Recognition that the family is both powerfully affected and potentially central to the  resolution of alcohol miss-use, dates back to the temperance movement of the 1800s. In the late 1800’s attempts were made to engage families in treatment in residential facilities to address ‘dipsomania and inebriety’.

Today we cannot know the value of these approaches but a paper by O’Farrell and Clements (2012) does provide a comprehensive review of marital and family therapy to the treatment of alcoholism. The authors conclude that marriage and family therapy is valuable in supporting the family to manage better when the alcohol affected member refuses to seek help and in motivating them to accept treatment. Behavioural Couples Therapy has been shown to be more effective than individual approaches at increasing abstinence and improving relationship functioning. Recent studies have demonstrated efficacy with women and gay and lesbian clients and it has been successfully offered from community clinics and with family members other than partners. However there is much work to be done with additional research required to identify the best approaches to couples where both are alcohol affected, mechanisms of change, transportability to clinical practice settings and the replication of outcomes of reduced partner violence and improved child functioning.

The high cost of addiction to the individual, couple, family and wider community require identification of approaches that work. At Bower Place we have been developing approaches that integrate received knowledge with systemic and contextual thinking to produce a unique approach to these issues.

O’Farrell,T. and Clements,K.(2012) Review of Outcome Research On Marital and Family Therapy In Treatment for Alcoholism Journal of Marital and Family Therapy  Vol. 38, No. 1, 122–144.


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 $75 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
  • Accrue PD Points for:
    • Postgraduate
    • Clinical Supervision
    • Short Course Specialisation
    • Counselling in Context Certificate
    • Professional Development Workshops
  • Knowledge and Training Membership Portal
  • Explore diverse blended knowledge & training methodology
  • Undertake practical weekly or block intensive placement
  • Study online knowledge and theoretical assessments