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Mr Adam Szmerling

Mr Adam Szmerling

Psychotherapist, Counsellor

Bayside Psychotherapy

I believe most of our adult struggles are covert (or not so secret) enactments from our early childhood experiences which were inadequately processed. Part of this problematic processing comes from our immaturity as children, especially in the face of trauma or even new, difficult encounters, all of which have effects that leave marks, traces and unconscious criteria through which we use to select partners in love and work.


  • Online counselling and psychotherapy, Bentleigh, Melbourne VIC 3204 03 9557 9113 PHONE 03 9557 9113


  • Counselling, Psychotherapy, Couples Therapy, Psychoanalysis, Assessment, Online Video Consultations 
  • Whether it's 5 sessions of short term counselling, 10 sessions of couples counselling, 50 sessions of psychotherapy or 5 years of psychoanalysis, the preliminary sessions will provide us both with a map of if and how we can best work together in order to unearth your deeply ingrained inner conflicts.

    Areas of Special Interest

  • Addiction, Alcohol / Drug Dependency, Anger Related Issues, Anxiety / Panic Attacks, Assertiveness, Compulsive Spending, Depression, Dreams, Eating Disorders, Emotional Overwhelm, Grief / Bereavement, Guilt Feelings, Insomnia, Intimacy Issues, Mediation, Stress Management  
  • MODALITIES / Approach

    Buddhist Psychotherapy, Dream Work, Freudian, Meditation, Mindfulness, Psychoanalytic, Psychodynamic

    With deep listening, no judgement and a keen interest in hearing more than what is consciously intended to be communicated, I will highlight areas of your psyche which seem to be in conflict. I will invite you to learn something new about yourself and to become curious in your inner world, by paying attention to elements of your mind which are not conscious, such as dreams, daydreams, fantasies, slips of the tongue and mistakes, all of which often have a hidden intention which is not obvious consciously. There's a special interest in past experiences, where the devil is in the details, especially earlier childhood memories and how they inform present day struggles.


    • Bachelor Social Science (Counselling) - 2010
    • Grad Dip Psychotherapy - 2009

    Professional Associations

    • Australian Association of Buddhist Counsellors and Psychotherapists
    • Australian Hypnotherapists Association
    • Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia

    Quality Provision

    While I abide by ethical guidelines stipulated by AASW for their registered social workers, I aim to ensure a consistent listening space from a position of nonjudgmental acceptance. I will only take on people I think I can help, and who seem likely to commit to the treatment. I won't see more than a set number of patients a day, to ensure I have the concentration necessary to help each patient. I also provide online only counselling using a secure platform


    I have worked in private practice for 13 years, initially as a hypnotherapist but promptly became fed up with the unrealistic expectations with quick fix therapies, then counselling, psychotherapy and more recently psychoanalysis.


    9am-9pm Mon-Sat but please call to check availability or if I am taking on new patients at the time of your booking request.

    Transport and Parking

    Sessions are online only


    $140 per session as standard, or $150 per couple

    Payment Options

    Credit card

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    10 Questions with Adam Szmerling

    • What led you to choose psychotherapy or counselling as a profession?

    • I have never been able to think of any profession more interesting than dynamic psychotherapy, where we encounter the unconscious every day. Not that other professions or relationships are without transferences or an unconscious, but psychotherapy contains an intentional interest into the unconscious. In a sense, people pay you to interpret their unconscious. And, I have never worked with someone and not learned something new, and for this reason I would never choose another profession.
    • Which philosophical approaches have influenced your professional/personal development?

    • Buddhism, specifically Theravada in the practice of non-dual, nonjudgmental observation and of course the now fashionable, mindfulness meditation. Coupled with Lacanian Psychoanalysis the critical element of speech often so lacking in meditation can't be said to be a 'complete' system but certainly the best I know.
    • Which particular aspects of health or the human journey are you interested in?

    • I have a special interest in the relationship between guilt and the world. Also the differences between shame and guilt, especially those unconscious elements and where self-deception comes into play. I'm fascinated by how we are so committed to the status quo even when it's unpleasant or destructive.
    • What method/s do you use?

    • Lacanian Psychoanalysis and some elements of Buddhist Meditation theory, but with a special interest in bringing unconscious elements of the psyche, especially those most shameful aspects, into speech, into discourse.
    • When do you think the client will start to feel that progress is being made?

    • I wish this could be answered in a gereralisable way but the fact is psychotherapy is not linear, some people feel better after the first session, where many feel more vulnerable at first. Depending on the transference, the person's history, how realistic are their expectations, and their commitment, deep progress can take quite some time...that said feeling better isn't tantamount to getting better and just talking can sometimes provide relief quickly. But for deeper changes to be realised it may take months or years.
    • How has therapy made you a better person?

    • Therapy forces me to step outside myself and listen to people in a way that starts with the assumption that I don;t know what they're talking about. Put differently, that I can learn something new from what they have to say, no matter how trivial they themselves may think of their own speech at times. So therapy makes me better in the sense of busting the illusion that we all think the same.
    • What do you like most about being a therapist?

    • I like that in every session, no matter how many years I've worked with a patient, I always learn something... And, moments of insight are definitely likeable, where the patient arrives at their own insights and therefore the changes are more congruent and lasting.
    • Do you ever have 'bad hair' days?

    • Actually, I treat a number of patients presenting with what is often called trichotillomania or compulsive hair pulling, so forgive me if I don't answer this question so literally. Ok, so some days are better than others. I am a very reflective therapist who meditates upon each patient and often I wish I had said this or that differently or not at all in a given session, but it's usually a lesson that it would have been better to say less or nothing at all and follow the patients lead...
    • What do you think is the most significant problem we face, in the world today?

    • Aggressive narcissism, or any process where people are reduced to objects in the actions of others. Out of this excessive competitiveness and striving for more
    • Can you share the name of a book, film, song, event or work of art that inspires you?

    • Song: "Ladder" by Stuart Davis.
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    Mr Adam Szmerling

    Adam Szmerling

    Psychotherapist, Counsellor

    I'm a qualified psychotherapist, with a blended theoretical orientation to Lacanian Psychoanalysis and some aspects of Buddhist Psychotherapy. I enjoy working with people who have spent a great deal of time thinking about entering psychotherapy, with a curiosity about what might be unearthed. Whether it's anxiety, complex trauma or a recent relationship difficulty which brings you into treatment, the initial sessions provide us with an opportunity to mutually assess how we can work together....

    • Bentleigh
    • Buddhist Psychotherapy, Dream Work, Freudian, Meditation, Mindfulness, Psychoanalytic, Psychodynamic