Dr Sophie Burgess is an awarded Clinical Psychologist & Postdoctoral Fellow in Psychosocial Practice in her role within NIEA. Her career has spanned over 15 years of clinical practice in the public and private sectors, before which she practised working with long term patients from integrated models including relational (self) psychotherapy, psychodynamic, psychoanalytic, schema, existential and positive psychology (values based) approaches. Dr Burgess’ parallel work in qualitative research has been across a variety of areas, including but not limited to 1) the need and implications for training models of clinical psychology that premise self-reflective practice and 2) positive psychology-based narratives of personal values in everyday life. 

Her current interests span across a variety of projects – lived experience methods of facilitating empathy, student placements and the psychosocial applications of a virtual reality (EmbodiMap) tool, based from the somatic work of Pat Odgen et al. Sophie’s special interests are in trauma-informed models of practice and research via body-based, sensorimotor and polyvagal theories as well as feminist-lens perspectives on the morality and usefulness of anger in relation to boundary violations and oppression. Current projects within the NIEA focus on 1) co-facilitating immersive virtual reality experiences of one’s body in South Sudanese refugees and 2) narratives of personal re-embody/ing for survivors of PTSD and attachment trauma.

Dr Burgess holds a Bachelor of Psychology, Graduate Diploma in Science (Psychology) (with distinction), Master of Science and Doctor of Clinical Psychology during which time she was a Commonwealth-awarded scholar. She is a member of AHPRA with specialist recognition & a member of the Golden Key International Honour Society. 

As part of NIEA, Dr Burgess promotes collective practice and research with lived experience and inter- and trans- disciplinary fields. Those interested in her work are encouraged and welcomed to contact her through the institute for collaboration opportunities.


Scientia Professor Jill Bennett

Director. Australian Research Council Australian Laureate Fellow

Volker Kuchelmeister

Senior Research Fellow Immersive Visualisation

Dr Gail Kenning

Postdoctoral Fellow, fEEL

Dr Lydia Gitau

Postdoctoral Fellow - Psychosocial Practice

Melissa Neidorf

Manager fEEL Lab

Marianne Wobcke

Research Associate

Steph Vajda

Research Associate

Rebecca Moran

Lived Experience Engagement Fellow

Dr Natasha Ginnivan

Postdoctoral Fellow - Psychology (2018-2021)

Dr Chris Papadopoulos

Postdoctoral Fellow -Psychology (2018-19)

Dr Bec Dean

Postdoctoral Fellow - Engagement (2018-19)

Dr Debra Keenahan

PhD researcher

Lucia Barrera

Scientia PhD candidate

Anita Glesta

Laureate PhD candidate

Chloe Watfern

Scientia PhD candidate