Welcome to CLARITY of SELF

I am currently unable to make any new client appointments as I have no available spaces. I am happy to receive your enquiry regardless and I will make a note of your contact, however I am unable to respond to you personally to provide referrals or to give a timeline for new appointments at this time. I appreciate that this is disappointing and I know it can be difficult right now to access therapy but don’t give up! Keep looking, ask around, revisit & review, have a look at my Relevant Links page and see if there is a lead there you can follow.

This website describes my Canberra based practice, Clarity of Self Counselling & Psychotherapy which offers:

  • Face to face, individual or couple psychodynamic psychotherapy.
  • Home visits and telehealth when available.

I am a Masters degree qualified Registered Clinical Counsellor with PACFA (Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia, 24364).  I am a provider for Victim Support Services ACT, BetSafe EAP and a number of private health funds. Check with me if you have insurance – Bupa, AHM, Medibank, HCF, Rural Health (emergency services & others).

I will work with you to explore your situation, thoughts and feelings. We will progress at your pace, creating safety and mutual understanding as we go. The way I work favours the longer term, as it is a relational depth psychotherapy. This requires a commitment to attending ongoing sessions.

Longer term depth psychotherapy offers you an opportunity to explore your self, your relationships and to experience changes within these two realms that are permanent and freeing.

Session information

Psychotherapy sessions are 50 minutes in length and are by appointment only.

Contact me to make a first appointment for us to meet and learn a bit about each other. It is important you feel I am someone you can work with, and I think I will be able to help you.

2023 Fees* – My session fee is $140 for private individuals, $160 for couples, family or corporate payees. Fees are due at the completion of the session and can be paid by cash, direct debit, or by credit card. Due to the reservation of your regular therapy time slot, payment is required for sessions cancelled with less than 24 hrs notice for any avoidable reason.

Billed at the NDIA set rate of $156/hr plus $78 travel for home visits and is for plan or self-managed funds only. 
No medicare rebates are available.  At present only psychologists & MH Social Workers are eligible. However, the full fee is equivalent or less than most gap-payments with medicare mental health care plans, and is available for as many sessions as you need per year, without the official diagnosis on your medical record that is required for a MH Plan.

For a small monthly fee (from $5) you may access my Patreon page, which is like an online blog, that you can subscribe to. I have posted on there about how I work, what happens in therapy, client concerns and various topics and what therapy is – Somatic Intersubjective Self Psychology based psychotherapy:


From a basic psychodynamic orientation, and a theoretical framework of self psychology, I include a focus on bodily emotional experience (somatic awareness). The body holds a wisdom that is true. Voicing or interpreting what the body already knows helps us to further understand our selves, allowing for change and insight. Our body is our vessel which contains us and is us. 

Karen Stewart

*Fee - Where does the fee go?  $140/$160 per session is for approx. 2 hrs of my time (incl. session set up, notes & review, communications, supervision, ongoing PD). A full client load is approx. 15-20 spaces per week.
30% is for direct costs - rent, supervision fees, PD costs, supplies etc.
20% is for indirect costs - annual& sick leave, training & supervision time (PD), & where possible, some superannuation. (So $140/4 = hourly wage) 

About Me

With the combination of a sharp analytical mind and a sensitive and creative personality, Karen is a compassionate and effective psychotherapist. Karen has a Master of Counselling from the University of Canberra. Karen is a clinically registered counsellor with PACFA (Psychotherapist and Counselling Federation of Australia).

With specialisation in working with people who have experienced trauma – from a working history including working with people who have experienced sudden bereavement, family and domestic violence, incarceration and relational and developmental trauma –  Karen participates in regular supervision and training (BlueKnot, Janina Fisher, Self Psychology, Somatic Psychotherapy etc), to keep up to date re trauma treatment and safe practices. Karen also works with people living with disability of any type  (for full details see Professional Work History below).

Most recently Karen was selected to present a case study at the 2023 International Association of Psychoanalytic Self Psychology (IAPSP) conference held in Chicago. Karen has a journal article due to be published in 2024 in Psychoanalysis, Self and Context – the journal of the IAPSP.

Continue reading “About Me”


I believe that all people are innately creative and clever. Through our unique experiences in life, we have responded creatively and cleverly to survive and adapt to our situation and our lived history.

As children we may have withdrawn and hid, or ran, or fought, and we developed any number of techniques for survival of our selves – our sensitive feeling selves, and our physical selves. Psychotherapy helps to uncover the ‘hiding in plain sight’ and the well hidden, clever, stubborn, entrenched  strategies that no longer serve us well.

Continue reading “Philosophy”

Why Psychotherapy?

Because it works!

I will work with you on whatever you bring to therapy, whether it is to work out a specific issue in the short term, or to address a more entrenched way of feeling or being that requires a longer timeline. I am guided by the needs and wishes of my clients, each individually. in a client focused, respectful exchange.

  • The aim of therapy is to make living our life easier. It is about getting to know yourself better, and ultimately make changes to patterns of feeling, thinking and behaving.
  • Psychotherapy provides a safe non-judgemental space in which to work on your self with the help of a qualified, empathic, nurturing and skilled person.

“In particular, the research indicates that body-focused psychotherapy is effective for a range of issues (Bloch-Atefi & Smith, 2014) including where talking therapies are unable to effectively treat the condition (Gordon et al., 2008; Röhricht, 2009).” (Thomas, 2018, p. 8 – see below).

Continue reading “Why Psychotherapy?”


To make an enquiry, contact Karen directly at the details below.