Natalie Szmerling

Natalie Szmerling
BA (Hons)
MPsych (Clinical) APS Member

Available Wednesdays 12:30pm-6:00pm and Thursdays 8am-12pm

Natalie is a psychologist with extensive experience in the health sector. She completed her Masters (Clinical Psychology) training at Swinburne University and wrote her masters thesis on multidimensional self-esteem in different problematic eating patterns. Natalie has experience running group therapy and providing individual clinical care in acute inpatient services with adults experiencing addiction, mood disorders, anxiety, post-traumatic stress and personality disorders. In addition to her role at Bayside Psychotherapy, Natalie currently works at The Melbourne Clinic in the Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) and Addictive Behaviours Program.

Natalie has also had experience working in a longer-term framework in 1:1 therapy with adults experiencing prolonged difficulties relating to low mood, anxiety, emotion management, self-esteem, problematic eating and relationship challenges.

Natalie’s approach involves listening carefully to the individual’s presenting difficulty and considering how these relate to their experiences and beliefs about themselves and other people. Her interventions are primarily drawn from CBT, DBT, schema therapy and psychodynamic principles.

Natalie is available to work with presentations including:

Stress and stress management
Depression/Low Mood
Grief and loss
Binge eating
Poor self-esteem
Relationship difficulties
Life transitions and adjustments


COVID-19 Fee Structure Change for Natalie

On March 30th 2020 the Federal government announced new Medicare items to be used for telehealth services during the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes psychological services for individuals with a valid mental health care plan from their GP, psychiatrist or paediatrician. Many private health insurance companies are also now providing rebates for online psychology and counselling services however it is the responsibility of each individual to contact their health fund to check if they are eligible for rebates. Individuals may require a letter from their GP supporting their need for psychology and counselling services.

Bulk Billing

In some cases, individuals with a mental health care plan can access bulk billing services. The eligibility criteria can be found on Medicare’s website. We are committed to supporting vulnerable members of the community through this crisis and thus are willing to make provisions for those who require bulk billing. If you do happen to meet this criteria, it must be verified by your referring doctor in the letter of referral and must be communicated to our psychologist prior to booking a session. All bookings for bulk billed sessions must be made via phone or email and NOT via our online platform.

Private Fee Sessions (including Mental Health Care Plan sessions) 

The initial session is $170 and subsequent sessions are $160. The full session fee is payable on the day of the appointment.

Appointments can be made via phone, email or our online booking platform. Please be aware that if booking via the online platform you will be required to pay a non-refundable 30% deposit that will be deducted from the session fee. The deposit is not required for appointments made via phone or email.

Research and additional education

My psychology honours thesis explored the role of attachment styles and emotional invalidation across different eating disorder profiles (binge eating, anorexia, bulimia and binge-purge anorexia). Emotional invalidation specifically explored a spectrum of parental responses ranging from overt and harsh (including anger and punishment), indifference (parents ignoring or refuting particular feelings) and lack of emotional support (whereby participants were not confident their parents could help them with their feelings and didn’t feel it was safe to talk about their feelings). A lack of emotional support was common across all the eating disorder profiles. In anorexics, these were targeted at negative feelings (anger, sadness and fear) and enduring negative states (loneliness, depression), whereas positive feelings (happiness and pride) were acceptable. Individuals with bulimia and binge-purge anorexia experienced harsh and indifferent reactions to positive and negative feelings and prolonged negative states. However the binge-purge anorexics reported an attachment style suggestive of early developmental trauma possibly involving overt abuse or exposure to family conflict and violence.

How my research findings apply to clinical practice

The patterns that emerged from my thesis confirms that early experiences with our caregivers have an enormous impact on our ability to relate to friends, partners and children and on the emergence of later psychological problems. Much of the work in therapy involves working with these templates that guide our expectations of relationships and beliefs about ourselves and revising them where necessary to promote optimal health, satisfying relationships and an enjoyment of work and leisure.

Bookings with Natalie can be made by phone or online, for adult patients within Australia.

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Call us

03 9557 9113

Reception phone hours

8:30am – 5:30am
Monday – Friday

(closed on public holidays)

Choose your own date and time for an online session

Therapist Hours

  • Monday 8:00am to 8:00pm
  • Tuesday 8:30am to 8:00pm
  • Wednesday 8:30am to 8:00pm
  • Thursday 8:30am to 8:00pm
  • Friday 8:30am to 8:00pm
  • Saturday 8:00am to 6:00pm