Chris Mehl – Sydney

Chris Mehl – Counsellor & Psychotherapist

Brief Bio

Chris is a skilled and registered Counsellor and Psychotherapist, and has extensive extensive lived experience as a life-coach and mentor.

He is an up-to-date therapist who works with a variety of people to enable and facilitate not only a relief from your current place, but a very real opportunity to turn a corner and work on the “what next?”

The philosophy of his work, informed by the Narrative school, is that you are not your problem. The result is work that enables separation from you and your problem, enabling a renewal of life without the problem being in control. Taking back control, realising you’re good enough, making decisions to create your own preferred future are powerful and enduring ways to achieve sustainable change. As these elements come from you, they quickly become a new norm that over time creates actual neurological change that ensures the new way to be becomes easier and easier.

Chris is always conscious of the role society operates in peoples lives. Indeed for many men, the rules that were taught as children have been turned on their head. For some men, adapting to the change is very difficult, creating a very real struggle. Assisting men to adapt to their world while preserving their fundamental values is a particular strength of his therapy practice.

Extensive experience with the GLBTQI community (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex) also assists for the many who struggle with feelings that they way they express their sexuality, may not be what they really want. Chris can assist with a full range of skills, from an early tentative exploration, additional referrals and organisational connections, to mentoring and psychotherapeutic assistance with dealing with the difficulties of coming out, and the struggle that can be part of living as a gay person.

A solid understanding of the cross-cultural differences and similarities between Western and Asian cultures provides Chris with the skills to undertake therapy with people of Asian background, or their Western background partners. There are significant differences in growing up where the individual is seen as the ideal, as opposed to being brought up to see the group as that aim. He is sensitive to the stigma attached to seeking therapy for Asian people.

 Major work:

  • Anxiety
  • Work – Stress and Strategies
  • Depression – Short and Extensive
  • Gender and Sexual Diversity
  • Exploration of “being a man”
  • Communication – styles and skills
  • Life Transitions
  • Trauma

 

Qualifications

  • Bachelor of Arts, Psychology Major The University of Sydney (1991)
  • Master of Counselling and Applied Psychotherapy Jansen Newman Institute Sydney (2014)

Membership

  • Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia, (PACFA)

Chris’ Story

I am a qualified and experienced counsellor and psychotherapist with many years experience in helping people become the best they can be.

After graduating from an arts degree with a psychology major from The University of Sydney in 1991, I set out to travel the world, beginning a life-long pursuit of the understanding of how human beings exist in the world.

Returning to Australia after 7 years in Japan, I embarked on a professional management career, not yet considering myself ready to embark on the incredible work of a therapist.

In 2011 I began a masters degree in psychotherapy and counselling, and have practiced since 2014. I have been a telephone counselling trainer for 7 years, and also provide counselling services to the Aids Council of NSW (ACON.)

My background brings significant “real-world” experience which provides me with a grounded world view to bring to the counselling relationship. This helps not only in understanding what it is to be you, but also in terms of therapeutic aims. Counselling and Psychotherapy are grounded in serious academic work, but my ability to bridge the gap between the academic and the practical will give you the greatest benefit with the least difficulty, and is a hallmark of my practice.

I have chosen psychotherapy over psychology as a career as I believe there is so much more to be gained from the cutting edge of therapeutic environments than the prescribed and medicalised field of psychology. I practice in a largely Narrative manner, as I consider this model, developed in Australia, is a fundamentally powerful, productive, and practical way to really change your life.

It’s a mode of working that really lets you get back into the studio to release your second album, changing direction, renewing and reinventing yourself in a happier and more fulfilled way. By asserting that you are not your problem, together we are able to free you from that which holds you back, from that which has dogged you all your life. The major personal work for me in that process is to ensure that I have no agenda, make no judgement, seeking only to point out your own preferences, working entirely from your master blueprint. I’m not in the room to tell you how to live, how to feel, or how to be. I learn so much along the way, knowledge that I apply to helping you be the best you that you can be.

My training involved many hours of counselling, both individual and in group, giving me several great insights. The first was that, had I actually sought counselling during some of the darker times in my life, as I struggled with a relationship breakup, as I went through stresses at work, and as I embarked on the long and incomplete journey to become the best me I can be, it would have been so much easier. Not only easier, I realised, but more thorough, more lasting, giving me more time to live life on the other side of that difficulty. You see I learned that counselling can be about you, and not about the therapist – meaning the resulting you all you, not something created by a therapist, and not an incomplete version of you. The second was that, unlike the drug-based therapies, I really can make sure that I approach the sessions with no agenda, no judgement, and no predicted outcome. It really is about you, and I undertake constant supervisory sessions of my own to ensure I stay on track.

I have managed several medium sized companies and have significant interpersonal relationship development skills, and a thorough understanding of workplace communication and difficulties. It is so often the case that the workplace is the source of so much difficulty, and my various positions combined with training in psychology and life-coaching have afforded me a skill set in life-coaching that is often invaluable.  Having also lived in Japan and often travelling to China for meetings and conferences, I am skilled in understanding the cultural differences between the Australian way, and the way of many people’s upbringing. Indeed, often that is the source of much of the difficulty people can experience in their life.

I have been so lucky to have been witness to such fundamental and positive change in so many people. Focussing on people’s unique individual nature and how that fits in to society as a whole is a sociological influence and recognises the particular role of society’s rules as we explore what it is to be you in contemporary society. So often this means the exploration focusses on what it is to be male, what it is to be stressed, what it is to be made redundant – indeed any number of life difficulties. This avenue of therapy is of particular relevance to members of the LGBTI community who have often lived in opposition to society’s preferences and bear the scars of that exhausting way to live.

So many people live with an outdated operating system, going through the motions, but not feeling happy, not feeling in control, feeling a bit like a failure. Old defences don’t seem to work, and life becomes about endurance – a hard slog with no joy. The greatest success comes in therapy when we discover the things that are holding you back, where they came from, and how they affect you. Simply knowing them, naming them, is often the start of people taking back control of their lives, creating a new and dynamic future, one that they prefer to live.

I look forward to meeting you, and together,  exploring your preferred way to be.

Chris Mehl

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