Ron Dowd

Ron Dowd, Gestalt Counsellor & Psychotherapist

Ron Dowd, Gestalt Counsellor & Psychotherapist

Background

Ron comes from New Zealand, and had a childhood of forest, lakes and natural freedom – which informs his desire now to live a simple life.

After a stint in London, he settled in Sydney and was lucky enough to meet Amanda Gruhn in 1999. They studied Gestalt Psychotherapy together, and the experience of studying together has informed their work with the Co-therapy model.

Qualifications

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.

Ron is a Clinical Member of PACFA, Reg. 21768. He’s also a GANZ member.

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. He has an on-line art practice.

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!).