About Sandra

Sandra Kay Lauffenburger

M.Sc. B.Ed. B.Soc.Sci.(Hons Psych) Grad Dip (Psychology) Grad Dip(Adult Psychotherapy) Diploma (DMT)  Certificate Laban/Bartenieff Movement Studies

Registered Psychodynamic Psychotherapist and Clinical Supervisor PACFA No. 020209 Reg Dance Movement Psychotherapist & Clinical Supervisor DTAA (Prof DMT) 203-01  Certified Laban/Bartenieff Movement Analyst   LIMS CMA  Council Member International Association of Psychoanalytic Self Psychology                     

me and mars

 Sandra has been working therapeutically since 1985, initially as a somatic movement therapist, and subsequently adding psychology and psychotherapy to her skills. Since 1999 Sandra has maintained a psychodynamic psychotherapeutic practice in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT). She specializes in long-term treatment using psychoanalytic Self Psychology and somatic/movement for presentations including personality disorders, anxiety, depression, trauma (chronic and developmental) and psychosomatic presentations.

Sandra began her working life as a Research Geophysicist in the oil industry. She used her well-developed analytical skills to write one of the industry’s initial oil exploration computer programs, which she then taught to oil explorationists in Europe, UK, Canada, and Australia.  In 1981 she turned her scientific inquiries in the direction of the human body and movement, pursuing graduate work in anatomy, physiology, biomechanics and exercise physiology, while also satisfying the artist-within by studying contemporary dance, ballet, yoga and Pilates.

In 1985 Sandra obtained a Certification in Laban Movement Analysis through the University of Washington.  While living in Asia from 1984 to 1988, Sandra taught Laban Movement Analysis/Bartenieff Fundamentals (LMA/BF) as well as Contemporary Dance to groups that had never before experienced Western movement material.  She was invited to give workshops to the People’s Republic of China’s P.L.A. Song and Dance Troupe, the Guangdong Academy of Dance, the Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts, and fitness groups in Indonesia, Singapore and Hong Kong.  In 1989 Sandra returned to the US and worked in the aerobic dance and fitness industry applying LMA/BF principles. 

In 1992 Sandra moved permanently to Canberra and established The Ouldeah Centre for Movement Therapy (1992 to 1999).  She introduced Canberra to the therapeutic benefits of Pilates-based Somatic Movement Therapy, educating medical practitioners and insurance companies of the benefits for their patients.  Sandra is a Founding Councillor of the Australian Pilates Method Association (APMA), co-authored the curriculum used at UTS for training Pilates Method instructors and developed training programs for Pilates-based Rehabilitation Practitioners, using somatic movement methods, including the Laban/Bartenieff Movement System (LBMS).

Sandra has integrated her credentials in the body and movement with her verbal psychotherapy skills and regularly passes her experience and knowledge onto others.   She has lectured in the Counselling Department at the Wesley Institute (Sydney) until the completion of that program, has tutored for IDTIA, (Melbourne), Tensegrity Training (Sunshine Coast), and has lectured in LBMS for Dance Movement Therapy (DMT) in Masters of  DMT programs at the University of Melbourne and the University of Auckland (NZ). Currently she also tutors in the Counselling Department at the University of Canberra.

Sandra is continually drawn to the synthesis of new ideas that span the spectrum of movement and psyche. She enjoys encouraging future professionals in the field  psychotherapy through supervisory and educational roles. She has presented clinical cases and theoretical papers at a number of Empathink Association of Psychoanalytic Self Psychology (EAPSP, Melbourne) conferences, as well as at the International Association of Psychoanalytic Self Psychology (IAPSP, Chicago) conferences.   

Sandra now offers study groups supervision groups and self psychology trainings courses for practicing therapists. In 2024 a number of these groups and trainings will be on offer. Please refer to the Events and Activities dropdown for more information.

Sandra has offered her organisational expertise to the Dance Movement Therapy Association of Australasia (DTAA), holding the offices of Secretary (2016-2019) and President (2019-2021) as well as convening a number of committees.  She was instrumental in developing the new constitution for DTAA as well as the competencies for training as a dance movement therapist.

Sandra’s writing capacities are used by the Journal of Body, Movement and Dance in Psychotherapy where she serves as Associate Editor as well as having authored published papers.

Just for fun, Sandra dances with the Canberra ensemble SOMEBODY’S AUNT  https://www.facebook.com/SomebodysAunt