Meet Our Psychologists

We have a dedicated team of child specialist clinical psychologists ready to help you and your child. Read about them here.


John Waring

John is a clinical psychologist with over 25 years experience working directly with children, teenagers and their families. John is a clinical masters graduate of the University of Newcastle. In his early career he worked in the area of paediatric developmental disabilities and child protection before opening his private practice in 1997. 

John has a particular passion for assisting children of all ages to improve their mental health and strengthen their family relationships. He is very experienced in helping parents manage difficult behaviours that are often present in a range of childhood disorders but sometimes simply present in children as a response to life or developmental changes.

John also enjoys assisting parents to make child focussed decisions around custody and contact when they are experiencing separation and divorce.
John's desire to assist children has seen the private practice grow into a team of ten child specialist clinical psychologists working across three locations in the Hunter Valley. (Lakelands,   Maitland and Singleton).

Meagan Nesbitt

Meagan Nesbitt is a Registered Psychologist with 20 years experience supporting children, adolescents and parents. Meagan has worked for Samaritans, The Department of Community Services, Newcastle Grammar School, NewPsych Psychologists, and has been employed with John Waring & Associates for over 10 years.

Meagan has extensive experience assisting people with stress and anxiety, depression, grief and loss, terminal illness, behavioural problems, family, peer and relationship difficulties, anger and self-esteem issues, childhood sexual assault, and formal IQ assessments.

As a professional and mother of three, Meagan strongly believes that children benefit from a range of supports in their life, to enable them to reach their full potential. Meagan is passionate about supporting children early, to help build their resilience and create the building blocks for a positive future.

Sarah Edwards

Dr. Sarah Edwards is a Clinical Psychologist who holds an Honours degree in Psychology, as well as a Doctorate in Clinical and Health Psychology both from the University of Newcastle. Sarah helps children, adolescents and parents dealing with anxiety, depression, behavioural problems, learning difficulties, and peer and family relationship issues including parental separation. She also completes formal assessments including IQ tests, and Autism diagnostic assessments. Sarah has been with the practice for four years and remains passionate about helping children develop life skills and reach their full potential.

Natalie smith

Dr. Natalie Smith is a Clinical Psychologist who has worked at the practice for over six years. Natalie completed a Bachelor of Psychology (Honours), as well as a Doctorate of Clinical and Health Psychology at the University of Newcastle. Natalie is a warm and engaging psychologist who is passionate about providing assistance to children, teenagers and their parents. She is experienced in a broad range of issues including depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, behavioural difficulties, social skills concerns, learning problems and relationship issues. Natalie is also skilled in the administration of cognitive and behavioural assessments and diagnostic assessments of Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Andrew Orenstein

Andrew is a Clinical Psychologist who has been working with children/adolescents and their families since graduating from a Bachelor of Psychology (University of Newcastle) in 2006. The joy and the challenge of this work led him to complete a Master of Clinical Psychology in 2013. Andrew has a sensitive, creative, and often fun approach to working with the serious issues and challenges people face. Originally a country boy, Andrew loves to be outside and often spends sessions kicking a footy, flying paper planes, fishing from the balcony of the counselling room, or inventing silly games. This is not to minimise the seriousness of the work he seeks to do. Andrew has experience working with severe mental health issues like suicidality, psychosis, and trauma based mental health issues. He also works well with people experiencing depression, anxiety, emotional dysregulation, behavioural issues and with those who struggle being resilient. 

Andrew has co-authored a book called "SOS: Strengths, Opportunities, Supports. A school based resilience program" and enjoys presenting guest lectures at the University of Newcastle for Social Work and Psychology students.  

Andrew is married and has two young boys who bring him joy and exhaustion in (mostly) equal measures. 

Julie Searl 

Ms Julie Searl Msc psychology MA Social Work Phd candidature. Specialist area children and families, trauma and children who are experiencing their families have separated. Therapy techniques Play/Sand tray therapy with younger children, Attachment based interventions,Cognitive intervention, and narrative therapy. Areas experiences attachment, Children and Family Court and currently Phd paper in submission Intergenerational abuse, attachment psychopathology and trauma.

Tanya Jolly

Tanya is an experienced Psychologist having worked with a broad range of client both in Australia and Overseas. She has worked in private practice, government, non-government and non for profit organisations. 

Tanya has experience and interest in working with families and their children whom are on the Autism Spectrum. In the last 10 years she has gained many insights into Autism beyond her formal training, having 3 family members being diagnosed with ASD during this time. She is also interested, and trained in associated areas such as Sensory Processing Disorder, Anxiety, Depression and ADHD.

Tanya has assisted clients with complex trauma, personality disorders, anxiety and depression. She trained in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing Disorder (EMDR), and Dialectual Behavioural Therapy (DBT) and uses a variety of modalities to assist her clients and their families build resources to address the difficulties they are experiencing. 

Tanya has worked as a Psychologist in a variety of settings outside the office, including schools, residential care settings, aged care facilities, prisons and in the workplace, both open and supported environments.

Tanya is a Member of the Australian Psychological Society (MAPS) and Associate Member of the EMDR association of Australia. 

Dr Sarah White

Dr Sarah White is a Clinical Psychologist who has worked with children, adolescents and families since 2011. Following completion of her Bachelor of Psychology (University of Newcastle), she worked for the Department of Human Services for several years, before moving to the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) in 2011, and then to private practice in 2017.
Sarah completed her Doctor of Clinical Psychology (University of Newcastle) in 2014 and her thesis examined positive and negative consequences for children of parents affected by mental ill health. 
Sarah is interested in working with children and adolescents who present with a range of anxiety, mood, eating, adjustment and trauma-related difficulties and deliberate self-injury, and working with families to improve communication and strengthen relationships. 
Sarah is married, has a young son and is awaiting the birth of her second child in June 2018. She is looking forward to spending time with her young family while on maternity leave and returning to the practice in 2019.