Naomi Halpern

Director, C.Q.S.W. (UK), Grad. Cert. Human Rights

For over thirty years Naomi 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 where she developed expertise in psychotherapy for complex and developmental trauma.

Naomi provides clinical consultation for post traumatic stress disorder, dissociative disorders and related comorbidity, for mental health professionals working 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 has presented her work in complex and developmental trauma and related comorbidity, vicarious trauma, resilience building and work-place wellbeing in Australia - Denmark - Germany - New Zealand (upcoming 2019) - United States. She provides consultation and training to organizations such as:

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.

Naomi is a founding member and spokesperson for an action group for victims of white collar crime. She is an advocate for victims of deceptive and misleading financial advice, providing submissions and testimony to senate committees and other inquiries. Naomi has been an invited speaker at financial industry forums regarding the impact of white collar crime, the changes needed in the industry and legislation. She works closely with parliamentarians across political parties and independents, as well as the media and is frequently contacted for commentary. 

Publications

Ross, C. A. & Halpern, N. (2009) Trauma Model Therapy: A Treatment Approach for Trauma, Dissociation and Complex Comorbidity, Manitou Communications Inc.

Somer, E., Soffer-Dudek, N., Ross, C. A., & Halpern, N. (2017) Maladaptive daydreaming: Proposed diagnostic criteria and their assessment with a structured clinical interview. Psychology of Consciousness: Theory, Research, and Practice, 4(2), 176-189

Somer, E., Somer, L., Halpern, N. (2019) Representations of maladaptive daydreaming and the self: A qualitative analysis of drawings, The Arts in Psychotherapy, ELSEIVER 

Halpern, N. (2019) Part Two 'Survival Responses', in (author) Varney, K., Mum's The Word, Karen Varney and Ocean Reeve Publishing, Australia, pp 106-110

Awards

2017 - Fellow: International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation. 

Advisory Board Member

Hecht Trauma Institute, California Southern University

Research

Collaborating Researcher at the International Consortium for Maladaptive Daydreaming Research, The University of Haifa Maladaptive Daydreaming Research Laboratory

Journal Reviews

Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease

 

About Delphi Training & Consulting

The Delphi Centre, now Delphi Training and Consulting, was founded by Susan Henry, B.App.Sc. (Speech Path.), Dip.C.H. in 1985. She was joined by Naomi Halpern, CQSW, Grad Cert (Human Rights) in 1987. Initially developed as a general counselling and stress management practice, Susan and Naomi were quickly confronted with large numbers of clients disclosing significant trauma histories. This resulted in a change of course and practice to address a growing need and gap in servcies in Australia at this time.

Susan and Naomi provided cutting edge trauma informed therapy for over two decades, offering clients an empathic, holistic approach that respects the collaborative roles of client and therapist. In 2011 the practice refocussed to broaden and further develop specialist consultation for mental health professionals, lawyers and related professions, in-house training and workshops. 

Delphi Training and Consulting has achieved international recognition for its pioneering work in Australia from the early 1990s, developing professional development forums, sourcing international and national experts in the field of trauma and extreme stress.

                                      

                                              

Founder - Susan Henry                                     Director - Naomi Halpern

1985 - 2011

 

Our Philosophy

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.

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 (vicarious trauma).

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.

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 while many things that happen in life are out of our control and for which we do not have responsibility (such as trauma, abuse and neglect) we can develop resilience, internal resources and agency in how we respond to, and deal with 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.

 

 Delphi