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Graeme James, Counsellor, Therapist and Supervisor


If you are thinking about consulting me as a therapist or supervisor, it might first be helpful to have a little information about how therapists develop. So, I will share that before telling you more about myself.

How therapists develop

The process of developing as a counsellor and psychotherapist is rich and ongoing. It is not simply a matter of finishing a training course and then starting to practice.

The developmental process draws together many things including:

  • A therapist’s personal qualities and life experience,
  • An ability to relate to others while managing our triggers and needs,
  • Personal therapy so the therapist understands themselves and how they relate to others,
  • Professional training in how people develop, differing approaches to the therapeutic relationship and addressing clients’ problems,
  • Working sensitively and respectfully with cultural diversity, and practicing ethically,
  • Experience with a wide variety of clients with complex needs,
  • Ongoing supervision to foster critical reflection upon therapeutic practice, and
  • Ongoing professional development to stay current with best practice.

My developmental path draws upon each of these factors as part of my practice with clients.

A little about me personally and professionally

  • I deeply value being gentle, caring, attentive and curious.
  • I grew up in Sydney and spent much of my adult life there, working in the corporate world, community and non-profit sectors, counsellor education and private practice.
  • I have strong existential leanings and tend to be attuned to life’s challenges, limitations, endings and dilemmas about how we are to live in relationship with ourselves and others.
  • Research shows that master therapists have all engaged deeply in personal therapy, something that I have done extensively too.
  • Ethically, I also think it is most important that anyone who practices as a counsellor or psychotherapist has done work on themselves before offering this service to others. As part of my commitment to working ethically, I have done my best to reflect upon who I am, what I bring, and how I use my self in relationship with people. I also do this through the use of reflective clinical supervision, and supervision of supervision.
  • For relaxation, I turn to the natural world and love the great outdoors as well as music.

My Qualifications and Professional Memberships

  • I am a Clinical Member and Registered Supervisor of the Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia (PACFA).
  • I have three counselling degrees. These are:
    • Bachelor of Counselling, University of New England
    • Master of Counselling, and Dean’s Merit Award, University of New England
    • Master of Counselling, Honours, University of New England. My research thesis was titled Disruption and Reconstruction: Stories of Psychotherapists’ Sense and Use of Self with Life-threatening Illness. In this research study I investigated the kind of stories seriously unwell therapists told about their sense and use of self while working with their clients.
  • Additionally, I have a Bachelor of Business (Marketing) from N.S.W.I.T (now UTS)
When you see me, I encourage you to be yourself, however that may be.
Ultimately that is what is going to be most helpful for you and give us a basis to work towards your hopes and goals.
If you would like to contact me I am happy to take our call on 0412 518 024.  There are no receptionists so you don’t have to tell your story to a stranger then repeat it again to me. You speak directly with me. If I am not available at the time I will call you back as soon as possible.
While I aim to assist all the people who contact me, where it is in your interests to consult a differing therapist then I am happy to make a referral.

About my Private Practice

  • While my journey as a counsellor commenced in 1987, I started in private practice during 2001 with rooms in Pennant Hills, then Chatswood, before moving to Macquarie Street, and nowadays, in Byron Bay, Bangalow and online.
  • I work with adult individuals and couples providing counselling and therapy.
  • A key part of my work is providing clinical and reflective supervision, and supervision of supervision to health professionals. I supervise a wide range of health professionals including doctors and GP’s, nurses, counsellors, psychotherapists, psychologists, educators, interns, students and others.
  • My therapeutic interests are broad and include psychodynamic, cognitive-behavioural, humanistic, person-centred, gestalt, existential, systemic, strengths-based, narrative and post-modern approaches. Consequently, I regard myself as an integrative therapist.
  • I don’t just provide one type of therapy like some professionals, or as limited by Mental Health Treatment Plans under Medicare. Rather, influenced by the stages of change model, and research on evidence based therapeutic relationships and common factors in therapy, I tailor what I offer you to suit your circumstances and story. Every person receives a personally tailored approach.
  • Some people have legitimate concerns about managing their privacy and do not wish to have a Medicare record that might affect their employment or other matters. As I am not a Medicare provider my service stays confidential.
  • My services may be covered by private health insurance and I am a registered provider with BUPA, Medibank Private and AHRM.

Experience in counselling agencies and education

  • I started counselling as a volunteer telephone counsellor with Lifeline way back in 1987 while also working in marketing in the corporate world. Twenty years later, having worked within several Lifeline centres and also for Lifeline Australia, I wound up managing Lifeline Sydney.
  • With a passion for counsellor and therapist development I moved to the Australian College of Applied Psychology where I became Director of Sydney Campus among other roles.
  • When I moved to the Northern Rivers of NSW I also worked with Medibank Health Solutions for Beyondblue, providing information, support and referral for people with anxiety and depression.
  • Currently, I enjoy working as a casual educator with the University of New England, School of Health in the Master of Counselling program. Over the years, I have taught or marked in many units including basic skills, counselling theory, integrative approaches, loss and grief, trauma, ethical issues, relationship counselling, case conceptualisation, and supervision.
  • Throughout all these years, I am very grateful to the thousands of callers, clients, volunteers, staff and students that I talked with, for these experiences have done much to shape how I listen to your story.

If you would like to work with me either as a therapist or supervisor, I would be pleased to talk with you about your needs. You could simply ring me during business hours on 0412 518 024.