Meet our Practitioners

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.

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.

Jessica Buster

Psychologist and Clinical Psychologist Registrar

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:

•  Anxiety Disorders
•  Depression
•  Bullying and Social Problems
•  Child and adolescent mental health 
•  Parenting support
•  Disability
•  Challenges related to medical conditions 

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

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
intervention.

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
stigma).

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.

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.

Sheraan DeSouza

Mental Health Occupational Therapist

Sheraan is a Mental Health Occupational Therapist, BAppSc (Occ Therapy) who specialises in working with adults, adolescents and children in the community where mental health difficulties impact on their ability to perform in their everyday function and participation in the community.

Sheraan has 20 years of experience working at a tertiary level. She has worked in community, inpatient, forensic and residential mental health settings with both children and adults. Sheraan is skilled in providing both individual and group based recovery focussed interventions according to what will be most helpful to the individual person.

Sheraan is able to provide assessment and interventions in clinic, community and home visit contexts.

Sheraan’s areas of interest are:

• Chronic mental health difficulties including schizophrenia, bipolar affective disorder, BPD, anxiety and clinical depression.
• Working with people’s strengths and values to assist them in overcoming any challenges that may be present due to mental health difficulties, in their activities of daily living (ADL’s), vocation/study roles and/or leisure activities.
• Youth, adolescent and parenting interventions.
• Home based assessments and interventions.
• Group therapy including skills, education and support-based.
• Comorbid physical impairments

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