Relate Counselling Hawke's Bay Ltd

Online Counselling * Personal * Relationship * Couples Counselling * Professional & Clinical Supervision * Napier, Hawke's Bay

Bren Balcombe: Experienced but Down to Earth

Experienced but Down to Earth

Connecting to people is what counts – a warm, genuine real person is what I offer first and foremost. I bring over 30 yrs of combined experience and training to the counselling room. From Eastern practices and understanding of psychology to contemporary Western approaches of Counselling and Psychotherapy. I began working in the counselling field in 1999 with individuals, groups, couples and families addressing a wide range of issues. Relational problems, grief, anxiety, distress, depression and all forms of violence and abuse. Helping parents to negotiate parenting plans and making care arrangements. Providing workplace employee assistance for workplace issues and Professional Supervision.

The technical approach I use is influenced by a collection of ideas that are called Response-Based Practice (Allan Wade & Cathy Richardson & many others!) but also Adult Attachment Theory (Susan Johnson – Emotionally Focussed Couples Therapy) and Narrative Therapy (Michael White).

In this work I am always learning – learning how to listen and respond. Recognising the small yet significant things that are often overlooked.  These are often meaningful attempts to uphold self-respect and dignity. I continue to learn the power that other peoples responses or the social responses have to either aid in recovery or continue to cause pain. How often those responses are overlooked leaving the person either believing that there is something broken or wrong about them or feeling trapped. Being a counsellor is a huge privilege, I’ve made working for people my life and I find it extremely rewarding.

Therefore, I wish to express all my gratitude to all my teachers especially the people I work for, who teach me the most.

Education & Training: In 1990 I started annually attending 10 day Vipassana courses (As taught by S. N. Goenka) and became fascinated with the experiential and observable interconnection between psychological dynamics, phenomenology and somaticism. This experiential learning is  where I consider my training started and to this day I still consider this approach to be the most direct form of ‘psycho’ therapy. I went on to Graduate in a Diploma in Psychotherapy 2003 and Bachelor of Applied Social Sciences Major Psychotherapy in 2004. In 2006 I started postgraduate study including Professional Supervision and in 2008 started specialising in Couples Counselling work (Emotionally Focussed Therapy). In 2019 I enrolled in the Master’s Programme in Professional Practice and graduate in 2021.

Bren is a full member of the New Zealand Association of Counsellors. Alongside his counselling practice he has also taken up a variety of roles in the Social Services Sectors including; Case Management, Employment Consultancy, Social Housing and Mental Health Project Management.