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 registered psychologist, a clinical psychologist and an individual, group, marital and family psychologist. She is a Fellow of the Australian Psychological Society, and a Fellow of the College of Clinical Psychology of the Australian Psychological Society. A member of the International Council of Psychologists (ICP) since 1984, Dr. Neil served as ICP President in 1998, and is currently a Past-President. She serves as ICP World Area Chair, and a Director-at-Large. Dr. Neil is also Chair of the ICP International Relations and Human Rights Interest Group, and has chaired the ICP's Annual Human Rights Summits annually from 1986 to the present, in numerous countries throughout Asia, Europe, North America, and the Middle East, as well as Australia. Dr. Neil is a Member of the International Family Therapy Association, and a Director of The Satir Centre of Australia. She acts as Liaison Correspondent for the International Council of Psychologists to the Australian Psychological Society. Her work in Human Rights has accrued two international awards.
Dr. Neil has over 40 years’ experience working as a clinical psychologist, family therapist and individual, marital and group psychotherapist. She has conducted professional workshops throughout the world. The Founder and Director of the Satir Centre of Australia, she is interested and experienced in a wide range of clinical problems and therapeutic approaches. She received specialized training in both psychiatry and psychology at St Vincent's Hospital, Prince Henry's Hospital, and the University of Melbourne, which awarded her a PhD for her research into psychotherapy in obesity and body image problems. She has worked internationally with many eminent psychologists and therapists, including Dr. Virginia Satir (often called the 'Columbus of Psychotherapy'), Rollo May, Carl Whitaker, Erving Polster, Salvador Minuchin and Isca Wittenberg.
In May 1994, at the Melbourne Town Hall, she directed and conducted workshops for the weekend programme "Families Towards 2000." During that weekend, Melbourne writers Tim Winton and Drusilla Modjeska also discussed their work, along with many prominent Australian psychologists.
In 1995, Dr Neil published "The Multicultural Family Chessboard" (with Dr. Robert L. Silverberg), which describes a multicultural therapy method they have used with individuals, families and organisations in many countries. Dr. Sandra Neil and Dr. Simonne Neil published "The Family Over 3 Continents and Four Generations" in 2001.
In 1997-2003 Dr. Neil chaired and organised the "Depression Special Interest Project" for the Australian Psychological Society Victorian Branch; this resulted in a book published in late 2003, "Psychologists Working With Depression Across the Life Cycle," edited by Prof. S. Lancaster. In 2004 Dr. Neil wrote a chapter for a Festschrift for Dr. Florence Kaslow in the American Journal of Family Therapy (Volume 15, Issues 1 & 2. 2004); which was published as the paper "The Family Chessboard and Projective Genogramming: Two Tools For Exploring Family Systems," by Hayworth Press, USA. In 2005 she contributed a chapter entitled "Enhancing Family Resilience: A Transgenerational Approach To Positive Change in Dysfunctional Families." in the book "Resilience for Today," edited by Dr. Edith Grotberg, Praeger, London.
On May 15th 2008 a Conference of Non-Governmental Organizations in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations, was held in New York. This Conference commemorated the UN's International Day of the Family, and was entitled "The NGO Committee on the Family - Father's Roles and Responsibilities in the Family: Challenges and Opportunities." Held at the Dag Hammarskjold Auditorium at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City, USA. Dr. Sandra Neil was a Distinguished Invited Speaker, in addition to Prof. A.J. Franklin, PhD. Department of Counselling, Developmental & Educational Psychology, Boston College; Dr. Nurper Ulkuer, PhD., Chief, Early Development, UNICEF, a spokesperson from the Government of Austria, Dr. Joseph Lao, PhD, President ADC International (an organisation concerned with parenting skills) and Adjunct Associate Professor, Human Development Department, Columbia University and Hunter College, New York. The moderators were the Co-Chairs of the UN's NGO Committee on the Family - Dr. Harold Cook, PhD, of the International Union of Psychological Science and American Psychological Association; and Dr. Eva Sandis, PhD, of the International Council of Psychologists. Dr. Neil presented a detailed clinical paper entitled "Fathering - a Job For Real Men (And In Some Measure, Women)."
In 2010 she was an invited keynote speaker at the International Association of Applied Psychologists Convention in Melbourne and ran the World Human Rights Summit with international peace psychologists, including the recent International Council of Psychologists (ICP) International Relations and Human Rights World Summit which was held at the International Association of Applied Psychology (IAAP) Conference in Melbourne July 2010.
In 2016, Dr. Sandra Neil presented "Provocative New Ideas for Family Growth and Survival" at the United Nation NGO Committee on the Family, in New York on 24th March 2016. This presentation explored an array of strategies that could be utilised to strengthen the family unit.
She also presented her work at the 74th International Council of Psychologists in Yokohama, Japan 24-29th July, 2016. The 2016 Conference theme was "Psychology for World Equality, Access and Well-Being".
She also presented a 3 hour programme "Innovative Family Psychology: Toward Healthy Families 2020" at the first ever Australian Psychological Society Congress in Melbourne 13-16 September 2016. This Congress was a major showcase for Psychology in Australia. Themed "United for the Future" the 2016 APS Congress culminated a show of unity and strength of the psychology profession, celebrating growth of all the constituent sectors of psychology within Australia over the last 50 years.
In 2016, Dr. Neil was awarded the Australian Psychological Society College of Clinical Psychologists (Vic) Significant Contribution Award at the Annual APS AGM (Victorian Section) meeting on 17 November 2016. She has been honoured by the Australian Psychological Society for her International and Nationwide works and influence in Clinical Psychology with families and organisations and her involvement in Human Rights Summits at both, the UN and in many countries.
In 2017, Dr. Neil was the Invited Presenter of a Workshop “Relationships and family: Innovative family assessment and treatment methods toward healthy families” at the Australian Psychological Society (APS) College of Clinical Psychologists Conference, Brisbane 30th June – 2nd July 2017.
Also in 2017, at the 75th Annual ICP Conference, “Psychology's Contribution to People, the Planet, and the World”, 28-30th July 2017, New York, USA she was Chair and Presenter “The Endangered People and Children Human Rights World Summit for the International Council of Psychologists, International Relations and Human Rights Interest Group presented as a program within the 75th Annual ICP Conference, “Psychology's Contribution to People, the Planet, and the World”, 28-30th July 2017, New York, USA, along with Professor Emerita Dr. Florence Denmark (USA), Professor Dr. Machiko Fukuhara (Japan), Professor Dr. R. Roth Universität Graz, Institut für Psychologie (Austria), Dr. Ann Marie O’Roark PhD, ABAP (USA), Associate Professor Dr. Andrew Simon, (USA) Dr. Chris Mulchay (USA). Dr. Robert L Silverberg M.D. FAAP (Australia & USA) acted as Recorder for The Journal. Also she was invited as a former ICP President (1998) to be part of a symposium celebrating the 75th annual meeting of ICP at Pace University, New York City, on July 27-30 2017. Her presentations addessed the theme, “Footprints And Visions: Former Presidents Reflect On Their Conference Themes & Hopes For ICP’s Future.”
In 2017, Dr. Sandra Neil was awarded “The Frances Mullen Distinguished Contribution to International Psychology Award” at a ceremony featured at the 75th Annual Conference of the International Council of Psychologists, in New York, USA. This award is presented to honour a member of the ICP who has a long and distinguished history of research or applied contributions to one or more international areas, and service to ICP.
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 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 the areas of psychological medicine, medical psychotherapy, professional counselling, and individual, group, marital and family therapy. He is a Director of the Satir Centre of Australia, and has served in the Departments of Psychiatry and Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Melbourne, at St. Vincent's Hospital. He is a member of the Medical Staff at Cabrini Hospital, Malvern.
Dr. Silverberg is a physician, psychotherapist, and family therapist with over 40 years of clinical experience. Born in America, he received his medical training and professional qualifications there. He has studied with many of the most prominent physicians, psychologists, and therapists during his own extensive career. In the USA, he served as Physician to the Hospital at the Reading Hospital and Medical Centre, Reading, Pennsylvania; and as Clinical Assistant Professor in the Temple University School of Medicine. He also served as a Medical Officer in the United States Navy, based both 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 other experts such as Milton Erickson, Salvador Minuchin, Carl Whitaker, and Joseph Wolpe. Over the years Dr. Silverberg has lectured and conducted training workshops throughout Australia, America, Europe, Canada, the Middle East, and Asia. Some of his recent topics have included "Eclectic Psychotherapy," "The Art of Psychotherapy," "Culturally Congruent Psychotherapy," "The Psyche and The Soma" and "Strengthening Families." As well as his clinical work as Director of the Satir Centre of Australia, Dr. Silverberg has taught in the Medical School of the University of Melbourne in the Clinical School at St Vincent's Hospital. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians, a Member of both the Australian Medical Association and the American Medical Association, the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine, and a range of other organizations
Dr. Silverberg has frequently served as the discussant at the International Council of Psychologists (ICP) International Relations and Human Rights World Summits which are held annually. In 2010, this was held at the International Association of Applied Psychology Conference in Melbourne. He was the discussant for the International Council of Psychologists Endangered People and Children World Summit held in 2013 in Indonesia, and in 2017 in New York. Dr. Silverberg is head of the By-Laws Committee of the International Council of Psychologists.
As a medical practitioner with significant experience in psychological medicine, 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.