registered psychologist

CONTACT NUMBER: 0413 659 661

Psychologists Manly, Individuals, Couples, Families.

Barbara Sorensen & Associates are experienced registered Psychologists who provide assessment and psychotherapy to adolescents, adults and couples. The practice is located at North Head Sanctuary in Manly on the Northern Beaches of Sydney.

We are registered providers with Medicare.

Barbara Sorensen & Associates work with you in an engaging and authentic manner to help you overcome your specific difficulties so that you can experience improvements in the areas of your life that are important to you such as your relationships, self-esteem and self-worth, insight, productivity, and enjoyment in life

Our work is informed by effective methods of psychotherapy that are scientifically validated and specifically developed to accelerate the process of change in order to achieve measurable results within weeks and months instead of years.

Psychotherapy can be provided in English, Danish and French. Book in or call 0413-659 -661.

All enquiries are treated with confidentiality. If unable to answer your call, please leave a message and Barbara will get back to you as soon as possible.

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Therapy can help you overcome


Anxiety can be described as the body's alarm system. It signals and prepares the body to quickly respond to danger through fight/flight/freeze reactions. Anxiety can become a problem in our lives when it is activated without there being an actual danger in front of us. This happens when our fear memories from the past are activated by an emotional experience in the present. Ruminating about the past or worrying about the future can furthermore perpetuate anxiety. The bodily symptoms of anxiety are created by the somatic and autonomic nervous system and can be discharged through the striated muscles, smooth muscles and cognitive/perceptual disruption. Anxiety may be experienced as tension in the arms, neck and legs, headaches, sighing, jaw clenching, fibromyalgia, increased heart rate and respiration, blushing, warm or cold hands, diarrhea, urge to urinate, sudden loss of feelings in areas of the body, ‘jelly legs’, nausea, vomiting, irritable bowel syndrome, confusion, loosing track of thoughts, poor memory, tunnel vision, blindness, visual blurring, fainting, dizziness, hallucinations and ringing in the ears.

Rumination and Worry

Ruminative thinking can be described as a tendency to dwell on the same thoughts or experiences from the past associated with failure and negative feelings. There is often a focus on the causes and consequences associated with the failure instead of solutions. Rumination can also centre on goal-achievement and correction of mistakes, or be about random topics as a way to distract from experiences from the past associated with failure. Worry is similar to rumination except worry focuses on events in the future. Worry is furthermore regarded as a form of verbal mental problem solving about potentially negative future events. Rumination and worry can be a problem in our lives when it becomes very frequent, obsessive and difficult to control or dismiss. It can be considered healthy to think about a past mistake once so you can correct it, or think about a future potential problem briefly so you can solve it or prepare for it. Ruminating and worrying a hundred times per day can be considered as self-torture and often leads to depression and anxiety.

Destructive Personality Patterns

Personality can be described as a set of enduring patterns of behaviours, thoughts, beliefs, inner experiences and interpersonal functioning that distinguish human beings. When these patterns are inflexible and are dissociated with significant distress, social or personal disruption or disability, we can say that they have become destructive or maladaptive. Some examples of these pervasive patterns are: excessive suspicion or mistrust of others; lack of interest or detachment from social relationships; extreme discomfort interacting socially; lack of empathy for others; instability in relationships, self-image and identity; co-existing fears of intimacy and separation; constant fears of abandonment and rejection; strong need for admiration; extreme sensitivity to negative evaluation from others; a constant need to be cared for by others; a rigid conformity to rules, perfectionism and control.


Depression can be described as a state of ‘turning in on the self’, which affects your feelings, thoughts and behaviours. Depression may be experienced as a consistent state of low mood, loss of interest in life, low self-esteem, consistent feelings of sadness, lack of motivation, persistent negative thoughts and beliefs about yourself, ruminating about past failures, worthlessness, hopelessness, helplessness, despair, and suicide ideation.

Relationship Difficulties

Problems in relationships that are not worked on or resolved can become very destructive and lead to unhappiness and distress. Difficulties in relationships may be experienced as lack of trust, emotional and sexual dissatisfaction, boredom, lack of emotional closeness, submissiveness, controlling behaviours, manipulation, criticism, competitiveness, constant arguments, jealousy, infidelity, violence, fear of intimacy, and fear of separation, abandonment and rejection.

Chronic Pain

Chronic pain can be caused by somatisation of emotions. Somatisation can be defined as the translation of emotions into the development or worsening of physical problems. Somatisation of emotions can cause physical problems leading to chronic pain in different areas of the body. In conditions caused by somatisation, there is no identifiable medical cause. Some health problems due to somatisation of emotions are fibromyalgia, muscle spasm, tension headache, back pain, abdominal pain, irritable bowel symptoms, migraine, visual blurring, dizziness, falling, paralysis and physical weakness. Physical problems due somatisation of emotions can be caused by anxiety discharged through the somatic and autonomic nervous system. Somatic problems can also arise due to the defence of somatisation where physical symptoms are caused by expression of aspects of unconscious conflict.

How therapy can help you

In therapy, we work together to identify and overcome the internal problems and mechanisms that are causing you pain and unhappiness. We work from the understanding that most psychological problems arise from difficulty containing painful feelings. Instead of containing our feelings, we become anxious and engage in destructive defense mechanisms, which then can end up causing problems in our lives. In therapy, we therefore build on your capacity to experience your emotions in the present by helping you pay attention to your feelings, noticing and regulating your anxiety and observing the defensive mechanisms and the difficulties they are causing in your life, so that you can choose to let go of them. By being able to experience and contain your emotions instead of avoiding them, you will be able to communicate what is going on inside you and connect with others in close and meaningful relationships. This contact with your emotions functions like an inner compass that helps you make important decisions and gives you a sense of direction and meaning in your life.


Make an Appointment

0413 659 661
All enquiries are treated with confidentiality. If unable to answer your call, please leave a message and Barbara will get back to you as soon as possible.