Dr Cathy Bettman


Cathy currently holds the position of Senior Lecturer in the Discipline of Counselling, ACAP and previously worked as an individual, couple and family therapist at Relationships Australia (NSW), served as Academic Head of AIRS (the Australian Institute of Relationship Studies which is the teaching branch of RA) and finally as manager of its Higher Education section. 

She has taught counselling subjects for more than 20 years in a number of contexts, both on campus and online, from the Manly/Warringah/Balgowlah branch of Lifeline where she was the coordinator of training to lecturing at AIRS, ACAP, JNI, UWS, Charles Sturt University and the Australian Catholic University. She has also supervised counselling students, interns, counsellors, supervisors and research students since 2002.

Research & Scholarships


Cathy established and served on the Human Research Ethics Committee at Relationships Australia (NSW). For her PhD, she conducted qualitative research in the area of domestic violence. She interviewed male perpetrators from different cultural backgrounds and used IPA for the data analysis. Cathy later published the contents of her thesis in the form of a novel under a pseudonym.

She currently teaches the Counselling and Psychotherapy research subject in the Master of Counselling and Psychotherapy course at ACAP and supervises students doing their research projects.

Research Interests

Couple and family therapy; domestic violence; gender issues; feminist issues, sexuality; culture and diversity.


Noble, C. & Bettman, C. (2003).  Culture, social discourse and domestic violence: What is the connection? Women against Violence, 14, pp. 42-49

Bettman, C.  (2008). Patriarchy: the predominant discourse and font of domestic violence.  The Australian and New Zealand Journal of Family Therapy, 30, 1, pp. 15-28

Chapman, K.  (2010).  For All Our Sakes. Adelaide: Ginninderra Press

Bettman, C., (2017).  Paddling in the same direction.  PACFA eNewsletter, March

Research Supervision

  1. Doreen Waddington, What can be learned from the subjective experience of home care workers about the recruitment, retention and turnover of home care staff?, MCounselling & Psychotherapy, (ACAP).
  2. Christine Gissing, A Qualitative Study on the Experiences of Women Transitioning through Menopause, MCounselling & Psychotherapy, (ACAP).
  3. Alexandra Chandler, The Meaning of Self-care to Rural Community Mental Health Counsellors, MCounselling & Psychotherapy, (ACAP). 
  4. Rana Fathali, The role of language for Farsi-English speaking bilinguals in the counselling process, MCounselling & Psychotherapy, (ACAP). 
  5. Mehrnaz Mumtahan, A Qualitative Study on Men’s Experiences of Stress and Anxiety, MCounselling & Psychotherapy, (ACAP).
  6. Gabrielle Davidson, An exploration of self-care when working with clients suffering from borderline personality disorder, MCounselling & Psychotherapy, (ACAP). 
  7. Neil Holden, A Qualitative Study into the Retirement Experience of Men: What could go wrong?, MCounselling & Psychotherapy, (ACAP). 
  8. Maria Bouiali, Understanding vicarious traumatisation: Identifying protective strategies, MCounselling & Psychotherapy, (ACAP).
  9. Louise Cross, Parental perceptions of children’s gender related play, MCounselling and Psychotherapy, (ACAP). 
  10. Vanessa Holt, An evaluation of the therapeutic potential of a creative writing program in residential drug and alcohol rehabilitation, MCounselling and Psychotherapy, (ACAP).
  11. Shannon Thomas, Exploring factors influencing first time parents in their decision to vaccinate their child; Can counselling help?, MCounselling and Psychotherapy, (ACAP).
  12. Olga Underwood, Redefining Retirement, MCounselling and Psychotherapy, (ACAP). 
  13. Margaret (Meg) Cunningham, Yo-yo dieters’ perceptions of external influences that impact their weight loss choices, decisions and behaviour, MCounselling and Psychotherapy, (ACAP).
  14. Maged Morris, Factors affecting marriage breakdown in Sydney’s Coptic community, Australia, MCounselling and Psychotherapy, (ACAP).
  15. Jessica Pascoe, How does a better living program make a better living?  A qualitative, exploratory study of a counselling intervention for adults who are blind or vision impaired, MCounselling and Psychotherapy, (ACAP). 
  16. Bronwyn Towson, The effect of depression and/or anxiety on career development, MCounselling and Psychotherapy, (ACAP). 
  17. Brooke Cefai, Women’s lived experiences of abortion, MCounselling and Psychotherapy, (ACAP). 
  18. Girija Dadhe, A study of the social effects of methamphetamine use on adult users, MCounselling and Psychotherapy, (ACAP).
  19. Karen Towers, The long term results of participating in charitable sobriety programs, MCounselling and Psychotherapy, (ACAP).
  20. Leah Moss, An investigation of body satisfaction and self-esteem in adolescence, MCounselling and Psychotherapy, (ACAP). 
  21. Lucinda Dimond, The impact of witnessing domestic violence in childhood on adult men, MCounselling and Psychotherapy, (ACAP). 
  22. Daung Din (Samira), What role does spirituality play for individuals recovering from addiction, MCounselling and Psychotherapy, (ACAP).
  23. Hesam Abdol Rahimi, What are the effects of migration on Iranians settling in Australia, MCounselling and Psychotherapy, (ACAP).
  24. Jess Sowden, The Spirit of Motivational Interviewing and Therapist Burnout: An explanation of practitioner experiences, MCounselling and Psychotherapy, (ACAP).  

Conference Presentations

Bettman, C. (2016). Paddling in the same direction. Joint 2016 Conference of PACFA, CCAA, SCAPE and APECA, 9-11 September, Melbourne, Victoria.  

Professional Affiliations

Cathy is a Clinical Registrant and Accredited Supervisor of PACFA.  She is on the PACFA Professional Conduct Panel list and as a former clinical member of the Australian Association of Relationships Counsellors (AARC) and the Society of Counselling and Psychotherapy Educators (SCAPE), Cathy is a member of the new PACFA Colleges for Relationship Counsellors and Counselling and Psychotherapy Educators. She is an Associate Member of the Australasian Association of Supervisors (AAOS) and serves as secretary on their Board.