The UMCS team
Senior Psychologists & Executive Team
Founder / Managing Director
Melissa is the founder and Managing Director at United Minds and has worked tirelessly to build the service to what it is today. Melissa is also an experienced registered psychologist at UMCS with training in Community Psychology and over 20 years experience in counselling and therapy.
Melissa's postgraduate research was on relationship quality in the transition to parenthood and the mediating impact of social support through social media. Working only with adults 18 years and older, Melissa has an interest in working in peri and postnatal care, neurodiversity, anxiety, depression, personality disorders, addiction, relationships and identity, and trauma. Melissa offers a range of psychological therapies including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Motivational Interviewing, Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT) and Trauma-informed therapy.
Outside of her work at United Minds, Melissa is a busy mum to 5 little humans.
Senior Clinical Psychologist / Clinical Lead
Head of Assessment Division
Board Approved Supervisor
Jessica is clinical psychologist and board approved supervisor who has been working at United Minds Community Services since 2018.
Jessica works primarily with children and adolescents and their families. Jessica has a particular interest in working with neurodivergent individuals and is trained in completing diagnostic assessments for autism, ADHD, and learning difficulties. She also has experience providing therapy for young people with a range of different mental health presentations. Jessica takes a holistic and neurodiversity-affirming approach to treatment and incorporates therapy modalities including CBT, play therapy, ACT, motivational interviewing, narrative therapy, and parent-child interaction.
Outside of her work at United Minds Jess enjoys travelling, musical theatre, cooking, skiing, and playing soccer.
Clinical Psychologist / Clinical Lead
Training and Development Coordinator
Board Approved Supervisor
Shelley (she/her) is a clinical psychologist and board approved supervisor who has been working at United Minds Community Services since 2018.
Shelley works with clients aged 3 and above. Shelley has a particular interest in working with neurodivergent people and those who are experiencing OCD or specific anxiety disorders.
She has experience working with a variety of presentations including depression, anxiety, learning difficulties, OCD, chronic pain, grief and loss, trauma, ASD and ADHD.
Shelley likes to work collaboratively with the intend that the therapeutic work reflects each client’s individual goals. She aims to create a warm and respectful environment for all clients. Shelley incorporates a range of therapeutic modalities including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), Motivational Interviewing, Play Therapy and Schema Therapy.
In her spare time Shelley enjoys baking sugary treats as well as going to see live music and theatre.
Senior Educational Developmental Psychologist / Clinical Lead
Board Approved Supervisor
Priscilla (she/her) works with individuals aged 8 and above for both assessment and therapeutic counselling. She has experience and interest in working with a variety of presentations, including mood and anxiety disorders, complex trauma, learning difficulties, and neurodevelopmental conditions. She is trained in completing diagnostic assessments for autism, ADHD, and learning difficulties.
Priscilla aims to provide a warm and affirming therapeutic space where all identities are welcome. She tailors her treatment approach to the client's needs by drawing on a range of therapeutic modalities, including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), and Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR).
Priscilla speaks English and Bahasa Indonesia. In her spare time, she enjoys reading novels, playing trivia, and going out for a nice meal.
Dr Adrian Russo
Adrian is a Clinical Neuropsychology Registrar who has been working at United Minds Community Services since 2021. Adrian has previously worked at La Trobe University where he taught into the Psychology program. He also completed a PhD investigating the role of serotonin in social behaviour, anxiety and sleep, and published scientific research in the field of psychology and neuroscience.
Adrian primarily conducts assessments with children, adolescents and adults. He has a particular interest in neurodevelopmental presentations and is extensively trained in conducting diagnostic assessments. Adrian’s goals are to provide clients with a comprehensive understanding of their cognition, and to help implement strategies that can address challenges that manifest at home, school and/or work. Adrian also offers psychological therapy practicing upon a Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) framework.
In his spare time, Adrian enjoys following multiple sports and spending time with family and friends.
Senior Clinical Psychologist
Andrew is a Clinical Psychologist with experience in both the private and public sector, and has been with United Minds since 2020.
Andrew works 1-on-1 with clients aged 18 years and over, using a flexible approach, with a range of therapy styles to suit the individual’s needs, and encourages feedback and collaboration. Andrew believes you’re the expert of your life, and he can bring his psychology knowledge and expertise, to work together with you to help you achieve your goals, work through life challenges, and live a happier and more fulfilling life.
Andrew utilises various treatment approaches including: Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy, mindfulness, motivational interviewing, and Interpersonal Therapy (IPT).
Andrew’s area of practice includes (but not limited to): Anxiety, Depression, specific Anxiety Disorders and Phobias, OCD, Stress Management, Self-Esteem difficulties, Chronic Pain, Grief and Loss, Trauma and PTSD, Relationship Issues, and Life Transitions and Adjustments.
Outside of work Andrew enjoys doing woodwork, gardening, and walks in the park with his Labrador puppy.
Senior Clinical Psychologist
Antanita is a registered Clinical Psychologist and a Board Approved Supervisor. Antanita has completed a Bachelor of Behavioural Science, Postgraduate Diploma in Psychology, Master of Psychology (Clinical), and Graduate Diploma in Autism Diagnosis. Antanita is a member of the Australian Psychological Society (APS).
Antanita has over ten years of clinical experience in supporting the mental health needs of a wide range of clients of all age groups. Antanita has predominantly worked in specialised areas, including Autism and Alcohol and Other Drugs services, in assisting and advocating for clients. Her experience includes various mental health settings including forensic counselling service, autism specific organisation, private practice, tertiary education, and within multi- and trans-disciplinary teams.
Antanita primarily practices from an attachment-based and trauma-informed lens, using her training in several evidence-based approaches including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), and Motivational Interviewing (MI). Antanita will ensure to adapt and tailor the therapeutic intervention to suit the client and their presenting needs.
Outside of work, Antanita enjoys painting, music, reading, long walks and quality time with family and friends.
Dita is a registered psychologist with over 10 years’ experience in counselling. She works with adults using evidence-based therapies including Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and mindfulness and compassion-based interventions.
Areas of practice include: Anxiety, Depression, Grief and Loss, Stress Management, Life Transitions, Chronic Pain, Chronic Health Conditions. Dita has a particular interest in women’s health and supporting women during periods of change and adjustments, such as the perinatal and midlife periods.
Dani is a generally registered Psychologist with a passion for working with clients across the lifespan, including children, adolescents and adults with a range of presentations such as (but not limited to), mood and anxiety disorders, adjustment disorders, behavioural difficulties, neurodevelopmental conditions, school refusal, and trauma-related disorders.
Dani is trained in completing diagnostic assessments for autism, ADHD, and learning difficulties and draws on a range of treatment modalities that cater to her clients needs and presenting problems such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
Dani aims to engage with clients authentically and collaboratively, offering an empathetic, vibrant, and respectful therapeutic approach. She encourages self-awareness, self-understanding, and self-motivation and aims to ensure that the treatment modalities offered are responsive to the clients needs and goals.
Outside of work Dani enjoys spending time with her friends and family, reading and playing with her two adorable corgis.
Amy works with young people and adults experiencing a range of mental health difficulties and stressors. She works with a range of issues including (but not limited to) depression, anxiety, trauma, personality, relationships, addiction, and forensic. Amy prioritises establishing a safe therapeutic space and collaborating with clients to achieve meaningful treatment goals. She provides a personalised and evidence-based approach, drawing from modalities such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Motivational Interviewing (MI), and Schema Therapy. Amy is a generally registered Psychologist and is currently completing her registrar program for clinical endorsement. Her postgraduate research explored Forest Therapy as a complement to traditional approaches. Amy's days at United Minds are Mondays and Fridays.
Isabella is a registered psychologist and identifies as autistic. Isabella works with those from 6+ years old and has a particular interest in working with neurodivergent individuals.
Isabella focuses on creating a safe space for all humans, and utilises a client-centred, neuro-affirming and trauma informed approach to support and help individuals flourish. Isabella aims to have every neurodivergent individual feel safe and comfortable enough to drop masking and support the growth of a unique identity. Isabella is also trained in completing assessments for autism, ADHD and learning difficulties, and incorporates various strength based, therapeutic approaches such as CBT, ACT, play-based therapy, and polyvagal theory.
In her spare time Isabella enjoys reading, crocheting, cooking, and hanging out with her two ragdoll cats Daisy and Lulu.
Kristin is a registered psychologist and an associate member of the College of Educational and Developmental Psychologists (CEDP). Kristin enjoys supporting a range of individuals across the lifespan including children (aged 3 years and over), adolescents, adults, and older adults. Kristin has a particular interest in supporting neurodivergent individuals and their supporters. Kristin’s varied experience in community settings (family violence, addiction, mental health, disability), private practice and school settings (primary and secondary) helps her further understand how an individual’s life experiences intersect and impact wellbeing
Kristin also teaches psychology at a tertiary level and has previously worked in clinical research settings (autism research, mental health research, sleep research). She has published research related to children’s experience of family violence and has presented workshops to allied health professionals on topics such as ADHD and supporting young carers of individuals who have mental ill health. Kristin also conducts cognitive, educational, and diagnostic assessments. Kristin views assessment as an opportunity to help develop a framework to support an individual to understand their experiences and communicate their needs and strengths to others.
Kristin works from a strength-based perspective and her work is informed by a range of evidence-based techniques including (but not limited to) Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT), CBT-E, Motivational interviewing, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Schema Therapy and Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT).
Kristin's passions outside of work include listening to music and connecting to animals.
Memberships with AHPRA & APS
Michelle is a general psychologist with training in behavioural science and educational psychology.
She works with children (6+) and adolescents, their families and schools, as well as adults.
She predominantly uses cognitive and behavioural strategies, creative-CBT and play-based activities with children.
Michelle has experience in a broad range of mental health and well-being problems, as well as cognitive, educational and diagnostic assessments.
Research informs Michelle's therapeutic work. Personal values embracing individual differences and growth inform the friendly care she provides to clients.
Nicola is passionate about working with her clients to support them to achieve their best version of themselves. She has a particular interest in working to support children and adolescent aged individuals and their families. Nicola facilitates a warm environment for young individuals to feel heard and supported. She has experience working across the lifespan with a range of client presentations in the areas of therapeutic intervention and diagnostic assessment. Nicola practices from a client-centred, neurodiversity affirming, and trauma informed approach with techniques integrated from cognitive behavioural, solution focused, and play based modalities.
Nicola has completed a Master of Professional Psychology at Monash University and is a registered psychologist with AHPRA. She is also an associate member of the Australian Psychological Society and is a Certified Facilitator of LEGO® Based Therapy.
watch this space
Paulina is a warm and empathetic registered psychologist who has worked in a range of organisations, with individuals from diverse backgrounds. She aims to create a safe space where you can feel understood and empowered throughout the therapeutic process. Paulina aims to support her clients to achieve greater insight, manage distress and improve wellbeing, while maintaining a steady path towards goal achievement.
Paulina utilises evidence based frameworks with her clients to enhance strengths, develop new skills and promote an environment where meaningful change can occur. She has experience assisting clients to work through presentations of anxiety, depression, mood disorders, adjustment to change, grief and loss, life transitions, stress management, and vocational related matters.
In her spare time Paulina enjoys dining out, and spending quality time with her family and friends.
Mental Health Social Workers
Mental Health Social Worker
Thanh is an accredited mental health social worker who has intensive experience working with people who have a history of complex trauma and addiction. She is trained in Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing Therapy ( Level 2) and is committed to advancing her skills in EMDR.
AREAS OF INTEREST
Thanh has an interest in working with adolescents and adults who have history of trauma, PTSD, addiction, attachment issues and mood related disorders.
Thanh is empathetic and gentle in her therapy style. She understands that connection and rapport are the foundation for the therapeutic change to happen in the sessions. She also enjoys challenging clients where necessary to help clients grow out of their comfort zone. She is passionate in helping trauma survivors to understand their needs and being able to learn assertive communication skills in relationships.
She works from an Adaptive Information Processing model that describes how certain memories are maladaptively stored in the brain and ‘the past is present’ which caused unhelpful belief and behaviours in our life and relationship. Thanh focuses on teaching client emotional regulation skills before working on their trauma. Safety and support are paramount in Thanh’s sessions. She works with your nervous system to help you to desensitise and be free from your trauma.
Thanh has completed Level 2 training in EMDR and will continue to advance her skills in trauma work. She usually uses Cognitive Behavior Therapy and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy in conjunction with EMDR to help clients. She is also influenced by Gestalt therapy, which focuses on the here and now in the session and her relational therapeutic relationship with her clients. She understands that clients can’t process trauma if they can not stay in the here and now.
Mental Health Social Worker
WATCH THIS SPACE
Bree is a registered Counsellor with the Australian Counselling Association (ACA) and an accredited Gottman Bringing Baby Home Educator.
Bree has specialised in couples therapy for the past 5years.
She is trained in a range of therapeutic approaches including The Gottman Method Couples Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Emotion Focused Therapy and Mindfulness. Her work with couples supports the development of long-lasting strategies and insights able to be applied outside of the therapeutic space. Through counselling, couples are supported in forming goals which focus on developing a deeper understanding of each other and their relationship. Bree has a respectful, empathetic and authentic nature grown through experience supporting a diverse range of community members, always working collaboratively to understand issues together. Counselling with Bree is a safe, confidential space where you are free to explore whatever aspects of life you choose with a trained professional.
Celia is a Provisional Psychologist who is currently completing her 5+1 internship program. Celia has a Masters of Professional Psychology which she completed at Monash University.
Celia has experience working in school, University and community settings. She cares deeply about her clients and creates a supportive and safe space to build a strong therapeutic relationship. Celia works collaboratively with her clients to improve overall wellbeing.
Celia employs a person-centered approach and draws on a combination of evidence-based therapeutic techniques including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT).
WATCH THIS SPACE
Michael Is a Provisional Psychologist, completing his Masters of CLinical PSychology at Victoria University. Michael began working to advocate for the rights of people as a Union Delegate before beginning his studies in Psychology.
Michael's focus is in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Acceptance and Committment Therapy, and he is passionate about working with people who have experienced trauma, or are struggling with anxiety or depression.