About Samantha Mathews


I am on leave until January 2018 and not taking on any clients, please use the site as a resource in the meantime


Registered Counsellor & Psychotherapist (Clinical member PACFA 24205)

I am a Relationship Counsellor and Psychotherapist using an Emotionally Focused approach with a small private practice based in Adelaide.  I also work part time at Relationships Australia as a Family Relationship Counsellor. I have over 8 years experience in Couple and Individual Counselling having studied both at The Jansen Newman Institute of Counselling (JNI) and The Institute of Emotionally Focused Therapy (IEFT) in Sydney.  My passion is providing, safe, supportive and well structured counselling sessions for couples and individuals looking to heal their relationship hurt and pain.

I have completed 6 years training including over 4 years training under Dr Michelle Webster, Founder and Counselling & Clinical Psychologist at The Institute of Emotionally Focused Therapy.   My EFT Couple Therapy training includes Couple Assessment, Couple Talk, Emotions in Couple Work and Couple Therapy as well as an in-depth study of Murray Bowen's Family Systems Model.  My professional association is PACFA (Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia) and my membership number is 24205.

As part of the therapeutic process your issues will be heard and understood in a sensitive and non-judgemental way. Providing support, as well as challenge when appropriate, can open up new possibilities and help to regain well-being for you and your relationship.

I am deeply committed to helping individuals and couples break free from painful relationship patterns whilst deepening the emotional bond or connection between partners.


How I became a Relationship Counsellor

Originally from the U.K, I emigrated to Australia in 2004, and commenced training in counselling and psychotherapy in 2006.  I received my Graduate Diploma of Counselling & Psychotherapy  from the Jansen-Newman Institute of Counselling and Applied Psychotherapy in Sydney after successfully completing 2 years of study and 50 hours of face to face counselling in the Counselling Clinic.  I chose to study at the JNI Institute as I wanted to be working with real clients as soon as possible and found the combination of training in psychological theory, group therapy and working in the Clinic, a holistic approach to learning.

After graduating from Jansen Newman in 2008 I worked for Relationships Australia in a counselling and relationship education role on the Northern Beaches in Sydney whilst setting up my private practice, Sydney Sanctuary Counselling Services.  This experience ensures you will receive quality, well informed counselling from a professional with recent training and employment in the field of relationship education and therapy

My interest in Counselling developed from my previous career working as an English teacher for 15 years. Teaching children and adolescents in high school was deeply rewarding but I was increasingly drawn towards the pastoral and welfare concerns of the students and their parents.  My first Counselling position was working for Aspect (Autism Spectrum Australia) as a telephone support and advice line officer providing parents, school counsellors, case workers and people on the spectrum with counselling and referral information.

I continued to maintain my links with education working for the Melbourne Institute of Technology (Sydney Campus) as the College Counsellor providing crisis counselling and welfare support to both international and domestic students.  I recently worked part time at the Jansen-Newman Institute of Counselling in Sydney organising the low cost counselling clinic for students & providing mentoring and advice around fieldwork placements.

Becoming an Emotionally Focused Therapist

I have completed 6 years training including studying since 2011 at The Institute of Emotionally Focused Therapy in Annandale, Sydney to work towards a Graduate Diploma in Emotionally Focused Therapy which is ongoing.  As I have a background in the arts I wanted to work with clients in a creative and imaginative way and to devote myself to one main therapeutic approach.  From a practical perspective Emotionally Focused Counselling & Therapy has been found to be highly effective for couples and individuals experiencing relationship distress.

Developing self-awareness around emotions, thoughts and behaviours and re-experiencing them in the safety of the counselling session can help to facilitate change as the client is involved in an experiential learning process. I believe at the very core we are emotional beings who experience emotions to inform us of our needs and wants. By connecting to our feelings, both secondary or surface emotions like anger and guilt as well as deeper primary feelings such as hurt, fear and sadness can allow us to discover our true needs and wants and change the way we relate to ourselves and others.

Professional Membership

Psychotherapy and Counselling federation of Australia
CMPACFA Registered Member 24205, Clinical membership

Code of Conduct

Click here for the CASA Code of Conduct

Every year as a requirement under the CASA code of conduct all counsellors engage in at least 20 hours of professional development training whilst seeing their supervisor after every 4-6 weeks.

Indemnity Insurance

All counsellors in private practice hold public liability and professional indemnity insurance as a matter of course





Sam Mathews Clinical Member PACFA

Qualifications in Counselling & Psychotherapy

Graduate Diploma Counselling & Psychotherapy, (Jansen Newman Institute) www.jni.edu.au, 2006-2008

Currently studying a Graduate Diploma in Emotionally Focused Therapy since 2012

Other Qualifications

PGCE Secondary English (Manchester University, UK)
MA Victorian Literature (Leeds University UK)
BA Hons English & History (Salford University UK)

Training 2006- 2017

Advanced Therapy (IEFT)

Individual therapy (IEFT)

Multiple Chair work-Institute for Emotionally Focused Therapy, (IEFT)

Couple therapy- (IEFT)

Individual EFT Counselling - (IEFT)

Foundations in EFT - IEFT

Emotions in Couple Work - IEFT

Couple Talk - IEFT

Couple Assessment – IEFT

Emotionally Focused Skills – IEFT

Emotionally Focused Therapy Workshop – IEFT

Deactivating the Buttons – Laurie Mackinnon

Domestic Violence – Relationships Australia

Engaging Dreams – Sally Gillespie at The Nature Care College

Human Change Theory III: Couple & Family Therapy – The Jansen-Newman Institute, Sydney

Professional & Contextual studies I: Clinical Issues & Interventions – JNI

Personal Development IV: Advanced Group Facilitation - JNI

Personal Development III: Introduction to Group Facilitation – JNI

Personal Development II: Group Process & Co-Facilitation – JNI

Personal Development I: Experiential Group process – JNI

Practicum II: Micro Skills – JNI

Practicum I: Core Skills – JNI

Human Change Theory II: Foundations – JNI

Human Change Theory I: Foundations – JNI


Issues affecting Relationships

  • Anxiety
  • Assertiveness/lack of assertiveness
  • Body image
  • Conflict, arguments
  • Coping with change
  • Depression
  • Domestic violence
  • Eating disorders
  • Grief & loss
  • Isolation & loneliness
  • Jealousy/clinging/co-dependency
  • Low self-esteem
  • Silence & withdrawal
  • Sexual concerns
  • Stress
  • Substance abuse
  • Third party concerns
  • Trauma

When choosing a therapist make sure they have:

  • A graduate or postgraduate qualification in Counselling and/or Psychotherapy from an accredited university or higher education provider
  • You can ask for proof of these qualifications from the therapist or the higher education provider
  • Ask how long the training took as many counselling certificates are short courses
  • Check to see if they adhere to a professional set of guidelines or ethics and are a member of a Professional association