Directors

 

Dr Clayton Spencer – Medical Director

Dr Spencer is a Medical Doctor with  extensive experience as a Physician Executive having worked at all levels of leadership. He is the co-owner, founder and Medical Director of Wattleseed Healing Centre, a practice currently situated in Hornsby and providing private psychological and health services to the community.  Dr Spencer is also the Medical Director of Greater NSW Health and is the professional lead for 500 doctors across 37 Hospital Sites.

His role with Child Development Solutions Australia is associated with the relevant administrative and medical decision making needs of the business.  He has a passion for Indigenous Health and early intervention services, thus his keen interest in stepping into the Director role with our Paediatric focussed centre.

If you would like to email Dr Spencer please click on the photograph to the left of this text.

Emma Spencer – Director/Principal Clinical Psychologist

 

Emma is a Clinical Psychologist who has a special interest in the assessment and treatment of children, adolescents and families and peri-natal care.  Her background has been varied and included employment within hospital and community settings, both public and private.  Emma also worked for a number of years in consulting, as a trainer, project manager, neuropsychological assessor and also provided employment selection and transition services. Her leadership roles have included Site Manager, Clinical Supervisor and Executive Level Allied Health representative.  Emma is trained in a number of evidenced based therapies including CBT, ACT and DBT as well as Art and Play Therapies and she has written a number of therapeutic programs for mental health facilities nation wide.

 

Her clinical role within CDSA focusses on early intervention treatment services for children 0-6 years and their parents.  She is also passionate about supporting expectant/new mothers/fathers, with transitioning into these roles or to address mental health concerns.  Emma is a licensed 123 Magic trainer and Circle of Security Parenting Facilitator, with a passion for working with parents to improve their confidence in parenting.

Emma’s other passion is as an Assessor and Diagnostician with a focus on complex cases such as Autism and ADHD.  She takes assessment and diagnosis very seriously and as such has ensured the high quality of the tools and reporting requirements at the centre.  She is also a Clinical Supervisor providing supervision services to peers and Psychologists in training.

Clinicians

 

Dr Sunita Gurnasinghani – Paediatrician

 

Dr Sunita Gurnasinghani graduated in medicine from the University of Mumbai, India in 2000. Dr Gurnasinghani subsequently trained as a General Paediatrician in India and Australia. She has been recognised as Fellow of Royal Australian college of child health and paediatrics. She has worked in NSW hospitals in paediatrics for last 11 years.  She has extensive general paediatrics experience and subspecialty experience in NICU, developmental and community paediatrics, clinical genetics, etc. Dr Gurnasinghani has vast experience with Neuro-diverse presentations such as Autism Spectrum Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.  Currently, she is also working as consultant paediatrician at Hornsby Hospital and teaching and research-based activities hold special interest for her. She has publication in American Journal Of Clinical Genetics to her name.

Dr Gurnasinghani’s goal is to provide holistic quality of life to children with various needs and to provide support to their families. She is also passionate about taking a systemic and multidisciplinary approach to the care and health goals of her clients.

When she is not working, she travels, reads ,enjoys classical music and traditional dance forms.

 

Dr Sunita consults on Thursdays

 

Lianne Kady – Clinical Psychologist

 

Lianne is a clinical psychologist with experience and training in the assessment and treatment of children presenting with developmental, learning, behavioural and emotional difficulties. Lianne is committed to establishing warm and collaborative therapeutic relationships with her clients, working together within an evidence-based framework to achieve positive change. Lianne uses Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, and also draws on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and other mindfulness-based techniques as appropriate. Lianne also offers cognitive and academic assessment of children and adolescents to explore learning, attention and behavioural concerns as well as developmental issues such as ADHD and Autism. Lianne has a strong interest in child development and very much enjoys working together with families to help them reach their goals.

Lianne is excitingly expecting her 4th child, and will be taking a break from CDSA from the end of Feb 2019, to return later in the year.  As such, Lianne is not taking on any new treatment clients at present, focussing on providing discrete assessment services for Autism, ADHD, behavioural disorders and learning issues.

 

Please note that Lianne is taking maternity leave from March 2019

 

 

Deborah Admoni – Registered Psychologist

 

Debbie is a Registered Psychologist with vast experience within the community, hospital and education sector. She is passionate about working with children and their families presenting with mental health issues and disabilities.

 

In terms of mental health support, Debbie’s skills focus on working with children, young people and adults presenting with issues such as anxiety, phobias, obsessive compulsive disorder, school refusal, sleep issues, ADHD, depression and other mood disorders.  Debbie tailors her approach to suit the individual, drawing from a number of evidenced based treatment modalities.

 

Working with people with disabilities and their families or carers is a passion for Debbie. She has strong skills in behaviour management, empowering parents to work with children with challenging behaviours. Debbie takes a positive behaviour support approach to responding to difficult behaviours and works collaboratively with families, other health practitioners and educational organisations.  She believes that a systemic approach to supporting child development will lead to the best outcomes. Through her community work, Debbie has developed niche skills in supporting children and adults with autism, cerebral palsy and Downs Syndrome.

 

Deborah is available Mondays and Monday & Tuesday from November 2019

 

Maria Morte-Sanorjo – Registered Psychologist/Clinical Psychology Registrar

 

Maria is a registered psychologist who has Masters degree in Clinical Psychology at Western Sydney University (WSU). She is a recipient of the Dean’s Merit Award at WSU for academic excellence in her postgraduate studies and completed her undergraduate training at Macquarie University and received first class honours for her empirical thesis on women’s reactions to infant crying.

Maria is a warm and compassionate therapist who has a special interest in perinatal mental health and early childhood development. She has received training in assessment and treatment of perinatal anxiety and depression and incorporates attachment-based relational approaches to help clients work through the transition to parenthood.  She is committed to establishing a collaborative therapeutic relationship with her clients and provides a supportive environment for her client’s to work through their difficulties and cultivate resilience.

Maria has worked in a range of mental health settings including inpatient acute care, non-government organisations and community based private practice. She delivers evidence-based treatments and utilises modalities such as cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT), acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) and Schema Therapy. Maria can also offer comprehensive psychometric assessments to explore an individual’s level of functioning and support needs. She also has experience developing behaviour support plans and can provide parent management training to support parents with managing challenging child behaviours.

 

Maria is available Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday afternoons/evenings

 

Dr Katie Chung – Registered Psychologist/Clinical Psychology Registrar

 

Katie is a registered psychologist and a clinical psychology registrar. Following her undergraduate studies, she completed a PhD investigating the cognitive processes underlying vulnerability to depression recurrence at the University of New South Wales. She subsequently completed a Master of Clinical Psychology at the University of Technology Sydney.

 

Katie is an empathic, genuine, and collaborative clinician who has experience delivering evidence-based programs for anxiety disorders in children – facilitating change through both individual therapy sessions and group programs. On the basis of a holistic understanding of the presenting concerns, she has delivered parent management training to address issues such as tantrums, difficulties with bedtime routines, low self-esteem, and school refusal. Katie also has experience conducting cognitive and academic assessments to assess for giftedness, intellectual disability, specific learning disorders, and ADHD.

 

Katie delivers individualised treatment plans using evidence-based approaches, including cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), schema therapy, and dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT). She has experience working together with adults to understand and manage a range of psychological difficulties, including depression, anxiety, perfectionism, procrastination, stress, low self-esteem, and relationship problems, as well as more pervasive, chronic patterns of problematic thoughts and behaviours. Her goals are to help clients develop the insight and skills they need to overcome their difficulties and to help them build more meaningful and fulfilled lives.

 

Katie is available for appointments Wednesday, Thursday and Friday afternoon and evenings

 

Tanu Joshi – Registered Psychologist/Clinical Psychology Registrar

 

Tanu is a registered psychologist who has completed her Masters in clinical psychology from Macquarie University.  She has worked in mental health for eight years across a range of different fields including; working with children and families, supporting rural communities and diverse cultures, drug and alcohol case management, and trauma recovery. Tanu has training and experience as a Senior ABA Therapist, conducting therapy sessions with children with autism and their families to implemented behavioural intervention and developmental programs.  As a certified Senior ABA therapist she was responsible for leading early intervention programs for young children diagnosed with emotional or behavioural difficulties, as well as, supporting and guiding families through the process of diagnosis and recommending treatments for their specific needs.

Tanu also has a number of years experience working in an acute mental health hospital. During this time she was responsible for case managing clients presenting with trauma, and drug and alcohol abuse. In addition Tanu has extensive experience in running children’s social skills groups, conducting diagnostic assessment and one on one treatment planning and intervention.

Tanu has a special interest in working with children and teenagers, and their families, including working with children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADHD, Anxiety and Adjustment Disorder. Tanu also has a special interest in working with families from different cultural backgrounds. She provides 1:1 therapy, group therapy and complex diagnostic assessment and cognitive assessment at CDSA.

 

Tanu’s availability is Monday and Tuesday afternoon and evenings

 

 

Jacqui Cheyne – Registered Psychologist/Clinical Psychology Registrar

 

Jacqui is a provisional psychologist who has completed her Masters degree in Clinical Psychology at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) and is eagerly awaiting her application for General Registration to be approved. She has a special interest in Body Focused Repetitive Behaviours and undertook studies in Trichotillomania for both her Honours and Masters theses. Jacqui also has an interest in anxiety, mood disorders, and obsessive-compulsive disorders as they present in children and adolescents.

Jacqui has previously worked as an ABA therapist providing support and therapeutic interventions for children with Autism and their families, and she currently volunteers as a mentor and counsellor for a charity which aims to help children and adolescents process and learn how to effectively deal with grief following the loss of a loved one. Jacqui has worked with people across the lifespan, although she has a special spot for working with children and young people. She has experience conducting cognitive and psychometric assessments, facilitating groups, and running individual sessions. Her overall aim is to help kids and young people live the best lives they possibly can.

 

Jacqui is available Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays

 

Abigail Cohen – Speech Pathologist

 

Abigail has over 10 years of experience working as a speech pathologist. She has worked in a variety of service deliveries in private practice and in non-for profit organisations. Abigail has extensive experience assessing and delivering therapy to children from 0-18 years in the areas of speech (i.e. phonological disorders, articulation, Childhood Apraxia of speech), language (i.e. receptive and expressive language), fluency (i.e. stuttering) and literacy. Abigail has experience working with children with special needs, preschool-age and school-age children. She has professional and vast life experience working with children from multicultural backgrounds. Abigail is also fluent in Spanish and Hebrew. Abigail believes working with the parents is paramount to achieve the child’s communication goals.

 

Abigail is available on site Monday and Tuesday and also offers onsite appointments at school

 

 

Lindi Stein – Paediatric Nutritionist

 

Lindi is a nutritionist with a specific interest in children’s nutrition.  Dealing with children (from newborns through to teens) requires a mother’s touch, which Lindi certainly has. She has looked at issues spanning all ends of children’s nutrition from introducing solids, fussy eaters, healthy lunchboxes, allergies, reactions to digestion and bowel problems.  Lindi is also particularly interested in pain management through nutrition and diet.  Lindi will work together with you and your family to develop an overview tailored specifically for your families circumstances, including how to balance today’s fast pace life and still be able to provide the nutritional needs that your kids require within the time constraints that all parents have.

Contact us to discuss an appointment with Lindi as her days are flexible

Client Care Team

 

Tess Philip – Client Care Officer

 

Tess Philip joined the CDSA team in October 2018, and is the warm and welcoming face at our reception desk Wednesday-Friday.  Tess has an interest in mental health and is currently pursuing study in the field of psychology. She is also  a certified life coach with a passion for creativity and self-development, enjoys writing and over the years her work has been featured in a number of online publications. Her early career started out in natural health & wellness and with a bachelor’s degree in marketing and business, she also has years of experience working in digital marketing and as a ghostwriter mostly assisting small start-ups. Tess’ personal and professional experience has led her to want to pursue her career in mental health, helping others especially young people.

Tess also has a strong background in customer service, working for a period of time in the role of receptionist/administration support for a busy health practice in Sydney.  We are so fortunate to have such a bright, engaging and compassionate individual caring for our clients and clinicians alike.

Tess is available on Wed, Thurs and Friday 10am-6pm

 

Blake Summerhayes – Client Care Officer

 

Blake Summerhayes joined the team in 2019, and brings with him a wealth of experience in customer service, working with children and mental health.  Blake previously studied, graduated and worked as a teacher, confirming his passion for working with children and young people.  His experience ignited a passion for mental health and he is currently undertaking further studies in Psychology, with the aim to one day be a Practicing Psychologist.

For now, Blake’s kind and cheerful face can be found at our front reception desk on Mondays and Tuesdays.  He feels extremely privileged to be in a position to be supporting the children and their families presenting for assistance at the centre. We are also fortunate that he has an interest and vast knowledge in IT, and is quick off the mark with helping the team with any technical issues.  Blake’s other talents include playing bass guitar and managing large numbers of children at after school care and vacation care at local schools.  We are so fortunate to have a man of many talents supporting our clients and team members.

 

Blake is onsite Mondays and Tuesdays 10:30-6:30pm

 

Leonie Adams – Administration Support

 

With 47 years experience as a Registered Nurse, Leonie brings with her a kind, caring and nurturing attitude to our centre.  Her role at CDSA has a focus on supporting our Clinical and Administrative Team, as well as our Clients and her contributions ensure that the centre runs smoothly and efficiently.

 

Leonie has a passion for supporting both humans and animals alike, and is also a volunteer at Sydney Wildlife in Lane Cove.

 

Leonie is available Fridays