Dr Samantha Fearns is a registered Clinical Psychologist in private practice in Sydney. Samantha specialises in the treatment of anxiety and mood disorders, substance abuse / dependence, trauma, stress management, workplace stress, grief and loss, and relationship difficulties.
CLINICAL TRAINING AND EXPERIENCE
Samantha completed a Bachelor of Psychology (Hons) at The University of New South Wales in 2003, then commenced the Doctor of Clinical Psychology / Master of Science programme at The University of Sydney in 2004.
After completing her clinical training, Samantha worked for two years in a community-focused psychology clinic in Redfern, Sydney, where she worked with highly complex presentations, including severe and chronic drug and alcohol difficulties. During this time, she also co-developed a psychology programme for patients living in aged care facilities, and ran inservice training events for aged care staff.
Samantha then spent five years in private practice from 2009 at the multidiscliplinary Brain & Mind Clinic at the Brain & Mind Research Institute, Camperdown, Sydney, where she again saw patients with a wide range of presenting problems and designed and ran numerous group programs, including Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT) for Depression, Anxiety & Adjustment Difficulties. She worked closely with the Ageing Brain Clinic, and lectured on non-drug treatments for anxiety and depression in the Cognitive Remediation and Parkinson's Disease group programs for patients. She also lectured on psychological therapies in the postgraduate Master of Brain and Mind Sciences programme.
Samantha then lived in Perth for five years, where she worked in local psychology and GP clinics before establishing a private practice in Scarborough Beach. In addition to her main ongoing specialties, Samantha developed a strong appreciation for the unique challenges faced by 'fly in, fly out' (FIFO) workers on-site, and the impact upon workers' mental health, personal relationships, and families.
Samantha has a strong interest in Health Psychology, completing a Masters project examining psychosocial factors in dentofacial surgery patients, and seeing patients at the BMRI with neurological disorders such as multiple sclerosis (MS). Wherever possible, she incorporates health promotion into her treatment plans, such as through reviewing and addressing unhelpful lifestyle factors that may be negatively contributing to patients' mental health. She also works collaboratively with GPs and other health professionals to help achieve the best outcomes for her patients.
Samantha has a strong clinical resarch background. Her Honours project examined emotional numbing, a symptom of posttraumatic stress. Samantha's Masters project examining psychological factors in maxillofacial surgery patients was awarded a NSW Institute of Psychiatry Fellowship in recognition of the study's contribution towards better understanding this patient population.
Samantha has since collaborated on reserach projects at UNSW, The National Drug & Alcohol Research Centre, The Anxiety Treatment & Research Unit at Westmead Hospital, Royal North Shore Hospital, USYD & BMRI. She has been a co-author on numerous academic papers and has written articles published in the media, such as on news.com.au.
TEACHING & TRAINING
Samantha has seven years' teaching experience at The University of Sydney, initially leading junior, intermediate and senior undergraduate Psychology tutorials. She became Head Tutor for PSYC1001 and 1002, and ran postgraduate tutorials in the Faculty of Dentistry on topics such as managing patient anxiety.
She then began lecturing in undergraduate and postgraduate courses in Psychology and Medicine, and took on additional academic roles such as training new Faculty of Science tutors, and assessing and selecting students for healthcare-based courses (e.g., Bachelor of Oral Health).
SPEAKER & MEDIA SERVICES
Samantha has provided speaker services to pharmaceutical companies, facilitated workshops for GPs and nurses on motivational interviewing, and prepared training videos and materials for pharmaceutical companies for inservice use.
Samantha was media spokesperson for a national Australian weight management initiative, which included TV and print media interviews. She now appears on US radio as a guest expert to discuss a range of psychological topics.
Prior to COVID-19, Samantha was also regularly speaking on stage at national and international business seminars to speak on topics such as mindset, motivation, and fear.
Prior to COVID-19, Samantha was seeing patients at her private rooms in Bellevue Hill, Sydney, and at two GP clinics in Bondi and Double Bay.
In line with COVID-19 recommendations in March 2020, Samantha moved all sessions to Telehealth (video and phone) to ensure that her patients were physically as safe as possible while still receiving their usual level and frequency of psychological care. All sessions for individuals, couples and families are currently held via video (Zoom, Skype or FaceTime) or phone until further notice.
Samantha has been a strong advocate for Telehealth for many years, having seen patients via Skype since 2007. Across the past 16 years, Samantha has found that the therapeutic relationship is equal to face-to-face sessions, and that her patients enjoy the convenience of being able to engage in treatment from home or work and maximise the time around their appointments due to not having the hassle of commuting to and from a clinic.
AWAY FROM THE CLINIC...
Samantha is warmly known as 'Sam' to her family, friends, and patients alike. She is passionate about being on, in, or near the water, and loves boating and sailing. She also enjoys great food and venturing far and wide to try new places. She lives in Sydney's eastern suburbs with her husband and their baby boy.