Meet our Team

Clinical and Executive Team


Valerie Ling

Director (Clinical Psychologist)

Valerie Ling, MClin Psych, BA(Hons), MAPS, has helped clients of all ages find their voice and their way. Valerie has worked in community health settings as well as hospital inpatient and outpatient settings.

Her private practice work has been located previously in North Turramurra, North Ryde and now in Westleigh. Some of the issues Valerie has helped her clients with include Depression, Anxiety Disorders, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Trauma, Body Image and Eating Disorders, and Child and Adolescent psychology.

Valerie began her career as a consultant in the corporate world, working internationally in talent assessment and development. As such she is able to engage with her clients facing career transition or work related stress.

Valerie has a special interest in the prevention and treatment of burnout. She is frequently called upon by organsations to speak to members and staff of welfare, helping and teaching professionals.  At an organisational level Valerie is involved in consulting at a strategic level to optimise resiliency and mental health wellbeing.  Valerie is the wife of a Presbyterian Minister with cross-cultural experience, and burnout is a topic that is both lived experience and professional passion.

Valerie has a special interest in:

•   The prevention and treatment of burnout
•   Cross-cultural and humanitarian workers
•   Empty Nesters
•   Trauma
•   Parenting
•   Christian counselling

In her down time, Valerie enjoys coffee, books, writing, music, and occasionally running.

Cathy Atkinson

Executive Assistant

Kristine Hasenauer

Practice Manager

Jessica Buster

Clinical Psychologist and Team Mentor

Jessica Buster (M Clin Psych, Grad Dip Prof Psych, BA Psych Hons) is passionate about creating a caring and safe space to promote effective working relationships. Jessica applies evidence-based interventions in a client focused and collaborative manner to assist children, young people and their families move towards their goals of growth and wellbeing.

Jessica’s clinical training and experience has equipped her with skills in the assessment and treatment for mental health issues. She has gained experience working in roles across non-profit, hospital and private settings. This has included working as an Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) Therapist and roles at Guardian Youth Care, Headspace, Westmead Children’s Hospital Psycho-Oncology, and Healthy Minds Happy Kids.

Across all her roles, Jessica has pursued her interest in working with children, adolescents and their families experiencing a range of mental health difficulties including anxiety, emotion regulation difficulties, behavioural difficulties, social difficulties, and disability. She has been able to promote understanding and engagement with these clients by integrating a sense of fun and creativity into treatment.

Jessica has a special interest in:

•  Child Psychology
•  Autism Spectrum Disorder
•  ADHD and ADD
•  Bullying and Social Problems
•  Depression, anxiety and emotional and behavioural issues
•  Parenting support
•  Disability
•  Challenges related to medical conditions


At the Centre For Effective Living Jessica holds the role of Team Mentor working with the Director on the learning and training goals of the practice and our associates.

Away from work, Jessica enjoys walking her dog, doing yoga, and spending time with friends.

Lauren Chee

Psychologist and Clinical Psychologist Registrar

Lauren Chee (M Clin Psych, BSc (Hons – First Class)) is a psychologist who understands the importance of forming a genuine and caring therapeutic relationship with each individual she sees. Her warm and supportive approach helps her clients feel comfortable exploring their concerns in order to develop practical strategies to reach their goals.       

Lauren has experience working with both children and adults within schools, private clinics, and inpatient and outpatient hospital settings. Some of the issues she has helped her clients with include depression, anxiety, perfectionism, adjustment to significant life change, self-esteem, grief, learning difficulties, and school and work-related stress.


In her work, Lauren recognises the individuality of each person and their story, and provides uniquely tailored treatments to support her clients. By being committed to the latest psychological research, she is able to equip her clients with evidence-based skills and knowledge that can lead to positive and lasting change. Lauren is a dedicated and approachable psychologist with a passion for helping her clients live a life in line with their personal values.  

Lauren has a special interest in:

•   Anxiety Disorders e.g. Generalised Anxiety Disorder, Social Phobia, Health Anxiety
•   Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
•   Social Skills and Assertiveness
•   Parenting and Attachment
•   Child Mental Health and Wellbeing
•   Learning Difficulties e.g. ADHD, specific learning disorders
•   School-Related Stress

Outside of work, Lauren enjoys spending time in nature, discovering new music, and sharing delicious meals with her friends and family.



Michelle Dean

Clinical Psychologist

Michelle Dean (M Clin Psych, BA (Hons – First Class), brings her genuine care and compassion for people, along with her keen insight and analytical abilities to her work.

Proficient in her skills of clinical psychology, Michelle’s experience comes from working in both public and private settings. This includes working in roles at Westmead Children’s Hospital, Blacktown Mental Health, the Brain and Mind Research Institute, Headspace and The Hills Clinic.

Across all these roles, she has provided diagnostic assessments and individual therapy for mental health issues, including anxiety disorders, depressive disorders, and obsessive-compulsive disorders. Michelle enjoys working with anxiety disorders, self-concept and self-worth issues, and mood and affect regulation issues. Michelle has worked with both adolescents and adults facing these difficulties.

Through her various roles, she has developed a deep understanding of how these difficulties develop and impact on people in different life stages. Michelle has been able to assist her clients in developing skills to manage their anxiety and depression, along with enabling them to develop a healthy sense of self and greater self confidence.

Through her outpatient work experience, Michelle is interested in Anxiety Disorders and self-esteem work.  Michelle is a high calibre and compassionate professional and she is wonderful at being able to see the complexities of a clinical presentation and bring her therapeutic work down to a manageable and structured approach.

Michelle has a special interest in:

•  Anxiety disorders
•  Self-esteem
•  Work stress
•  Adolescent mental health
•  Men’s mental health


She is also an invited guest lecturer at Western Sydney University, having lectured in subjects on psychological disorders, assessment and treatment.

Michelle likes dogs, squash and relaxing on the weekend by buying a coffee and going for a walk.

Sarah Hindle

Psychologist and Clinical Psychologist Registrar

Sarah Hindle (M Psych (Clinical), B Psych Sci (Hons), Grad Dip Psych) brings her warmth,
wisdom and rapport to the individuals and families she sees; the knowledge that a strong
and collaborative therapeutic relationship is foundational to the successful outcome of any

Sarah’s clinical training has equipped her to diagnose, assess and treat psychological disorders and she has experience working in a variety of settings (private practice, inpatient facility, secondary school). Sarah is passionate about providing individualised evidence-
based treatment in a time-effective manner and uses a range of treatment modalities including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT) and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT).

Sarah has experience working with adolescents, adults and families facing a range of mental health difficulties including depression, anxiety, attachment and parenting issues, eating disorders and the management of stressful life events and adjusting to change. As a former classical musician, Sarah also has a particular interest in the treatment of musical
performance-related anxiety, a topic on which she has delivered individual therapy and psycho-educational seminars. Sarah also has a particular interest in working with children/adolescents and families facing challenges related to learning difficulties and
attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Psychological research projects conducted by Sarah have included an investigation of intensive parenting practices as they relate to attachment theory, and the lived experience of parenting a neuro-diverse child (e.g. managing own mental health, negotiating socio-
cultural messages about raising a child with a neurodevelopmental disorder, experience of

Sarah is committed to a variety of professional development activities such as reviewing the
psychological treatment literature, peer consultation, and regular supervision to make sure her clients receive the highest standard of treatment.

Sarah has a special interest in:

•   Adolescent mental health
•   Anxiety (e.g. excessive shyness or worry),
•   Clinical perfectionism (e.g. overworking and unrealistic standards),
•   Performance anxiety (e.g. musical performance anxiety),
•   School difficulties,
•   Parenting support for families of children/adolescents diagnosed with ADHD,
•   Adjustment and relocation (e.g. cross-cultural, Defence).

Although downtime as a mum of older children and teens is challenging, Sarah recharges by going on micro-dates with her partner, listening to classical music and Sunday morning walks with her labradoodle Reg.

Katelyn Tasker

Psychologist and Clinical Psychologist Registrar

Katelyn (M Clin Psych, BA (Hons – First Class), MAPS) has experience working at a leading university research clinic in the area of anxiety disorders, as a school counsellor and in private practice work for adult mental health in the the North Shore area of Sydney.  Katelyn is committed to establishing a strong therapeutic relationship with her clients by providing them with a safe and secure space to share their story. As a mother of school aged children with a busy load herself, she is well positioned to understand the challenges faced in doing life, school and work.

Katelyn’s approach takes an evidence-based focus, while maintaining a flexible and collaborative manner, to ensure that treatment is in line with her clients’ needs. She uses a range of evidence-based interventions, including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT) and supportive counselling with the overall aim of helping people of all ages utilise their strengths to achieve their desired outcomes and enhance their quality of life.  

Katelyn is the wife of an Anglican Minister and has a particular interest in supporting clergy wives and families cope with the challenges that ministry can present.

Katelyn has a special interest in:

• Health Anxiety
• Sleep difficulties
• Work and life transition and stress
• Adult mental health
• Empty Nesters
• Grief and Loss
• Post Natal Depression
• Parenting support for behavioural management
• Supporting parents in school adjustment challenges

In her spare time Katelyn enjoys reading, spending time with family and friends, and bush walking.

Emily Bemmer

Provisional Psychologist

Emily is in her final year of a Master of Clinical Psychology at the University of Sydney. As part of her studies, Emily has completed placements for adult therapy, family therapy and in community mental
health. This included facilitating a telehealth DBT group (skills for emotional distress and regulation). She also has experience as a co-facilitator of a group therapy program for adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder, targeting social anxiety and social functioning, for which her publication of the results is currently under review.

Prior to completing her masters, Emily worked in private practice as a provisional psychologist, working with children and adults with disabilities and co-morbid mental health concerns.

Emily is able to see children and adolescents in the following areas at a heavily reduced fee:

• Anxiety Disorders
• Depression
• School difficulties
•Social skills
• Bullying
• Study stress

Glow Group Dietetics



Jess is an Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD) with a passion for people, their stories, and understanding their relationship with food.

Jess has completed a Bachelor in Nutrition and Dietetics with Flinders University, and has since gone on to train in disordered eating, intuitive eating and mindfulness.

Since graduating she has worked in the acute, sub-acute and private sectors, including aged care, rehab and mental health specialties. Most significantly, she has spent three years managing Dietetic services across QLD, NSW and ACT for a large non-for profit.

Jess respects body diversity and understands that health looks different on everybody. She loves to empower clients to live a healthful life, in a way that promotes autonomy and dignity, and is true to their values, and believes good nutritional care should be inclusive, and delivered in a compassionate and holistic way.

Jess has a special interest in food and body image concerns, including disordered eating, eating disorders, chronic dieting and emotional eating, as well as polycystic ovarian syndrome and women’s health.

Outside of work Jess can be found frequenting Sydney’s local restaurants, trying out new recipes or wandering through some of the beautiful beach-side walks the east coast has to offer.

Jess’s areas of interest are:

• Eating Disorders.
• Disordered Eating.
• Food and Body Image Concerns.
• Intuitive Eating and Nutrition for Mental Health.



Danielle is an Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD) who strives to help her clients improve their quality of life. Whatever that means to them.

Danielle completed her studies at the University of Sydney, graduating with a Bachelor of Science, majoring in Nutrition and Metabolism & Neuroscience and a Master of Nutrition and Dietetics. As a lover of learning Danielle is often completing extra training to improve her ability to support her clients, in areas such as non-diet nutrition and behaviour change.

Across her training and career experiences Danielle has worked in chronic disease management, women’s health, corporate nutrition, community mental health, rehabilitation and aged care research.

In all of her roles Danielle treats her clients as unique individuals that deserve more than a one-size-fits-all ‘solution’. She takes the time to listen and walk beside her clients as they discover the ways that food and movement can elevate their physical and mental wellbeing.

Danielle is also passionate about creating a space where all foods fit. She aims to guide her clients to discover that health is attainable without food policing.

Her interest areas include chronic disease management, gastrointestinal disorders and gut health, as well as well as nutrition for those who may be living with a disability.

In her down time Danielle enjoys discovering new waterside walking tracks, listening to podcasts, catching a sunrise or sunset, or sharing a coffee with loved ones.

Danielle’s areas of interest are:

• Gut Health.
• Chronic Disease Management.
• Aged Care Nutrition.
• Nutrition for Clients Living with a Disability (NDIS Specialist)

Get in Touch

What can you learn from your child's strengths? Visit Jessica Buster's blog on the the importance of recognising strength in neurodiverse children. #strenth #neurodiversity #childpsychology ... See MoreSee Less
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Be aware that making decisions on the run and with little resources yourselves could make things worse. Click the link to know the signs of decision fatigue and when to stop on Valerie Ling's Blog. #fatigue #burnout #psychology ... See MoreSee Less
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If you’re thinking about taking your child to see a psychologist, it is normal to have questions about what child psychologists do, and how they can help your family. In this blog, Lauren Chee answers some commonly asked questions about what a child psychologist does. #ChildPsychology ... See MoreSee Less
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If you’re thinking about taking your child to see a psychologist, it is normal to have questions about what child psychologists do, and how they can help your family. In this blog, Lauren Chee answers some commonly asked questions about what a child psychologist does. #ChildPsychology ... See MoreSee Less
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If you’re thinking about taking your child to see a psychologist, it is normal to have questions about what child psychologists do, and how they can help your family. In this blog, Lauren Chee answers some commonly asked questions about what a child psychologist does. #ChildPsychology ... See MoreSee Less
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