registered psychologist
CONTACT NUMBER: 0413 659 661

About Barbara Sorensen

Barbara is a registered Psychologist who works in private practice in Manly on the Northern Beaches of Sydney. She holds general Registration as Psychologist with the Psychology Board of Australia.

Barbara is a registered provider with Medicare.

Barbara earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology (B.A.Psych) from Aalborg University in Denmark followed by a Master of Science in Psychology (M.Sc.Psych) from Copenhagen University. She has also completed a Master of Research (M.Res) at Macquarie University in Sydney. Furthermore, Barbara has completed a three-year core training program in Intensive Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapy (ISTDP) with Dr Stephen Arthey at the Melbourne Centre for ISTDP.

Working as a Psychologist in various public and private health services and has given Barbara experience in helping adolescents and adults with a range of difficulties such as:

  • Anxiety and stress
  • Depression
  • Chronic Pain
  • Low self-esteem and self-worth
  • Family and relationship problems
  • Barriers to engage effectively in employment and study activities
  • Difficulty with emotion regulation


Furthermore, she has clinical training and experience in providing psychotherapy to people who present with:

  • Anxiety and Anxiety Disorders such as Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Acute Stress Disorder, Generalised Anxiety Disorder, Social Phobia and Panic Attacks
  • Mood Disorders including Depression and Bipolar Disorder
  • Schizophrenia and other Psychotic Disorders
  • Personality difficulties and Personality Disorders such as Borderline, Narcissistic, Schizoid, Dependent, Avoidant and Obsessive-Compulsive


Clinical training and professional experience

During her clinical training and professional experience, Barbara has worked with various therapeutic modalities including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Dialectical Behavioural Therapy, Narrative Therapy and Interpersonal Psychotherapy. Now, her work as Psychologist is mainly based on Intensive Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapy (ISTDP).

Barbara specialises in treating people with with chronic pain and physical problems due to 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.

Recently, Barbara participated in a panel discussion following the screening of the documentary All the Rage, which explores the connections between emotions and health through the work of renowned physician Dr John Sarno.

Barbara has completed a research thesis investigating how Habib Davanloo’s metapsychology of the unconscious with its extension to psychosis can contribute to the current psychodynamic understanding of psychosis. It was found that Davanloo’s metapsychology of the unconscious offers an important contribution to the understanding of psychosis by considering the role of unconscious conflict whilst, at the same time, providing an explicit theoretical account of the role of emotions in psychosis.

Link: ISTDP and Psychosis: An Investigation into the Role of Unconscious Conflict and Emotions

Barbara has also completed a research thesis investigating the meaning of co-existing fears of closeness and separation in the obsessive-compulsive character of morbid jealousy. Morbid jealousy was found to be an obsessive compulsive defensive mechanism against experiencing painful emotions and anxiety related to early attachment trauma.

Based on her research on borderline disturbances, Barbara has received further training in the treatment and understanding of borderline level pathology where anxiety from emotions triggered by both closeness and rejection is often the dominating conflict. This manifests itself in these individuals’ intimate relationships where the borderline individual tend to “desire what they are scared of loosing and to reject what is already in their possession but whose invasion they fear.” (André Green, 1979, p. 27). As D.W. Winnicott (1963, p. 186) writes: “It is a sophisticated game of hide-and-seek in which it is joy to be hidden but a disaster not to be found.”


Barbara Sorensen, Registered Psychologist

M.Sc.Psych, M.Res, B.A.Psych


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.