Why is a specialist medical doctor so passionate about mindfulness?
Dr. Walsh's mindfulness journey
It is interesting to know why a Chris is so passionate about mindfulness, above and beyond a traditional doctor. After all, he did help to introduce evidence based and practical mindfulness to Australia as part of his successful psychiatry practice since the 1980’s.
In the 70’s, his family went through a particular difficult time resulting in the untimely death of his beloved father. Chris was just plodding through his training, doing manual jobs in the evenings and weekends until he qualified as a doctor.
He was still quite lost until he experienced an amazing opening of his heart and mind through meeting impoverished refugees in India in 1983, and a mentor who helped him to meditate and encouraged him to train as a psychiatrist in the following year. With mindfulness he was no longer lost. Mindfulness had given him a tool to engage with the world with an open heart and an open mind.
This rejuvenated Chris's passion to help improve people’s daily lives through strengthening their minds. He has always sought out more effective training practices. This led to him receiving further mindfulness training with leading figures in the Western mindfulness movement including Jon Kabatt Zinn, Mark Williams, Kristin Neff and Daniel Siegal. Experiencing the phenomenal benefits of mindfulness during this period, Dr Walsh developed and introduced his own tailored mindfulness training at the Melbourne Clinic and the Epworth Hospital, where he still practices today.
In addition to his medical practice and mindfulness training, Chris Walsh provides training and presents at conferences in Europe, Japan, Singapore and USA for mindfulness and family constellations. He also likes to assist the community by offering his skills and time to various non-for-profit organisations and causes. Dr. Walsh has a particular interest in those with family challenges, work life integration issues, alcohol and other drug addictions, trauma, depression and anxietyDr Dr Walsh is a graduate of the University of Melbourne Medical School.
1960s and early 70s: Son of schoolteachers in suburban Melbourne, who also taught yoga
Late 1970s and early 80s: Feeling lost when training as a doctor following family tragedies
1983: Meeting with Tibetans when helping out in a hospital in Northern India
1984: Surprising himself by discovering a strong interest and talent for psychiatry
1988 – 1992: Formal psychiatry training and quietly investigating Eastern psychologies in a conservative psychiatric environment, including by deepening his own mindfulness practice
1992 -2002: Bringing mindfulness more fully into his private psychiatry practice and creating a deeper integration of Eastern and Western approaches
2002 to present: Integrating Western mindfulness teachings into his own already established understanding and teaching.