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Our SSG Counsellor – A Who am I with Dr Matt Sharpe?

Our SSG Counsellor – A Who am I with Dr Matt Sharpe?

As someone who grew up in the Bayside area, and is now raising his own family here, it is wonderful be part of the team at Beaumaris Sports & Spinal, and to be now be able to give back, in a small way, to our local community.  

Australia, like many nations around the world, is facing a huge mental health challenge, not least after covid-19.  Beyond the statistics, what that means is that there are many people in our communities that are experiencing forms of stress, loneliness, depression, and anxiety which can deeply affect their quality of life, and that of those who care for them.  

Just as there is good health for the body, there is good health for the mind.  And it is no less important if we are to live well as individuals, and flourish as communities.  

Moreover, mental ill health is often suffered in silence, its symptoms are sometimes greeted with misunderstanding, or sufferers are even stigmatised.  It is all the more important, then, that people experiencing forms of mental distress have the opportunity to talk freely and confidentially with a nonjudgmental, empathetic set of ears, in a setting in which they can explore different understandings of their situations, and workshop practical techniques to improve their experiences. 

It’s thoughts such as these that brought me, after 2020, to undertake a Diploma of Counselling at the Australian Institute of Professional Counsellors (AIPC), which I completed at the start of 2023.  The truth is that I’ve been interested in psychotherapy for my whole adult life, and in all of the curious ways the human mind works. After finishing my schooling in the Mentone/Beaumaris area, I thus spent over two decades studying and then teaching psychological theory in universities. 

For the last decade, as a researcher and teacher, I’ve become more and more deeply interested in exploring the practical and therapeutic dimensions of Stoicism, the ancient philosophy at the basis of modern cognitive behavioural therapy.  (I’m also one of the organisers of the Melbourne Stoicon-X community events each October).  During covid, alongside doing the Diploma, I wrote a book applying Stoic techniques of self-care and problem-solving to assist targets of adult or workplace bullying, Stoicism, Bullying, and Beyond (Balboa, 2022), and have spoken on the subject on several podcasts based down under and in the USA (probably the one I’m most proud of is Advice for Bullied Targets from a Stoic Perspective – Workplace Bullying Institute)

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