to support the wellbeing of clients, therapists and the broader community.


    Areas of Special Interest

  • Addiction, Anxiety / Panic Attacks, Childhood Issues, Communication Issues, Cultural Issues, Depression, Emotional Overwhelm, Family / Parenting, Grief / Bereavement, Intimacy Issues, Life Transitions, PTSD, Relationship Issues, Stress Management, Suicidal Feelings, Trauma Recovery  
  • MODALITIES / Approach

    Developmental, Experiential, Gestalt, Interpersonal, Marriage and Family, Mindfulness, Process Oriented, Systems Theory

    I aim to assist clients with a range of issues with an emphasis on relationships. I explore with clients how relationships are both a resource & a challenge in their effort to live a healthy and productive life. Symptoms are viewed as connected to the big picture of a person's life & relationships. I helps clients develop awareness of how they might be reacting to others & how those reactions are being responded to. I work not to take sides with any member of the client's relationship system. I encourage clients to work outside the therapy room in the natural system of their real life & relationships. I am a Gestalt trained therapist predominantly informed by family systems thinking, I have over 20 years experience as a meditator

    ACCREDITATIONS

    • BFA - 1997 - UNSW
    • Diploma Zen Shiatsu - 2001 - Zen Renaissance
    • Certificate Gestalt Counselling - 2006 - Sydney Gestalt Institute
    • Grad. Dip. Gestalt Psychotherapy - 2008 - Sydney Gestalt Institute
    • Cert. Bowen Family Systems Theory and Practice - 2016 - Bowen Family Systems Institute

    Professional Associations

    • Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia

    Quality Provision

    Grad.Dip. Gestalt Psychotherapy
    B.F.A.
    Cert. Bowen Family Systems Theory & Practice
    PACFA Reg. Clinical 23338
    Master of Social Work Qualifying (in progress)

    I am committed to ongoing supervision as well as rigorous professional development.

    Background

    I have been in the psychotherapy field for over a decade. I specialise in relationship counselling, for individuals, couples and families as well as parenting issues and problems emerging from childhood. I work with a broad range of clients & issues: anxiety, depression, grief & loss, couples & family therapy. I have extensive & rigorous training & experience working with clients with substance & behaviour addiction and have worked with organisations in relapse prevention using 12 step programs. My experience includes membership of faculty and training in two Psychotherapy Institutes in Sydney, facilitation of group therapy, mindfulness based workshops. I co-own the private practice 'Affinity Psychotherapy and Counselling Services'.

    Appointments

    Monday to Saturday
    After hours sessions available dependant on availability



    Transport and Parking

    Walking distance from Bondi Junction train station and bus depot
    2 hours free parking available in Westfield Car Park ( a few minutes from the practice)
    Easy transport and parking


    Fees

    $160 (GST included) per hour

    Payment Options

    Credit Cards
    Cash
    Electronic transfer


    Languages

  • English
  • Italian


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    10 Questions with Martina Palombi

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

    • During a therapy session in my early twenties it dawned on me that if I trained as a therapist I could support others through the same process I was experiencing myself. A process I was deeply grateful for. My experience as a therapy client had been invaluable. It allowed me to understand who I was and how I had been shaped by my family history and my early development. Lived experience of the psychotherapeutic process led me to discover who I was within the broader context of family of origin. It facilitated my insight into how I perceived myself, my important relationships and the world. My perception of life and relationships changed and broadened. I felt better able to self-regulate, to discover myself anew, to better understand my parents and my family and their lot in life, and to take responsibility for myself in the life I had been given. It has allowed me to guide myself where I want to my life path to go, within the limitations of who I am and the cards I have been dealt in life. Helping others to do the same is a natural extension of the work I have done myself.
    • Which philosophical approaches have influenced your professional/personal development?

    • Several therapeutic frameworks have influenced my work as a therapist in the course of my career. Theravadan Buddhism and Gestalt Psychotherapy were the initial frameworks I used, as well as to a lesser extent Attachment Theory and Trauma informed therapies. My approach now however is based on Bowen family systems theory, a theory of human behaviour developed by Dr. Murray Bowen. Bowen family systems theory views human beings and their problems as embedded in the broader context of their social and family environments. A person’s problems, from this perspective, are not divorced from their relationship systems. Bowen family systems theory does not view issues as belonging solely to the individual but rather sees human functioning as interconnected to, and co-created by, the individual’s relationship system. A disturbance observed within the individual is a reflection of a disturbance in the (family or social) group. According to Dr Bowen, “human behaviour, along with that of any other social species, is not only self-regulated by individuals, but co-regulated in the highly interdependent systems in which individuals are embedded” (Noone & Papero, 2015). Aligning with the principles of evolutionary biology, Dr. Bowen viewed the human family as a natural system, and the individual, as a member of that system.

      Natural systems thinking – is based on the evolutionary biological idea that individuals both impact their environment/family system and are impacted by it, the two are not separate but in constant relationship. They are in reciprocity, the same way ants are in reciprocity with their colony. We do not isolate an ant’s behaviour by asking: why is that ant carrying food in that direction? Rather, we view and make sense of the ant’s behaviour in relationship to its colony, its natural system. Similarly, a human being’s functioning is interconnected to their family/environment system, both past and present.

      The following paper I published speaks to how I use Bowen family systems theory:

      Palombi, M. (2018). From Gestalt Therapy to Family Systems: How Theoretical Frameworks Inform Clinical Applications. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Family Therapy.

      https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/anzf.1334
    • Which particular aspects of health or the human journey are you interested in?

    • I see people for a range of issues emerging from their lives including depression, anxiety, relationship difficulties, workplace concerns, family relationship issues, behavioural problems, parenting, and life transitions.

      I am interested in supporting people to grow more of a self. Whatever the issue may be for them, my main focus is growing the underdeveloped parts of self. Growing in maturity and being one's best self in one's family, important relationships and in life. This process requires the client to work on themselves and in their most important relationships which is not easy yet many who have done this attest to the freedom that comes with being able to work on one's self.
    • What method/s do you use?

    • I work within a Bowen family systems theory framework. People who engage in therapy with me undertake the challenge of relating to their difficulties in new ways as well as assuming responsibility for the direction they want their life to take. Clients quickly learn that the real ‘work’ happens outside the therapy room, in the context of their significant relationships. Once committed to, psychotherapy involves a process of self-growth, emotional regulation, self-differentiation, and personal evolution.
    • When do you think the client will start to feel that progress is being made?

    • Every client is different. The duration of therapy depends on the client and their needs, the nature of the problem and how much energy and time the client wants to devote to the process. If a person has a relatively straight forward concern 6-12 weeks may be enough time for them.

      If, on the other hand, a person wants to understand and change long term patterns and the broader context which effect their functioning and underpin their symptoms, a longer therapy would be more helpful.

      A person may not have a major problem but may want to make use of therapy to understand and explore themselves, to grow in their relationships and to steer themselves more effectively in their life-path.

      Usually therapy starts with weekly or fortnightly sessions with greater spacing as things improve.
    • How has therapy made you a better person?

    • In so many ways. Yet not without a serious effort and a commitment to working on myself. All of what I am about to say is a work in progress and by no means am I able to do this all the time. It speaks to my best self when I am able to be that best self. I have changed dramatically since my first ever therapy session. I have learned to be aware of my thinking, my feelings, my nervous system's threat responses, my perceptions, my judgements, my narratives and commentaries. I have learned to differentiate between thoughts and feelings. I have learned to understand when I get triggered and what I need to calm myself down when I am. I have learned to self-regulate, to calm my nervous system down. and to take more responsibility for myself as an adult in the world. As a result I am less anxious and more able to tolerate distress, disappointment, upset, failure and stress. I have lived through major losses in my life and know in myself that I can still thrive and grow in resilience. I have learned to understand my limitations, to respect other people's limitations, to know how I impact relationships and see my part in my relationship patterns with family and friends. I have accepted the cards I have been dealt with in life and know how to manage my expectations. I have learned to function for myself and know when I am asking others to function for me. I have learned to understand how I function for others and what is not useful about that. I have learned to hold myself when no one else will or can. I know deep in myself that I can live through incredible pain and not be broken down by it but rather be broken open.

    • What do you like most about being a therapist?

    • I love the opportunity to work with people, to understand how someone functions within themselves, their relationships and in their life. There is little else that gives me as much satisfaction as the process of understanding how a person's self was shaped by their relationship and family history. I love being able to facilitate and mobilise people freeing themselves of what binds them and keeps them stuck. I love encouraging people to work on themselves and find the key to grow themselves.
    • Do you ever have 'bad hair' days?

    • Of course! All the time! I am human like everyone else. I do not see myself as necessarily more advanced than my clients. I see therapy as a person to person, human to human process. I am still working on myself and will be until the day I die. I do not see there to be an end point. I did not have an easy childhood and have had a great number of losses and challenges in my life, some which were out of my control some which I participated in. Due to this I expect to always have bad hair days. I do not expect my life to be easy and to live happily ever after. I expect there to always have challenges that life throws at me some of which I will find harder than others. I grow most when I have bad hair days- these are the opportunities life hands me to grow. I do not always take these opportunities up, but when I do they are endlessly beneficial.
    • What do you think is the most significant problem we face, in the world today?

    • I think the lack of understanding that human beings are much closer to animals in terms of the evolution of our brain development and nervous system than we realise. This fact speaks to our short term versus long term vision. It speaks to how we still have wars to resolve issues and our inability to calmly speak through and accept our differences. It speaks to how much human behaviour is still guided by emotional processes and reactivity, fight, flight or freeze responses versus processes which are thoughtful, and guided by the more evolved parts of our brain, the cerebral cortex, which can use reason. We see this in wars, in domestic violence in acts of murder and abuse, in conflict and cut-off.

      Global warming and finite environmental resources . Uneven distribution of wealth in society and the world at large.
    • Can you share the name of a book, film, song, event or work of art that inspires you?

    • The books:

      Family Evaluation, an approach based on Bowen theory, by M. Kerr and M. Bowen

      Family therapy in clinical practice, by M. Bowen

      Growing yourself up, how to bring your best to all of life's relationships, by Jenny Brown

      Differentiation of self, by Peter Titleman

      The brain that changes itself, by Norman Doidge

      Sapiens: a brief history of humankind, by Yuval Noah Harari

      The hidden life of trees, by Peter Wohlleben

      Marriage rules, by Harriet Lerner

      When things fall apart, by Pema Chodron

      The dance of connection, by Harriet Lerner

      The dance of anger, by Harriet Lerner

      Becoming your best, by Ronald Richardson

      Be the person you want to find, by Cheri Huber

      After the ecstasy the laundry, by Jack Kornfield

      Radical acceptance, by Tara Brach

      A path with heart, by Jack Kornfield

      Women who run with the wolves, by Clarissa Pinkola Estes

      The experience of insight, by Joseph Goldstein

      One dharma, by Joseph Goldstein

      Passionate marriage, by David Schnarch

      The diary of Anne Frank, by Anne Frank

      Parenting from the inside out, by Daniel Siegel and Mary Hartzell




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    Ms Martina Palombi

    Martina Palombi

    Psychotherapist, Counsellor

    I am a Gestalt Psychotherapist & Counsellor informed by Bowen Family Systems Theory & Practice with over twelve years clinical experience. My areas of specialty are: couples counselling, parenting, family therapy, trauma issues, drug/alcohol/addictions, divorce & separation, depression/anxiety/stress, relocation & cross cultural issues. I am committed to assisting individuals, couples & families bring the best of themselves to their life and relationships....

    • Bondi Junction
    • Developmental, Experiential, Gestalt, Interpersonal, Marriage and Family, Mindfulness, Process Oriented, Systems Theory