Our Team

Rickie & Alikki Newcastle Baths

Directors Dr Rickie Elliott and Alikki Russell

We were drawn together to create The Hummingbird Centre by our shared vision, passion and values, to create a world-class mental health and well-being treatment centre that connects and heals as many people as possible. We are Psychologists with over 18 years experience in the field, with a particular dedication for working in the field of trauma and perinatal/infant mental health. Our passion is for helping people generally, and our main focus is on supporting our team at The Hummingbird Centre who are a great source of joy and gratitude.

We chose the name The Hummingbird Centre as fitting for our vision of service - as in ancient cultures, the hummingbird represents courage, joy, love, present moment awareness, endurance, infinite possibilities and healing from negativity. This unique bird reminds us to let our true colours shine and that life’s sweetest nectar comes from within. In line with this, our mission at The Hummingbird Centre is first to create and sustain a warm, supportive, collaborative and growth-oriented organisational culture from which our team of compassionate and dedicated clinicians are empowered and fulfilled to serve their clients and the community. The clinicians in the centre provide high quality mental health assessment, treatment, support and training to our clients, professionals and the community. We aim to continue to find evidence-based yet innovative ways to provide exceptional levels of service to our clients and professionals. We value connection, growth, fun, innovation, safety and contribution.

The Hummingbird Centre has a vision to contribute greatly to mental health professionals in the field. We continuously achieve this through providing word class trainings, supervision and consultation to clinicians and services, locally, nationally and internationally. We believe by supporting other mental health professionals we will make a greater impact. Further, we have a passion for supporting other organisations to improve their workplace culture, as without a foundation of wellbeing in the ‘helpers’, they are strained to sustain the ‘helping’ to the wider community.  We are always endeavouring to create and provide innovative programs and initiatives that improve the well-being of our team and community.


At The Hummingbird Centre we have a team of world class Psychologists, Clinical Psychologists, Mental health Social Workers, Occupational Therapists and a Psychiatrist who are passionate about their jobs.

AimeeAimée Bennett

Clinical Psychologist

Aimée is a Clinical Psychologist who has experience working across the lifespan, in a range of healthcare settings. She has a particular interest in working with adolescents, adults, and older adults. Aimée enjoys working with a variety of presentations including anxiety and mood disorders, perinatal disorders, grief and loss, personality disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and complex trauma, adjustment and attachment difficulties, eating disorders, and other chronic health conditions. She is passionate about creating a safe and nurturing environment for all clients, using an empathic approach that encourages a strong therapeutic relationship. Aimée implements a person-centred approach to support clients in achieving their therapeutic goals. She has experience in providing Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Solutions-Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT), Schema Therapy, and trauma-informed interventions.

All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.

- J.R.R Tolkien

KimKimberly Noye

Registered Psychologist

Kim is a warm-hearted psychologist who emphasises the importance of self–compassion and acceptance in her practice. She is passionate about supporting people to increase their self-understanding and to cultivate a deep connection with themselves and others. She believes this is key to living a life with rich meaning.

Kim uses attachment theory to center her practice; working with adults, children and carers to strengthen emotional bonds, develop an integrated and positive sense of self, overcome problems and work towards their goals. Kim has experience working with a range of presenting problems such as anxiety, depression, attachment issues, developmental trauma, selective mutism, parenting challenges, behavioral difficulties, and developmental disorders.

Kim brings a holistic approach to evidence-based practice, incorporating elements from a variety of modalities. She is also trained in a range of assessments including cognitive, behavioral, and developmental; and is a Circle of Security trained facilitator.

Kim recently embarked on her journey of motherhood and can often be found rollerblading behind the pram, paddling at the beach, dancing around her living room, and taking slow mindful walks through local pockets of nature with her family.

We may not be responsible for the world that created our minds, but we can take responsibility for the mind with which we create our world.

- Gabor Mate

ShannaDr Shanna Logan

Clinical Psychologist

Shanna is a clinical psychologist with experience treating a range of anxiety and mood disorders, in both children and adults. She has a particular interest and expertise in infertility, perinatal and postnatal mental health. Working predominantly in a Cognitive Behavioural model, Shanna frequently draws on other therapy modalities, including Schema therapy, Interpersonal Psychotherapy, Circle of Security Parenting Program, Emotion Focused Therapy and mindfulness practices. She takes a warm and engaging approach and enjoys working with individuals, couples and families to overcome life's obstacles. As a mother of three, she knows first-hand that life can be busy, unpredictable and more than a little messy!

Shanna completed a Doctor of Clinical Psychology and PhD at the University of Sydney; a Bachelor of Science Psychology with first class honours and Bachelor of Anthropology at the Australian National University. She has previously held academic positions with the University of New South Wales, in the School of Women and Children’s Health and School of Psychiatry; and Sydney University, School of Psychology. Shanna is a board approved AHPRA clinical supervisor.

Shanna is a member of the Fertility Society of Australia (FSA) the Australian and New Zealand Infertility Counsellors Association (ANZICA), the Australian Society for Psychosocial Obstetrics and Gyneacology (ASPOG), and the Australian Clinical Psychology Association (ACPA). She is registered to deliver non-directive pregnancy support counselling and has completed the Centre for Perinatal Psychology’s Perinatal and Infant.

You are imperfect, you are wired for struggle, but you are worthy of love and belonging.

- Brené Brown

lindsayDr Lindsay Gale

Adult Perinatal Psychiatrist

Dr Lindsay Gale completed her medical degree at the University of Newcastle in 2007. She trained as a specialist psychiatrist in hospitals in Sydney and Newcastle, completing her Fellowship of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists in 2017.

Lindsay has established public perinatal clinics in Newcastle and Maitland and has experience in providing assessment and care for women experiencing emotional and mental health difficulties in pregnancy and the postnatal period. While this often includes helping women to understand and make decisions about medications during pregnancy, Lindsay takes a holistic approach which prioritises individual goals and values, with a recovery and attachment-based orientation.

Lindsay is currently accepting referrals for women who are planning a pregnancy, currently pregnant, and up to 12 months post-partum including following pregnancy loss. She is not a registered prescriber of stimulants.

All theory, dear friend, is grey, but the golden tree of actual life springs ever green.

- Goethe

TimDr Tim Regan

Clinical Psychologist

Tim is a warm and friendly Clinical Psychologist with experience in the assessment and treatment of children, adolescents, and adults. Tim emphasises the therapeutic alliance and utilises Motivational Interviewing strategies to develop a collaborative approach to improving mental health. Tim has experience and training in providing Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), and Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT). Tim enjoys working a with range of mental health disorders, including anxiety and mood disorders, personality disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and complex trauma, substance use disorders, behavioural issues including Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD), psycho-oncology and other chronic or ongoing health conditions. Tim has a PhD and a research background in psycho-oncology, mental health, and health behaviour.

Tim is a AHPRA approved supervisor who is able to supervise Clinical Psychology Registrars and 5+1 Provisional Psychologists.

It's chaos, be kind.

- Michelle McNamara

JoelleJoelle Clark

Registered Psychologist

Joelle Clark is a Registered Psychologist who has a warm and welcoming approach with her clients. Joelle is skilled in working with a range of mental health conditions such Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, complex family trauma, anxiety, mood disorders, stress, anger, grief, Autism Spectrum Disorder, and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, among other presentations.

Since becoming a mother herself, Joelle has developed a specialised interest in supporting individuals and couples who are embarking on their parenting journey; whether they are planning to become parents, already pregnant, transitioning to new parenthood or further expanding their family. Joelle is also passionate about providing sensitive support to those who have experienced fertility challenges or pregnancy or infant loss. Joelle has experienced both the joys and challenges of the perinatal period and feels blessed to walk beside and empower clients throughout this significant journey.

Joelle’s approach is holistic, and her main treatment modalities are Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Dialectical Behaviour Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and trauma focussed interventions such as Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing. With her clients she will create the most appropriate treatment plan based on their individual goals and needs.

Above all, Joelle values creating a strong therapeutic relationship that promotes a sense of connection and safety to set the foundation for successful clinical outcomes. She feels privileged to participate in this unique process with her clients as they work on healing past wounds, engaging more mindfully in the present and moving towards a more fulfilled and enriched future.

Being able to feel safe with people is probably the single most important aspect of mental health; safe connections are fundamental to meaningful and satisfying lives.

- Bessel A. van der Kolk

TanayaTanayah Tooze

Registered Psychologist

Tanayah’s experience includes working with children, adolescents and families in a variety of settings and within a range of areas including; Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADHD, Anxiety and Depression. She is passionate about helping young people build resilience, regulate their emotions, build self-esteem and overcome a range of difficulties. Prior to beginning her studies in Psychology, Tanayah spent several years mentoring and supporting young women in a high-school arts and wellbeing program. She has also worked closely with John Hunter Children’s Hospital, creating and implementing art packets and supporting children and their families during difficult times.

Tanayah uses a person-centred approach, primarily drawing upon Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, mindfulness and body awareness. Tanayah is warm and compassionate with her therapy style involving deeply listening, holding space and a commitment to the healing and ambitions of those she works with. Tanayah has a keen interest in art and play therapy and incorporates creativity into her work. Tanayah is passionate about helping children and adults to feel a genuine sense of calm and control, to achieve their goals and to live rich and meaningful lives.

At the end of the day, we can endure much more than we think we can.

- Frida Kahlo

CourtneyCourtney Roughan

Accredited Mental Health Social Worker

Courtney is an Accredited Mental Health Social Worker who has over ten years clinical experience working in the public mental health sector in Australia and the UK. Courtney has specialised in working with children, adolescents and their families and also works with adults.

Courtney provides therapy for a variety of presenting issues including mood disorders, difficulties in managing emotions, adjustment difficulties, anxiety, eating disorders, developmental trauma and suicidality/self-harm. She also is able to provide support with parenting and family difficulties.

Courtney has completed training in evidence-based cognitive behavioural therapies (CBT) and has a particular interest in mindfulness-based therapies, including Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT).

Courtney has a strong belief in developing a genuine and effective therapeutic relationship within a strength based and collaborative approach, ensuring that people and their families are able to work towards achieving their goals.

A moment of self-compassion can change your entire day. A string of such moments can change the course of your life.

- Christopher K. Germer

EmilyEmily Fraser

Registered Psychologist

Emily is a warm and down-to-earth psychologist who provides a supportive place for her clients to work through their concerns and create meaningful change. Her experience spans across both clinical and organisational psychology and she has a special interest in working with individuals experiencing significant life stress and adjustments associated with pregnancy, early parenting and work-related issues.

Emily aims to bring a flexible and tailored approach to evidence-based practice through using treatments such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Mindfulness (MBCT), Insomnia (CBT-I), Solution-Focused Therapy (SFBT), Motivational Interviewing, Trauma-Focussed Therapy, and Interpersonal Therapy (IPT). Emily is also trained in the treatment of perinatal anxiety and depression and incorporates attachment-based approaches into her work to help parents navigate the challenges of pregnancy and parenthood.

Emily is passionate about supporting people to live meaningful lives and enjoys helping her clients grow, adapt and thrive through the ups and downs of life.

Emily is a fully registered Psychologist with the Psychology Board of Australia. She has a Bachelor of Psychology and a Master of Organisational Psychology. She is also accredited with SIRA to provide services under WorkCover.

Some of us think holding on makes us strong, but sometimes it is letting go

- Hermann Hesse

Gabriel heatonGabriel Heaton

Clinical Psychology Registrar

Gabe is a Clinical Psychology Registrar who enjoys working with adolescents and adults. He values a warm and empathic approach, with a shared working alliance where you feel seen, and can form a joint understanding of what you are working toward. Gabe worked in various roles in community mental health services prior to becoming a Psychologist. Since then has worked with individuals and in group therapy using a variety of modalities. He is trained in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT), Motivational Interviewing and Schema Therapy. Gabe has experience working with people around the stressors of daily life, mood and anxiety difficulties.

Gabe believes therapy can be about whatever is important; what you might like to change or understand in life, celebrating big and small wins or taking new risks to live a life more full. He is curious about how our prior experiences may shape how we feel in the world and our experience of others and ourselves now. He likes to approach therapy by taking a shared understanding of strengths and values that are already present and utilising these in meeting life.

I like to wake up each morning and not know what I think, that I may reinvent myself in some way.

- Stephen Fry

WendyWendy Noble

Registered Occupational Therapist

As a registered occupational therapist, Wendy’s mission is to help children establish their confidence and independence in everyday activities that they need or want to do and to focus on their strengths and goals to help them optimise their health and wellbeing.

With over 20 years of experience in diverse clinical settings, Wendy returned to paediatrics with a passion to support and equip families. By providing a mobile therapy service, she can customise her interventions to suit the desired functional goals across all aspects of the child’s life, offering consultations at the child’s home, school, pre-school, day care centre, clinic or other community setting.

Wendy enjoys working with children of all ages and levels of ability and has experience with children with autism, dyspraxia and other coordination challenges, joint hypermobility and Ehlers Danlos Syndromes, attention and behavioural challenges (ADHD, ODD), sensory processing disorders, developmental delay, intellectual disabilities, neurological conditions, chromosomal and other congenital disorders, fussy/problem feeding, handwriting and other fine motor difficulties, emotional regulation challenges, mood disorders and children who have experienced trauma.

Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.

- Benjamin Franklin

Renee BRenee Butler

Registered Psychologist

Renee works therapeutically with children, adolescents, adults, and carers. Renee has experience working with a range of presenting problems, including anxiety, mood disorders, stress, complex trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), work-related issues, autism spectrum disorders, challenging behaviours, interpersonal challenges, grief and relationship issues.

Renee is an eclectic psychologist, therefore she individualises her therapy based on the needs and wants of the client. Renee uses a variety of therapeutic modalities such as Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Dialectical Behaviour Therapy, Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy, Mindfulness-based approaches, Neurofeedback, and Brief Psychodynamic Therapy. She also uses elements of Schema Therapy, Motivational Interviewing and Brief Solution-Focused Therapy.

Renee is trained in a range of assessments including Autism Assessments. Renee also conducts personality, mental health, behavioural, cognitive and other developmental assessments.

Words can break someone into a million pieces, but they can also put them back together.

- Taylor Swift

DebDeborah Costa

Registered Psychologist, 
Psychology Training Provider

Deborah has expertise in trauma informed systems, techniques and treatments within education settings. Deborah was awarded the 2017 NSW Premier's Scholarship and travelled throughout the USA and UK researching whole of school reparative and resilience projects for addressing the needs of traumatised students in schools. Deborah has specialist qualifications from the Trauma Center at JRI in Boston, extensive knowledge and experience and is a recognised leader in the field.

Deborah regularly presents to education and health audiences at local, state and national level conferences and forums and delivers directly to schools.

Fire can warm or consume, water can quench or drown, wind can caress or cut. And so it is with human relationships; we can both create and destroy, nurture and terrorize, traumatize and heal each other. Relationships are the agents of change and the most powerful therapy is human love.

- Dr Bruce D. Perry

NimraNimra Bilgrami

Clinical Psychologist

Nimra Bilgrami is a Clinical Psychologist who has experience in supporting children, adolescents and adults presenting with a variety of concerns. She provides a trauma informed service within an evidence-based treatment model. Nimra is trained in various therapeutic models, such as Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), Interpersonal Therapy (IPT), Schema Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Solutions-Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT), and Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR). In addition to this, Nimra also provides assessment services for intellectual ability, functional skills, learning difficulties, ADHD and Autism Spectrum Disorder. Nimra is a warm and friendly clinician that believes in a strengths-based approach aimed at supporting the individual needs of her clients.

The good life is a process, not a stage of being. It is a direction not a destination.

- Carl Rogers

KumuduDr. Kumudu Rathnayaka

Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist

Kumudu's books are currently CLOSED.

Dr. Kumudu Rathnayaka is a senior Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist working across different service settings including both public and private sectors. Kumudu did her primary medical degree in Sri Lanka, specialising in psychiatry and has been working in Australia since 2005.

Kumudu completed her general adult psychiatry certificate (RANZCP) and proceeded to do her advanced certificate in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and advanced training in psychotherapy. Kumudu has experience in variety of areas such as general Adult Psychiatry, Prenatal Psychiatry, Psychotherapy, Family Therapy and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

In her practice, Kumudu is interested working with individuals in a wholistic manner as well as working with the system around them.

Kumudu currently lives in Newcastle with her family.

AlliraAllira Sazdanoff

Registered Psychologist

Allira is a registered psychologist, who has experience in the assessment and treatment of children, adolescents and adults with a wide range of mental health conditions. Allira has worked extensively with non-government organisations in the out of home care sector; supporting individuals presenting with complex childhood trauma, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), attachment difficulties, anxiety, mood disorders, autism, and behavioural concerns to improve their mental health and strengthen their relationships. This has included delivery of individual and group work, as well as therapeutic parenting programs and positive behaviour support.

Allira is passionate about making therapy an accepting, enjoyable and safe experience for her clients. She takes on a holistic and flexible approach, employing evidence-based practices, determined by individual client goals. This includes Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR), Trauma Centre Trauma Sensitive Yoga (TCTSY), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Solution-Focused Therapy, trauma-informed interventions, and Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT). Allira also utilises elements of body-based therapies, including yoga and mindfulness, as well as play-based activities to engage her clients in the therapeutic process.

There is a tendency to doubt your growth in the midst of a big leap forward; hold steady and allow yourself to bloom.

- Yung Pueblo

KazKaren (Kaz) Amos

Provisional Psychologist

Kaz Amos is a Provisional Psychologist responsible for providing evidence-based mental health treatments to a broad range people within our community. Before completing her studies in psychology, Kaz Amos spent the past two decades in various organisations primarily supporting people in her role as a Counsellor. She has been effective in helping people address past trauma, grief and loss, depression and anxiety, domestic abuse and relationship changes. Her broad knowledge base is built from studying social science, business management, leadership, fitness and psychology.

Appreciating that reaching out for help can be one of the hardest decisions to make, Kaz has learnt to apply her professional knowledge with clients in a gentle manner, with wholehearted individualised approach. Both her personal and professional experience has taught her that there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ when it comes to working with people. Her therapeutic toolkit is still expanding, but for now, it includes Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Neuropsychotherapy and mindfulness practices. Kaz’s experience in fitness has helped people actively face their challenges using walk and talk therapy, inviting nature and the outdoors to be a part of the healing process.

Kaz is committed to the therapeutic alliance and understands its importance for clients and their positive treatment outcomes.

You can't stop the waves but you can learn to surf.

- Jon Kabat-Zinn

DanyelleDanyelle Mastroianni

Provisional Psychologist

Danyelle is passionate about helping clients foster a loving connection to their authentic self through self-awareness, self-compassion and self-acceptance. In particular, she is interested in the role of shame and stigma on emotional well-being and works in modalities that help interrogate this space. Danyelle graduated from Charles Sturt University with First Class Honours in Psychology for her undergraduate thesis, which qualitatively explored how psychologists view body-size through a weight-neutral lens. Danyelle also has experience with the Victims of Crime program from a trauma-informed care perspective.

Outside of work, Danyelle enjoys spending time in nature, listening to too many podcasts and practicing self-connection through meditation, intuitive eating and joyful movement. These practices help keep her calm and centred during her fiercely competitive chosen sport of trivia.

The healer you have been looking for is your own courage to know and love yourself completely.

- YungPueblo

GretaGreta Hundley

Accredited Mental Health Social Worker

Greta Hundley is an Accredited Mental Health Social Worker with 30 years experience in the Mental Health field. Greta has an interest in working therapeutically with individuals who have backgrounds of trauma, including single incident trauma, sexual and physical abuse and family violence. Greta also has a background in working with adults and young people experiencing anxiety, depression, body image issues, eating disorders and grief. Clients may have had previous diagnoses of complex PTSD or developmental trauma Bipolar Disorder. Therapies Greta uses includes Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), Interpersonal therapy, DBT, Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR), and Neurofeedback.

Greta has been approved to provide therapy services under Better Access for Mental Health Victims Services, Workcover, Open Arms and NDIS. Greta is an accredited EMDR Practitioner.

Start by doing what's necessary, then do what's possible, and suddenly you'll be doing what you thought was impossible.

- Francis Assisi

LisaDr Lisa Millar

Clinical Psychologist

Lisa is a Clinical Psychologist with over 15 years of experience in the assessment and treatment of mental health and wellbeing concerns including mood disorders, anxiety disorders, adjustment difficulties, stress, trauma, emotional difficulties, healthy weight management, and family and relationship problems for individuals.

Lisa takes a holistic approach in developing individualised psychological treatments to optimise her clients' mental health and wellbeing, enhance quality of life, and promote positive change. She has skills and experience in therapeutic modalities including Schema Therapy, Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR), Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and other Mindfulness-based approaches, and Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT)

Lisa is a member of the Australian Psychological Society (APS) and the EMDR Association of Australia (EMDRAA).

Every challenge that we face is the opportunity to become more than we've been before.

- Lyena Strelkoff

AshleighAshleigh Fitzgerald

Accredited Mental Health Social Worker

Ashleigh is a highly experienced mental health Social Worker, who's passion is in the area of perinatal mental health, including antenatal and postnatal anxiety and depression and grief and loss surrounding stillbirth and miscarriage. Supporting families through these tough times in their lives is crucial. Ashleigh has worked within NSW health in inpatient and community teams in this area for many years. Ashleigh believes in providing holistic treatment to families with a mental health and attachment focus on relationships between parents and children.

Ashleigh fits extremely well into the Hummingbird team due to her warm and friendly personality and passion and commitment to her clients.

Don't dilute yourself for any person or any reason. You are enough! Be unapologetically you.

- Dr Steve Maraboli

NicoleNicole Duffy

Clinical Psychologist

Nicole values a warm, curious and playful approach to therapy. She believes that the ‘how and why’ is as important as the ‘what and when’ in understanding a person’s story and what drives them. Her work is guided by an understanding that we are fundamentally social beings who thrive under conditions of relational safety and connection. On weekends, Nicole enjoys active mornings followed by lazy afternoons and the company of her beloved dog, Buddy.

Whether structured or flexible, short or long-term, Nicole aims to match a style of therapy that fits each client’s needs, preferences and stage of treatment. Sometimes this relates to disorders of mood, anxiety, eating, personality, or trauma. Sometimes it involves care of everyday pressures and stresses. She draws from a range of modalities including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Emotion-Focused Therapy (EFT), Schema Therapy, Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT).

Little by little, one travels far.

- J.R.R. Tolkien

MaddyMadeleine Berryman

Registered Psychologist

Madeleine Berryman is a registered psychologist who is experienced working with people across the lifespan, from toddlers through to the elderly. Madeleine has a warm and friendly personality and enjoys working within an evidence-based framework, providing therapies including Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), Interpersonal Therapy, Motivational Interviewing and Dialectical Behaviour Therapy. Having previously worked in both the disability and general populations, she has treated a variety of mental health issues. Madeleine has gained experience in the use of a range of assessments to help informed treatment of mental health concerns, including cognitive assessments. Madeleine enjoys working collaboratively with each person and their family to reach their goals and achieve positive outcomes.

There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so.

- William Shakespeare

RenaeRenae Yarnold

Registered Psychologist

Renae is a Registered Psychologist who has experience working with intellectual, developmental, and physical disabilities across the lifespan; providing assessment, behaviour support, and counselling services for people with a disability. Renae considers the role of parents, schools, and services in promoting the wellbeing of an individual, and liaises where appropriate. With experience working in a multidisciplinary team, Renae acknowledges the importance of a collaborative approach with other allied health professionals for a holistic approach to an individual’s care.

Renae enjoys working across the lifespan, being mindful of specific issues that can present at each life stage. Renae has experience with working with behavioural, anxiety, and mood disorders, personality and developmental disorders, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Complex Developmental Trauma.

Renae uses various therapeutic techniques based on her clients needs, including Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR), Neurofeedback, Trauma Centre Trauma Sensitive Yoga (TCTSY) and Trauma Model Therapy.

It is the honest connection between two human beings, that, in the end, makes what we endured together understandable and meaningful

- Lynn I. Wilson

LeahLeah Gencheff

Paediatric, Adult & Community
Occupational Therapist

Leah Gencheff is a registered Occupational Therapist. Originally from the United States, Leah obtained her Master’s Degree from the University of Queensland in Occupational Therapy in 2011. She had planned to return to the USA once she finished her degree, but she fell in love with the beach, lifestyle, and found a home in the community of Newcastle. She has a friendly and easy going personality.

Leah is an experienced paediatric OT who has worked children and adolescents of all levels of ability, including those with coordination difficulties, developmental delay, organisational/ attention difficulties, mental health issues, and children on the autistic spectrum. Leah specialises in play-based therapy and promoting functional skills and independence in learning, play-leisure, and daily living. Leah also enjoys working with adults to promote functional skills and goal-based practice in their specific environment in which they may be struggling with. She is passionate providing therapy that is holistic, strengths-based, collaborative, and meaningful to the client and their family.

Leah is a certified yoga instructor (children, prenatal, trauma-informed, adults) and has a passion for enhancing one’s body awareness (proprioception) , self-esteem, coordination, and concentration in physical activities whilst providing skills that assist with relaxation and calmness. When people learn techniques for self-care, relaxation and inner fulfillment, they can navigate life’s challenges with a little more ease.

Leah is also a mother of three young children and is learning that having both the role of mother and Occupational Therapist allows her unique perspective on each. Being a mum has enabled Leah to fully appreciate the importance of adopting a family-centred approach, as she works with families to help further their children’s development.

Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.

- Ferris Bueller

AaronDr Aaron Simpson

Clinical Psychologist

Aaron is a Clinical Psychologist with over 15 years training and experience. Aaron holds a Doctorate in Clinical psychology. He has also worked in senior leadership roles in both the private and not-for-profit sectors.

Aaron enjoys working alongside adults experiencing a range of mental health conditions, including anxiety, depression, co-existing mental health and substance use problems, posttraumatic stress disorder, adjustment to change, work related stress, and hoarding disorder. He is skilled in a variety of evidence-based therapeutic approaches, including cognitive behavioural therapy, schema-focussed cognitive therapy, acceotance and commitment therapy, motivational interviewing, and psychodynamic counselling.

Aaron is a warm and personable therapist, and is committed to helping people achieve their goals. Aaron is a Member of the Australian Psychology Society and Medicare accredited.

In a world where you can be anything, be kind

- Charlie Brown

AlisonAlison Gosling

Registered Psychologist

Alison's interest in psychology stems from a love of understanding how things work. The knowledge of how the brain and body support each other fascinates her and has led to a special interest in the effects of food and nutrition on mental health. Alison has extensive experience in working with people with disabilities as well as with children and families, in helping to understand their developing brain and how to best support them.

Alison has a passion for supporting parents in the perinatal period. She works with an attachment-based parenting approach to encourage positive ongoing relationships. As a new mum herself, Alison is brimming with empathy over the many struggles and joys that this time often brings.

Her warm, friendly personality allows people from all walks of life to build trust and feel comfortable in her presence and in her skills. In addition, Alison enjoys working collaboratively with other professionals to provide the best holistic outcomes.

You're off to great places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, So.... get on your way!

- Dr Suess

MargaretMargaret Conaghan

Registered Psychologist

Margaret is a registered psychologist who has experience supporting people who present with a variety of concerns including stress management and anxiety.

Margaret has a collaborative and warm approach to the client-practitioner therapeutic alliance, which provides a calm and safe space, for the client. She meets you where you are emotionally allowing you the time to heal, whilst working with you using evidenced-based psychological tools and strategies such as CBT and solution focused therapy.

Margaret’s interest area is the link between healthy lifestyle choices, including a healthy gut microbiome, and optimal mental health.

Identify your problems but give your power and energy to solutions.

-Anonymous

Sarah MSarah Morrison

Accredited Mental Health Social Worker

Sarah is a Social Worker with over 15 years’ experience working with children and families within Australia and the United Kingdom; in particular with the Family Assessment Consultation Education Therapy Service, Sustaining NSW Families and the Family Care Cottage.

Sarah has worked the last half of her career as a therapist with adults, children aged 0-12 years and their families. She has also worked with women and their partners across the perinatal period. Sarah has a particular interest in working with adults and children who are experiencing anxiety, depression, trauma and PTSD, stress, grief and loss, survivors of domestic violence, parenting and attachment and adjustment following birth trauma. She has many years’ experience facilitating circle of security and tuning into kid’s parents’ groups. These groups support parents to improve their relationships with their children, understand their behaviour and develop strategies to help children with their emotions.

Therapies Sarah utilises in her work include interpersonal therapy, sensorimotor psychotherapy, emotion coaching, play therapy, sand tray therapy, meditation and relaxation, and evidenced based emotional freedom techniques. Sarah has completed Levels 1 and 2 of sensorimotor psychotherapy. She is a member of the Australian Association of Social Workers. Sarah has been formally trained by the AASW in providing clinical supervision and has many years' experience in supervision of mental health clinicians from child and family health services.

Sarah ensures an individualised approach with each client, tailoring therapy to suit each person or family’s needs, focusing on improving personal and social well-being and promoting human rights.

I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change.... I'm changing the things I cannot accept.

- Dr. Angela Davis


Benefits of Joining Our Team


And where would we be without the wonderful assistance of our Administration team?

SimoneSimone

Administration

Renee DRenee

Office Manager

VicVictoria

Administration

MelMelinda

Accounts Manager

KhiaraKhiara

Administration

ZoeZoe

Administration

KazKaz

Administration

BuddyBuddy

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Page Last Updated: 05 May 2022

}