Meet Our PractitionersIn Australia, all Psychologists are nationally registered and regulated under the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (www.ahpra.gov.au). Psychologists may undertake additional training in a particular area. All practitioners at The Centre For Effective Living have received training in the area of Clinical Psychology. This means that on top of the basic training in Psychology, they are specifically trained to provide well researched and developed techniques to address mild to severe mental health conditions across the lifespan.
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.
Tehani Gunasekara (M Psych, B Adv Science, Hons Psych) is a Clinical Psychologist who is passionate about helping people live their best possible lives despite the challenges that inevitably come our way.
During her 10 plus years of practice she has worked with a wide range of people from children, through adolescents to adults helping them work through Depression, Anxiety and other mental health issues.
While Tehani enjoys working with people of all ages and presentations she is particularly interested in preventing and treating Post-natal Depression and Anxiety. Another area of special interest for Tehani is Academic Stress in Yr 11 and 12 students as well as university students. She also has considerable experience in the area of work related stress, and is a Workcover Accredited Psychologist. As such she is passionate about helping people work through work-related stress to find balance and health in life.
She also has a special interest in helping people who have physical health diagnoses that require lifestyle changes (such as diabetes, weight issues) to make the necessary changes to become healthy and stay healthy.
While warm and empathic Tehani is a straight talking and practical Psychologist who uses the principles of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Positive Psychology and Neuroscience to obtain outcomes for her clients. She will empathically support people to move forward with their lives and reach for a full and meaningful life regardless of their circumstances.
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 also interested in Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Anxiety Disorders, Body Image and Mild Eating Disorders. 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.
Sophie Antognelli (M Psych (Clinical), B Psych (Hons – First Class) is passionate about working alongside individuals and families to live more full lives, overcoming difficulties they may face.
Having completed her Masters in Clinical Psychology, Sophie has skills in performing diagnostic assessments and treatment across a wide range of issues across the lifespan including anxiety disorders, depressive disorders, psychotic disorders and perfectionism.
Sophie’s interests are in child and adolescent mental health are emotion regulation issues and anxiety. Her experience working at Rivendell Child and Adolescent Unit at Concord Hospital, being an Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) Therapist (working with children with special needs) and postgraduate training has equipped her with the ability to connect with children and their families.
Sophie is interested in working with her adult clients to regain quality of life through early psychosis intervention, the management of symptoms of depression and anxiety, as well as the broader clinical issues of perfectionism, adjustment to life stressors and low self-esteem. She developed these interests across her work in both inpatient and outpatient hospital settings.
Alongside her clinical work, Sophie is also involved in a number of research projects exploring new approaches to anxiety disorders – with specific interests in investigating potential new avenues for addressing unhelpful thought patterns in health anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder and hoarding disorder.
While Sophie draws on her research experience to provide an evidence-based approach to treatment, she is also a warm and caring therapist who enjoys the privilege of hearing people’s stories and working flexibly with them towards living meaningful and fulfilling lives.