Lars Andersson was born and grew up in Stockholm, Sweden. He emigrated to Australia in 1988, and lives in Brisbane since 1992. He has been in private practice as a counsellor, psychotherapist, and life coach for over 25 years.
As well as being an accredited Gestalt therapist and hypnotherapist, Lars has many years experience as a meditation teacher. He is also an accomplished speaker, seminar leader and workshop facilitator, and has conducted research in the area of mindfulness applied to psychotherapy supervision.
Lars describes his approach to counselling, psychotherapy, and life coaching as an eclectic integration of several different modalities, emphasising mindful awareness as the essential factor for personal growth and development.
A short biography
I grew up and went to school in Hässelby, in the Western suburbs of Stockholm, Sweden. After completing senior high-school in the stream of Natural Sciences, the obvious choice seemed to be to continue in that direction. So without really ever stopping to think much about what I really wanted to do with my life, I commenced studies which eventually lead to a Masters Degree in Science (Physics Engineering).
However, even before graduating, I had become interested in psychology, and had joined a Gestalt therapy group for self-exploration and personal development.
As my interest in personal development and psychotherapy rapidly grew, I applied and was accepted into formal psychotherapist training with SAMverkan Training Institute for Psychotherapy in Stockholm, and subsequently completed my initial training as a Gestalt Therapist.
I continued to divide my time between facilitating psychotherapy groups, teaching Gestalt therapy principles at VuxenSkolan (Swedish equivalent of TAFE), teaching mathematics and physics to high-school students, as well as doing computer consultancy, until 1988, when I left Sweden and emigrated to Australia.
Since settling in Brisbane, I have been in full-time private practice as a counsellor, psychotherapist, and life coach. I have dedicated my time to continually developing my professional skills, and to uncovering what works and what doesn’t work, when it comes to helping people find the way to the fulfilment they want in their lives.
I have completed post-graduate studies, gaining two more Masters Degrees, and conducted research in the area of mindfulness applied to psychotherapy supervision. I have developed a drug-free treatment for sleep problems, which has proven to be as effective as sleeping tablets. And since I have myself practised meditation for over 30 years, it has become a natural part of my work to also teach meditation courses.
My approach to counselling and psychotherapy is probably best described as an eclectic integration of several different modalities. Yet, the fundamental element, which I have found to be essential for true personal growth and fulfilment, is mindful awareness of one’s own moment-to-moment experience. This mindful awareness is also what links counselling and psychotherapy to meditation, and this is the background to my statement that “psychotherapy is spiritual work with its feet on the ground.”
Professional affiliations & qualifications
Gestalt Australia & New Zealand (GANZ); Clinical Member
Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia (PACFA); Clinical Registrant & Accredited Supervisor
[My work as a counsellor and psychotherapist is governed by the ethical standards of these associations.]
DEGREES & QUALIFICATIONS
Master of Gestalt Therapy; Gestalt Therapy Brisbane, 2011
Master of Mental Health (Psychotherapy); School of Medicine, University of Queensland, 2009
Certificate IV in Bowen Therapy; Border College of Natural Therapies, Wodonga, 2006
Diploma of Gestalt Therapy; Brisbane Gestalt Institute, 2005
Diploma of Analytic Hypnotherapy; Queensland Hypnosis Society, Brisbane, 1992
Certified NLP Practitioner; Myndslink, Brisbane, 1992
Bachelor of Education; Stockholm University, Training College for Teachers, 1982
Certificate of Gestalt Therapy; tpi SAMverkan, Stockholm, 1980
OTHER COURSES / WORKSHOPS / TRAININGS
Spiritual care with the dying – level 1; Karuna Hospice Services, 2013
Brain-based therapy: Integrating science with theory and practice; Dr John Arden, 2011
Supervisor Training (as per PACFA standards, 2008 draft); Gestalt Therapy Brisbane, 2010
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy; Dr Russell Harris, 2008
The secret language of intimacy; Dr Robert G. Lee, 2005
Integrative Breathwork Facilitator Training; Lloyd Lalande, 2004
Life is but a dream; Dr Max Schupbach / Process Oriented Psychology, 2002
Landmark Forum, Advanced Course & Self-expression and Leadership Program; Landmark Education, 2001
Men’s Group Facilitator Training; Yaro Starak / Men’s Health and Wellbeing Association Qld, 2000 – 2001
The Body-Mind Talks; Tony Richardson/Somatics Body Oriented Psychotherapy Training, 2000
Holotropic Breathwork; Portiuncula Centre, Toowomba, 1998 – 2000
Birth, Sex and Death – Psychological, Philosophical and Spiritual Perspectives; Dr Stan Grof and Tav Sparks, 1999
Architecture of Emotional and Psychosomatic Disorders; Dr Stanislav Grof, 1998
Voice Dialogue; Drs Hal and Sidra Stone, 1998
Vipassana Meditation; Dhamma Rasmi, Pomona, 1995, ’96 & ’97
Rapid Eye Movement Therapy; Dr Kaj Alvestrand, Stockholm, 1992
EXTERNAL PROGRAMS PRESENTED BY LARS ANDERSSON
Mindfulness in Counselling & Psychotherapy; University of Queensland, 2012 – 2013
Dialogical Mindfulness in Supervision Role-play; Queensland Health, 2012
The role of mindfulness practices in the treatment of insomnia; Australian Catholic University, 2011
Dialogical Mindfulness; Association for the Advancement of Gestalt Therapy, NSW, 2010
Dialogical Mindfulness in Supervision Role-play; Gestalt Therapy Brisbane, 2010
Mindfulness-based Role-play in Supervision; University of Qld, 2008
Interpersonal Skills; Australian College of Applied Psychology, Brisbane, 2007
Gestalt & Spirituality; Brisbane Gestalt Institute, 2006
Relationship Skills – Couples Group co-facilitation; Brisbane, 2003 – 05
The Wisdom Project – community program; Brisbane 2001
Life with a Purpose – personal development program; Brisbane, 1999-2000
Relationship Skills – Couples Group co-facilitation; Brisbane, 1994 – 96
PEER-REVIEWED ARTICLES BY LARS ANDERSSON
Andersson, L., King, R., & Lalande, L. (2010). Dialogical mindfulness in supervision role-play. Counselling and Psychotherapy Research: Linking research with practice, 10(4), 287-294.
Andersson, L. (2008). Psychodynamic supervision in a group setting: Benefits and limitations. Psychotherapy in Australia, 14(2), 36-41.