ClinicalDr. Sarah McNeil Psychologist

Personal Details & Interests

I am experienced in working with a diverse range of clients, supporting people to make changes in their lives and engage more of their potential.  If repeating the same patterns over and over and getting the same result sounds familiar then therapy might be worth pursuing.  I see people short term who want to focus on a particular issue and need support to implement change, as well as those wanting to explore themselves more deeply over a longer period of time.

I believe that it is within the context of our relationships where we experience some of our greatest learnings about life and ourselves, and therapy is one avenue in which we can do this. My approach as a therapist acknowledges the importance of the relationship between client and therapist as a vehicle toward change. The therapeutic relationship can provide a safe space in which to explore thoughts and feelings, while generating strategies to manage those that are distressing. In many cases understanding what is going on can be just as helpful as working out what to do about it.

I have an ongoing commitment to professional and personal development and believe that this supports my efficacy and genuineness as a therapist.  In addition to my Doctoral level clinical training, I have sought specialist training in Dialectical Behaviour therapy (DBT) for clients with more complex needs, Emotion Focused therapy for individuals and couples, and I have attended a number of workshops across several modalities in Australia and throughout New Zealand (see below).  I recently published an article on the impact of early relational (attachment) experiences on adults’ emotional capability.


Experience (Areas of Expertise)

I work with individuals and couples seeking support and symptom reduction in a variety of areas: anxiety, depression, relationship issues, sleep, intrusive thoughts, life crisis, stress, gay/lesbian/transgender issues, substance abuse and addictions, grief, trauma, adjustment to changes of circumstances, emotions that feel out of control.   Does doing the same thing over and over and getting the same result sound familiar? In that case therapy might be worth a try.



I am a Registered Clinical Psychologist with both the Psychology Board of Australia (AHPRA) and the New Zealand Psychologists Board. Associate member New Zealand College of Clinical Psychologists (NZCCP).


Qualifications and Training

  • Doctorate in Clinical Psychology (University of Auckland),
  • Bachelor of Arts with First Class Honours in Psychology (University of Auckland).

The nature of my clinical psychology training was primarily cognitive and behaviourally oriented, and I have undergone additional professional development and/or specialist training in the following modalities:

  • Psychodynamic Psychotherapy
  • Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT)
  • Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)
  • Sex Therapy
  • Emotion Focused Therapy (EFT)
  • Emotion Focused Therapy for Couples (EFCT)

Additional workshops completed in Mentalising, Personality Disorders, Early Interpersonal Experiences and Adult Relationship Functioning, Incorporating Strengths to Build Resilience, Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT), Working with Psychosis, Psychological Interventions with Chinese migrants, Positive Psychology, Sensory Modulation.

The approach I use is tailored to each client (or couple) based on their presenting issues and what they want to work on.


Contact Details

Phone: (03) 9820 5577

There are a limited number of Bulk Billing appointments available with Sarah for non-wage earners. Please contact reception on 9820 5577 for further information.

** Medicare rebates available through the ‘Better Access to Mental Health Care’ Initiative. Apply for a referral under the Mental Health Care Plan with your GP.


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Recommended Reading

Looking for more resources on mental health? Here are some articles recommended by our psychologist:



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