Emma Vaughan | Clinical Psychologist

BParamedicSc, BPsychSc (Hons), MPsych (Clinical)

Emma Vaughan | Clinical Psychologist

I am a clinical psychologist with experience working across both the private and public settings. I pride myself on my ability to build strong therapeutic alliances with my clients.

I provide a warm and empathetic environment where clients can feel safe disclosing any struggles they may be having. I will work with you to create goals and identify obstacles which you may need help overcoming. We will then look at what strategies will help you move forward with your goals and get you back in touch with what’s important to you.

I work with adults (18+) seeking assistance for:

  • Burnout and looking how one can restore a better work/life balance
  • Depression, anxiety, and adjustment disorders
  • Psycho-oncology – working with people and their families about cancer and helping them adjust to the unique challenges it can bring
  • Grief and complex grief
  • Working with emergency services personnel such as ambulance officers and police
  • Interpersonal problems

I have extensive experience working with people with cancer, having worked in cancer centres in both the Northern Territory and Victoria. I have worked in a private practice with a wide range of clients. I have also worked within the support team for Police, Fire and Emergency Services, providing support to employees and their families on the unique challenges this work can bring. Prior to going into psychology, I completed a degree in paramedic science which sparked my interest in this area and has continued to inform my approach to care with my clients.


An interview with Emma Vaughan

Why did you become a psychologist?

So it’s actually been a bit of a journey for me in becoming a psychologist. It was my last semester of my paramedic degree when I realized that what I enjoyed about work I was doing throughout my placements was getting to know people’s stories and getting to know them. But as a paramedic, that was very limited especially with the mental health patients. And so I went back to the drawing board and thought about a career in which I can do what I’m really passionate about, which is learning people’s stories. And that’s when I came across psychology. Once I started the psychology degree, it was an ‘aha moment’ for me and I’d found my thing. 

What are you passionate about in Psychology?

There’s a couple of things I’m really passionate about in the field of psychology. The first one is a self-compassion approach. And what that is, is helping people heal that relationship they have with themselves, because that relationship is one of, if not the most important relationship that they have in their lives. Once you see people start to change that and see themselves in a different way, talk to themselves in a different way – it’s amazing to see the results that can have. The other area of psychology that I’m really passionate about is psycho-oncology. So that’s working with people with cancer and their families. Why this is such an important area is because cancer is such a life changing experience and it turns people’s lives upside down. When I’m working with people with cancer, it’s trying to help them find meaning in their lives and adjust to a new normal, also to reduce that distress that they might have after they’ve had a cancer diagnosis. 

What gives you a sense of satisfaction?

The sense of satisfaction in my work is actually when I’m no longer needed and my job becomes redundant. And how this happens is when clients start to put the things that we’ve talked about in session, the strategies that we’ve gone through into practice in their real life. And what they start to say, see and think is, ‘I’ve got this’ and when you see that with clients, it’s just such a satisfying and rewarding thing. It’s an honour to be a part of that process as well. 

What can a client expect in their first session?

So in the first session, it’s really important that we create a safe space for you. And you’re coming with a story that you might not have told to anyone else before. So essentially, I want to create that safe space first and foremost and then meet you where you’re at, what you’re hoping to get out of therapy, what experiences you might have had with therapy in the past, what’s worked for you, what hasn’t worked so well for you. And then often create some concrete goals around what you’re hoping to get out of the sessions. And lastly, I think most importantly, is making sure we’re a fit because the best work is when the psychologist and the client have a really good working relationship. If you feel like that’s not possible, then finding someone that is a good fit for you.