Hello and welcome


Dr Petra Bueskens

Dr Petra Bueskens

Hello and welcome to PPMD Therapy. This is a psychotherapy and counselling service founded and run by Dr Petra Bueskens. I offer psychotherapy and counselling services to individuals, couples, families and children with a background in both psychodynamic therapy and sociology.  Most of my work at present is with couples, though I also work with individuals across a spectrum of issues including depression, anxiety, addiction, trauma, grief and loss as well as more specific concerns around sexuality, identity, the transition to motherhood/parenthood, work, ageing, relationships and more.

Psychodynamic therapy is a style of therapy that considers problems in terms of the ‘whole person’ – that is, your background, experiences in your family of origin, dynamics with self and other, as well as unconscious processes including dreams, fantasies, slips of the tongue and the resonance of anniversaries. Psychodynamic therapy is concerned with the subjective meaning of symptoms, that is with feelings, and with understanding this meaning in the context of your life. The primary focus is on the working relationship between therapist and client.

My educational background is also in sociology – a discipline which considers society or ‘the social’ as the central means to understanding individuals and their behaviour. This means, I take time to consider the social context and meaning of your symptoms. People from different backgrounds and cultures have different understandings of what is and is not ‘right’, what is and is not ‘good’ that impacts upon both mental health and illness.  There are few services that bring these two disciplines – psychotherapy and sociology – together to understand and process your concerns. Read on if you would like more specific details or would like to book an appointment.

Couples therapy

There are new appointments for couples seeking therapy in Melbourne on Monday afternoon and evenings. Please contact here if you would like to make an enquiry or a booking.

Group therapy sessions for single parents

I will be starting group therapy sessions on Wednesdays in Daylesford for single parents starting January 2016. For centrelink recipients, cost will be $15. Please contact Petra via email: petra@ppmdtherapy.com or call 0400 152 412



Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia (PACFA) conference June 2014

Mothers in transition: Changing gender dynamics in the home through strategic absence

Petra Bueskens - presentation PACFA 2014 conference

Petra Bueskens – presentation PACFA 2014 conference



This is a link to a video-taped invited lecture I gave at the PACFA conference in June 2014, ‘Complexity and Connectedness in Life and Love’. It is based on my PhD research with mothers who use ‘strategic absence’ to shift gender dynamics in the home. You can purchase the video here:

In the sociological and feminist research on motherhood there is consensus that key gender differences in income, employment status, leisure, autonomy as well as time spent in childcare and domestic work take shape and consolidate after “partners become parents”. I interviewed ten women I call “revolving mothers” who used situational absence to subvert – intentionally or not – the gendered dynamics of childcare, leisure and work in the home. I link the outcomes of this research to a critique of, and engagement with, social and feminist theories of the liberal individual, the social construction of intensive motherhood, articulations of self-identity and changing gender roles in the contemporary west.

Complexity & Connectedness In Life & Love
13-15 June 2014, Sydney, Australia
Visit PACFA at: www.pacfa.org.au

Single mothers and the sexual contract


I wrote this piece after reading many of the comments on the Parenting Payment for Parents – NOT Newstart facebook page. It begins with a story about my own experience of single motherhood and contrasts this with how difficult things have become. I critique the new “Fair Incentives to Work” legislation which has forced all recipients of Parenting Payment Single whose children have turned 8 onto the woefully inadequate Newstart payment. I make the argument that this is a human rights violation because it essentially discrimates against women with children who are not married.

Read ‘Single mothers and the sexual contract’ at On-Line Opinion:


PPMD Therapy | Psychodynamic Psychotherapy Melbourne and Daylesford | Petra Bueskens B.A, (Hons), Grad. Dip. (Psych. & Couns.)