My credentials

When considering who to trust for psychological help, it is important to consider a practitioner’s training, post-graduate case supervision and breadth and depth of experience and versatility with several complimentary therapeutic approaches. Academic achievements are usually of little value when trying to select who will be the most effective counsellor for you. It is my opinion that counselling and clinical skills take years to mature and develop and often relate to the level of life experience of the Psychologist.  However, professional qualifications are essential if you want a guaranteed minimum competency in psychotherapy, and the ability to create a trusting, safe and supportive environment for personal change.

Some counsellors are technique-based and work within narrow frameworks.  This can be useful if their approach is specifically suited to the nature of your problem(s).  However, problems that cause people to seek counsellors are usually a cluster of issues, that become clearer after some discussion.  For example, ‘Hypnotherapy for smoking’ may well be effective if that’s solely what you are looking for. However, a skilled generalist therapist may assist you better to understand the underlying causes of for your addiction – including assisting with stress management techniques or for example, addressing communication roadblocks in your intimate relationships.

The tranquil surrounds of Kieran Riordan's psychology practice in Mullumbimby, New South WalesTo help you make a decision about whether I would be a good fit for you, I’ve written some background information about my training and experience, which you can read below.  You can find out more about my approach and treatment methods here.   I believe that meaningful psychotherapy also requires the right interpersonal ‘fit’.  This can only be determined in person, and I would therefore recommend that you try out initial sessions with at least two counsellors before deciding which one works best for you.  To schedule an initial consultation with me, click here.

My professional background

I have worked as a professional counsellor for about 30 years in a variety of team-based and solo settings in Victoria, including St Kilda Youth and Family Community Mental Health Centre, Deakin University Counselling Service, LaTrobe University Counselling Service, and Head of Service at Barton College Counselling Services.

I have also worked as a consulting counsellor with refugees at the Woomera detention centre and with Middle-Eastern (Iraqi, Iranian, Palestinian) and Indo-Chinese refugees (so-called boat-people) fleeing persecution and war in the 1980’s. I have also worked with trauma survivors and their relatives (such as Tsunami victims, Bali bombing victims).  I have worked with abuse and torture survivors, victims of violent crime. I have also treated Police, Emergency Services and Armed Forces personnel (and their families) suffering burnout as well as stress/depression from traumatic exposure (direct and indirect).

I commenced solo private practice in Melbourne in 1987 moving to Byron Bay (Jonson Street and Ruskin Street) in 1997.  I moved my practice to a semi-rural property, ‘The Infinite Well’ in the  Mullumbimby township in 2003.  This setting is a beautiful 3 acre property on the Brunswick River, in a secluded and tranquil setting 200 metres from Mullumbimby hospital.

This property enjoys both privacy and quiet and I find it provides an ideal environment for short term counselling as well as long term psychotherapeutic work.  My professional offices are segregated from the residential part of the property by a two metre block wall and have separate landscaping, pathways and parking which clearly define the ‘professional/private zone’ on the property.

My training and qualifications

In 1976 undertook 10 years initial full-time training and on-the-job supervision in psychology, counselling and psychotherapy (including family therapy and counsellor supervision), completing two degrees in Psychology and Counselling.  I completed further graduate training and supervision to qualify as a professional supervisor of graduate psychologists.  I am a member of the Australian Psychological Society, a nationally registered psychologist, as well as Medicare and Workcover registered service provider.

Because a Psychologist’s own clarity, knowledge and experience is the ‘tool-of-the-trade’ in our profession, our ‘skills development’ does not end with initial training and supervision. Like many professions, working full-time with clients is where the learning skill mastery really begins.  Our professional development as psychotherapists also mirrors our personal maturation in life and how we have dealt with our own challenges in life.

As solo practitioners, dealing with intense and demanding issues on a daily basis, we also need a form of support to stay clear and effective in our work. Therefore we need regular reflection and debriefing sessions with peers, for both support and regular ‘reality checks’.  I meet regularly with professional peers to discuss cases and share ‘support’.  In addition, I recently completed three years weekly psychotherapeutic personal and ‘professional review focussed sessions’ with a senior psychotherapy professional. I also attend regular ongoing further training in up and coming new therapeutic methods and topical specialist areas. eg ‘Proven Trauma De-briefing Methods’, ‘Internet Addictions’ ‘Adult Survivors of Childhood Development Trauma’ ‘Latest Treatment Protocols for OCD Sufferers’. In 2016/17,  I plan to embark on a two year program of supervision and training in ‘Buddhism in Psychology’ Case Studies and Practices run by Psychiatrists and Psychologists skilled in ‘Mindfulness Methodologies in Psychological Treatments’.

Philosophy and approach

I could speak at length here but I will be brief.  My work is informed by my 39 years combined training and experience and the following values and assumptions:

  1. People are self-determining and self-responsible.
  2. Our thoughts powerfully influence the course of our lives.
  3. Our attitudes can energise or sabotage ‘success’, however you define it.
  4. All the above apply equally to both counsellor and client.
  5. There is enormous untapped power and potential in all of us.