Samantha enjoys working with children, adolescents, and adults of all ages, including people with mild to moderate intellectual disabilities. She works with a broad range of concerns including depression, anxiety, self-harm, grief, and low self-esteem. She is a Board-approved secondary supervisor for provisional psychologists.
Samantha’s approach is warm and collaborative. She sees psychology as a process of working together to help people live courageous and meaningful lives. Building self-acceptance, inner calm, and trusting relationships are often key parts of this process. She takes a strongly evidence-based approach, in which effective interventions are tailored to each individual.
Samantha draws on acceptance and commitment therapy, which is a mindfulness-based cognitive behavioural therapy. This aims to help people to build a more satisfying life by focusing on what they care about the most, building inner calm and mindfulness, and finding ways to manage difficult feelings, thoughts and habits. Her approach is informed by research on attachment and developmental trauma, which explore how difficulties and stress early in life can have ongoing effects on our relationships and emotions. She also incorporates elements of:
- Schema therapy. This involves working creatively with emotions and the ways we see ourselves and the world. The focus is on freeing us from repeating old ways of coping, which can hold us back.
- Dialectical behaviour therapy. This focuses on building distress tolerance, emotional regulation, interpersonal effectiveness, and mindfulness.
- Functional analytic psychotherapy. This emphasises building a strong and safe relationship in which to try out new behaviours;
- Solution-focused therapy. This involves building on your strengths to help you reach your goals; and
- motivational interviewing. This focuses on helping you prepare to make important changes.
In applying these theories, Samantha enjoys finding creative and playful ways to make meaningful change. This may include mindfulness and meditation, yoga, and sand tray work, according to the interests of each client. Sand tray work involves working with figurines, placed in a tray of sand, to represent aspects of a problem. It can be a useful way to find new perspectives and options, with young people and adults.
Outside of work, Samantha loves getting away to the bush or the beach with her husband and three sons.
Samantha works from our Blaxland office on Wednesdays and Fridays and from our Penrith office on Thursdays.