Richard Mahler Mediation and Therapy

Empowering choices when life changes.

Holding space for healing and growth.

Empowering choices when life changes.

Holding space for healing and growth.


I am an Australian-based Specialist Family Law Mediator, Child-Inclusive Mediator, registered Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner (FDRP), and Nationally Accredited Mediator (AMDRAS).

I only mediate family law disputes.

I can issue Section 60I Certificates and Certificates of Dispute Resolution under the Family Law Act (1975) (Cth) as required by the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia.

As a family therapist and child consultant, my child-inclusive mediation (CIM) services utilise my dual qualifications and experience in law and psychology.

I conduct mediations in person or by Zoom, both with and without lawyers. If a party is not legally represented at a mediation and agreement is reached, I prepare a written Heads of Agreement for that party to seek legal advice about.

I embrace the principles of neutrality, professionalism, and confidentiality. I have worked with hundreds of families over two decades to facilitate the best possible outcomes for those involved.


I am an Individual, Relationship, Family and Co-Parenting Counsellor / Psychotherapist. I am registered with the Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia (PACFA) (Provisional Registrant 27503).

My therapy practice is trauma-informed and evidence-based with a Gestalt approach, drawing upon existential, experiential, and psychodynamic techniques. I also bring warmth and humour to co-create a client-focused healing and growth experience.

My relationship therapy combines active listening, reflections, and communication skills.

My family therapy includes all family members aged five and above, and often in high-conflict situations. However, I don’t offer children’s therapy, as that’s a specialist area. I work with children in supporting them navigate their relationships within a family system; however, not in relation to their specific individual needs.

My co-parenting therapy involves blending my expertise in both family law mediation and psychotherapy to support separated couples with developing respectful parenting relationships free from aggression, coercion, and control.

5 Tips when facing relationship breakdown

Get Good Legal Advice

Once you’re sure that separation is only way forward, then get legal advice from a lawyer specialising in family law matters as soon as possible. Your rights and obligations can change very quickly after separation, so it’s important to get the right advice early.

Consider Counselling

Many people find that the grass isn’t greener after separation, so try relationship counselling if domestic violence isn’t an issue. Improved communication skills and greater understanding of you and your partner’s needs and triggers can save many relationships. Many relationship issues can trace their roots to each individual’s attachment style developed in early childhood (and sometimes in long-term adult relationships).

Stay Safe

There’s no place for abuse or neglect in relationships. Domestic violence is any ongoing behaviour that causes fear or anxiety in someone to exert power and control over them. Get immediate support if your relationship is marred by such violence. It isn’t appropriate to get relationship counselling if domestic violence is present.

Protect Your Children

There will often be anger and pain associated with relationship breakdown. Process this with a confidante or therapist. Your children love both of you, so don’t denigrate your partner to them, or involve them in any parental conflict. Research clearly indicates that children exposed to excessive parental conflict are at greater risk of developing life-long issues such as emotional, social and behavioural problems, having difficulties with concentration and educational achievement, and having a reduced sense of safety and security affecting their relationships with others.

Separate Respectfully

When going through a separation it’s common for emotions to fly high at times. Avoid falling into immature behaviour reflecting the deep pain you’re feeling. It’s not a competition. There aren’t any winners. So get therapy for the pain, and separate respectfully. Your mental, emotional, and physical health will benefit greatly. If there are children of the relationship, the greatest protective factor you can offer them is to be as amicable and respectful as reasonably possible with the other parent and avoid conflict in front of the children.


Richard has played an integral role in assisting many of my clients who, for many of them, are battling the most difficult time in their lives. Through his extensive experience and skills developed over many years in the legal profession and more recently, as a psychotherapist and mediator, my clients leave the mediation process feeling heard and supported.

Richard allows my clients to communicate with him in voicing their concerns throughout the process, whilst also guiding negotiations to ensure positive and effective communication between the parties. Richard conducts an intake process well before the mediation which allows clients to build rapport with him and during that process, they gain confidence in the mediation process.

I have found Richard to be particularly effective in parenting disputes as he encourages child-focussed and positive communication whilst providing other perspectives around the views of a child and the other parent, drawing from his experience as a therapist. Richard has also supported many of my clients in achieving a resolution involving complex property disputes, allowing those clients the opportunity to move on with their lives with certainty and finality.

My firm has engaged the services of Richard in a number of complex parenting and property matters.

Given his background in family law, and as a psychotherapist, he has been able to provide a unique and specialised perspective in assisting parties resolve issues that have arisen in their relationships and following separation. That assistance in parenting matters has extended to, on occasions, a child inclusive process which clients have found beneficial in reaching positive and child focused outcomes for their family.

He provides excellent value and clients have consistently informed me that they appreciate his insight and assistance in resolving their matters and allowing them to move forward with their life with certainty.

As a former family lawyer, Richard is adept at understanding the intricacies involved in navigating a resolution to help clients avoid litigation, wherever possible.

Richard’s ability to quickly build rapport with clients and put them at ease is invaluable, particularly in complex parenting matters.  Clients have repeatedly reported to me that Richard’s objectivity and child centric approach has enabled them to remain child focused in the midst of what can sometimes be an emotionally charged experience.

Richard is an exceptional mediator and has successfully mediated a number of matters in which our firm has been involved over a number of years.

He brings a clear understanding of the intricacies of Family Law and a deep understanding of clients’ needs. In my experience, he is highly adaptive in his approach and handles both property and parenting matters with equal expertise. His background in counselling, therapy and behavioural science makes him a particularly good choice in my view for high-conflict matters, or matters where one or both parties have adopted an entrenched position.

I have no hesitation in recommending Richard.

Richard has mediated a number of family disputes for me. His genuine compassion and empathy for people involved in these disputes helps achieve an outcome which would not otherwise be achieved.

He meets the parties’ needs to keep them focused on resolution. He is committed and engaged for the full duration of the mediation. He reality tests both parties to maximise the prospects of matters realistically resolving. He is calm, methodical, and very patient.

I recommend him highly.

I would highly recommend Richard for anyone seeking mediation or therapy. He has a very positive, compassionate, and encouraging nature. He had a way of making me feel comfortable with him right from the first e-mail communication. Even on video conference, he made me feel like I was in his presence.

Richard, very quickly and with little information, was able to see my situation clearly and accurately. He demonstrated great compassion, understanding and deep insight into my situation. He was a ray of light that shone through the vast darkness of the separation and family court process that I did not expect or even allow myself to imagine existed. He made me feel that he was truly honoured to help me, rather than burdened by me, something that was so refreshing and not found in this long and arduous process prior to meeting him.

Richard performed an absolute miracle in my situation, ending in one day what was a seemingly never-ending nightmare battle. He had an amazing way of being clear and firm, but also kind and understanding.

When you feel like your money is being endlessly diminished on lawyers and court fees, I can honestly say that Richard was worth every cent! You simply cannot put a price on the value of what he has to offer your situation and the peace that he makes every effort to bring to your life.


Richard is an exceptional family law mediator. In my circumstances, he successfully facilitated a result in a challenging environment where multiple other professionals have previously fallen well short.

Richard’s dual capacity as a lawyer and psychotherapist affords him unique and nuanced perspective, insight, and skill. He adroitly conducts his sessions with a patently sincere intent for reasonable and positive outcomes. He is personable, approachable, good-humoured, and impartial. He is clear, concise, articulate, calm, measured, patient and flexible. Yet, where required, he is respectfully assertive, pointed, and realistic in a dignified manner wholly devoid of judgement, intimidation, or condescension.

Appropriately, Richard always retains an unequivocal and consistent focus on the best interests of the children, but this is underpinned by a genuine and empathetic appreciation for each parent’s journey. He is concerned for the welfare of the whole family.

Richard helped bring to a reasonable end, my lengthy and arduous family law matter which otherwise seemed inevitably destined for trial. For this, and equally for the way in which he did so, I am deeply grateful.


Richard mediated a Property Settlement between myself, my ex-husband and our respective lawyers. Richard was very easy to talk to and supported us both through a most difficult time. Property disputes can be emotionally charged due to the split of financial assets and the prospect of becoming homeless.

I found Richard’s listening skills to be impeccable and his negotiation skills outstanding, which was required in this instance; however, it was his ability to remain impartial and professional that struck a chord deep within me. So often, in these cases, women are seen as less capable; however, this was never Richard’s approach towards me.

Before the mediation, Richard completed an intake process with me where he built a strong rapport allowing me to relax and know that in mediation my voice would be heard. My full respect goes to this amazing man that I feel is well suited to the role of mediator. Richard has the education, intelligence and experience to achieve good outcomes.

Through his patience and understanding he was able to get us over the line and agree on a property pool sum and then a percentage that we were both agreeable to where we could sign and move on with our lives. I am so grateful to Richard because I get to keep my home and I get to start a new chapter in my life. Words can’t express my deep gratitude to such a remarkable man.

I highly recommend Richard!