About Us

About us - Amanda Gruhn & Ron Dowd

Amanda and Ron

Who We Are and What We Offer

We’re two psychotherapists and counsellors living in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs. We’re a married couple, and have been together since 1999. We believe deeply in therapy and counselling. We’ve been through it ourselves and continue our own personal inquiries.

We offer couples and individual psychotherapy and counselling from our offices in Double Bay. We also offer sessions by Skype, FaceTime and Google Hangouts.

Our work with couples and with individuals is highly effective because we’re passionate about our approach.

Our Commitments

Psychotherapy, counselling and relationship work are for us practices in the widest and deepest sense of the word – commitments to another person, or to a couple, to be with them in the present moment and to join in a co-creation that is energising and rewarding for them.

To join in a co-creation that is energising and rewarding

We both come from a Fine Arts background. We’re energised by and understand the crucial importance of the poetic and symbolic underpinnings of the psyche – from which our life energies, our eros, can arise to enrich our lives.

We’ve also both been immersed in a range of spiritual traditions and practices. We understand that burning quests and fears about who we are can ultimately only be answered at the core levels of questioning identity and self-image; at an existential level.

Couples Counselling & Therapy

We offer the unique experience of co-therapy, with both of us (Amanda and Ron) in the room, working with you as a couple.

Co-therapy as a small group, in the service of your relationship

Consider this a small group, in the service of your relationship. It’s a stable and safe environment where transformation occurs – not just for the relationship but for the individuals in it.

Personal & Individual Counselling

We bring our own particular skills to work with our individual clients.

Amanda has been a trainer at Gestalt training institutes for the past five years, and brings her rich understanding of the Gestalt approach to her work in the room. She also brings the unique experience to her work of having lived her early years in spiritual communities – understanding at a visceral and cellular level the importance of living a sacred and authentic life.

Ron brings his years of experience as a practicing and exhibiting visual artist, as an engineer and business analyst, and as a committed Gestalt practitioner, to his work with clients.

Sign Up for Our Articles

Use the form on our Home page to sign up for our occasional articles. We’ll keep you posted (by occasional email) on transformational practices we’re thinking and reading about, for both individuals and couples.

Let these emails be a reminder for your own practice. Or, if you’d like to take things further, contact us to make an appointment.

Our Backgrounds

ARCAP RegisteredOur formal training is in Gestalt Psychotherapy. We are members of GANZ (Gestalt Australia and New Zealand). We are both PACFA and ARCAP registered. We also both trained in Fine Arts, and Ron also in Engineering.

Amanda has also worked in the not-for-profit sector as a Volunteer Programs Manager. She has been a trainer of Gestalt therapists for 5 years and is a clinical supervisor of therapists.

Ron has worked in the past as an engineer, visual artist and IT business analyst. He has an on-line art practice.

More About Amanda

Amanda Gruhn, Gestalt Counsellor & Psychotherapist

Amanda Gruhn, Gestalt Counsellor & Psychotherapist

Amanda comes from an unusual background, having had a upbringing in communes and on the high seas, rather than in High School.

Amanda’s early start in the human growth and wellbeing communities holds her in good stead for quickly and deeply understanding complex presenting issues in therapy and counselling. Her passion for the process means she is continually questioning the current modalities and developing these further if necessary to meet the needs of her clients. A recent example is her development of Depth Enquiry, from its basis in EMDR.

Before studying Gestalt, Amanda worked in the not-for-profit sector as a Volunteer Programs Manager. She was a trainer of Gestalt therapists for five years and is a clinical supervisor for therapists.

Qualifications

Amanda holds a BVA (Hons) degree and an Advanced Diploma in Gestalt Psychotherapy. She’s a Clinical Member of PACFA, Reg. 21766, and is a PACFA Accredited Supervisor.

Interests

Amanda’s primary interest is how people (whoever they are and however marginalised) can live happy, contented, fulfilled lives. Relationships are crucial to her, and the importance she places upon them informs both her work and her personal life.

Amanda has particular interest in Couple relationships, and in the needs of transgender and transitioning clients. She is a recommended therapist for referrals by The Gender Centre.

She subscribes to Taoist philosophies, and has been known over the years to utter the phrase “What you resist persists“.

See also: Amanda’s Services for Therapists.

Gruhn Consultancy

At Gruhn Consultancy, Amanda also works as a executive coach, helping senior leaders achieve significant increases in personal capabilities and a greater sense of engagement and satisfaction.

More About Ron

Ron Dowd, Gestalt Counsellor & Psychotherapist

Ron Dowd, Gestalt Counsellor & Psychotherapist

Ron holds Engineering degrees, and worked in IT for many years prior to his interest in art and psychotherapy taking over.

He holds BFA and MA (Hons) degrees in Fine Arts, and an Advanced Diploma in Gestalt Psychotherapy. He has an on-line art practice.

Ron is a Clinical Member of PACFA, Reg. 21768.

Interests

Ron’s approach has been influenced by Taoism and Zen (which were strong influences on the development of Gestalt Psychotherapy in its early days).

He has a long-standing interest in Jung, alchemy and depth psychology, and his MA (Hons) thesis was on the imaginal (James Hillman‘s term), on landscape and on the underlying nondual.

He’s interested in creativity, energy, Taoism, Zen, the experience of Eros in life, and how we can live lives that are soulful and imaginative.

Areas of Focus

Ron’s areas of focus are:

C.G. Jung and Post-Jungian Thought

Mandala

Mandala as Schema of Self

Ron began reading Jung in his 20s and this experience has significantly influenced his path from engineering to psychotherapy (through art-making).

Jung’s reverence for the dream life and for a poetics of living has been an ongoing guide in Ron’s psychotherapeutic approach.

Gnosticism

The God Abraxas

The God Abraxas

Knowledge-based (rather than belief-based) mystical systems are a research interest.

The lost inner roots of western culture are an area of particular focus, especially because feminine and gnostic elements were suppressed and written out of the orthodoxy of Western religion in the early years of the Common Era.

Sophia and the Feminine

The Goddess Sophia

The Goddess Sophia

The mythology and gnosis of Sophia as divine feminine is of significant interest. The loss of awareness of the psychological feminine (in both men and women) is a cause of emotional diminishment for many people, and a loss for our culture in general.

The concept of the syzygy, in which the Logos and Sophia are wed, is a powerful symbol and metaphor for the healthy individual (and for the healthy couple relationship as well).

Medieval Alchemy

Book of Lambspring

The Book of Lambspring

The flowering of alchemy in the Medieval period provides endless riches for psychological investigation, and, taking Jung’s lead, provides a way of understanding complex psychological processes.

Alchemical texts such as the Lambspring series are often predominantly visual, and Ron has begun working in this manner, in his art practice, with several series of collages relating to Sophia.

Men’s Journeys

Men suffer in various hidden ways in this culture, and one significant psychological area is related to the loss of the inner feminine, the psychological anima. This loss plays out in a diminishment of emotional life, as well as in both positive and negative projections onto real women (the latter being evident in the recent #MeToo movement).

Ron works with men to recover a sense of authentic meaning in their lives, and find their own rightful place and honour in a complex world.

The Couple Relationship as Mystical Vessel

Alchemical Marriage

Alchemical Marriage

Ron works as a couples counsellor and sees the couple relationship as a symbolic vessel within which can be applied transformative and healing operations.

This follows the alchemical approach of gentle heating, nurturing, and respecting the source materials (the individuals involved!).