Principal Psychologist – Engage 1 on 1 Psychology
Amanda Cotta (Northcote; Blackburn South)
Amanda is a psychologist whose gentle and warm approach aims to create a respectful and non-judgemental environment, allowing clients to safely explore and work through emotional and psychological distress. Amanda has extensive experience across community and private settings and working with individuals, couples, adolescents (including within School settings) and facilitating group sessions. Amanda works with clients to assist them move towards a place of living with meaning and purpose. Amanda uses a person-centred, emotion-focussed approach through the use of Mindfulness, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), Compassion Based Psychotherapy and Psycho-dynamic therapy. Amanda has also completed Gottman Level 2 Couple Training. Through the use of this evidence-based approach, Amanda helps couples recognise the strength in their relationship and work on building a stronger union.
Alex Thornton (Vermont)
Alex is an experienced registered Psychologist who works with adolescents (16 years +) and adults. Alex has a vast amount of experience working with clients experiencing Depression; Anxiety; Social Phobia; Low self-esteem; Adjustment issues; Adolescent adjustment issues; Trauma; Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD); Stress management issues; Work-related and school-related transitional issues; School and Workplace bullying and Relationship issues.
Alex also specialises in psychological testing and screening in career and work environments. Alex’s therapeutic approach includes the use of Advanced Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), CBT for Anger issues, Motivational Interviewing, Somatic psychotherapy, Trauma interventions, Advanced Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Solution –Focused Therapy, Memory Skills, Resilience Training as well as Meditation and Mindfulness. Alex is a registered provider for Medicare, Veterans Affairs, Workcover, TAC, VOCAT, and most Private Health Insurers.
Chaille Perrett (Westgarth St, Northcote)
Chaille is experienced in providing therapy to individuals ranging in age from younger children to older adults with mild to moderate mental health disorders. Common issues include depression, anxiety, grief and loss, relationship difficulties and developmental issues including Autism Spectrum Disorder. Previously Chaille has worked in both community mental health and clinic settings.
Chaille is a registered psychologist with full AHPRA registration. She is also a member of the Australian Psychological Association (APS).
Chaille uses a combination of therapeutic techniques including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Schema Therapy, Interpersonal Therapy (IPT) and Narrative therapy. Chaille also has an interest in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Emotion-Focused Therapy and a keen interest in Positive Psychology including the use of a strengths based approach to improve well-being.
Christine Tillig (Westgarth St)
Christine is a fully registered psychologist with the Australian Health Practitioners Regulatory Agency (AHPRA) and is a member of the Australian Psychological Society (MAPS) and the Australian Sociological Association (TASA).
She provides individual therapy to adults, adolescents, and school-aged children. Christine offers treatment for a wide range of presenting issues, including depression, anxiety, stress, PTSD and trauma (including sexual assault and family violence), sleep difficulties, grief and loss, addiction, personality disorder, interpersonal difficulties and separation.
Christine has trained in a range of evidence-based treatments. These include Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Mindfulness strategies and trauma-based therapies. Christine adopts a compassionate and strengths based approach when collaborating with clients to relieve psychological distress.
Connie Harris (School-based)
Dedicated primary school and early adolescent school psychologist, skilled at providing positive direction for students’ academic, social and emotional wellbeing. Works effectively with children with ADHD and with multicultural and diverse populations. She uses worksheets and play therapy to help children to be able to move forward and reach their potential.
She has also experience with counselling adults and older adults with a range of issues such as health, child rearing, divorce, grief, family difficulties, self-esteem, refugee and migrant experiences, anxiety and depression.
She uses a client centred approach and as she has a nursing background, she has a great deal of experience in the health medical and wellbeing field. She uses a number of diverse therapies such as CBT, ACT, Dialectical Behaviour Therapy, Somatic, Schema and Play Therapy for Children.
Cristian Acciarito (Blackburn South)
Cristian Acciarito is a general psychologist who is registered with AHPRA and a member of the Australian Psychological Society. He has completed his studies at Monash University, and has a degree in psychology as well as a major in behavioural neuroscience.
He has a warm, compassionate, and respectful style which incorporates a variety of techniques and approaches, including Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Interpersonal Psychotherapy and Interpersonal Social Rhythm Therapy (IPT and IPSRT), Motivational Interviewing (MI), Attachment Theory, and Schema Therapy.
Cristian has experience working with a variety of presentations, and has worked with adults and adolescents on issues including depression, anxiety, relationship issues, self-esteem, resilience, assertiveness, coping, drug and alcohol issues, and gambling addiction. Cristian also has a special interest in video game addiction.
In therapy, Cristian aims to support the client by helping them identify their goals and values, and working to draw on their strengths to achieve their intentions. He also helps clients to develop insight into their behaviour, and gain an understanding of where their problems come from, and the purpose that they serve.
He is curious and patient, and focuses on going at a comfortable pace for the client, helping them to grow and develop without feeling overwhelmed.
Donald Pan (Westgarth St)
Donald works with a wide range of presentations and with people from various backgrounds. He has worked in many different settings and has been a registered psychologist since 2011.
Whilst he has a wealth of experience working with adolescents and works particularly well with ‘non-conformist’ boys struggling with identity, self-image or peer group pressure, Donald also sees adults with various presentations whom require assistance getting through difficult times. His relaxed, easygoing and empathetic approach to therapy focuses on building good rapport to help people better understand themselves.
Elishia Harding (Westgarth St)
Elishia is a registered (general) psychologist and a full member of the Australian Psychological Society (MAPS).
Elishia has a warm and collaborative approach to therapy and draws on a range of approaches in her work with clients. These include cognitive-behaviour therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, schema therapy and the interpersonal process approach. She draws upon aspects of these approaches as is best suited to the client’s presenting issues and concerns. Elishia also has a particular interest in strengths-based approaches and positive psychology, including factors that contribute to an individual’s resilience.
Some of the presentations Elishia can help with include depression, generalised anxiety, social anxiety, adjustment disorders, family and other interpersonal relationships, alcohol and other drug use, career and life choices, and transition to parenthood.
Elishia works with adult clients and children in the preschool and primary school age groups.
In her work with children, Elishia works closely with parents to determine the best modality in which to work with their child, based on the child’s stage of development and environmental factors. Elishia practises both directive (therapist-led) and non-directive (child-led) approaches to play-based therapy. She has a particular affiliation with Child-Centred Play Therapy, a non-directive relationship-based approach to play therapy, in which she has recently completed a program of clinical training.
Eloise O’Reilly (Northcote) [not taking on new clients]
Eloise is a psychologist who works with older adolescents and adults. Eloise provides psychological support for individuals experiencing a range of mental health/social issues, including anxiety, depression, grief and loss, substance use, trauma, relationship difficulties, adjustment, stress, low self-esteem, and general life-stressor management. Eloise utilises a holistic approach to therapy. She draws from a variety of therapeutic interventions. Underpinning her therapeutic approach, Eloise promotes Neuropsychotherapy (therapy informed by the changes in our brains at the neural level when we experience psychological distress). Eloise endeavours to provide her clients with a safe space in which to build a therapeutic relationship and facilitate positive change and considers it a privilege to share in her clients’ stories and to provide confidential and individualised support.
Finn McAsey (Northcote)
Finn is a registered psychologist with the Australian Health Practitioners Regulation Agency (AHPRA) and a member of the Australian Psychological Society (APS). He is experienced in working with children, adolescents and young adults in school and clinic settings through issues encompassing depression, anxiety, stress, school and social engagement, sleep, low self-esteem and confidence. Finn also has experience working with adults (25-65 y.o) with substance use issues, relationship issues and mental health concerns.
Finn prides himself on being a warm and empathetic practitioner that adopts a client-centred approach and strives to ensure that his clients can feel supported and make progress towards achieving their goals. His practice utilises a variety of evidence-based therapeutic approaches including Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Motivational Interviewing and Mindfulness.
Finn also completed his Master’s in Sport and Exercise Psychology and has worked with professional and casual athletes and sporting teams (tennis, soccer, volleyball, softball, twirling) to assist with performance anxiety, performance routines, imagery and goal setting.
Heather Fox (Northcote)
Heather is a compassion-focused therapist who takes a collaborative and tailored approach to working with her clients. Her therapeutic practice draws on a range of evidence-based approaches including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Interpersonal Therapy, Motivational Interviewing and Mindfulness.
Heather works with her clients to facilitate change, through meaningful conversation. She enjoys helping them to build rich and meaningful lives by working towards their goals.
Heather has experience in public health, private practice and not-for-profit settings. She works with adolescents and adults in a range of areas including, anxiety, depression, stress, grief and loss, self-esteem, interpersonal relationships, adjustment difficulties, anger management and substance use.
Hollie Ardana (School-based)
Hollie is a registered Clinical Psychologist who specialises in working with adolescents in an educational setting. Hollie has worked with teens with number of presenting issues including depression, anxiety, peer issues, low self-esteem, identity issues, trauma and grief and loss. She takes a holistic and personalised approach to therapy employing modalities such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Interpersonal Therapy. Hollie believes that building rapport with young people is an essential part of therapy and so a focus on getting to know the individual is a key component of her work.
Dr James van Cuylenburg (Phillip Island -Telehealth only)
Dr James van Cuylenburg is a warm and engaging psychologist with a gently probing style to help men get to the root cause of concerns. James helps men develop practical and effective strategies, together with new skills, for overcoming complex challenges.
Jedda Graham (Northcote)
Jedda works with children, adolescents, young people and their families. The methods she uses depend on the needs of the individual but draws on therapeutic modalities such as: Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy, Play Therapy, art based therapy, Psycho-Dynamic psychotherapy, Family Therapy and parent support. Jedda has specific knowledge and expertise in working with children and families who have experienced trauma.
Kathy Astrinakis (School-based)
Kathy works with both children and adolescents and provides a caring, supportive and non-judgmental environment. She has practised across a variety of settings including forensic, educational and private practice providing assessment and intervention services. Kathy’s therapeutic approach is client centered catering to meet the individual needs of clients through the use of evidence based practices including Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Solution Focused Therapy and Mindfulness.
Linda Fonte (Northcote)
Linda is a registered psychologist who works primarily with children and adolescents. Linda has previously worked within the educational sector across various settings including Primary, Secondary and Tertiary. Linda has a warm and engaging approach, working collaboratively with clients and their families. Linda utilises a variety of evidence based interventions such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, to support clients with a range of concerns including depression, stress, anxiety, social skills issues, and exam and study stress.
Maria Dhroso (School-based)
Maria is an educational and developmental psychologist who specialises in school psychology and commonly works with counselling adolescents. Maria is able to build strong rapport with adolescents and their families. Maria draws on a variety of approaches including Cognitive Behavioural approaches. Maria’s other area of expertise is in treating children’s bedwetting.
Mei Liew (Blackburn South) [not taking on new clients]
Mei is a registered psychologist with experience in the provision of individual and group therapy in educational settings. Mei works with children and adolescents using a combination of evidence-based therapies, with Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) as her guiding principles. She adopts a playful and fun approach to therapy.
Mitchell Stroicz (Northcote)
Mitchell is an experienced Clinical Psychologist who works mainly with adolescents (16 years and older), young adults and adults. He has experience with clients from a wide range of cultural and social backgrounds, having worked and volunteered in both private practice and public health, and in regional, inner and outer city settings. Mitchell adopts a warm and straightforward approach, aiming to put his clients at ease and work closely with them to address whatever might bring them to the clinic.
In his therapy, Mitchell primarily draws on techniques and strategies from Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Motivational Interviewing. He is experienced and comfortable working with clients who have Depression (and related issues of low motivation, low self-esteem and self-worth), Anxiety (including excessive worry, social anxiety, health anxiety, specific phobias and panic), Adjustment issues (such as those relating to health, work and life changes), Stress and Coping Skills, Grief and Loss, Trauma (including PTSD), Obssessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), and Emotion Regulation difficulties.
Nerissa O’Keefe (Westgarth St)
Nerissa is a registered Psychologist who has completed a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology and a Masters degree in Counselling. She has experience working with children, adolescents and adults with a range of presentations including depression, anxiety, OCD, suicidality, adjustment, low self-esteem and relationships issues. She is passionate about child and adolescent mental health and has previous experience in paediatric rehabilitation where she worked with clients with cerebral palsy, chronic fatigue syndrome, brain injury and cancer. Nerissa’s adopts a caring and non-judgemental approach and works collaboratively with clients. She believes in tailoring support to each individual and draws on various evidence-based therapeutic approaches including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT).
Parris Davenport (Northcote) [not taking on new clients]
Parris is a clinical psychologist with a Master of Clinical Psychology. Parris is warm and non-judgemental in her approach and uses a range of therapeutic modalities including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Schema Therapy, Eye-Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR), Solution-Focused Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Strength-Based Approach, Psycho-education and Mindfulness.
Parris has clinical experience working with clients from diverse sociocultural backgrounds, with a focus on treating complex mental health issues, including trauma and alcohol and other drug related issues. Parris also has clinical experience in providing individual and group based treatment that varies from brief to long-term therapeutic engagement. Parris is passionate about working with people across the lifespan in the treatment of mental health related issues, with a focus on empowering her clients and improving their mental health and wellbeing.
Ruby Beer (Westgarth St)
Ruby is a registered psychologist who is passionate about supporting children, adolescents and young adults to address their mental health barriers through early intervention. Ruby strives to adopt a warm and compassionate approach to ensure that young people feel safe and supported. She enjoys working collaboratively with clients, utilising creative and playful approaches to engage young people in a meaningful and enjoyable way. Ruby tailors her approach to meet the client’s needs, utilising evidence-based interventions including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. She is experienced in working with a range of presentations including anxiety, phobias, depression, interpersonal difficulties, stress, identity and self esteem issues.
Additionally, Ruby has an interest in working with clients from the LGBTQ+ community, using an affirmative therapeutic approach to provide a safe space for clients to explore their concerns.
Sally Blight (Telehealth only to March 2021)
An experienced psychologist who works with adults, adolescents and children.
Uses a range of therapeutic techniques including CBT and mindfulness. She has had extensive experience working with anxiety, depression, trauma, grief, loss, serious mental illness, at risk clients, low self-esteem, anger management, behavioural issues, drug and alcohol and with the long term unemployed.
Has worked both in the public and private sectors a special interest in child and adolescent development, the overall wellbeing of her clients and the impact that nutrition can have on mental health.
A registered provider with Medicare and ATAPS.
Sam Warren (Northcote) [not taking on new clients until Feb 2021]
Sam is a Doctor of Counselling Psychology who has extensive experience working with young people and adults on a wide range of issues, including anxiety and depression, alcohol and other substance use issues, grief and loss, stress management, trauma and life transition.
Samantha Hollis (Northcote)
Samantha is a psychologist with experience in primary and secondary schools, private and university clinic settings. She has worked with clients of all ages, with a particular focus on children and adolescents aged 3 – 18 years, providing therapy, individual and group interventions. She provides interventions for a wide range of issues including anxiety, behavioural, social and learning difficulties, and is an advocate for early intervention.
Samantha takes a client-centred and collaborative approach to therapy, working with clients, families, school staff and other health professionals. She incorporates a range of theoretical approaches and techniques dependent on the needs of the client and their family, including cognitive behavioural therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, mindfulness and play therapy.
Dr Zahra Noori (Northcote) [Telehealth only]
Dr Zahra is a psychologist working in both the private and public sector in Victoria. She works with a variety of concerns including depression, anxiety in its many forms (e.g., generalised anxiety, social anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder), marriage and relationship issues, stress, anger, life transitions, loss and adjustment, just to name a few.
These concerns can impact important aspects of life including self -esteem, reaching personal goals, assertiveness, ability to enjoy life, be calm and present, navigate difficult periods in life and feeling connected to the world around us.
She works with patients in an empathetic, compassionate, respectful and collaborative style to address their concerns, realise personal growth and move forward in a meaningful direction in life using a range of therapeutic modalities with an emphasis on individual tailoring to suit a client’s needs. Dr Zahra is also fluent in English and Persian (Farsi).