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Mr Ron Dowd

Mr Ron Dowd

Mobile 0422 975 179
Psychotherapist, Gestalt Therapist

Therapy Duo

Mobile 0422 975 179

I'm a Gestalt therapist with a practice in Double Bay, which I share with my wife Amanda Gruhn. I come from a background as an engineer, business analyst and artist. I have a long-standing interest in Jung and depth-inquiry, and completed a MA (Hons) thesis on the imaginal (James Hillman's term) and landscape. I'm interested in creativity, energy, Taoism, Zen, the experience of Eros in life, and how we can live lives that are soulful and imaginative.

PHONEPRACTICE LOCATIONS

  • 2 Knox Lane, Double Bay, Sydney NSW 2028 0422 975 179 PHONE 0422 975 179
  • Level 5, 72 Pitt Street, Sydney NSW 2000 PHONE 0422 975 179 0422 975 179

Services

  • Counselling, Psychotherapy, Family Therapy, Psychoanalysis, Phone Consultations, Internet Consultations 
  • Counselling, Psychotherapy, Couples Counselling, Family Therapy, Co-Therapy.

    I'm interested in what can be revealed in the therapeutic encounter and how this can help us recover a more real sense of ourselves... In finding out how we sometimes block ourselves from our own sources of creativity and aliveness. I'm interested in how we can strengthen our relational bonds.

    My relationship with my wife has been central to my learning and understanding, and is a practice and gift that I use in my work with both couples and with individuals.

    My approach is Gestalt, influenced by Taoism and Zen, as well as by Depth Psychology and the work of James Hillman and other post-Jungians. I also continue to learn from my own art practice.

    Areas of Special Interest

  • Alcohol / Drug Dependency, Anxiety / Panic Attacks, Childhood Issues, Compulsive Spending, Creativity, Depression, Divorce / Separation, Dreams, Eating Disorders, Existential Issues, Family / Parenting, Intimacy Issues, Mediation, Men's Issues, Relationship Issues, Spirituality / Religion  
  • MODALITIES / Approach

    Art Therapy, Dream Work, Emotionally Focused Therapy, Existential, Experiential, Gestalt, Jungian, Marriage and Family, Mindfulness, Soul Centred Psychotherapy

    For individual and personal clients, my general approach is regular, 1 hour sessions (either once per week or once every 2 weeks). This provides the structure and therapeutic vessel within which deep exploration can occur.

    For couple clients, my approach is weekly or every two weeks at the beginning, then reducing after 4-8 sessions to perhaps once per month or less frequent.

    I work with Here-And-Now dialog, dreams, fantasies, sand play, symbols, art making - whatever is suggested by the deeper, uncensored levels of the psyche.

    With couples, I use Gestalt here-and-now approaches; I am also strongly influenced by attachment theory and PACT (Psychobiological Approach to Couples Therapy), as well as Imago and EFT.

    ACCREDITATIONS

    • Graduate Diploma in Gestalt Psychotherapy - 2008 - Sydney Gestalt Institute / GPTS
    • Master of Arts (Hons) - 2001 - University of Western Sydney
    • Bachelor of Fine Arts - 1996 - COFA - University of NSW
    • Master of Engineering - 1977 - University of Canterbury
    • Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) - 1975 - University of Canterbury

    Professional Associations

    • Gestalt Australia & New Zealand
    • Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia

      Quality Provision

      I undertake regular supervision. As a bonus I enjoy an ongoing, corrective, living and breathing inquiry into the essence of the relational, in the form of my relationship with my therapist wife!

      Service Quality is for me about living my own life well, and letting that flow into my practice. Taoism speaks of the Watercourse Way, and how to stay true to it...

      After knowing the sons, keep to the Mother.
      Thus one's whole life may be preserved from harm.

      Background

      I've worked with couples and individuals since 2006, and completed my Gestalt Graduate Diploma in 2008.

      I commenced my practice at the GLOO project in Woolloomooloo, working with clients in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction. This experience has continued to inform my practice strongly. Since 2009 I have worked with my wife in our office at Knox Lane, Double Bay.

      Prior to this I studied a Bachelor of Fine Arts at COFA and completed a Master of Arts (Hons) thesis in an imaginal depth inquiry into landscape, using the work of James Hillman. I had three solo art exhibitions in Sydney before experiencing a strong desire to study Gestalt.

      I have also worked as an engineer and business analyst, holding degrees in Engineering.

      Appointments

      To make an appointment, phone, email me or fill in the contact form at Therapy Duo.

      Transport and Parking

      Train: Take the Eastern Suburbs line to Edgecliff Station and walk from there. (It’s about an 8 minutes.)
      Bus: Routes include 323, 324, 325, 326 and 327.
      Ferry: The trip from Circular Quay takes about 12 minutes.
      Car: Cross Street council car park.

      Fees

      Please contact me for my fee scale.

      Sessions are usually 1 hour in duration, but can be 1.5 or 2 hours.

      Payment Options

      Cash, EFTPOS, Visa, Mastercard.



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      10 Questions with Ron Dowd

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

      • I feel it has chosen me. Although I worked for many years as a software engineer, I was reading Jung in my 20s and was fascinated, though I didn't understand much of it. I guess I was on the common "hero's journey" path, working in I.T. but also starting to make art. At a certain point I made a serious decision to study art and undertook my MA (Hons) thesis in landscape and imaginal thinking.

        It was this study that opened up the world of Gestalt to me, particularly its ideas of figure / ground. It was odd how my art works (sculptures), as figures, began to recede and the "ground" beneath them became more important.

        I studied Gestalt with my wife, and before we'd finished our study we had already started working with couples together.
      • Which philosophical approaches have influenced your professional/personal development?

      • I originally did a Master in Engineering in Artificial Intelligence and when I'd finished I was very disappointed that I couldn't see a future in it for me.

        Then I spent a lot of time reading Jung. I'm still very influenced by him, and especially by his studies in alchemy.

        I undertook a Jungian analysis and was very influenced by my analyst's interest in James Hillman and sand play.

        The practice of art making over many years has also been very influential in grounding me in poetics and in the primacy of the soul.

        Hillman's idea of the force of character, and the work that can be done to undo the blocks to our character development, have been influential for me.

        More recently, the existential thinkers such as Camus, Nietzsche and Heidegger have influenced me. I like the insistent questioning of these thinkers - and their preparedness to test any assumptions we have made, both culturally and personally.

        In couples work, the PACT approach and attachment theory have been a big influence. I like to see these as a parallel way of working to a depth-focussed, alchemical inquiry into what the couple has constructed and/or unconsciously agreed to.

      • Which particular aspects of health or the human journey are you interested in?

      • I'm interested in wholeness - which means inquiring into the dark as well as the light. James Hillman's interest on the underworld and on the nekyia (the underworld journey) has rubbed off on me, through my own work as a client, and through seeing its effectiveness in my own clients. You can see some of the fruits of these reflections on my art web site.

        I'm interested in soul as well as spirit - in the lunar as well as the solar. In not jettisoning the imperfect parts of ourselves but in revisioning these as allies and internal strengths. In being polytheistic. Following the Tao.

        I'm interested in death and what we do to mask our anxieties around it - then undertake useless journeys to keep our fear masked. I'm interested in what is under our masks.
      • What method/s do you use?

      • I use the relationship with my clients as primary. I look at the process that's taking place as well as the content. I use the awareness practices I learned in my Gestalt training and in my Art training to wonder and to inquire.

        I use humble questioning, hoping to remain open to what arises.

        I look for the depth, what's unconscious and what's striving to make itself known; in fantasy, dream, writing, drawing or symptom.

        With couples I use Gestalt experiential exercises, PACT (Psychobiological Approach to Couples Therapy), attachment theory and reflective listening. I want couple partners to encounter each other with intimacy.
      • When do you think the client will start to feel that progress is being made?

      • With individuals it may take a few sessions for a relationship to begin to form. There are so many factors in play: each session is a "safe experiment" (to use the Gestalt phrase).

        Many couples feel progress by the end of the first session, and report back positively on this.
      • How has therapy made you a better person?

      • Psychoanalysis, Jungian analysis, Hillmanian analysis, buddhist-oriented psychotherapy: these have all been extremely important in me finding my way. From a very idealistic young man to a much more grounded, reflective participant in life in all its facets - as a husband, father, psychotherapist, artist.
      • What do you like most about being a therapist?

      • It's a privilege to be allowed by another person to work with them on their most valuable secrets, their deepest wishes; and for them to reveal their essence. I love that, and I have much gratitude for opportunities to work this way.

        I love the moments when something greater than me comes to the assistance of the work that's happening in the room.

      • Do you ever have 'bad hair' days?

      • They're more like 'bad hair' moments, but yes. I'm not 'perfect', never will be, and I'm fine with that.

        'Bad hair' moments are the triggers that remind me what's important - and how I can gently return to my 'place', my home, to best serve myself and others.
      • What do you think is the most significant problem we face, in the world today?

      • The loss of the relational standpoint; our inability to accept difference.

        When we lose the relational, we lose empathy for others and for the environment.

        When we lose the sense that we are all connected then we act from "me" rather than "I-thou"; what follows is exploitation of others and of the earth.

        When we think that a useful model for the mind is a computer then we have limited our lives significantly.

        When we think monotheistically rather than polytheistically we have also limited ourselves.

      • Can you share the name of a book, film, song, event or work of art that inspires you?

      • James Hillman's The Dream and The Underworld had a big impact on me, and continues to inspire me that we are so much more than we might think we are.

        The existentialist classic The Outsider (Camus) is a novel that impresses me for its cool depiction of a man without depth, and happy that way (though by the end of the book he admits to the presence of mystery).

        Camille Paglia's book Sexual Personae is for me a great example of someone stating the truth as they see it without holding back, even if it's unfashionable. Further examples of this are the works of Nietzsche.
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      Mr Ron Dowd

      Ron Dowd

      Psychotherapist, Gestalt Therapist

      I work with individuals and with couples and hold relationships as central to this work.

      I love investigating the Here-And-Now experience that unfolds in the therapy room, in the service of my clients.

      I love delving below the surface, questioning areas that have become fixed, so they can flow and creatively unfold to the next step.

      (I also work in a co-therapy setting with my wife Amanda Gruhn.)

      ...

      • Double Bay
      • Art Therapy, Dream Work, Emotionally Focused Therapy, Existential, Experiential, Gestalt, Jungian, Marriage and Family, Mindfulness, Soul Centred Psychotherapy