About Delphi Training & Consulting
The Delphi Centre, now Delphi Training and Consulting, was founded in 1985 in Melbourne, Australia. The name and philosophy of the centre draws inspiration from Delphi in ancient Greece. Although famed for the wisdom of its oracle, it embraced a timeless truth; that for every question or challenge we experience, we have the capacity for creative opportunity and growth within ourselves.
Founders Susan Henry and Naomi Halpern have learned much about human potential and resilience. They achieved international recognition for their pioneering work in Australia from the early 1990s, developing professional development forums and resources for health care professions in the field of trauma and extreme stress.
Their cutting edge trauma informed therapy and stress management since the late 1980s provides an empathic, holistic approach respecting the collaborative roles of client and therapist. Susan and Naomi continue to support colleagues offering case consultations, in-house training and workshops drawing on their extensive understanding of trauma and the pathways to healing. They also resource international presenters to present and share their expertise through national seminar tours.
We were born to manifest the glory that is within us. It is not just within some of us: it is in everyone. And when we let our light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. Nelson Mandela
“Know Thyself” is one of the maxims written above the ancient temple in Delphi, Greece. We believe people are best served in being assisted to find their own answers, within themselves, at a pace that suits him or her to allow the process to unfold, while taking action to create the desired outcomes.
Delphi is a metaphor for the unification or integration of mind, spirit, body and soul in the centre ‘heart’ or ‘navel’ of ones being. It results from developing skills to ask the important (therefore ‘right’ or relevant) questions, and to seek guidance from within oneself to make choices that support and enhance a meaningful experience of life. This, by extension, therefore, benefits others and our shared world.
Imagination, instinct, intuition, emotion, feeling, logic and rational thought are equally valued in nurturing and developing a healthy sense of Self, creative expression and interpersonal relating. The need is heightened to heal inevitable pain in life as well as experiences of trauma or extreme stress.
Healing requires respectful, empathic and meaningful adjustment and transformation rather than ‘resolution’ in the sense of finalizing or eradicating suffering or a conflict.
We take a whole-person, humanistic and principle-centred approach. Our role is to assist people to explore, understand and act in ways to enrich their life experience. A cornerstone is consideration of all aspects of life. To this end, we combine discussion, education and solution-focused strategies (mind) with sensorimotor or somatic awareness (body) and healthy emotional expression (soul) with respecting what gives meaning and purpose (spirit) to each person.
We believe professionals offering counselling and therapy have a responsibility to embrace their own personal challenges. This includes the impact of providing trauma services and being confronted with humankind’s capacity for inhumanity when driven by unrecognized or unprocessed pain and suffering.
A therapist’s authentic engagement with his or her personal issues directly reflects comfort and skill in assisting clients to navigate healthy emotional expression, decision making, crises in faith in oneself and pursuing fulfilment and meaning.
Counselling consultations are tailored to suit each individual’s requirements in collaboration with him or her. Clients choose what they wish to work with and are provided the opportunity to review the process at intervals of 8-12 weeks as works best for them. Clients continue as long as the service is helpful and are not constrained by a limit on number of sessions.
In essence, our view is that each person has the ability to learn how best to guide him or herself through personal issues, conflicts and concerns toward a life that reflects the desired vision and potential. Enhancing well-being and fulfilment is fundamental.
Inherent in this, is the premise that we all have choice as to how we respond to, and deal with, our life experiences. This includes addressing the impact of circumstances that we could not, and can not, control or change. It also involves exploring the decisions we make, and consequent actions we take, where we are able to influence the outcome. How we go about this is more important than the fact we achieved it.
Part of the process for people who have endured severe and extreme stress, trauma or abuse is to understand and work with the natural, protective defence mechanisms that have enabled survival. These defences develop as ways of adapting to the demands of the situation in which he or she had no real choice.
While valuable and protective at the time of overwhelming stress, these behaviours, feelings, beliefs and perceptions can become problematic in themselves. By respecting the purpose and benefit of defences, the individual can begin to work with, rather than against, him or herself. This creates better ways of learning to meet his or her needs instead of subconsciously re-enacting past unhelpful experiences.
Naomi holds a C.Q.S.W. (UK) and Grad. Cert. Human Rights. For over thirty years she has demonstrated her commitment to assist and enhance the quality of life of people who have experienced severe trauma, abuse and disadvantaged life situations.
Naomi trained as a social worker in the UK. Early in her career she worked with children in emergency care, homeless youth, and convicted offenders in government and NGO’s, providing advocacy, psychosocial education, recreational opportunities, skills training, supervision and counselling.
In 1987 Naomi went into partnership with Susan Henry at The Delphi Centre, now known as Delphi Training and Consulting. She has developed expertise in psychotherapy for complex trauma and provides clinical consultation for post traumatic stress disorder, dissociative disorders and related comorbidity, with survivors of sexual abuse, rape, gender based violence, torture and other trauma. She has a wealth of experience working with people across cultures, socioeconomic groups, faiths and sexual orientation.
A skilled speaker and trainer, Naomi presents her work in complex trauma, vicarious trauma, stress management and work-life balance, nationally and internationally. She provides case consultations and training to organizations such as Metta Youth, Corpus Christi, Delmont Private Psychiatric Hospital, Barwon Centre Against Sexual Assault, Western Centre Against Sexual Assault, CASA House, Carelink Counselling Services, Knowmore Legal Services, Maurice Blackburn Lawyers, Maddocks Lawyers, STARRTS, Attorney General's Solicitors Dept. and the United Nations.
Naomi was a founding member of The Australian Association of Trauma and Dissociation Inc. in 1992 (amalgamated with the Australasian Association of Traumatic Stress Studies in 1996). She served on the Executive Committee and Conference Committee from 1991 – 1996, and as Treasurer from 1992 – 1995.
A founding member and spokesperson for an action group for victims of white collar crime; Naomi has provided submissions and testimony to senate committees and other inquiries. Speaking invitations include financial services industry forums regarding the impact of white collar crime, urgent changes required in the industry and legislation to safeguard the community, whistleblowers and the economy. She works closely with parliamentarians across political parties. In this capacity Naomi has been interviewed by the media and is frequently contacted for commentary.
Naomi is co-author with Dr Colin A Ross from Dallas, TX, USA of a treatment manual: Trauma Model Therapy: A Treatment Approach for Trauma, Dissociation and Complex Comorbidity, (2009), Manitou Communications Inc.
Naomi is a Fellow of the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation.
Susan holds a B.App.Sc. (Speech Path.) and a Dip.C.H. Her academic training and early career focus was in the field of communication disorders, of both functional and organic origins, with children and adults. She worked as a Speech Pathologist at The Alfred Hospital in Melbourne.
A major contribution in her role was designing an education program to assist parents with children experiencing communication difficulties. It utilized play and emphasized the value of kindness and encouragement to extend potential while respecting realistic parameters. Susan also acquired training in clinical hypnotherapy as part of her interest in the subconscious and its powerful role in responding to, and shaping, our experience of life.
Susan established The Delphi Centre, now Delphi Training and Consulting, in 1985. Her work as a psychotherapist and stress management consultant arose from the humanistic aspect of her role as a Speech Pathologist along with an interest in psychology and working with the psyche through symbol and metaphor.
On changing career paths, setting up what she expected to be a general stress management consulting practice, Susan was quickly confronted with large numbers of clients disclosing significant trauma histories. When they returned, after referral to mental health professionals, preferring to continue work with her, she sought out trauma literature and undertook training in PTSD and dissociative disorders overseas. In turn, it motivated pioneering educational forums in Australia with a focus on trauma and dissociation.
Trauma-informed therapy recognizes the pivotal role of symptoms as symbols of what is too painful to know and/or articulate. The healing power of symbol is reflected in the body, dreams, drawing, perceptions, experiences and life themes. These all show without telling, guiding the individual through challenges. They also facilitate creativity, innovation and embrace the urge for growth, meaning and fulfilment.
Susan has specialized in providing therapy and professional development training in the areas of normal, as well as extreme, stress and severe trauma or abuse, for over two decades. She has presented her work in various formats both nationally and internationally as well as providing case consultations nationwide.
Since 1995, with co-director, Naomi Halpern, Susan has organized and convened over 80 accredited conferences, seminars and workshops on trauma through The Delphi Centre.
In 1992 Susan was instrumental in co-founding the Australian Association of Trauma and Dissociation Inc.(amalgamated with the ASTSS in 1996) and in establishing a national conference. Susan served on the executive committee as Secretary and is also a Past President. She participated in establishing, presenting at and convening the first 4 of the AAT&D annual conferences.
She is a member of the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation.