ABOUT OUR DOCTORS
Dr. Sandra E. S. Neil
Dr. Robert L. N. Silverberg
Dr Sandra E.S. Neil, PhD, MA(Clinical Psychology), BA, BEd(Counselling), FCCLP, FAPS, is a clinical, family, occupational, and forensic psychologist with over 40 years' experience. Born in New York, her family migrated to Australia when she was two years old. She works across five continents in the fields of clinical psychology, the psychology of creativity, family relationships, family business, and organisational leadership.
Dr Neil commenced her career in the Department of Psychology at the University of Melbourne, and at the Department of Neuropsychology, Prince Henry's Hospital. She received specialised training in psychiatry and psychology and later was a member of the teaching faculty of the University of Melbourne at St Vincent's Hospital. It was there she completed her PhD on the topic 'The Psychodynamics of Obesity: A Controlled Treatment, Process, and Long-Term Outcome Study'. She also appeared as a clinical and forensic psychologist expert witness in civil and criminal cases in the Supreme and County Courts of Victoria for 15 years.
Dr Neil was captivated by the works of Freud, Jung, and Adler while studying at the University of Melbourne, and has continued to be inspired through her extensive collaboration with international colleagues such as Rollo May, Carl Whitaker, Erving Polster, Isca Wittenberg, Thomas Szasz, Arnold Lazarus, Helm Stierlin and, most importantly, Virginia Satir.
She is a Fellow of the Australian Psychological Society (APS), and a Fellow of the College of Clinical Psychologists of the APS. A member of the International Council of Psychologists (ICP) since 1984, Dr Neil served as ICP President in 1998, and subsequently ICP World Area Chair, Past-President, and Director-at-Large. She has chaired and presented at the ICP's annual International Relations and Human Rights 'Endangered People and Children World Summits' since 1986. She has been a keynote or featured speaker at the ICP annual conference many times. She is also a member of, and has been a keynote speaker for, the International Family Therapy Association.
In 2017 Dr Neil received the Frances Mullen Distinguished Contribution to International Psychology Award from the ICP, and in 2015 she was awarded the College of Clinical Psychologists (Vic) Significant Contribution Award.
She is the author of numerous psychological journal articles and books, including 'The Family Chessboard: Sound Moves for a Sounder Family,' written with her husband Dr Robert Silverberg. Her greatest achievement, alongside her husband, is their family of accomplished adult children and their respective partners, and their nine creative and curious grandchildren.
Dr Sandra Neil is a Director of the Satir Centre of Australia, appointed personally by Virginia Satir as the Clinical Director in Australia to perpetuate Satir's methods and her precept that people must attain 'equality of value' in order to be fully functioning human beings. Dr Neil believes, as did Dr Satir, that a strong self-identity is pivotal in all areas of life and that each human is a basic miracle, always evolving, and capable of continued growth, change, and understanding. Aware that people can be steeled by adversity, Dr. Neil works towards enhancing the process of growth in the individual, and the family and the nation. She believes that psychological therapy works best when it aims to heal the wounds, feed the emotional hungers, empower the self, and give freedom of choices to the person. "People can truly become their own responsible decision makers and have equality of value if they truly honour themselves and others."
Dr Robert L. N. Silverberg, MD, BS, BA, FAAFP, is a registered medical practitioner with substantial experience in psychological medicine and medical psychotherapy as well as individual, group, marital and family therapy. With over 45 years of clinical experience, he is a Director of the Satir Centre of Australia, and has served in the Department of Psychiatry and the Department of Medicine in the Faculty of Medicine, University of Melbourne, at St. Vincent's Hospital. He is accredited to the medical staff at Cabrini Hospital, Malvern.
Born in America, he received his Doctorate in Medicine from Temple University in Philadelphia. He completed the advanced training residency in family medicine and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians and a member of the Australian Medical Association, the American Medical Association, the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine, and a number of other organisations.
Dr Silverberg has studied with many prominent physicians, psychologists, and therapists during his extensive career. In the USA, he served as Physician to the Hospital at the 711-bed Reading Hospital and Medical Center in Pennsylvania, and as Clinical Assistant Professor at the Temple University School of Medicine. He also served as a Medical Officer in the US Navy, based at large naval hospitals and at sea. In addition to his extensive work in the therapeutic model of Dr Virginia Satir, he has worked with experts such as Milton Erickson, Salvador Minuchin, Carl Whitaker, and Joseph Wolpe. He has lectured and conducted training, along with Dr Sandra Neil, throughout Australia, America, Europe, Canada, the Middle East, and Asia.
Dr. Silverberg believes that improved emotional and physical health results from a better understanding of self and others, within the context of a person's relationships, family, and work. Dr. Silverberg's aim is for people to develop effective strategies for change, improved personal self-worth, and better family and professional communications and relationships. He has an enthusiastic interest in the relationship between physical and emotional health; and in personal, relationship, and family well-being.
Dr. Silverberg's aim is for patients to develop effective strategies for change and communication to improve personal, family, work, and professional relationships. He has a lifelong enthusiastic interest in the interactions between mind and body as inked to physical and emotional health, and is privileged to work clinically in a multidisciplinary manner.