Hello, I'm Brad - welcome to BC Counselling.
I'm a professional counsellor, which means I'm trained to help people talk about life - whether that be hopes, goals, challenges or problems - whatever it is they want to talk about. My role is to provide a safe and confidential space where you can talk things through and find your way.
I'm also a professional therapist, which means I'm trained to help people work through some of the deeper issues in life. That often means exploring "what lies beneath", especially ways of thinking, feeling, behaving and relating that might be causing problems or distress. Therapy seeks to make sense of things and then to reshape them so that change and growth become possible.
My approach as a therapist draws on a number of practices, including Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Strengths-based Practice and Narrative Therapy. When working with couples, I mainly use the Gottman Method of Couples Therapy. If Christian spiritual practices (e.g. prayer and sharing in scripture) are important to you and fit with your beliefs, these can also be included.
My practice values diversity and inclusivity: everyone is welcome. My goal is to help anyone who asks for my help, respecting their beliefs, values and choices.
I am a member of the Australian Counselling Association, which means I'm a registered and qualified practitioner. I have a Graduate Diploma in Counselling and Integrated Psychotherapy (Spiritual) and an Advanced Diploma in Christian Counselling and Family Therapy - both with the Australian Institute of Family Counselling - as well as Level 1 training in Couples Therapy with the Gottman Institute and a Graduate Certificate in Divinity (Morling College). I've lived in the New England region of NSW for almost 30 years, which means I'm well aware of the opportunities and challenges that come with living in a regional community.
There can be times in life when it can be helpful to talk with someone who isn't part of the situation. That's where a professional counsellor can help, providing you with a safe, confidential and supportive space to talk about "where you're at" in life. Counselling involves the skills of listening and being present in ways that provide help and support.
Whatever the story, I'm here to listen and support you.
Sometimes there's more to a person's search for answers. There might be things that sit deeply and with greater hold on the way they see things - which interfere with functioning well in life. That's where a professional therapist can help to unpack the story and re-structure it in ways intended for growth.
Whatever the story, I'm here to help and guide you on the way.
Intimate relationships can bring out the best in us - and also the worst. When things are running well, the sense of "being a couple" can be truly awesome. Yet when things are not tracking so well, a partner can seem more like a foe than a friend. From the delightful highs as a relationship begins to the painful lows of a relationship ending - and everywhere in between - every intimate relationship is unique and complex.
Whether married or partnered, relationships can sometimes lose their way: constant conflict over the same old problems, the feeling of being stuck in a rut, the loss of passion and romance, the pressures of life, a losing of interest, a slow drift in different directions, a growing sense of disconnect, an "anywhere else but here" longing, a desire for someone else....Whatever the experience or the reason, many couples wait years before trying to do something about it. For many, that's often too late to address all the work needed to get things back on track. Some will choose to end the relationship while others maintain a commitment to being miserable.
But there IS another option and that's to get some professional input on your relationship. That's where a trained Couples Therapist can help. My approach to Couples Therapy is the Gottman Method, a therapeutic model based in 20+ years of research as to why some relationships grow and last the distance while others seem to wither and end. Specifically, the model seeks to help a couple increase their chance of lasting the distance by building towards a meaningful, enjoyable and resilient relationship. In addition to my training in family and relationship therapy, I am Level 1 trained in Gottman Method and am currently training towards Level 2.
Here are some of the areas I address when working with couples:
Other areas of couples therapy include:
Most people recognise the importance of getting a regular checkup to ensure things are working well and go on working well, whether it's physical health, their car or even a pet! A regular checkup allows potential problems to be seen before they become larger and more costly problems. So why don't most couples treat their relationship in the same way? A Relationship Checkup can highlight the strengths in your relationship as well as the challanges, with practical suggestions to help build a more meaningful, enjoyable and resilient relationship.
A Relationship Checkup consists of four therapy sessions. The first is with the couple (90 mins), followed by a 1-hour individual session with each person and then a second 90 min session as a couple. Ideally, this is spread out over a 3-4 week period (minimum). An online Relationship Questionnaire will also be completed by each person before the final session is scheduled. An assessment of the relationship will be given in the last session, with a preliminary plan for building into the relationship being discussed.
Additional appointments as a couple can then be made subject to your needs and goals.
Men...let's face it. Chatting about life stuff might not be the easiest or most comfortable of things to do...but I'm guessing that if you're a guy and you're reading this, then maybe you're looking for someone to talk to. And if you also think that chatting with another guy might make it easier, then maybe I'm that guy.
Here's a list of things I've put together with men in mind:
Everyone experiences anger at some point in their life: it's a normal human emotion. Anger let's us know that something is wrong. This means anger can sometimes be positive, like responding to an injustice (like discrimination) or responding to a threat. However, most of us have also seen the ugly side of anger, when anger is expressed in ways that cause hurt to other people, to relationships and to self. When anger goes unrestrained, it often leads to acts of aggression, damage and violence that can result in legal action.
Avoiding anger doesn't work - because everything that sits beneath it remains present and active, looking to work its way out in some other potentially unhelpful way. Rather, it's more helpful to talk about managing anger. In other words, how to recognise when the anger thermometer is starting to spike and how to de-escalate the situation. Then there's the deeper question: why do these things trigger anger in the first place? What lies beneath this anger? Most people remain unaware of the sequence of thoughts that happen in a split second between the trigger and their anger, yet it's these thoughts that actually add fuel to the fire.
If anger is becoming a problem for you, why not consider some training in anger management?
The basic training includes four one-on-one sessions (60 mins per session), ideally on a weekly basis. We will look at your own experience of anger - including how you register it in your body - and look at some basic strategies to help you de-escalate. We'll explore some of your key triggers and the underlying thought processes that link with them. We'll look at some different ways of coping - both unhealthy and healthy - and bring it all together in an Anger Management Plan tailored for you.
Further sessions can be added according to need.
(incl. Relationship Report)
Less than 1 hour before appointment
Fees are paid at end of appointment, either by cash or EFTPOS (2% processing fee)
107 Faulkner Street, Armidale New South Wales 2350, Australia
Mobile: 0429 185 227 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org By appointment only BC Counselling is located on the top floor of 107 Faulkner St, with stair access only. An alternative room on the ground floor is available for those with mobility needs.