Psychodynamic therapy with a sociological bent by Petra Bueskens

I work from a psychodynamic model, which means I work in and with the relationship between therapist and client, to effect change. This model places importance on people’s internal, including unconscious, world and how this creates “patterns” in the external world. From this perspective, change on the outside can only be effected by change on the inside.

However, I am also trained as a sociologist and, as such, I see that our “patterns” also relate to objective structures in the world. We can’t always control what happens to us, like getting laid off at work, or being born into a time or place of war or, if we are women, that we will earn less than men (in our own class) and be more vulnerable to sexual assault.

Race, class, gender, culture, ability, sexuality, parental status, employment and so on are external realities that also shape people’s access to resources, their treatment by others, and consequently their well-being and mental health. I work with people to identify what’s going on for them internally and externally.

People usually come to therapy for troubles in relation to love and work. Unlike psychology or psychiatry, psychotherapy and counselling are not beholden to a medical model. I do not need to have someone “diagnosed” before they see me and I do not need to (though I can) diagnose an individual with a “mental health disorder” before commencing or continuing treatment.

I therefore see people in a preventative as much as a curative role. Some clients come to talk about problems or life stresses before they develop into mental health problems (for example issues related to grief and loss). For those who are suffering from mental illness, the most common reasons for coming to therapy include: depression and anxiety, addictions and, in more serious cases, post-traumatic stress and personality disorders.

Typical symptoms that bring people to therapy are persistent conflict in relationships, feeling down, irritability, unmanageable anger, crying, inability to concentrate, feeling isolated (even in relationship), insomnia, flashbacks, addictions or bodily symptoms unrelated to medical problems such as headaches, back-aches and a general feeling of being unwell.

My areas of specialty include: transition to parenthood including issues related to birth, breastfeeding, motherhood and fatherhood; couples’ therapy – including issues pertaining to infidelity, persistent conflict, meaninglessness, separation and divorce; sexuality issues, depression, pornography use/addiction and its impact on individuals and couples, anxiety, PTSD, and women working in, and transitioning out of, the sex-industry.

The goal of psychodynamic therapy is not only symptom alleviation but also the capacity to fulfill one’s potential and lead a meaningful life.


Short and long term therapy
I commit to seeing people as long as the therapy is useful, which typically goes beyond the “12 session” medicare model.

Phone therapy
I offer emergency appointments over the phone and can set up permanent phone therapy sessions. Phone charges are at the client’s expense. Rates vary according to income and duration of call.

Skype therapy
For clients that have been in therapy for some time (a number of weeks or preferably months) sessions can be occassionally or permanently moved to Skype. For people living elsewhere from Melbourne and Daylesford,  Australia, Skype therapy is an option. This is not as good as being in the room with a therapist, however, for those who would like to see a particular therapist they cannot otherwise see this is an option.

Make an Appointment to see Petra


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