About Dr. Rhys Price-Robertson
I came to this work through my own experiences with therapy and spiritual practice. Over the years, I’ve learned from some wonderful therapists and teachers, who’ve each taught me something about making friends with myself and my world.
My therapy practice is more than just a job for me; it’s an expression of my commitment to healing, growth, and presence.
I’ve completed a Bachelor of Social Science (Psychology), Master of Arts (Bioethics), PhD (Psychology), and four years of Advanced Clinical Training in Relational Gestalt Therapy.
I’ve published over 50 journal articles, book chapters, and reports on topics such as psychotherapy, mental health, fatherhood, family life, and social theory. I’m also the Editor of the Psychotherapy and Counselling Journal of Australia (PACJA).
Some believe that psychotherapy is a scientific discipline that should be “value free”. I believe that values are inherent to psychotherapy, and that it’s important for therapists to be explicit about their own values. Listed below are some of the values that steer my therapeutic practice.
Diagnostic labels can be useful in some contexts. Yet they risk pathologising the difficult but expectable experiences of normal life, including sadness, grief, shyness, fear, inattentiveness, anger, and stress. My approach gently steers away from diagnostic language and the medicalised techniques that often accompany it.
I am committed to working towards a world of greater justice and equality. I welcome people of all races, all ethnicities, all religions, all sexual orientations, all gender identities and expressions, and all abilities.
Some forms of counselling and psychotherapy unwittingly reinforce an individualistic worldview, obscuring social, economic, political, and cultural contexts. I endeavour to bear witness both to people’s individual experiences and the broader contexts of their lives.
It’s easy for unhelpful power imbalances to develop in therapeutic relationships, with therapists adopting the role of the “expert” and clients cast as those in need of expert help. I work to minimise power differentials by employing a collaborative, non-hierarchical approach.
About gestalt therapy
Gestalt therapy is a dynamic relational process that aims at increasing awareness, authenticity, and flexibility in life.
There is no “how to” guide for gestalt therapy. The process unfolds uniquely in each therapeutic relationship, and no two gestalt therapists will practice in exactly the same way. Nonetheless, there are four broad pillars that underpin the gestalt therapy process, which are outlined below.
An emphasis on present-moment feelings, sensations, thoughts, and behaviours. Rather than offering explanations or interpretations, gestalt therapists encourage people to explore their immediate experience.
The acknowledgment that people cannot be understood in isolation from the contexts of their lives. Gestalt therapists work to view people’s experiences as embedded in a “field” that includes their history, family, friends, community, culture, occupation, and so on.
A specific form of relating—not just talking—that recognises the two separate realities of the people involved, but which also acknowledges that any relationship is greater than the sum of its individual parts. Gestalt therapists pay close attention to the dynamics that emerge in the therapeutic relationship itself.
A commitment to therapy as an intrinsically creative process. Most gestalt therapists would recoil at the idea of the therapeutic process following a pre-determined course, and instead prefer to work in ways that harness creativity, imagination, and intuition.