Stefan Durlach

Psychotherapist and Counselling Psychologist - Sydney, Australia
  • English
  • German
  • Expatriate Counselling
  • Grief & Loss
  • Relationship Challenges

My Approach

It seems that much of contemporary life has become very complex. Many people are time poor and our connections with one another are often not as strong as they were in the past. Life confronts us with a seemingly ever increasing array of issues and challenges, both from the outside and from...

It seems that much of contemporary life has become very complex. Many people are time poor and our connections with one another are often not as strong as they were in the past. Life confronts us with a seemingly ever increasing array of issues and challenges, both from the outside and from within ourselves. Sometimes we need support or simply the opportunity to talk through things with someone who is not involved in our everyday life. I help adult individuals find their way through what can at times be the maze of living by collaboratively addressing the questions and issues that really matter to them in a context of empathic, compassionate care.

People have different needs based on different histories, cultural backgrounds, circumstances, personality traits, preferences, outlook on life etc. I try to be flexible with my approach as over 25 years of experience in the field have taught me that people, circumstances, the quality of a given relationship and a particular situation vary a great deal. This requires a capacity to respond to the needs of every moment with any given individual. No one approach or technique works for everybody or at all times. Feeling heard and seen is vitally important and I regard the development of trust, understanding, and care to be essential.

An underlying thread to my work is helping people become more self-aware. This is important as our internal worlds shape our external behavioural and relational patterns and experiences and hence our individual and collective worlds. Being more aware of our motivations, desires, values, and issues, and how these get translated into behaviours and relational patterns, which in turn evoke certain responses in others, gives us choices we didn't have when we automatically enacted behavioural patterns that just felt normal, but may have had self-sabotaging or maybe even destructive aspects to them.

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About Stefan

I grew up in Germany and spent a year as an exchange student in the US. This was a formative experience. After finishing high school I lived in Norway for 18 months, where I worked in a psychiatric hospital. Completing my undergraduate psychology studies in Berlin I moved to London, where I...

I grew up in Germany and spent a year as an exchange student in the US. This was a formative experience. After finishing high school I lived in Norway for 18 months, where I worked in a psychiatric hospital. Completing my undergraduate psychology studies in Berlin I moved to London, where I completed a postgraduate Masters degree in counselling and psychotherapy, and had 2 children. In 1996 I moved to Sydney with my family as my wife is Australian.

Having lived in 5 different countries and travelled extensively has given me an appreciation for difference in its varied manifestations in life. It has also sensitized me to the many unquestioned assumptions, which tend to structure thinking patterns within societies and subcultures within them.

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Education

M.A. in the Psychology of Therapy and Counselling (1994): Regents College/Antioch University, London - School of Psychotherapy and Counselling Vordiplom (Bachelor equivalent): Psychology (1989): Technische Universität Berlin

Experience

I am a Psychotherapist and Counselling Psychologist with 25 years experience in the field. Trained in Berlin and London, I have been living and working in Sydney since 1996. I am registered as a Psychotherapist with the UK Council for Psychotherapy, and a registered Counselling Psychologist with the Psychology Board of Australia. I have been a long-standing member of the Australian and British Psychological Societies. I have worked in private practice in London and Sydney for nearly 20 years and have been employed part-time in a variety of government, non-government, tertiary education, and private settings in England and Australia. For the last 17 years I have worked in the grief and loss field for Health Department Services, where I provide regular grief and loss training to medical, nursing, and allied health professionals and students working with death and dying, and grief and loss.

My specialist areas are grief, loss, and bereavement, childhood trauma, and the impact of (often unconscious) relational patterns on people's lives. More recently, I have also become interested in perinatal work (depression, anxiety around the time of the birth of a baby) as a result of my long-standing interest in Attachment Theory.

I have provided therapy to health professionals for a long time, including counsellors, psychologists, social workers, doctors, and nurses. Having been in this field for over 25 years I have learnt that what brings many of us to this work are often our own issues. This realisation can at times be confronting - and being able to talk to someone who understands this can be reassuring, comforting, and healing, and can help us move from being a 'walking wounded' to a 'wounded healer'. Whilst you're the one seeking help, I have sat in your chair. This experience has taught me compassion, empathy, humility, and a lack of judgment. I have also supervised practicing clinicians over the last 20 years.