Karen Potter
Psychologist and Psychotherapist
Lismore, NSW

Karen is deeply committed to supporting infants and parents from the planning of conception through pregnancy and during the postnatal period.  She enjoys working with parents to enhance the bond with their infant and/or to scaffold a path to a more joyous and confident experience of parenting and family life. 

Karen has a keen interest in working with children, adolescents and parents to facilitate healthy development and navigate difficulties.  She also offers individuals and couples the important process of deepening their relationships with themselves, others and their lives.

Additionally, Karen provides clinical supervision and mentoring to individuals wanting to develop themselves professionally and personally and offers consultancy services to organisations .

Background

Originally from Melbourne, Karen completed a Bachelor of Social Work in 1997 that lead to working as a Counsellor/Advocate at the Northern Centre Against Sexual Assault.  Karen quickly became profoundly interested in the infant-parent relationship and the early years of a child’s life.  She keenly understood the significance of this relationship and developmental stage to later outcomes for children, adolescents, adults and their relationships.  As such, Karen completed a one-year Infant Observation Program followed by a Graduate Diploma in Infant Mental Health.

Karen subsequently began working at the Royal Women’s Hospital in the Neonatal Intensive and Special Care Nurseries.  Her role as Counsellor/Social Worker involved providing support, counselling and advocacy for parent(s) with a premature or sick baby or whose baby died either at birth or in the nurseries.  Through this experience Karen developed a deep understanding of the crucial experience for infants and mothers of physical contact during this time.

Karen later went on to work at Melbourne IVF as a Counsellor to couples and individuals seeking medical support to conceive.  At the same time, Karen established a part-time private practice working with parent(s) and infants from the period of conceiving to parenthood as well as individuals and couples.  As part of her private work Karen presented talks at Maternal and Child Health Centres for groups of mothers with new babies.

In 2007, Karen moved to Northern NSW for a lifestyle and environment more aligned with her own inner truth.  She initially worked for an organisation as a Counsellor for adults with a history of childhood sexual abuse.  At the same time, she established a private practice, working with parent(s) from the period of conceiving through to parenthood, children, adolescents, adults and couples.  In addition, Karen was a Consultant Counsellor for Sydney IVF’s Lismore office and Infant-Parent Consultant with a local NGO, providing in-home counselling to parent(s) of infants from 0-12 months, as well as facilitated groups and presented training to professionals.

More recently, Karen completed a Master of Psychology (Educational & Developmental), extending her knowledge, experience and skills.  Karen’s Masters research was implementing, co-facilitating and evaluating a pilot group program called Parents Interacting With Infants (PIWI) with mothers and their 18–24 month old toddlers.  Results showed the group program was highly successful in strengthening the bond between toddlers and their mothers, increasing mothers’ knowledge and understanding of child development and increasing mothers’ skills and capacities to manage behavioural, emotional and social issues with their toddlers.

Qualifications

Professional Memberships

Master of Psychology (Educational & Developmental) 2017

Graduate Diploma Infant Mental Health (2002)

Bachelor of Social Work (1997) & Accredited Mental Health Social Worker

Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW)

Australian Health Practitioners Regulation Authority (AHPRA)

Australian Psychological Society (APS)

Australian Association of Infant Mental Health (AAIMH)

World Association of Infant Mental Health (WAIMH)

Centre for Perinatal Psychology