Karen Druce

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    Individual, Couple & Family Counsellor & Psychotherapist

Professional Profile:
Karen Druce

Phone: 0415 891 346

Karen runs a private practice in counselling and psychotherapy for individuals, couples and families in East Blaxland and Penrith, NSW, Australia.

Professional Membership

Karen is an accredited counsellor and a member of the Australian Counselling Association Inc. (MACA).

Academic Qualifications & Training

Karen is a graduate of the University of Sydney (Bachelor of Arts). She also holds a Graduate Diploma in Psychology (Charles Sturt University) and a Graduate Diploma in Relationship Counselling (Institute of Family Practice).

Karen is a Master of Science in Medicine (Psychotherapy) candidate at the University of Sydney. This degree furthers Karen's interest in the treatment of complex cases: trauma and dissociation; personality disorders (or "disorders of the self") such as Borderline Personality Disorder; and the application of the Conversational Model of Psychotherapy to treat a wide range of disorders.

The Conversational Model of Psychotherapy was co-created by Robert F. Hobson and Professor Russell Meares to treat "disorders of the self" that were formerly considered "untreatable" - like Borderline Personality Disorder. The Model has much wider application, however, and has been used to treat other disorders, which have been labelled "treatment resistant" such as Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and certain types of depression and anxiety that have not responded to other types of therapy. Internationally recognized, the Conversational Model has sound empirical support for yielding favourable therapeutic outcomes. The Model also has good outcomes for brief therapy, as well as for longer-term therapy, for a wide range of issues - not just the above.

As part of her own professional development and training to be a psychotherapist, Karen has completed her own psychodynamic psychotherapy. She continues to upgrade and refine her clinical skills and professional understanding by engaging in rigorous, ongoing academic study, further clinical training, and regular supervision of the highest calibre.

Theoretical Approach

Karen integrates a number of theoretical approaches in her counselling and psychotherapy practice, depending upon each client's individual needs.

Overall, Karen's approach is collaborative and relational. Therapy is conducted in the true spirit of the Conversational Model. Karen's emphasis is upon creating a safe, confidential, non-judgmental, supportive space, in which the client and therapist can embark upon a unique and authentic face-to-face conversation about the issues the client brings to therapy. Everything the client brings to the conversation is valued for its intrinsic worth.

Karen does not use a "one-size-fits-all" approach. The type of therapy and the manner in which it unfolds are based on the client's unique psychological and developmental needs. The therapy is conducted in the spirit of warmth, intimacy and fellow feeling with sensitivity, compassion and respect. Feelings are given priority and there is a growing emphasis upon self-reflection and sense of self-agency, as the therapy unfolds in its own way. The client's sense of self-worth deepens, naturally, as the therapy progresses in this conducive, therapeutic climate.

Karen grounds herself in the humanistic tradition of psychotherapy. She is a psychodynamic therapist, who draws upon a wide range of theories and therapeutic modalities* to help make sense of unhelpful, often entrenched patterns of relating and being in the world. As a result of therapy, clients generally discover and utilize new more effective ways of responding, relating and moving forward in life. Clients become better equipped to achieve their goals, to obtain a more stable and enduring sense of wellbeing, and core sense of self. Consequently, this enhances their relationship with others, makes them feel more vital and alive in themselves and in the areas of work, love and play.

As the therapy progresses, the unique growing relationship between the therapist and client is the key agent of change. Generally the quality of the client's relationships with others and with themselves takes on deeper and more satisfying dimensions. A byproduct of the therapy is that clients develop a sense of what Robert F. Hobson calls "aloneness-togetherness": a capacity to feel secure and connected even when alone. A further byproduct of the therapy is what William James calls the "stream of consciousness": a sense of flow: a sense of being part of the stream of life, rather than being stuck or arrested, in a stagnant, psychically dead or traumatic space.

While it may not be overtly apparent, Karen's unique responses to the client, in the therapeutic conversation, have a basis in her clinical and theoretical knowledge, skills, understanding and experience, as well as a sound basis in empirically validated research, including research in the fields of neurobiology, trauma, linguistics, and developmental psychology.

* Some of the theories and therapeutic modalities Karen draws upon to inform her practice are: attachment theory (and the neurobiology of attachment), narrative therapy, analytical psychology and the Conversational Model of Psychotherapy. Karen also uses solution-focused therapy, systems theory, and conflict resolution, if appropriate, for example, in therapy with couples.

Professional Background

Karen began counselling in 1999. She has extensive experience in working therapeutically with individuals, couples and families in the areas of counselling, psychotherapy, mediation, conflict management, and family dispute resolution. Additionally, she has facilitated therapeutic and educational groups for adults, and has been involved in the training, assessment and supervision of counsellors. Karen has worked therapeutically, as a child and family therapist, with children and adolescents - primarily in the area of post-separation counselling. She has also worked with clients with disabilities. Karen has a rich professional background in working with clients from a diverse range of cultures and personal circumstances. She has valuable experience in working successfully with complex cases that have not responded to former treatments.