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.  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.

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

How Psychotherapy Fits into a Dissolving Social Structure

 I wrote the article “How Psychotherapy Fits into a Dissolving Social Structure” in response to a heated exchange between the sociologist Professor Eva Illouz and three members of the Israel Psychoanalytic Society in the weekend magazine of the Israeli newspaper Haaretz.  The article was published in the August 11, 2012 weekend edition.  This article is only available to subscribers and can be read here:

My op-ed was an abridged version of a chapter than can be accessed in my book Mothering and Psychoanalysis: Clinical, Sociological and Feminist Perspectives (Demeter Press, 2014). The article and the chapter explore the antipathy between sociology and psychotherapy and make the case that both paradigms and practices have something to offer each other. As someone who is both a psychotherapist and a sociologist I argue that each can and should be informed by the other as per a long history beginning with Freud, Erich Fromm, the Frankfurt School and others.



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