About The Psychology Space

Space to work out your direction

The Psychology Space offers independent clinical psychology services in person, in Newcastle and Hexham, and online to overcome geographical or time restrictions. Dr Laura Sanger has 15 years experience as a qualified clinical psychologist and has done further training in systemic and narrative approaches.

The idea of Space can be helpful in thinking about  what is going on in our lives. It can give a sense of perspective, a metaphor to help us visualise the process of change, and can help us think about complex situations and relationships. 

Space is not isolation - more a social context in which to learn and explore our lives and hopes. It allows choices, responses and relationships to be more visible.

Space allows us to be who we are, needing no excuses, but taking up responsibilities. It allows us to connect with our histories, relationships and hopes. 

Transformational Space explored with a clinical psychologist


About me

Dr Laura Sanger
Clinical Psychologist

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Relationships are fundamental to our wellbeing and sense of identity, as well as our ability to create change. I see therapy as a partnership to which all of the people involved bring expertise and possibilities. As a therapist I aim to partner with you in effective ways to help . I am fascinated and humbled by witnessing the ways people find to get through and find positions of strength, despite difficult situations, experiences and relationships. I aim to make my knowledge and experience available to you in ways that keep you in charge of your own journey, and what you hope to achieve. My approach aims to discover and connect with the aspects of your experience which reflect your values and what is precious to you in order that your skills and experience work together to support your future journey.


I use Systemic practice, solution-focused therapy and narrative therapy to guide my approach. Additionally I utilise techniques and methods from these and from Cognitive therapy, Compassion-focused therapy, mindfulness, positive psychology, community psychology, attachment theory, and behaviour therapy to help us to get where you want to be.

I have 15 years of post-qualification experience working in the NHS, a Japanese university, and in independent practice. I am registered with the Health and Care Professions Council and Chartered with the British Psychological Society. I have provided expert witness reports in family law cases

Outside of my work I enjoy being a mother and grandmother; keeping active with running, walking and cycling; being creative with crafts and knitting and appreciating the beauty and interest around me.

Training and Qualifications

Below are my main qualifications in Clinical Psychology and Therapy. Additionally I have undertaken extensive continuing professional development short courses, workshops and self-study, in accordance with professional guidelines.

BSc (Hons.) Psychology

1988-1992 University of Stirling

Upper second class degree. Dissertation on doctor and patient beliefs in asthma self-management.

Doctor of Clinical Psychology

2000-2003 Newcastle University

Distinction in research. Supervised placements with adults, children and families, people with learning disabilities and older people. Study and clinical practice in cognitive  therapy, systemic practice, psychodynamic therapy and behaviour therapy.
Research areas: primary care practitioners' beliefs about the early identification of dementia; how health anxiety and beliefs about illness affect understanding of medical feedback.

Post graduate Certificate in Family Therapy and Systemic Practice

2006-7; 2011-12 University of Northumbria

Pass with commendation. Intermediate training to Systemic Practitioner level. Study and practice of systemic approaches, including: Cybernetics, Milan, post-Milan; Post-modern approaches (Solution-focused brief therapy; narrative therapy; collaborative therapy; co-ordinated management of meaning).

Master of Narrative Therapy and Community Work

2016-17 University of Melbourne / The Dulwich Centre

First class (H1). In depth study and practice of Narrative Therapy approaches, methods and techniques. Practice innovation area: relating to discourses of success and failure in a university setting.

Experience

Clinical Psychologist in Independent Practice

January 2018 - present

I set up The Psychology Space in January 2018 to provide high quality independent Clinical Psychology services. I provide face to face and online therapy, can undertake assessments for personal injury or family law cases and offer workshops and training. I work with individuals, couples, families and groups.


My experience of running groups and workshops has made me passionate about the effectiveness of learning in supportive group settings, and this also represents excellent value as a way to access high quality support to make the changes you want to make. Please contact me if you would like to discuss the option of attending a group.

Joint Head of Service: 2014-2017

Ganjuu Wellbeing Services, Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology, Japan.

Developed mental health and wellbeing services within in a new international graduate university. 'Ganjuu' is a traditional Okinawan word meaning 'strong, well, healthy, robust', we chose this name to represent what we aimed to support within the university community. We took a broad-ranging approach to wellbeing, providing workshops, seminars, discussion groups, staff support groups, team building and wider community engagement events as well as therapy and consultation to individuals, couples, families and teams. Developed and trained a student peer supporter network and provided a supervisory framework to nurture further initiatives.

Principal Clinical Psychologist: 2009-2014

City Hospitals Sunderland: Specialist Weight Management, Cancer and Palliative Care and Paediatrics.

Responsible for psychological aspects of care within an innovative interdisciplinary specialist weight management service. Working with complex physical, psychological and social factors which impact on people's weight management efforts order to empower people to improve their physical health, psychological wellbeing and social situations. Group, individual and couple interventions.

Psychological interventions in paediatrics, including for anxiety around medical procedures, difficulties managing or adjusting to chronic conditions, anxiety about death and serious physical harm, family relationships.

Psychological therapy and support to people living with cancer, and those receiving palliative care. Finding ways to connect with a person's identity and values to open up space to discuss how they would like to best navigate the journey ahead of them and manage relationship impacts, both currently and from past relationships.

Highly Specialist Clinical Psychologist: 2006-2009

Northumberland Tyne and Wear Mental Helath Trust: Child and Adolescent Mental Health and Expert Witness in care proceedings project

Provision of effective psychological interventions to support children, young people and their families / carers, dealing with anxiety, depression, eating disorders, behaviour issues, bullying, school anxiety, attachment difficulties, impacts of chronic physical conditions.

I was part of an initiative to provide high quality child psychology expert witness reports in care proceedings. Producing reports in around a dozen cases, including assessment of multiple potential care-givers, attachments and care needs of children, parenting capacity and capacity to change. Gave oral evidence in Court on two occasions and attended an expert's meeting.

Specialist / Highly Specialist Clinical Psychologist: 2003-2006

Psychology in Healthcare, Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle: Specialist Weight Management; Paediatric diabetes; Paediatric Burns and Plastics.

Clinical Psychology input into a specialist weight management service including behaviour change, management of eating distress, impact of traumatic experiences, social exclusion, bullying, etc. Group and individual interventions.

Input into a paediatric diabetes specialist team, providing consultation and intervention to children and their parents / carers to improve understanding and management of diabetes, including managing adjustment, anxiety, behaviour and adolescent transitions.

Input into the regional paediatric burns service for children with serious burns and scalds, their families and staff. Including managing painful procedures, managing anger and distress, resolving trauma and PTSD effects, proactively addressing appearance issues and social anxiety, outreach and school reintegration, attending to issues of feeling guilty (often from family members) to enable them to move forwards.