A safe place of retreat & connection that offers a range of holistic services to support perinatal wellbeing

Meet Our Team

Dr Adi Brown

Director, Clinical Psychologist

Adi is a Clinical Psychologist who has been practicing for over 15 years. She is passionate about perinatal and infant mental health, and holds specific training and interest in mindful birthing, perinatal anxiety and depression, the transition to parenthood, supporting the parent-child bond, birth trauma and perinatal loss.

Adi’s personal values of openness, honesty, non-judgment, and respect are central to her practice. She is committed to understanding and addressing barriers to optimal health and wellbeing, and provides her clients with evidence-based, individually tailored support to enable them to regain hope, trust, and confidence in themselves and their future.

Over her career Adi has worked in research, public health, and private practice. She has extensive experience working with adolescent and adult clients presenting with a variety of psychological needs (e.g., anxiety, depression, psychosis, substance use, trauma, body image, self-esteem, sleep, and stress). Adi utilises third wave CBT (acceptance- and mindfulness-based therapies) however also draws from training in attachment theory, schema therapy, and motivational interviewing depending on her clients' needs.

Qualifications:
- Doctor of Clinical Psychology
- Perinatal and Infant Mental Health Specialist Training
- Birth Trauma and Perinatal Loss Specialist Training
- Circle of Security Parenting Program Facilitator

Fees:
50 minute session: $225
Medicare rebate (with GP referral): $137.05 (out of pocket $87.95)

Kate Heagney

Acupuncturist, Fertility, Pregnancy, TCM

Since 2004, Kate has been practicing Chinese Medicine and Japanese medicine in Melbourne, Mornington, Geelong and Torquay. She specialises in Natural Fertility and IVF support, pre-pregnancy and pregnancy support, natural labour induction and birth preparation. Using centuries old techniques to support the mother, Kate utilises Chinese Medicine to facilitate and naturally connect the mother to her own innate sense of wisdom. Her approach is gentle, intuitive and supportive.

Kate is a registered Practitioner of Acupuncture, completing her Bachelor of Applied Science in 2005 in Melbourne and her post graduate studies in Japanese Acupuncture in 2008. She has been lecturing at Southern School of Natural Therapies since 2012 teaching Chinese Dietary Therapy and Qi Gong (Health Maintenance) and brings a passion for using food as medicine particularly in pre-pregnancy, pregnancy and post-partum care. Her passion and focus are women’s health, specifically pregnancy and postnatal care, hormonal health and IVF support.

All treatments are specific to the client, safe, and effective. She uses a combination of Japanese Acupuncture, Moxabustion, Cupping, Chinese Dietary Therapy and QiGong. Kate also has general practice that offers treatment for both acute and chronic conditions; including musculoskeletal pain, arthritis, digestive issues, anxiety & depression. Treating the body in its entirety, Kate’s understanding and treatments focus on harmonising the Qi (life force ) in the patient using a variety of effective and gentle techniques. This is achieved by ensuring Qi or “life energy” is in abundant supply and flows through the body’s meridians, a network of invisible channels throughout the body.

Laura Rees

Remedial Massage Therapist

Specialising in Women’s relaxation, Pregnancy and Postpartum Massage

Laura has always had a passion for massage and for finding those spots which need extra attention. Since completing her Diploma of Remedial Massage in Melbourne over a decade ago Laura has developed a holistic approach to her practice. Since moving down the coast she has focused on pregnancy and women's massage.

Pregnancy and childbirth bring a myriad of physical changes. As a mother herself Laura knows how important it is to look after yourself so you can look after your child. Alone time is even more precious once you become a mother. Looking after little ones is exhausting and all consuming. Laura wants to be the one to look after you.

"I love giving clients that 'ah' feeling. Helping someone feel better is what it is all about"

Qualifications:

Diploma in Remedial Massage

Cert Pregnancy Massage (Pregnancy Massage Australia)

Registrations/ Health funds

Registered provider for all major health funds
Massage and Myotherapy Australia number 018104

Hannah Jensen

Clinical Psychologist

Hannah is a Clinical Psychologist with more than 15 years experience. She specialises in perinatal psychology, infant mental health, and trauma. Hannah is also skilled in working with people struggling with depression and anxiety (not necessarily related to pregnancy and parenting). She has experience working in both public health and private practice. Prior to relocating to the Surf Coast in 2020, she was as a Senior Clinical Psychologist at the Royal Women’s Hospital in Melbourne.

Hannah is trained and experienced in the areas of perinatal depression and anxiety, attachment and infant mental health, transition to parenthood, preparing for birth, support following traumatic birth, and perinatal complications and loss.

In the past, Hannah’s interest in cross cultural psychology and trauma led her to work in Asia, the Pacific, the Middle East and Africa with a range of international organisations and United Nations agencies. She continues to do short term international consultancies and remote support, however is now primarily based in Australia.

Hannah employs a holistic and trauma informed approach, and is focused on empowering the clients she works with to meet treatment goals. She provides both short term and longer term therapy, based on the individual needs of each client. Hannah is warm, open and approachable and values the importance of providing a safe and respectful space for clients.

As well as individual and group therapeutic work, Hannah provides supervision to Clinical Psychology Registrars and Psychologists.

Affiliations:
- MAPS (Member of Australian Psychological Society)
- AAIMH (Australian Association for Infant Mental Health) member
- Circle of Security Facilitator
- AHPRA approved supervisor

Fees:
50 minute session: $225
Medicare rebate (with GP referral): $137.05 (out of pocket $87.95)

Publications:
Tan SL-S, Stafford L, Bryant C, Jensen H, Komiti A, Newman L. Subjective experiences of participating in an attachment-based early intervention parenting program. Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry. 2021;26(4):968-980

Ellie James

Provisional Psychologist

Ellie is a provisional psychologist who has been practicing for 4 years and will attain full general registration late 2022. She has a strong passion for perinatal mental health and strives to empower and support families as they navigate pregnancy, birth and parenthood.

Ellie is empathic, warm and values the therapeutic relationship as a large predictor of positive outcomes. She has a particular interest in providing therapeutic support to women experiencing perinatal anxiety and depression, along with supporting women who experience birth trauma. She is also passionate about assisting new parents with the challenges that arise during the transition to parenthood. She practices CBT, trauma-focused CBT and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.

Previously, Ellie has worked with children, adolescents and adults diagnosed with a variety of disabilities and mental illnesses (Autism Spectrum Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Intellectual Disability, Attachment Disorder, Anxiety, Depression, Schizophrenia, Bipolar and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) in both individual and group settings. She has completed perinatal mental health professional development and continues to expand her skills and knowledge with ongoing training and regular supervision from an AHPRA approved supervisor.

Pauline Rotsaert

Doula, Circle Facilitator, Closing of the Bones Ceremony, Photography

I'm Pauline, mum of Iggy.

Originally from France, I arrived in the Surfcoast almost seven years ago with my Australian husband.

I developed my photography practice at early ages, playing with my dad’s analogue camera.

My doula journey started when I fell pregnant with my son. I obtained my certification from the Geelong and Surfcoast Doula services in 2021, pushed my interest in breastfeeding support doing training, and I have a strong passion for self nurturing through food and rituals such as Closing of the Bones ceremony.

Being unfamiliar with the health system nor of alternative types of care, the distance from my own family, Covid restrictions forcing me to face medical appointments alone... made my pregnancy journey disheartened. Fortunately, I strived through because I had a village around me.

This is where I had to learn to let it go, to listen to my intuition and my body, and finally have a deep understanding of the meaning "it takes a village".

Throughout my postpartum services and circles , I wish to share the love and support that made the start of our parenthood journey relaxed and smooth.

With the Closing of the Bones ceremony I wish to hold all of you and give you the space to regroup and strive.

Taking photo of your bump or new little fam is not only a great souvenir but it can help you get out of your head space. It offers you another perspective of your body which sometimes can feel hard to reconnect to, especially if you are experiencing few “bumps” during your journey.

I help you relax, reconnect within yourself, your body and inner voice. The photoshoot is natural, in the environment of your choice so you can feel at ease.

Melinda Sullivan

Clinical Psychologist

Melinda is a registered Clinical and perinatal Psychologist and holds a Master’s Degree in Family Therapy. She has a wide range of experience working with families as a Psychologist, Midwife and Maternal and Child Health Nurse. She has worked in a number of hospital and community settings including Perinatal Emotional Health service at Eastern Health, Specialist Infant Team and general teams with Child, Youth Mental Health.

Melinda enjoys working with people of all ages. She enjoys helping mums, dads and children overcome the mental health challenges they experience and form deeper and more fulfilling relationships.

Melinda can undertake cognitive, learning, and psychological assessments for school aged children. In addition, she can support children who experience a variety of difficulties including emotional, social, behavioural and academic issues that may be impacting on family, and peer relationships and school performance.

Melinda particularly enjoys working with people experiencing challenges in their journey to become parents, pregnancy, parenting, infancy, and childhood. She utilizes is a diverse range of therapeutic interventions and holds relationships as central to optimising mental health and wellbeing.

Melinda has delivered several group programs treating perinatal depression, assisting mothers and fathers in their new parenting roles, and fostering attachment between parents and children. She has undertaken perinatal specific training with the Royal Children's Hospital, Parent and Infant Research Institute, and the Centre of Perinatal Excellence (COPE). She is an accredited Circle of Security and Baby Makes 3 group facilitator.

When not working Melinda is mother of four children. She is looking forward to joining the surf coast community and being able to spend time walking her three dogs on the beach.

Michelle Ferris

Individual & Couples Counsellor

Michelle Ferris is a Psychotherapist and Accredited Mental Health Social Worker (AASW). She has 20 years experience working in mental health with individuals and couples in a variety of settings including public health and private practice. She believes that therapy can offer a confidential safe space to explore what is getting in the way of living in greater connection with ourselves and with others and that the quality of our relationships is paramount to our wellbeing. Michelle is passionate about helping individuals and couples navigate the unique territory of becoming parents and raising children in a way that is curious, compassionate and non-judgemental.

Michelle uses evidenced therapeutic approaches including Cognitive Analytic Therapy (Relational Therapy), Emotion Focused Couples Therapy and Somatic Based Trauma Therapy (EMDR) to treat a range of difficulties including depression, anxiety, adjustment difficulties, and relationship issues.

Dr Annabelle Balharry

Osteopath

Please note Annabelle is currently on leave. We are excited to see her back in the clinic later in 2024.

Annabelle came to Osteopathy through her history as a professional contemporary dancer and her love of the living body in all its presentations, from babies to the elderly. Since practicing, she has been drawn to working with babies, kids and supporting pre/post-natal women and queer health. Though she still enjoys working with all people and all presentations.

Osteopathy addresses the whole person, recognising the body's inherent intelligence and ability to heal. Annabelle views the person as an integrated being, allowing her to meet them where they are at and best support them going forwards. Annabelle uses a range of hands-on treatment approaches as well as take home exercise programs and education to support her patients for the long term.

Common reasons people come to see Annabelle include aches and pains, headaches, jaw issues, back pain, posture, pre/post-natal care, pelvic issues, childhood development, unsettled babies, feeding/sleeping difficulties etc.

Annabelle has continued post graduate training in Cranial and Biodynamic osteopathy, women's health and childhood development.

Qualifications:

BHSc/BAppSc Osteopathy RMIT
Bachelor of Fine Arts Dance VCA
Trans and Gender Diverse Cultural Sensitivity and Awareness Training with Thorne Harbour Health
Auslan language course

Romy Renzow

Endorsed Midwife & Birth Educator

She/Her

I believe that the way you are treated during your pregnancy, birth, and the first 6 weeks post-birth, deeply impacts the trajectory of your families lives and wellbeing. It's been my privilege to experience thousands of pregnancies and birth journeys. I have seen and experienced how healing and transformation comes from being well supported, and well versed in listening to your body and intuition. Contrary to modern birthing culture, birth can be ecstatic and parenting can be so deeply fulfilling. The transition that occurs in and around birth is massive. Understanding the systems, feeling safe and knowing what you are capable of is key.

I have had a broad range of experiences working with birthing people and families over the past 15 years. Public and private hospitals, public and private home birth services, case-load care and as an educator and parent.

I am dedicated to reducing trauma in pregnancy, birth and parenting through education and advocacy. My commitment is to resource people and families to be embodied, intuitive and autonomous as they move through parenthood. The key values underpinning this work are self enquiry, individualised care and community.

I live on the sacred and unceeded lands of the Wadawarrung people on the surf coast in Victoria. My family migrated from the Netherlands and Germany and I was raised on Wurundjeri country in Naarm. I am a university educated, able bodied, cis-gendered white woman.

I offer midwifery antenatal and postnatal shared care with Barwon health, midwifery consultations, group education and private pregnancy, childbirth and parenting education.

Qualifications:

- Bachelor of Midwifery
- Childbirth education training
- Midwifery endorsement- Screening, Diagnostics, Pharmacology and Prescribing
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Competence and language
- Sexual and women's health specialist training
- Breastfeeding, settling, aware parenting specialist training

Dr Elizabeth McLean

Registered Music Therapist

Elizabeth is a Registered Music Therapist (RMT), Certified Motherhood Studies Practitioner and Mum of three who specialises in music therapy practice and research with infants, parents and families, specifically working within perinatal and early parenting contexts. She has over ten years experience working clinically with infants, children and their families in the acute hospital system, including the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and paediatric settings. Elizabeth has also more recently worked within the community and early intervention sectors in Geelong. Elizabeth completed her PhD doctorate, exploring music therapy's role for supporting hospitalised infants and their families in the NICU and nursery setting, with a particular interest in the role of parental singing and voice to support the parent- infant relationship and parental identity and role.

Professional Qualifications and Memberships:

* Bachelor of Music (Therapy) with Honours, The University of Melbourne
* Registered Music Therapist (RMT), with the Australian Music Therapy Association and Allied Health Professionals Australia
* PhD in Music Therapy Research, The University of Melbourne
* Motherhood Studies Practitioner Certification, with Dr Sophie Brock
* Newborn Behavioural Observation (NBO) training, The Royal Women's Hospital