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Mr Steve Bonanno

Mr Steve Bonanno

Mobile 0417 679 535
Counsellor

Mobile 0417 679 535

Sometimes life gets a bit much to handle on your own... you might be feeling stressed or depressed, isolated or upset, caught up in conflict - or just stuck in a rut and saying to yourself, "Something has to change!". If that all sounds too familiar... consider this an invitation: into a calm and supportive conversation about how you can look at things differently, find comfort, inner strength and solutions - and live a happier and fuller life.

PHONEPRACTICE LOCATIONS

  • Philpott St, Marrickville, Sydney NSW 2204 0417 679 535 PHONE 0417 679 535

Services

  • Counselling, Group Therapy, Assessment, Phone Consultations, Video / Skype 
  • Areas of Special Interest

  • Anger Related Issues, Anxiety / Panic Attacks, Assertiveness, Burnout, Decision Making, Depression, Divorce / Separation, Emotional Crisis, Existential Issues, Family / Parenting, Gay and Lesbian Issues, Gender and Sexuality, Grief / Bereavement, Guilt Feelings, Insomnia, Intimacy Issues, Life Threatening Illness, Life Transitions, Men's Issues, Pain / Rehabilitation, Phobias, PTSD, Self Development, Stress Management, Suicidal Feelings, Trauma Recovery, Violence, Workplace Issues  
  • MODALITIES / Approach

    ACT, CBT, DBT, Emotionally Focused Therapy, Existential, Gestalt, Meditation, Mindfulness, Narrative Therapy, Person Centred, Sand Tray, Solution Oriented, Trauma-Informed

    My approach to counselling is to start wherever you are.
    Narrative Therapy practices can help us to make sense of the issue at hand.
    Solution-Focussed Brief Therapy might be helpful in getting things under control.
    Emotion-Focussed Therapy can help us to understand why we feel the way we do.
    Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and Dialectical Behaviour Therapy offers us useful tools for developing skills and unravelling tangled thoughts.
    ACT and mindfulness meditations help us to tune into our true selves so that we can find that inner compass that will help us on our way.

    ACCREDITATIONS

    • Graduate Diploma of Counselling - 2014 - ACAP
    • Bachelor of Arts - 1997 - CSU

    Professional Associations

    • Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia

    Background

    Since 2012 I have worked as a counsellor in a number of contexts: as an employee in a large not-for-profit organisation, offering support to people over the phone, in person and in groups; as a Men's counsellor and group worker in a domestic violence behaviour change program; as a volunteer who provides free counselling to disadvantaged populations; in government funded staff positions; and as a generalist counsellor in private practice. It has been my great honour to work alongside and learn from many admirable women as colleagues and co-facilitators of programs that support families to find safety and integrity.

    Appointments

    Saturday, Sunday, Monday: 1030am-430pm
    Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday: 6pm-8pm

    Transport and Parking

    Buses and parking nearby

    Fees

    $130 per hour-long session. The first session will take slightly longer, at no extra cost.

    Payment Options

    Cash, Bank transfer



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    10 Questions with Steve Bonanno

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

    • I have always marveled at the resilience of the human spirit... and I have wondered what conditions must be present to allow someone to overcome adversity.
      Having experienced good therapy as a client, it has became clear to me that we could all potentially thrive if we were given empathy, honesty, support, wisdom, loving-kindness, and gentle challenge.
      While I was a personal support volunteer for the Red Cross, I recognised my own ability to offer those same conditions to others, just by turning my care and attention towards their struggles. From then on, I dedicated myself to learning professional skills that could be used to form warm, supportive, purposeful relationships with my clients.
    • Which philosophical approaches have influenced your professional/personal development?

    • This is a hard one to put into words.
      As a youngster, I loved this quote from The Little Prince: "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye" (Antoine de Saint-Exupéry).
      In my twenties, I was fascinated by Zen Buddhism - which, to my mind, is the art of switching off the 'thinking' part of your mind, and just understanding life as it is.
      As I have grown older I have come to appreciate the ideas of Existentialism, which tell us that although we are almost powerless in the grand scheme of things, the one thing us conscious beings will always have is the ability to choose how we want to see things.
    • Which particular aspects of health or the human journey are you interested in?

    • I think one of the hardest things to do as an individual is identifying exactly how we manage to block ourselves from achieving our goals. One of the things I aim to do as a counsellor is help you to look into your blind spots - because I believe that everyone is doing their absolute best most of the time, and sometimes all it takes to overcome adversity is gaining a bit more understanding about your own potential.
    • What method/s do you use?

    • As a person-centred, solutions-focussed counsellor, I will respond to each individual's stated needs differently. That said, I have a variety of tools, methods and theories that can be helpful for many people.
      In my other career, i often write scripts, so it is only natural that I would lean towards Narrative Therapy. I like to help my clients to tell their stories using Narrative Therapy principles - together we can define the issue and map out how it affects them - then we can look for exceptions to the rules, and find hidden skills and strengths that might be helpful in making difficult situations a bit more manageable.
      For a while I was mentored in Gestalt Therapy techniques, and I have found this a really creative, spontaneous way of being in the "here and now" with the client and their stories. Gestalt has a reputation for being quite confrontational, but I love it's honesty and its bravery... but I will always make sure my client knows that they are in the driver's seat, so to speak.
      I find it really helpful to explore underneath the more 'prickly' feelings like anger and anxiety, so I find Mindfulness and Emotion Focussed methods quite useful.
      I also love Sand Tray therapy, having done a small amount of training, but I am not currently set up to offer that... however, I do find symbolic and visual representations of the psyche really useful, so sometimes my client and I can get creative when we are taking an issue from inside their head into 'the real world'. Sometimes I use drawing as a way of keeping track of the conversation. As a very visual thinker, I like to collaboratively draw diagrams or visual metaphors of whatever the client and I are discussing... it can be really interested to look back at it when the session is over!
      So as you can see... there are a lot of ways we could work, but often the best thing to do is just lean into a deep and meaningful conversation.
    • When do you think the client will start to feel that progress is being made?

    • Most clients say that just opening up about a problem and sharing it can lighten the load a little bit... however, once you have said something out loud, you can't take it back! ...so sometimes the first few sessions of therapy are a real emotional rollercoaster.
      Between the first few sessions, often a decision will be made that will cause the situation to settle almost immediately; but other times, it can take a while longer to unpack the layers of struggle and heartache, and defenses... so I won't make promises that I can't keep by saying that you'll feel fine in no time.
      I think it's safe to say that the first step in change is often the hardest - the important thing is to remind yourself that deciding to care for yourself is the most fundamental step towards making progress.
    • How has therapy made you a better person?

    • Being in therapy has supported me to understand what makes me tick! I can finally face those thoughts and feelings that I used to hide away from, and this has improved the relationships I have with myself and my family and the people around me.
    • What do you like most about being a therapist?

    • I just love that my job is to focus my care and attention on supporting others. I think in times like these it is uncommon for people to really feel heard - and it's truly an honour to hear what thoughts and feelings other people hold close to their hearts.
    • Do you ever have 'bad hair' days?

    • Haha. As a bald guy, actual bad hair days are a thing of the past... but when it comes to the ebbs and flows of the human condition: yes! I have my good days and my bad days. It really helps me to remember that often the more difficult feelings are shadows of a brighter truth. I am only sad about something if I care about it; I will only grieve a loss if I have truly loved or thrived off it in some way.

      I can find gratitude for those harder feelings when I remember why they are there.
    • What do you think is the most significant problem we face, in the world today?

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

    • This has nothing to do with therapy, but gosh, I love it... skydiving followed by surfing. Just sublime: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A2zKARkpDW4
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    Mr Steve Bonanno

    Steve Bonanno

    Counsellor

    Hi, I'm Steve. I have worked as a counsellor & group facilitator since 2012, supporting people just like you and I, as we struggle with: grief, anxiety, phobias, anger, financial stress, homelessness, family breakdown, violent and controlling behaviours, traumatic memories and "over-reactions" - or any of the curve-balls life can throw at you.
    I balance a career in media with the beauty that is counselling: bearing witness to each person's innate ability to become the best version of themselves....

    • Marrickville
    • ACT, CBT, DBT, Emotionally Focused Therapy, Existential, Gestalt, Meditation, Mindfulness, Narrative Therapy, Person Centred, Sand Tray, Solution Oriented, Trauma-Informed