John Bal lives and works in Cairns, Queensland, but is available for Skype (webcam) and phone counselling from wherever you live.
He has been working in the counselling field since 1995, working with people who are seeking greater peace, contentment and joy in their lives.
John worked as a registered nurse prior to coming to counselling, with eight years experience working in the areas of cancer nursing and palliative care.
John brings a tradition of caring, compassion, and hope to his counselling practice, an approach which has been warmly received by those he consults with.
Grad Dip (Nurs)
Grad Dip (Counselling)
As a counsellor I am interested in an interactive conversation with people about their lives and the problem(s) which have brought them to counselling. I bring committment and energy to sessions, to assist people to escape from problems
which may be dominating their lives. I respect the things people have already tried to make their lives work better. I believe that people bring expertise about themselves and their lives, which I combine with my experience of how others may have faced a similar problem, and together we work as a team against the problem.
My preferred way of working with people is a style of therapy called Narrative Therapy.
What Is Narrative Therapy?
Narrative Therapy is an approach to therapy that places the experiences of the person coming to therapy in a central position of importance. A counsellor may be an 'expert' in therapy, but you are the expert in your life!
Narrative Therapy is a therapy approach that builds on the idea that people live their lives according to stories they construct about who they are, and what their lives are, (and can be) like. These stories can act like a lens, filtering out new and different stories which don't fit the main story. People present for counselling when the lens
gets stuck on a problem story and the person becomes stuck too. Narrative Therapy uses the stories people bring about themselves and their lives, to re-shape new lenses, new stories, new experiences and new futures.
My Approach to Narrative Therapy
My way of working narratively, uses language to separate out the problem parts of someone's life, from the person's preferred identity. I use language to move problems from within the person ("I am anxious") to a new place which is in relationship to the person ("Anxiety is stopping me from getting on with my life"). While this may just appear to be playing with words, it has big effects in giving people room to move in relation to the problem.
For instance if the person has a connection with anxiety, this connection can be modified, changed and made smaller. If we make the connection with anxiety smaller, then anxiety would be less of a problem in that person's life. Narrative Therapy looks at how people can and do sometimes shift their connections with the problems
(even though it seems that the problem is constantly present).