Heike Haffer

About Heike Haffer

I have been working as a counsellor since 1985, integrating a wide range of approaches and techniques. I have extensive experience in working with individuals, couples and families, helping to find better ways to communicate with each other and to solve problems more effectively.

I developed an early interest in education and working with people to facilitate adaptation and change. I qualified as a teacher in Special Education in Germany and worked with children with learning disabilities, speech disorders and Autism.

For several years I co-owned a bookshop in Heidelberg, specialising in psychology, education, spirituality and philosophy, where I often acted as an incidental counsellor. This led me to commence training in several counselling techniques, particularly Mind Clearing  (Charles Berner) and therapies that focus on the connection between body and emotion (Alexander Lowen, Gerda Boysen). After my migration to Australia in 1991, I completed a Post Graduate Diploma in Counselling (Grief and Palliative Care Counselling) at the University of Adelaide. I have since undertaken training in many areas, including CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy), ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy), Couple’s Therapy, Emotional Focused Therapy, Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy, Narrative Therapy, Sand play Therapy and Trauma Therapy. I am committed to ongoing training and networking with a variety of health practitioners.

In the last 20 years I have developed a particular interest in understanding Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), particularly High Functioning ASD or Asperger Syndrome (AS). My focus is not only the effects on the individuals, but also on the dynamics within relationships and families. I have developed ways to work with couples where one partner shows traits of ASD, or with the whole family system.

After finishing my Diploma,  I worked for several years as a Bereavement and Palliative Care Counsellor with the Victor Harbor Hospital, and for nine years as a Family and Relationship Counsellor with Relationships Australia. From 2013 I worked in a support service in connection with the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. This has extended my experience in Trauma work significantly.

As a member of PACFA (Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia), I adhere to their ethical standards, as well as to the Code of Conduct for Unregistered Health Practitioners as required by HCSCC (Health and Community Service Complaints Commissioner).

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Heike Haffer PACFA Reg. Clinical: 21814