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Erskineville NSW 2043
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Team Profiles

Steve Den-Kaat

MSc (Psych) PGDip (ClinPsych) FCCLP

Clinical Psychologist – Clinic Director

Steve is the clinic director and supervisor of the team.  Steve obtained his MSc (psych) from Victoria University of Wellington, with his research in the field of Autism Spectrum Conditions (http://hdl.handle.net/10063/713). He completed his clinical training under the supervision of Professor Tony Attwood, Dr Michelle Garnett and Dr Hui Keow Lim.

Steve is a clinical psychologist who has a keen interest in working with adolescents with complex challenges including: attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, conduct disorder, eating disorders, anxiety, and depression. Steve’s main area of specialty is in the area of Asperger’s Syndrome and autism spectrum conditions.

Steve has provided diagnostic services and therapy in response to varying psychological needs. He has worked alongside children, adolescents and adults across the autism spectrum. In addition, Steve has presented across Australia and internationally in the area of autism spectrum conditions, with a focus on self-Identity and self-esteem.


Dr Ramona Toscano Callus

(currently on Maternity Leave until 2022)

BPsych (Hons), DClinPsych, MAPS

Clinical Psychologist – Clinic Director Child Services

Ramona completed a Bachelor of Psychology (Hons) at the University of Malta and a Doctor of Clinical Psychology at Macquarie University in Sydney. Ramona’s doctoral research focused on the assessment of anxiety in children and adolescents with anxiety disorders and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0165032718328362?via%3Dihub

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0165032720324733?dgcid=coauthor

Ramona trained as an ABA (Applied Behaviour Analysis) therapist and worked with children and adolescents with autism and their families. Her work involved the design and implementation of Early Intervention programs, parent training and consultation with school and multidisciplinary teams. Ramona also worked at the Emotional Health Clinic, Macquarie University where she conducted assessments and provided treatment of anxiety and mood disorders in children and adolescents. During her training and clinical work, Ramona has gained experience in providing assessment as well as individual and group treatment for children, adolescents and adults experiencing a range of difficulties including anxiety, depression, autism and ADHD. Ramona is also a Registered Circle Of Security® Parenting (COSP) facilitator.

Ramona is passionate about helping individuals lead healthy and fulfilling lives and is committed to utilising evidence based, scientifically effective treatments, including Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Mindfulness-based CBT.


Dr Sally Clifford

BPsych (Hons) MPsych (Clinical) PhD (Psychology, Autism Spectrum Disorders)

Clinical Psychologist

Dr Sally Clifford has a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology and a PhD in Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD, Link 1; Link 2).Sally researched ASD at a post-doctoral level with University College London, the Autism Research Centre at Cambridge University and for the British Autism Study of Infant Siblings at Birkbeck University of London (Link 3; Link 4; Link 5). Sally was later involved in evaluating parenting programs  at King’s College London (Link 6).  Sally has considerable experience in the diagnosis and treatment of children, adolescents and adults with ASD, having spent the last 16 years researching and working clinically in the area.

Sally’s experience involves working with children and their families, and she is a training parenting practitioner (Triple P provider). Sally has also worked in the area of conduct and oppositional problems (using Multisystemic therapy), eating disorders, anxiety, social phobia, depression, anger management, bullying, and Social Skills Training. Sally uses a range of strategies including Behaviour Therapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Social Skills Training, and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. Sally works collaboratively and creatively with families and enjoys fun and dynamic sessions.


Dr Hugh Walker

BA Psych(Hons I) DPsy(Clinical) MAPS

Clinical Psychologist – Clinical Lead of Adolescent and Adult Services

Hugh has completed a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Psychology with first class honours (Macquarie University) and completed a Doctor of Psychology (Clinical) at The University of Queensland. Hugh has over 10 years of experience working in public hospitals and private practice from children to older adults. Hugh is a Board-Approved Supervisor of psychologists in training, Adjunct Fellow of Macquarie University, and regularly provides supervision to colleagues and is a Clinical Lead at Diverse Minds.

Hugh has a general interest in neurodiversity, with a specific interest in clinical assessment of autism spectrum conditions and co-existing conditions. Hugh is trained to assess and treat mental health conditions generally. He is also passionate about providing therapy to clients to reduce related social, emotional, and behavioural challenges impacting quality of life. Hugh has received training from Professor Tony Attwood and Steve Den-Kaat and completed a Graduate Certificate of Autism Diagnosis at the University of Western Australia and placement with the Child Development Unit at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead. Hugh is trained in the scientific method and has experience running randomised controlled trials and has published a trial from his thesis here.

Hugh understands psychological well-being to be a product of biological, psychological, social, and environmental factors and is therefore welcoming of collaboration with other allied health professionals (E.g. GP, Paediatrician, Psychiatrist and others) when necessary. Hugh’s main therapeutic method is Cognitive-Behaviour Therapy (CBT). CBT involves modifying behaviours and adjusting thinking styles that could be hindering a person from flourishing. He is also trained in other types of therapies such as:  Mindfulness Training, Acceptance Commitment Therapy, Dialectical Behaviour Therapy Skills, Social Skills Training, Motivational Interviewing (and a reasonable dose of humour) which he uses when the empirical evidence supports it. When it suits the treatment plan, he accommodates sessions in public, at home, or via telehealth. He writes reports and attends meetings with other stakeholders at his client’s request.

If seeing Hugh for an initial appointment you can expect to be treated with earnest and compassion, for him to collaboratively complete an assessment interview, for him to share his formulation of the presenting issues with you and discuss with you a plan to move forward with an evidence-based and individually tailored approach.

 


Scarlett McCarthy

BPsychSc, BA(Hons)Psy, M.Clin Psych

Clinical Psychologist 

Scarlett completed a Bachelor of Psychological Science at Monash University and a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) Psychology at Western Sydney University with first class Honours. Scarlett also completed her training in Applied Behaviour Analysis and worked as an ABA therapist providing early intervention for children on the autism spectrum throughout her honours and clinical training.
Scarlett completed a Master of Clinical Psychology at the University of Technology Sydney and has gained experience at university clinics as well inpatient and outpatient services. During her clinical training, Scarlett completed placements at the UTS Psychology Clinic, Diverse Minds Psychology Clinic and The Sydney Clinic (inpatient care). Scarlett has worked with individuals across all ages to provide evidence-based treatment to a range of concerns and challenges.
Scarlett aims to work within the therapeutic approach which best suits the client’s needs; this includes Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT). Scarlett is trained to deliver the Secret Agent’s Society (SAS) social skills group program and is experienced in running the PEERS Social skills program for teens and for young adults here at Diverse Minds. Scarlett is interested in working with females on the autism spectrum as well as young children through to young adults who are on the autism spectrum.


Karen Gould

BA (Psych) Hons, MClinPsych, MResPsych, MAPS

Clinical Psychologist 

Karen completed her Masters of Clinical Psychology and Masters of Research degrees at Macquarie University. During her training she worked across the lifespan with clients from young children to older adults affected by anxiety, depression, ADHD, autism spectrum disorder, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, providing individual and group therapy. Karen has worked with individuals on the autism spectrum since 2014 in both clinical and research settings. Karen has an additional interest in supporting the emotional wellbeing of individuals with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, a condition that often occurs along with anxiety and low mood. Karen has published her research on ADHD, including the treatment of co-occurring anxiety, in peer-reviewed scientific journals (https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Karen_Gould2). She has also facilitated group-based therapy assisting adults with ADHD to improve their quality of life.
Karen uses Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Interpersonal Psychotherapy and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy approaches, and is trained in delivering the Cool Kids Anxiety Program and Collaborative and Proactive Solutions (CPS). She strives for a warm and non-judgemental therapeutic approach and greatly enjoys working with clients from a diverse range of backgrounds.

Karen is a member of the Australian ADHD Professionals Association (AADPA)

 


Clair Cholajda

BA (Hons) Psychology, (MA) Clinical Psychology

Clinical Psychologist 

Clair majored in Psychology, Sociology and English Literature at Rhodes University in South Africa, followed by her Masters in Clinical Psychology at the University of Natal, where there was a strong emphasis on psychodynamic therapy and personality disorders.

She went on to do further study at the Tavistock Clinic and the Institute of Family Therapy in London. She worked at the STD (sexually transmitted disease) and HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) clinic at St Mary’s Hospital and at one of the local general practices, which offered a psychology service from the site.

Clair moved to Australia in 1994 and worked at a mental health centre, working with a wide range of mild to moderate disorders including anxiety, depression and adjustment disorders and then Graylands Psychiatric Hospital in Perth, with both acute and chronic, severe disorders including schizophrenia, bi-polar disorders, dissociative disorders and personality disorders.

When she and her family moved to Hobart, she worked part-time at a community mental health centre and at the chronic pain unit in the Royal Hobart Hospital, followed by private practice where she began to work with adults presenting with ASD. She was supervised by the clinical director, Steven den-Kat of Diverse Minds.

In 2021, Clair moved to Sydney and joined Diverse Minds – she enjoys working with adults and couples who are on the Spectrum. She is very optimistic about the benefits of diagnosis of ASD and helping clients gain an understanding of their neurodiversity and how it impacts on their lives. She finds Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Mindfulness integrated Cognitive Behavior Therapy (MiCBT) very helpful therapies for bringing about change.


Grace Kouvelis

BA Psych (Hons), MPsych (Clinical)

Clinical Psychologist 

Grace completed a Bachelor of Arts (Psychology and English) and Honours degree in Psychology from the University of Sydney and a Master of Clinical Psychology degree from Macquarie University. Grace has also received training in Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) and worked as a junior ABA therapist assisting children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Grace’s research through her Master of Clinical Psychology degree was within the psycho-oncology field, focusing on the impact of how previous interpersonal trauma can impact how individuals, with or without a history of cancer, self-identify.

Grace is a warm and empathetic therapist who is passionate about supporting young people, adults and families with various presenting concerns, such as depression, anxiety, and relationship difficulties. Grace’s interest is in supporting clients through life transitions and cultural conflict from her experience in university psychology clinics and a therapeutic service for young adults.

Grace completed her final clinical placement under the supervision of Dr Hugh Walker and Steve Den-Kaat at Diverse Minds, which focused on delivering individual and group therapy to individuals with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. Grace utilises a range of evidence-based interventions, such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Motivational Interviewing (MI). In all treatments, she is passionate about working collaboratively with clients in order to identify and work towards their goals.

 


Chloe Marshall

BA (Psych/Hlth), PGD (Psych), MPsych (Ed&Dev), MAPS

Educational & Developmental Psychologist

Chloe has a Masters degree in Educational and Developmental Psychology, which she completed through Monash University in Melbourne. Prior to this, she completed a Bachelor of Psychology and Health as well as a Postgraduate Diploma in Psychology.

Chloe worked in ABA (Applied Behaviour Analysis) for over six years, in a range of settings, her work including creating, and implementing data-driven individualised intervention for children and adolescents with an Autism Spectrum Disorder and related disabilities. She also consulted with schools, worked with families in their homes and in the community and collaborated with other service providers to best support her clients. During this time Chloe also worked for a foundation that focuses on helping all children have the ability to play and access the community around them. She created programs for children and families to engage in and assisted with campaigning and writing grants for all-ability parks to be built across Australia.

Chloe also has experience working with individuals across the lifespan in multiple settings, utilising evidence based treatment such as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, and Mindfulness based therapies. She also enjoys implementing comprehensive psychometric assessments and being able to assist and support individuals and families during the process. Chloe has a particular interest in developmental delay and mental health in children and adolescents. She hopes to continue to assist individuals and their families with such challenges lead meaningful lives.

 


Jennifer Ma

BPsych (Hons)

Provisional Psychologist

Jennifer completed a Bachelor of Psychology with first class honours at the University of Sydney, and is currently completing her Master of Clinical Psychology degree at the University of Technology Sydney. She previously worked as a Research Assistant at the University of Sydney and as an accredited Telephone Crisis Supporter at Lifeline. She assisted in developing an online unit of study on emotional intelligence. During her clinical training, Jennifer has completed placements at the UTS Psychology Clinic and Diverse Minds Psychology Clinic. She also facilitates a social skills program at Diverse Minds, the Secret Agent Society.

Jennifer has worked with individuals across the lifespan and is passionate about helping her clients to recognise their strengths and navigate life’s complexities. She appreciates that every individual is an expert in their own life, and strives to collaborate with her clients to provide tailored, evidence-based interventions. She integrates the following therapeutic approaches into her sessions: Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Schema Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, and Motivational Interviewing. At Diverse Minds, Jennifer enjoys her work in providing early psychological support for our younger generations, so they have the best chance to lead safe, healthy and happy lives.


Julie Sipina

Clinic Manager

Julie is a busy mother of three who is very passionate about the health industry, having  owned and operated her own Medical Supplies business for many years where she refined her skills for health administration. She is well travelled and worked in Europe and Asia in Corporate and Executive Assistant roles for a number of years.

Her interests revolve around her family and she enjoys meditation, pilates, travel and entertaining with friends.

Julie is a warm, calm and understanding  person, who is always willing to listen and help with any challenges that may arise either with clients or personnel within the clinic. Julie looks forward to welcoming you at the Clinic and assisting you with any questions you might have.


Lise Potts

Senior Administrator

Lise is a cheerful and enthusiastic mother of two who has a passion for health and well being. Coming from England she has travelled and worked in various countries and eventually settled in Australia where she is now a Citizen. Since living in Australia she has gained extensive experience in customer service and administration work through many different roles. Her two daughters are in the NSW Girl Guides and she is a volunteer helper. She has a pleasant, friendly and understanding personality.


Rebecca Ross

Personal Assistant

Rebecca is an energetic mother of 3 active boys who enjoys being engaged and busy. Having studied and practised law for many years, Rebecca has embraced a change that allows her to work within a field that gives individuals and families access to services that can make a real difference to their lives. While her 3 boys keep her very busy with various weekend sporting activities, in her spare time she enjoys exploring the great outdoors and engaging with friends. Rebecca is always ready and willing to listen.

 


Kate Sinha

Receptionist/Personal Assistant

Kate is an active mother of two great boys who enjoys leading a balanced life.  She enjoyed a long career in advertising working within Australia and England before taking a hiatus to raise her boys.  She has welcomed the opportunity of returning to the workforce and into an industry that cares about providing the best support for individuals and families.  Kate has a keen interest in gardening and long nature walks with her high spirited and affectionate Labrador, Rocket.

Kate is here to make your visit to the clinic a helpful and pleasurable experience.