Please Note: Only COVID-19 vaccinated adults and children over 5 can attend the Clinic.

How Many Days are Father’s Day?

How Many Days are Father’s Day?

Father’s Day has come and gone earlier this month and with it the gatherings and celebrations in honour of the family’s key men. For some this will have been a happy day and opportunity to express genuine love and appreciation for their parent but in other families it will have been a show of connection covering resentment, anger, and disappointment. Yet others will not have been recognized at all.

Given the obvious centrality of this relationship in work with families it was a surprise to discover how sparse the literature. A review of key family therapy journals produced a limited number of research papers, often with a very specific focus, for example engagement of men who have been drug users or perpetrators of partner violence and another on strengthening the role of unmarried fathers. While of interest and certainly of value they were not the papers I was seeking. Fathers were also conspicuous by their absence in the index of family therapy texts except for ‘fathers, engagement of’.

Practitioners are often heard to critique fathers’ lack of investment in the therapy process and contribution to the emotional life of the family. It is easy to blame a person who presents as critical and disinterested. However, there may be another explanation. Do we as practitioners sincerely believe in the importance of fathers in the life of a family and the difficulties of children or do we continue to assume that parenting is more naturally the domain of mothers? Do we open the space in our thinking and our practice to encourage fathers to fully share responsibility as they exercise proper authority in the lives of their children? Perhaps change in relation to fathers, needs to come first from practitioners with the assumption that every day should be Father’s Day, not just the first Sunday in September.

Graduate Diploma in Family Therapy and Systemic Practice

This 2-year post graduate qualification is accredited with the Australian Association of Family Therapy (AAFT). On completion, with an additional 50-hours group or individual supervision and 500-hours clinical experience, students are eligible to apply to join AAFT as a Clinical Family Therapist and identify themselves as such.

Students participating in the Bower Place Graduate Diploma in Family Therapy and Systemic Practice work with Bower Place Complex Needs Clinic clients on a Wednesday evening. Sessions are facilitated by a first and second-year student together with continuous and direct oversight by educators, Melissa Minney, Program Director, AAFT Clinical Member and Clinical Psychologist, and Catherine Sanders, Bower Place Director, AAFT Clinical Member and Clinical Psychologist. Catherine meets all new clients as part of the first session and participate in sessions as required.

On completion of this course students should be able to:

  1. Identify the central theoretical tenets of a systemic approach to family therapy
  2. Describe the relationship between a systemic approach and the personal, relationship and ethical difficulties experienced by clients
  3. Describe the way in which a systemic approach is applied to individuals, couples, families and wider systems
  4. Apply theory of systemic practice to work with a range of presenting problems and family arrangements
  5. Have developed an understanding of their own personal responses to human difficulties as a result of experiences in their family of origin and life experience and be skilled at managing and utilising their resources.

To find out more information about the course, call (08) 8221 6066 or email

Knowledge and Training – Professional Development 

Professionals in both the public and private sectors have expertise in their chosen field, be it medicine, law or accounting, but are constrained to respond to the emotional demands of their clients. They may also feel overwhelmed by those demands. The task of emotional helping requires specialist expertise in managing complex situations, an ability to assess the dynamics and difficulties that present both individually and relationally and understand the impact of the current health crisis on individuals, families and the work contexts. This is particularly true of those working in the human services field; psychology, social work, accounting, law whose clients look to for clear, unequivocal guidance, support and advice. As the demand from our clients increases, we may find ourselves doubly overwhelmed and unable to adequately respond to them and others in our world.

High quality training and professional development to colleagues, business leaders, teams and organisations will continue to be offered as on-line supervision and training. Input can be tailored to the specific needs of the individual practitioner, team or work group to help them work more effectively with their client group while remaining effective and functional.

Bower Place provides confidential expert face-to-face and online consultations for children, adolescents, adults, couples and families experiencing the impact of the COVID-19. When humans experience extraordinary external stressors, individual and relationship distress between couples and within families can escalate.

For bookings or further information please contact Bower Place (08) 8221 6066 or

NDIS Services

Bower Place is an experienced NDIS service provider, of therapeutic practice, support coordination, and therapeutic mentoring with expertise in services for complex, co-morbid, child, adolescent and adult mental health, disability and child protection matters. We work therapeutically with cognitively challenged clients and those with significant cultural, language or religious differentials. Bower Place works in 7 first languages; English, Mandarin, Farsi, Dari, Arabic, Dinka and Russian.

Bower Place is seasoned in face-to-face and online service delivery and we have organised our staff into expert teams to respond to each client’s need in their unique context. This may be for direct services to clients or those providing other forms of care. All staff have access to the most recent and secure technology in order to offer the highest level of therapeutic services on-line and with safety and confidentiality. We are skilled in working with individuals, couples, families and work groups. We also provide support and guidance to those who work with their own clients or patients.

For bookings or further information please contact Bower Place (08) 8221 6066 or

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