Contact Dr Robert Dawborn

Systemic Family Therapy

Introduction to Family Therapy 

I trained in family therapy at the Bouverie Family Therapy Centre at Latrobe University. I was most interested  in systemic family therapy. As a family therapist with a systemic orientation, I was most attracted to the Milan School in Italy and Karl Tomm’s ‘Interventive Interviewing’.

Systemic family Therapy & Interventive Interviewing

From a systemic point of view – individuals are seen as a part of a broader system such as a couple, a nuclear or broader family, or a community.

A key idea is that when a psychotherapist works with a single person in personal psychotherapy, the family systems to which that person belongs also change as a ‘ripple effect’. According to this theory family therapist’s don’t necessarily have to work with the whole family system – the system may change when just one of it’s members is engaged in personal psychotherapy and making even subtle changes.

In Interventive Interviewing the family therapist should be mindful of all possible interventions. We should be mindful of the issues we explore and the questions we ask.  We should be just as aware of the issues we don’t explore and the questions we don’t ask.

Family therapists and psychotherapists should always maintain an attitude of mindfulness, considering broader systems and unseen contexts. There is much in this world that we know and also that we know we don’t know. However by far the largest domain of knowledge is that which we don’t know and don’t even know that we don’t know.

Referrals for Family Therapy

I am happy to see families referred for family therapy. This is so, if the family is requesting and the individual members are motivated for family therapy.

These days I am more likely to work with families in the initial ‘working out period’ when an individual or couple are presenting for psychotherapy. This is in the session or two before psychotherapy proper begins. I do family work when this is what the family wants. Additionally, it helps me to gather information and perspectives in a complex case where there may be considerable family enmeshment.

Systemic Family Therapy and Medicare

When doing family therapy I use medicare item numbers 171-172.

Sessions are for one hour and the fee is $260 per session.

The out-of-pocket expense is between $110 and $135 per session until you reach the medicare safety net – when it will decrease to $25 per session.

If your bank details are registered with medicare, we can process your  rebate claim from our office.


Get in Touch

Dr Robert Dawborn - Medical Psychotherapist
Call Now