Programs around the world
Facilitating authentic living & working
MA (Mental Health)
Interview (3 mins)
I am by nature an optimist and an adventurer. I like to believe things will go well, and that people are basically well intentioned.
As I have learned more about myself, this stance has been tempered with an appreciation of what my wife and I call The Unvirtues. This refers to our underbelly, the shadow, the disowned parts of self that can undermine the best of intentions. I am interested in this therapeutically, as it brings a more holistic approach to relationship, and I am intersted in it personally, as it bring me more depth.
My interest and study of psychotherapy spans 40 years. I have been in private practice for 30 years, working with individuals, couples and families. My training includes the following:
I have also trained in NLP, somatic psychotherapy and relational therapy.
My background also includes theatre and clowning, street theatre, community activism, meditation philosophy and practice. I have run several businesses, including a vegetarian cafe, a sign writing business, and a food coop.
I founded the Northern Rivers Gestalt Institute – a four year post graduate program that achieved registration with the education department. I was director of the program for 17 years, and responsible for all aspects of school including curriculum development, supervision, training and assessment.
I have developed a unique process called Career Decision Coaching™, which integrates a number of approaches in one focused session, and helps people find their ideal career path.
Lifeworks International Program
I regularly teach in the US, Mexico, China and Japan. One of my specialisations is in the area of psychotherapy and spirituality. As professor of Transpersonal Psychology at Ryokan College I developed a Masters program.
I am the author of a bestselling book for men called The Woman In Your Life – A Man's Guide to a Happy Relationship.
I enjoy my work, and find a great deal of satisfaction from helping people move through their challenges, towards self discovery and empowerment. I find teaching and training particularly rewarding, and I integrate theory and experiential approaches in my educational approach.
I have 5 grown children (including 2 step children) and 4 grandchildren. I am fascinated by systems theory and cybernetics, and am currently a doctoral student, working on a thesis about the interpersonal dimensions of power.
My first career was as an early childhood educator. I worked for community preschools, and then long day care centres. I enjoyed the interaction with the children, and the focus of considering and responding to their developmental needs.
I then went on to study somatic and relational therapy with Dr Chris Campbell. During this time I became interested in the somatic approach of Stanely Keleman, and also learned under Dr Julie Henderson.
I went on to further my psychotherapy knowledge and skills by completing a Graduate Diploma of Gestalt therapy. I then studied in the USA with Dr Violet Oaklander who has been at the forefront of child-centred psychotherapy for over 40 years. Currently, I am enrolled in a Masters of Play Therapy.
In my work with adults, my interests are in the application of existential ideas, especially those around authenticity, and responsibility. I see that most problems arise as a result of a lack of self knowledge.
I am oriented towards resilience, and see that the ownership of judgement can have a useful place in relationship and psychotherapy.
My focus is on the empowerment that can come from allowing vulnerability, at the same time as holding clear boundaries. The experiences of hurt and pain tend to be restrictive and limiting. I am interested in finding the mobility that can come out of difficult life experiences.
I have an interest and am experienced in working with clients with DID related issues.
I particularly enjoy working with children and adolescents, finding ways to support them in their growth and development.
JOHN ~ Corporate Alchemist
I have known Steve for over a decade and have called on him in my darkest hours to help see my world and the people in it more clearly. Steve offers incredible presence, perception and therapeutic skills which are rare. I have learnt a great deal from Steve about self- love, self-realisation and human relationships. In recent years, I have referred clients and friends to him for even deeper support and guidance.
TREVOR ~ Farmer
My sessions with Steve have allowed a greater understand of the dynamics involved in creating my 'inner world', helping me face and experience emotions in the present that were previously unavailable. His ability to identify core blocks to self awareness and openness in sharing his experience of related emotions is powerful. The practical tools Steve has given to identify and handle difficult emotions have been of great benefit.
MARIA ~ Translator
Steve lives what he teaches. His authenticity, amongst others, is the quality I appreciate and admire the most in him. As a Gestalt Therapist, he is pretty much a gestalt himself. He is sharp at spotting the right “figure”, yet very much in the “allowing” state to stop “pushing” when it is appropriate.
He is compassionate, yet has a healthy psychological boundary. He is authoritative, yet as warm and supportive as the Mother Earth. His authenticity and genuine sharing of his own complexity open up a safe and encouraging space for me to acknowledge and own the devil in me.
I’m still learning how to do it and a bunch of other things Steve has pointed out for me, but after seeing him for four months now, I am more capable of expressing myself, especially to authorities; I started to feel attracted to and admire my husband for the first time in my life (Oh yeh, I’m not kidding!); and the period from one binge-eating to the next has been lengthened (my latest food-sober record was a month whereas it was only a week in the last 2 years.)
I sure look forward to more to come with the support and help from Steve! Thank you from my heart Steve!
ELIZABETH ~ Psychotherapist
I met Steve Gunther first as a clinical supervisor and then as a therapist and Gestalt Therapy trainer. What impressed me was his ability to stay focused on my processes as well as the content of the material I brought to those sessions. He was very present as a collaborative person in the therapeutic conversation. At no time did he step back as an “expert”, even though he undoubtedly was, but entered the work real and grounded.
I very much appreciated that, and what I learned from these experiences has enhanced my own therapeutic practice, allowing me to more keenly observe the subtle shifts than occur when in the presence of others.
I believe that Steve’s skill can be overlooked, and wrongly so, because of this skilfulness. It is a rare thing, a skill that is so practiced that it seems not to be there at all. I recommend him unreservedly to students and clients alike.
SIMON ~ Organic Recycling Manager
Steve has supported and enabled me to move through the most profound times of change and growth in both my personal and vocational choices. His guidance is such that you are opened to the truth of your feelings and thoughts by way of inviting you to observe these and answer the most significant questions that arise from them.
His ability to seek the truth from your own answers, without judgement, meant our work together gave me the first real chance to face myself and all the qualities that make up my character. The life experience that Steve brings from his own journey adds yet a deeper level of integrity to the process.
When you are ready to honestly address that part of you which makes up the person and your place in this world then here is the most gifted guide to finding the great strength of true self-awareness. The time together will generate the most vital and solid understanding of your path in this life that you may encounter. I am forever grateful to Steve and the ways that he has shown me for living in the reality of the present. It is a gift.
KAREY ~ CEO Software Engineering
Steve demonstrates a calm, gentle and insightful approach and works to create a comfortable yet beneficial client experience. I was regularly surprised at how much I enjoyed our sessions. He provided me with a high degree of confidence in his method and is a clearly professional practitioner. I would not hesitate to recommend Steve to those seeking insight and understanding of themselves and their experiences.