Director’s Notes – April 2019

Bower Knowledge

When Depression and Parenting Intersect why treat with Drugs?

Childhood emotional dysregulation can be conceptualised as either externalised as tantrums or acting out or internalised as anxiety or depression. Knowing as we do, that emotion regulation is impacted by a range of both individual  (parent and child ) and systemic ( parent-child, marital and family) factors it is disturbing to read that between 2012 – 2013 and 2017-2018 anti-depressant prescribing rates in Australia grew faster among children (+36%) than any other age group (+10%). This is in a country which boasts the second largest per-capita use of antidepressants of 30 countries in which data is available. ( Dr Martin Whitely and Dr Melissa Raven 2019)

Recognizing the importance of family dynamics on children’s emotion regulation and depressive symptoms, a study by Thomassin et. al. (2017) explored the role of co-parental affect and whether ‘this association mediates the link between parent and child depressive symptoms.’ The researchers coded the congruence between parents’ positive affect as they described a time when their child had been happy and one when they had been sad. ‘Interparental positive affect congruity (IPAC) during the sadness discussion, but not the happiness discussion, uniquely predicted parentreported child emotion dysregulation, above and beyond the contributions of child negative affect and parental punitive reactions.’  The authors conclude that these results attest to the contribution of low parental affect congruence as a risk factor for the development of depression in children.

With evidence like this available, the question must be asked ‘Why treat childhood depression with drugs and not family therapy?’

Kristel Thomassin, Suveg,C,, Davis,M., Lavner,J and Beach,S (2017)  Coparental Affect, Children’s Emotion Dysregulation, and Parent and Child Depressive Symptoms Family Process 56(1) 126-140

Upcoming Workshop – Emotional Dysregulation

“A neuro-political approach to therap[y with emotionally & behaviourally dysregulated children, adolescents & families”

A one-day workshop, combining clinical expertise, knowledge and training within the Bower Place Complex Needs Clinic.

An opportunity to explore research drawing on live clinical practice.

21st June 2019 – 9:30am to 5pm

Cost $190 for a full day training with Senior Practitioners in the field and Bower Place directors Catherine Sanders and Malcolm Robinson

Bookings: or (08) 8221 6066

Bower Clinic

Appointments are available

  • Monday 10am-5pm
  • Tuesday 10am-7.30pm
  • Wednesday 10am-7.30pm
  • Thursday 10am-5pm
  • Friday 10am- 5pm

Fees & Charges

We are able to provide a Bulk Billing service by a psychologist and Medicare accredited Mental Health Social Workers for clients who hold a Mental Health Care Plan from their GP.

We also work with clients covered by NDIS support plans.

Clients who are not covered by either a Mental Health Care Plan or the NDIS are able to access services within the Complex Needs Clinic at a low fee rate of $60 per 90 minute session.

Bower Training

Bower Place has a wide range of qualifications & other training opportunities available including:

  • Graduate Diploma in Family Therapy & Systematic Practice
  • Clinical Supervision
  • Clinical Placements
  • Short Course Specialisation – Introduction to Family Therapy
  • Workshops – Bower Place senior practitioners & national & international guest presenters
  • Knowledge & Training Membership Portal – Bower Systemic

Opportunities to:

  • Work directly with clients in the Bower Place Complex Needs Clinic
  • Partner with senior practitioners in a dynamic learning environment
  • Explore diverse blended knowledge & training methodology
  • Undertake practical weekly or block intensive placement
  • Study online knowledge and theoretical assessments