Natalie Szmerling – Clinical Psychologist
BA (Hons) MPsych (Clinical) APS Member FCCLP
Available Wednesdays 12:30 pm-6:00 pm and Thursdays 8 am-12 pm
Natalie is a clinical 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 and outpatient 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 Addictive Behaviours Program.
Natalie has also had experience working in longer-term 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 to help them develop a more adaptive way of coping with and thinking about their inner experience. Her interventions are primarily drawn from CBT, DBT, schema therapy and psychodynamic principles. She is a member of the Australian Psychological Society and its Clinical College.
Natalie is available to work with presentations including:
Private Fee Sessions (including Mental Health Care Plan sessions)
The session fee is $220 and is payable on the day of the appointment. Clients with a valid mental health care plan are eligible for a Medicare rebate. These may be faxed to 0394923646. Private health rebates are also available. Appointments can be made via phone.
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 enjoyment of work and leisure.
Bookings with Natalie can be made by phone or online, for adult patients within Australia.
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 or in-clinic session
- 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