Child & Adolescent Counselling

The Cairnmillar Clinic provides therapy for children and adolescents aged 4 to 18 years old at all four of our clinic locations. Therapy is provided by both student clinicians and registered psychologists. Services include individual therapy, family therapy, and parent support.

There are many reasons why children or adolescents may be seeking assessment and treatment. Some of these presentations may include:

  • Anxiety
  • Low mood
  • School refusal
  • Sleep difficulties
  • Challenging behaviours
  • Concerns around gender identity or sexuality
  • Disordered eating and body image concerns
  • Post-traumatic stress
  • Social difficulties
  • Family & relationship issues
  • And others…

The Cairnmillar Clinic also offers parenting groups regularly. You can view our Groups and Programs here.

Appointment process

For children aged 14 and under, parents or legal guardians are required to attend an initial session without the child present, to provide comprehensive background information to the clinician.

For adolescents aged 15 to 16, parent or legal guardian attendance is optional.

Adolescents aged 17+ are required to attend their initial consultation and can it is at their discretion whether a parent or legal guardian is present.

FAQs

Typically, for children and young people under 18 years of age, the parent/guardian contacts us to provide consent for us to work with the child or young person.

However, in line with legislation regarding provision of health services to minors, young people aged under 18 can engage with treatment at our clinic without their parent or guardian being involved if they are judged to be competent to provide informed consent. In other words, we assess whether the child or young person fully understands what they are consenting to, for them to be able to legally give consent.

We usually encourage young people to involve their parents if possible.

In the case of parents who are separated or divorced, we will ask that both parents confirm consent for our involvement with their child, unless there are court orders specifying that only one parent has responsibility for medical decisions. We also ask for any court orders be attached to our online registration form that will be sent to you once an appointment is confirmed.

Similarly, for children in out of home care, we require written consent from the child’s legal guardian.

In line with Australian legislation, confidentiality and privacy are afforded to the young person and to parents.

Exceptions to this may include safety concerns. In those situations, clinicians are required to act in a way that promotes safety. This is done in consultation with the young person and with respect to their independence as much as possible.

For children aged 14 years and under, we ask parents/guardians to attend an initial session without the child.

For young people aged 15 years and over, the first session may be with parent(s)/guardian(s) and the child instead. During this session, your therapist will discuss how sessions will work in terms of parent/guardian involvement, and how feedback will be provided.

See our Assessments page for detailed information on cognitive and other psychological assessments.

For clients under the age of 14 years, Medicare requires an alternative claimant for rebates. This is typically the child’s parent or legal guardian. The Cairnmillar Clinic registration form has fields to provide information for alternative claimants (full name, date of birth and Medicare number are required).

Clients aged 15+ are not required by Medicare to have an alternative claimant, however as a parent or legal guardian incurring medical expenses, you may wish to provide alternative claimant details to ensure you receive the rebate directly.

Please contact the clinic at [email protected] or 1800 391 393 if you have any questions.

Please refer to our Fees & Rebates page for detailed information.

Clinicians

Ally Culhane

Ally Culhane

Ally (she/her) is a provisional psychologist completing a Master of Professional Psychology Practice at the Cairnmillar Institute. She works with clients of all demographics seeking support with depression, anxiety, or trauma, as well as more general support on topics such as stress, life transitions and identity. She is also available for assessments.

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Anita Gupta

Anita Gupta

Anita works with people across the lifespan, with a special interest in children and parents and is experienced in assisting with a range of concerns.

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Cameron Bateman

Cameron is a registered psychologist completing a Master of Clinical Psychology (Post-Registration). He has experience working with a range of groups, across all ages. He has particular skills building strong therapeutic relationships with those with complex difficulties.

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Charlotte Wardell

Currently completing her Master of Psychology (Clinical) with the Cairnmillar Institute, Charlotte (she/her) values a holistic, client-centred approach.

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Cristian-Acciarito

Cristian Acciarito

Cristian has experience working with a variety of presentations and has worked with adults and adolescents on issues including depression, anxiety, relationship issues, self-esteem, resilience, assertiveness, coping, sleep issues, drug and alcohol issues, and addictive behaviours.

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Dom Styczynski

Dominik is passionate and caring about providing quality care to his clients. He is committed to establishing a strong positive therapeutic relationship with a client centred approach.
A key strength of Dominik’s is his patience and understanding of clients as he often acknowledges that change can be a slow process with a lot of setbacks.

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Dr Jennifer Baxter

Dr Jennifer Baxter

Jennifer aims to develop a warm and genuine therapeutic relationship with her clients. She takes a client-centred approach in helping individuals work toward their goals.

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Dr Melissa Siu

Dr Melissa Siu

Melissa has worked in both public hospital and private practice settings for over 20 years.  She enjoys working with individuals and conducting group therapy.

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Gina Steinberg

Gina brings a wealth of knowledge and a keen interest in child and adolescent psychology, relationship counselling, and the management of eating disorders and anxiety. Gina’s clinical practice is marked by a passion for supporting children, adolescents, young adults, and their families through challenging times, fostering resilience, understanding, and positive change.

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Imogene Smith

Imogene Smith

Imogene is an AHPRA registered psychologist and clinical psychology registrar. She works to create a safe space for clients by being compassionate, trauma-informed and neuro-affirming. Imogene tailors her approach and draws on a range of evidence-based therapy modalities to support clients in working toward their goals.

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Giorgia Goddard

Jen Briggs

Jen is a Provisional Psychologist completing her 6th year internship in 2023 at the Cairnmillar Institute.

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Kartar Nahl

Kartar is completing her Master of Psychology (Clinical) at the Cairnmillar Clinic. Kartar believes strongly in supporting clients with genuine connection, non-judgement, and warmth.

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Katie McKenzie

Katie is a registered Psychologist, Board-approved supervisor and member of the Australian Psychology Society (APS). Katie has experience working in forensic settings, schools and in private practice.

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Kimberley Chan

Kim is an AHPRA registered psychologist who is passionate about helping people of all ages and backgrounds with their mental health and well-being by providing a safe and nurturing environment. She adopts a warm and collaborative approach in her practice.

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Margaret (Malgorzata) Karafilowska

Margaret (Malgorzata) Karafilowska

Margaret works collaboratively with her clients to achieve realistic and meaningful life changes and goals. She is committed to helping people find a sense of acceptance and meaning, for themselves and their relationships, within a client-centered approach.

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Maria Marshall

Maria Marshall

Maria is completing her placement within our internal clinics as part of the Master of Professional Psychology and completing her 6th year internship (Master of Professional Psychology Practice degree) in 2023 at the Cairnmillar Institute.

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Matt Nissenbaum

Matthew is a provisional psychologist who has experience working with children and adults. He is passionate about working with clients from diverse backgrounds and believes it is important to develop a strong therapeutic relationship with his clients.

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Meg Woolfit

Meg is completing a Masters of Counselling and Psychotherapy at the Cairnmillar Institute. Her therapeutic approach is client-centred, and built on a foundation of empathy, openness, and willingness to be present with whatever is happening for the client.

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Michelle Doolan

Michelle Doolan

Michelle is a Counselling Psychologist and Clinical Family Therapist who works with children, adults, couples, and families.  Michelle tailors her approach and supports clients to connect with their strengths as they work towards their goals.

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Min Li

Min completed her Master of Educational and Developmental Psychology at Monash University in 2011. She is a registered psychologist and an Educational and Developmental psychology registrar.

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Neil Wilson

Neil is an experienced psychologist who has worked in clinical and private settings over the past decade. He works collaboratively with his clients to create realistic goals for treatment.

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Rudy Gonzalez

Rudy Gonzalez

Rudy’s clinical work is influenced by trauma-focused and informed practice, psychodynamic, culturally inclusive and recovery-oriented practice.

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Ruvi Balasuriya

Ruvi is a placement student who is currently completing her Masters in Counselling and Psychotherapy.

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Stacey Freebody

Stacey Freebody

Stacey is a psychologist with professional passions across developmental research and teaching, as well the applied clinical support of her child clients and their families.

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Toni Roberts

Toni Roberts

Toni is a provisional psychologist completing her 6th year internship as part of the Master of Professional Psychology Practice at the Cairnmillar Institute in 2023.

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Request an appointment

Once an appointment request is submitted, a clinical admin team member will contact you to commence our triage process.

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