Susan Blacker

Biography

Susan is a Forensic and Clinical Psychologist with extensive experience working in assessment and therapy with adults, infants, children and young people, in individual and group settings and with families. Susan has professional expertise and specific areas of interest in assessing family dynamics and family systems and parenting capacity, especially in distressed families and those families experiencing high conflict. Extensive psychology practice over more than thirty years has involved work experience in senior professional psychology and supervisory positions, as well as management roles in community health, government departments and NGO agencies. Susan provides evidence based psychological services across a broad range of psychological issues including trauma impacted and high conflict families, complex mental health difficulties, young offenders, substance use, family and relationship violence, intellectual disability and developmental delays difficulties and disorders experienced by parents, children and young people.

She has extended training in assessing and therapeutically supporting parent/carer and child emotional caregiving relationships and working with attachment relationship difficulties. A special interest area is in assessing and working with children and young people adversely affected by difficult and distressing family situations and where children and young people grow up unprotected and distressed. Susan’s primary research is in parenting capacity, and its assessment for courts, as well as the assessment of the psychological and legal elements that ensure legal validity and independence in these reports. Susan’s publications and professional presentations include parent-child attachment relationships, the care to crime – growing up unprotected – developmental pathways, and judicial views of clinician reports plus identifying elements that satisfy court reports’ independence and objectivity.

As Senior Psychologist, and during various periods as Acting Director, over a ten year period, in the NSW Children’s Court Clinic, Susan was responsible for all aspects of the Authorised Clinicians Scheme which provides independent clinical and forensic court ordered assessments and reports in the care and protection and criminal jurisdictions. She also carried responsibilities for professional development, consultation and supervision to the Authorised Clinicians and high level specialist liaison to the judiciary, courts and legal practitioners. As Senior Psychologist, Susan carried a case load of the most complex assessment cases for care and protection and youth crime, and routinely provided evidence in a range of court jurisdictions.

Susan has a Master of Forensic Psychology, as well as a Bridging Qualification to Clinical Psychology at Masters Level. She is a Board Approved Supervisor in both Forensic and Clinical areas, supporting psychologists at all levels of professional development. Susan is a full member of the Australian Psychological Society and Fellow, APS Colleges of Forensic and Clinical Psychologists.