Rachel is passionate about families being as healthy as possible. Drawing upon 15 years of experience with children and families, she believes that compassionate relationships, exploring people’s strengths, and creativity are the pathways to healing. Rachel’s dedicated perinatal practice is ‘Three Little Birds Perinatal Psychology’ which came about since having her own 3 children and discovering to her dismay that there is little real-life support for parents as they navigate transitioning into parenthood, struggling with issues like conception, pregnancy loss, disability, birth trauma, bonding, and the physical and emotional demands of parenting issues.
Rachel has a solid background in Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Strengths-Based & Narrative Therapies, and Family Systems Therapy. For her perinatal work, she expands upon this practice, incorporating methods from advanced training in relevant modalities. With Rachel, you can be guaranteed an understanding ear and a big dose of enthusiasm. And there is always a warm cuppa, too!
Luciana Lanza is a Clinical and Counselling Psychologist with 30 years of experience in mental health in both private and public practice. She has worked in a diverse range of settings from public adult psychiatry including hospitals to GP clinics with a diverse range of patients from children to adults including people from culturally diverse backgrounds. After having her third child, she has dedicated herself exclusively to her private practice and her professional development as a psychologist and psychoanalyst.
Luciana has extensive experience with the full range of mental health difficulties including anxiety, depression, trauma, grief, and addiction. Luciana has a keen interest in working with women in the antenatal and perinatal periods. Her warmth and understanding of the very real difficulties and challenges faced by families have inspired her to work closely with mothers, fathers, and children during this significant life transition. Person-centered and Psychoanalytic approaches inform her practice where she believes strongly in the individual’s capacity to find the keys needed to find a solution with the appropriate support and facilitation by the therapist. Additionally, she has a keen interest and maintains abreast of the research in neurobiology and attachment theory which she uses to inform her practice.
Grace joined Gidget Foundation Australia in February 2021. She supports the administrative team as well as the triage program.
Grace grew up in Sydney. After graduating from high school, she spent a few years studying and working in the United States. Grace returned to Sydney in late 2019 (which coincidentally was very lucky timing)!
Grace is now pursuing a Juris Doctor degree at Sydney University. She hopes one day to provide legal representation to women in need. In her spare time, Grace likes to run, read, and wander around her new home, in the Inner West.
Christie is a registered Clinical Psychologist with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Authority (AHPRA) and a board-approved clinical supervisor. She has held both clinical and senior leadership roles assisting in clinical program development and delivery, supervising teams, and is experienced in assisting clients to find a therapeutic approach to best meet their recovery needs. Christie is an experienced clinician having worked across a variety of settings including community health, private practice, schools, and private hospitals. She has professional interests in clinical areas including perinatal health, leadership development, and eating disorders.
Christie is passionate about providing a client-centered approach and utilises evidence-based therapies, she also is the founder of the mental health app, The Compassionate Parent App. She has completed perinatal specific training from the Centre of Perinatal Excellence (COPE) and The University of Sydney’s Perinatal Mental Health Course.
Anthea is an Endorsed Mental Health Occupational Therapist with additional training in Psychological Sciences.
Anthea has more than a decade of experience working in perinatal, infant, and youth mental health. She has worked across inpatient and community settings, supporting the psychological, social, and emotional wellbeing of parents through grief and loss, pregnancy, birth trauma, and the postnatal period. In addition to her work with Gidget Foundation Australia, Anthea works with Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Australia (PANDA).
Anthea is passionate about practicing from a strengths-based model of care, working collaboratively with clients to help them identify their own treatment goals. Anthea is particularly interested in attachment theory and is a Registered Circle of Security Parent Educator. She integrates various models of evidence-based therapy into her practice including CBT, ACT, Motivational Interviewing, and Mindfulness.
Anthea values creating a warm and respectful environment, empowering clients to navigate challenges in their parenting journey.
Dr Tiffany Hense is a Registered Clinical Psychologist, who is passionate about family mental health and wellbeing, especially within the perinatal period. With more than a decade spent working in both public and private practice across Sydney, she has experience providing support and therapy across the lifespan, from infancy through to adulthood. Her work draws on many evidence-based models of care, including cognitive-behavioral therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, and systemic and relational therapies. She also has a particular interest in attachment and the parent-infant connection.
Tiffany is keen to help parents and families harness their strengths and resources to help navigate the challenges that may arise during the perinatal period, including anxiety, depression, grief and loss, relationship concerns, and adjustment issues. She aims to provide a warm, empathic, safe, and collaborative environment for families to explore and process their experiences.
Susan is a Registered Psychologist and has previously worked with families, children, and adolescents across a diverse range of community-based organisations. She has facilitated the Circle of Security Parenting program and educational groups for separated parents who have young children and intend to co-parent.
Susan offers warmth and empathy supporting parents during the peripartum and postpartum period, coping with changes to relationship dynamics, along with the challenges of adapting to life as a parent. Her preferred approaches to treatment involve evidence-based interventions that focus on Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, including Grief and Loss therapy.
Susan is a passionate advocate of perinatal mental health and empowering parents to develop skills to build resilience and emotional well-being. In her psychology honours thesis, she explored the incompatibility of maternal ambivalence with the positive social constructions of motherhood and how this influences psychological adjustment to parenting.
Bethany spent the first 12 years of her career working within the government and corporate sectors. Bethany worked for The Department of Lands Heritage Division for 5 years in several Marketing and Public Programs roles.
Most recently Bethany has worked within the automotive industry and managed many facets of the marketing, public affairs, events, and communications initiatives of Jaguar Land Rover. She launched the first-ever brand experience program and most recently performed the role of Communications Manager where she oversaw the implementation of the brand strategy and retail network programs.
Bethany has lived experience of perinatal anxiety and insomnia and is deeply passionate about the work of Gidget Foundation Australia. She is responsible for managing all aspects of the implementation of Gidget Foundation Australia’s support programs.
Bethany has a cheeky little boy who keeps her and her husband busy and reminds her constantly to pause and take in the simple things!
Lynette is a warm and compassionate Clinical Psychologist with a B.Psych, Masters in Clinical Psychology and PhD from UNSW Sydney.
She has worked in a variety of private practice, health and university settings over the last 7 years, including teaching postgraduate psychology students at UTS, and interim clinic director at the Flinders University Psychology Clinic. She has been with Gidget House since 2016 and has loved every moment working and supporting her incredible clients through challenging times.
She uses an evidence-based approach drawing on modalities such as Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) to tailor an individual treatment plan. She is so passionate about women’s health she is also studying to be an OB/GYN.
Julie is a Registered Clinical Psychologist with extensive clinical experience working across the lifespan in Infant, Child and Adolescent, and Adult Mental Health Services in government, private practice, and university clinic settings.
The focus of her work is to develop resilience in families, working with them to develop personal resources to get through tough times. Fundamental to this process has been working with parents to develop skills in emotional wellbeing and to build infant attachment in the prenatal and postnatal periods.
Julie values developing a collaborative therapeutic relationship with clients in which they can express their individual emotional and support needs while also responding to the needs of their infant and family. She brings training and experience in a range of evidence-based cognitive psychotherapies and parent-child interaction therapies to her practice.
Julie is a Fellow of Clinical College of APS and an accredited clinical supervisor with APHRA.
Amanda Bryen is a Clinical Psychologist with over 19 years of experience. Amanda’s natural warmth and care draw her to the area of perinatal psychology where she loves helping women and young families to survive and thrive in the early years of parenthood.
Amanda is an excellent communicator who takes great care in treating her clients with respect, sensitivity, and kindness. Amanda has both a personal and professional interest in assisting new mums, and has much empathy, compassion, and is non-judgemental in her work.
Amanda is an experienced counsellor and is trained in several approaches of therapy, including; Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, CBT, Circle of Security, Neurodevelopmental Care, Family Therapy, Trauma-Informed Care, Grief & Loss Therapy, Schema Therapy, Compassion Focused Therapy, Art Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Relaxation Training, Assertiveness Skills, Contemplative Therapies, Interpersonal Therapy, and Mindfulness.
Diana is an Accredited Mental Health Social Worker based in Coffs Harbour who has worked with individuals, families and children in community and private systems in regional remote Australia and the Pacific Islands. Diana has post-graduate studies in Perinatal Mental Health and a Masters of Humanitarian Development and Aid.
Diana has years of experience providing trauma-informed psychological care to clients across the lifespan including psychological disorders, family and domestic violence, displacement, and loss. Her practice is grounded in empathy and cultural sensitivity. In therapy, Diana draws on evidence-based psychological interventions including Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), Interpersonal Therapy, Mindfulness with Attachment and Family Systems theories framing her practice.
Diana values creating a safe and warm environment for parents and families to explore their experience of parenthood and develop skills to improve adjustment and overall wellbeing.
Robyn is a psychologist with a Masters in Health Psychology.
She has worked most recently in a public hospital environment providing support to women during the antenatal period, as well as patients on the adult inpatient mental health ward. Robyn has also had considerable experience working in community mental health settings.
Robyn has a particular interest in supporting new parents to navigate all areas of the perinatal period such as pregnancy-related concerns, adjustment to parenthood, perinatal anxiety and depression, and birth trauma.
Robyn provides a warm and supportive environment for parents to explore and address concerns relating to parenthood, recognising that it’s often hard to acknowledge they may be struggling in this role.
Robyn draws upon a wide range of evidence-based psychological approaches including Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT), and Mindfulness-Based Therapies.
Kate holds a Masters of Counselling Psychology which researched the emotional processes of women experiencing depression in the perinatal period.
Kate has worked and studied in psychology for over 20 years across private, public, and not-for-profit sectors. She is passionate about supporting her clients to foster meaningful, purposeful, and satisfying relationships, connections, and lives.
Kate works from a value-based, trauma-informed, and recovery focussed perspective. She values empowerment, hope, respect, and authenticity. When working with clients she utilises evidence-based therapies such as CBT, ACT, Emotion Focussed Therapy, Neuropsychotherapy, and Mindfulness and Relaxation Training. Kate is also a Clinical Hypnotherapist.
Kate has a special interest in depression, anxiety, and trauma as experienced by women during the perinatal period. She also works with grief, loss, and trauma experiences connected to the birth experience, pregnancy loss, and IVF conception complications.
Ange is a Registered Psychologist who has experience working with mothers in the perinatal period, as well as with families, children, and adolescents. She has worked in both NSW community health and non-government settings.
Ange is a compassionate and caring clinician who understands how challenging it can be for people to reach out and seek support, especially in rural areas. Ange has lived and worked in rural NSW all her life. She is passionate about providing support and empowerment to parents as they navigate their journey through early parenting. She has experience working with perinatal depression and anxiety, birth trauma, perinatal loss, and complications during pregnancy.
Ange works from an Attachment and Family Systems approach and is familiar with techniques such as CBT, Mindfulness, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Compassion Focused Therapy.
Deeva is an accredited mental health social worker, clinical family therapist, and a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner. She has over 10 years of post-graduate experience specialising in children and families, attachment, trauma, grief, and loss.
Deeva is passionate about working with individuals and families and supporting them to heal the wounds of early trauma, attachment, and intergenerational trauma.
Deeva has a special interest in mindfulness-based therapies such as Somatic Experiencing and Internal Family Systems and compliments this with a range of evidence-based practices such as CBT, ACT, and Interpersonal Psychotherapy.
Deeva understands that each stage of the journey of parenthood is a special, yet challenging time for many. She feels incredibly privileged to support families through the significant life transition and challenges of fertility, conception, birth, and the first year of infancy. Her priority is to provide a nurturing space for clients so that they feel safe in exploring and processing their vulnerabilities and strengths and collaboratively finding ways to optimise their mental health.
Raphaella Warwick is a caring and empathetic Clinical Psychologist who is passionate about working with and supporting families. She is experienced in evidence-based practice with specialisation in mindfulness-based approaches and cognitive therapies. Through working with her wonderful clients at Gidget Foundation Australia, and through her own experience as a mum of two young children, Raphaella has an understanding of the transformative experience of becoming a parent and cares about helping families through this wonderful and meaningful but also challenging time.
Raphaella has a Bachelor of Science (Honours in Psychology) from the University of Sydney, a Master of Clinical Psychology from UTS, and is completing a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology with a focus on mindfulness therapies for reducing parent stress.
Eliza joined Gidget Foundation Australia in 2020 as a member of the clinical administration team.
Eliza is currently studying a Bachelor of Nursing and hopes to one day become a maternity or neonatal registered nurse.
Working with Gidget Foundation Australia has provided invaluable experience and insight into the field of maternity and the importance of the promotion of perinatal health for new and expecting parents. Away from work and her studies, Eliza spends her spare time catching up with friends and family and enjoying some time outdoors.
Grace joined Gidget Foundation Australia in August 2020 and supports the clinical administration team. Grace grew up living in Singapore, USA, and Sydney. After finishing school, she completed a Bachelor of Commerce/ Bachelor of Arts with a focus on sociology and gender.
In 2020, Grace began studying a Master of Counselling at The University of Notre Dame. She is excited to pursue a career in mental health, and is looking forward to the invaluable experience working with Gidget Foundation Australia will provide.
Sabrina joined Gidget Foundation Australia in 2020 as the Organisational Administration Executive. Sabrina takes care of administrative duties relating to Gidget House, Fundraising, Events, Volunteers and the Gidget Virtual Village
Sabrina has a background in Gender Studies after graduating from the University of Sydney. Sabrina is now undertaking a Masters of Counselling and Psychotherapy at the University of Western Sydney. Sabrina hopes one day to unite her passion for diversity and inclusion with a career in the mental health field.
Away from work Sabrina loves spending quality time with friends & family, all whilst saving up for her next overseas adventure!
Catherine has a Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in Psychology from Macquarie University and started her career as a Buyer in Retail Duty Free.
After spending nine years as an Expat in Dubai, Catherine relocated to England where she worked in the education sector and most recently as Family Centre Co-ordinator in Guildford, Surrey UK. She is now very excited to be joining the Gidget Foundation Australia team as the Clinical Practice Manager. Catherine takes care of our new and existing clients, Clinicians, and our Admin Team.
When not at Gidget House, Catherine enjoys spending time with her husband, as well as her two children who are both currently studying at University. She is also enjoying getting reacquainted with Sydney after spending 13 years overseas.
Justine is a warm, insightful and supportive therapist, who has worked for over 20 years as a Clinical Psychologist. She has gained specialised expertise in the perinatal period while working at Karitane Randwick and St John of God Burwood. In these settings, she has used individual and group treatments.
As a Registered Circle of Security Parent Educator, she has also facilitated several such groups. Justine recognises the importance of having appropriate support to navigate the journey to parenthood, including those that have had difficulty with conception, pregnancy losses, and birth trauma. She also has a particular interest in helping those experiencing perinatal anxiety.
Her work is largely informed by attachment-based therapy and interpersonal neurobiology. In therapy, Justine draws on a wide range of evidence-based psychological approaches, including Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Interpersonal Psychotherapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Schema Therapy, and Mindfulness-Based Therapies.
Justine also has relationships with a number of professionals working in the area. These include Perinatal Psychiatrists, Midwives, Parentcraft nurses, Child and Family Nurses, and perinatal mental health teams to ensure that where appropriate there is additional input and support. Justine is a Member of ACPA (Australia Clinical Psychology Association) and a Board Approved Supervisor with APHRA.
Amanda is a psychologist with Gidget Foundation Australia, based at North Shore Private, St Leonards.
She has worked for a number of years with parents in therapeutic contexts. Amanda appreciates the emotionally taxing nature of parenting, around fertility, birth trauma, perinatal loss, infant caring, and other needs. Her focus is on providing consistently warm, empathetic, and compassionate support for parents and their families.
Romy is a Registered Clinical Perinatal Psychologist. She holds a Masters in Clinical Psychology from Deakin University.
It was through her early work as a relationship counsellor that Romy became passionate about supporting parents and infants during the perinatal period; including the planning of conception, pregnancy, and during the post-partum. Romy recognises that the parenthood journey presents many challenges to families, as well as joys and hope. Romy also supports people who have suffered birth trauma, perinatal loss (including miscarriage, stillbirth, and neonatal death), and those who face fertility issues.
Romy’s therapeutic approach aims to help parents find joy in their parenting experience, as well as to foster a secure and loving bond between parent and infant. Romy recognises that reaching out to a psychologist takes considerable courage. She takes the time to listen carefully to people’s concerns and, together, to work out a way forward.
Leah is a caring and skilled social worker, with 14 years’ post graduate experience. Leah has a warm and welcoming approach and understands how daunting it can be to seek support. She is committed to providing a non-judgmental and supportive environment for clients to talk about and work through their issues. She is particularly interested in supporting people during the perinatal period and has specific knowledge and training in this area.
Leah has worked in numerous locations across Australia and overseas, however is particularly passionate about the health and wellbeing of people in regional areas being from a small country town herself. She understands the unique needs and challenges for people living in and raising families in regional communities. Leah has relocated to the beautiful Manning region of NSW and is raising her own family there.
Leah is experienced in working with people facing a range of challenges and mental health conditions. Leah works from evidence-based theoretical frameworks to support people to live the life they want. She is an Accredited Mental Health Social Worker and her passion for strengthening families and supporting individuals has led her to undertake a PhD in advanced social work practice with families.
Joanne is an Accredited Mental Health Social Worker and has over 10 years counselling experience working with clients of all ages, including children, adolescents, adults and the elderly. Joanne has a breadth of experience and a passion for working with individuals, couples and families during the perinatal period and beyond.
Joanne has worked in a range of practice areas, including Private Practice in Newcastle and Taree for the past 3 years. She works with a variety of issues including anxiety, depression, PTSD, perinatal mental health, domestic violence, sexual assault, trauma, substance abuse, stress, parenting issues, relationship difficulties, attachment issues, bereavement, grief and loss, BPD and other mental health issues. Her work includes a collaborative approach with clients and families and is informed by therapeutic frameworks with a solid evidence base, including a strengths approach.
Joanne has undergone extensive training in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (Mindfulness), Narrative Therapy, Trauma Therapy, Grief, Loss and Bereavement Counselling, Interpersonal Psychotherapy, CBT and Couples Counselling.
Apart from her work at Gidget House, Joanne also has a Private Practice on the NSW Mid North Coast, where she lives with her family.
Marije Vrieze is a registered psychologist who has worked with children, adults and families for over 20 years.
Her work is focused on supporting individuals and couples dealing with a range of issues, including anxiety, depression, stress, trauma, grief and loss and relationship issues.
Originally trained as a child and family psychologist in The Netherlands, Marije has a special interest in the early bonding process between parent and child and supporting families through parenting challenges.
She has worked in variety of public and private settings and holds a Graduate Diploma of Systemic Therapy (Family Therapy) through Relationships Australia. She currently also works for the Red Nose Foundation and has extensive experience in supporting parents perinatally.
Her therapeutic approach draws from a number of theories and interventions, including psychodynamic therapy, cognitive behavioural therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy and radical exposure tapping.
Jenn Duncombe is a public health professional specialising in the prevention, detection, and control of infectious diseases. Jenn worked for NSW Health as an Epidemiologist before moving into the humanitarian sector. Since 2013, Jenn has been working for Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF; Doctors Without Borders) in emergencies throughout the world. Jenn has worked in large-scale disease outbreaks (e.g. cholera, malaria, measles, Ebola) and conflict zones (e.g. Iraq, Turkey/Syria, Myanmar, South Sudan).
Jenn recently returned to Australia and joined Gidget Foundation Australia team as Program Manager. Her role involves overseeing all aspects of the Gidget Foundation Australia’s client-focused programs.
When Jenn is not at Gidget, she loves spending time with friends and family, going to the beach, drinking coffee and hiking.
Melissa is a professional and empathic Psychologist who is passionate about empowering her clients to live full, happy and meaningful lives. Aside from Gidget Foundation Australia, Melissa also works within her own private practice and has done for the past 9 years, with a particular focus on working with perinatal clients. Other areas of interest include life transitions, adjustment issues, relational difficulties, grief and loss, resilience, anxiety, and depression.
Melissa is passionate about supporting new parents to navigate all areas of the perinatal period such as pregnancy-related concerns, antenatal and postnatal depression, and grief and loss. Melissa provides a non-judgemental, caring and supportive space to work through any difficulties and challenges her clients may be experiencing.
Melissa utilises aspects of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and Solution Focused Therapy (SFT).
Rowena is a registered Psychologist and mother of two teenagers. She has been working in child and family health services for the past 23 years with comprehensive experience in perinatal mental health. Rowena also works for an early parenting service assisting parents adjust to the challenges of parenthood, treating perinatal depression and anxiety, facilitating parent-infant/toddler groups, father’s groups, Circle of Security Parenting programs, and meditation groups for staff and mothers. She is also an accredited Triple P facilitator.
Rowena’s therapeutic approach relies on evidence-based interventions that are attachment-focused and trauma-informed, underpinned by compassion and cultural sensitivity. She has a keen interest in schema therapy and self-compassion practices.
Gidget Foundation Australia is not able to provide crisis support.
Please refer to the below support options:
If you need urgent medical help please call 000
The PANDA National Helpline is available Mon-Fri 9am-7:30pm 1300 726 306
For 24 hour crisis support please call Lifeline 13 11 14