Meet Our Psychologists

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

Psychologists 

JOHN WARING 

John is a clinical psychologist with over 30 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 large team of child specialist clinical psychologists working across three locations in the Hunter Valley. (Lakelands, Maitland and Singleton).

DR NATALIE SMITH 

Dr. Natalie Smith is a Clinical Psychologist who has worked at the practice for over 10 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.

DR 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.

 

WENDY HARRIS

Wendy is a registered psychologist who graduated from the University of Newcastle in 1988 with a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree in Psychology. She began her career working with young people with severe traumatic head injuries, helping them reintegrate into the community. She has also worked for the Royal Australian Navy, for community-based organizations such as Centacare and Headspace, and in private practice both in Australia and New Zealand. Wendy currently works at Newcastle Grammar School (Park campus), providing support and screening assessments for students. In this role, Wendy works collaboratively with teachers, learning specialists, and parents to ensure students enjoy their learning experience and reach their full potential. Wendy’s special interest is in cognitive and educational assessments, particularly identifying young people with specific learning needs, e.g. giftedness, Specific Learning Difficulties (dyslexia, dyscalculia, dysgraphia, etc.). She is trained in the Cattell-Horn-Carroll method of cognitive testing, which is considered by scholars to be the most accurate representation of human cognitive abilities currently available. She also holds a Certificate in Gifted Education (NZ).

 

 

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 two sons and a baby daughter. 

 

DENISE MCCAW 

Denise is a Registered Psychologist who completed a Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) in 2014. Denise completed the 4+2 internship working with children, adolescents and families. She has worked in the disability (NDIS) sector for several years and as a caseworker in Out of Home Care prior to this. 

Denise is passionate about supporting individuals on the autism spectrum, have other childhood or mental health disorders and those who have been impacted by adverse childhood experiences. Denise is passionate about the importance of play in children's development and is completing a Master of Child Play Therapy through Deakin University to develop further skills in this area. She currently uses play to facilitate learning and enjoyment in sessions and is trained in Autplay (a play therapy intervention for Autism and developmental conditions). 

Denise is also able to complete a range of assessments including autism assessments, as well as cognitive and learning assessments. 

Denise is trained to deliver group interventions such as the Westmead Feelings Program to build children's emotion regulation skills.

SOPHIE MOSS 

Sophie Moss is a Registered Psychologist, commencing with John Waring and Associates in East Maitland in 2020. She completed her studies at the University of Newcastle in 2012. 

Sophie has a kind, professional manner and is solution focused. She is passionate about the support she provides and working with young people and their families.

Sophie utilises evidence-based treatment models including Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and Acceptance and Committment Therapy. Sophie has a strong young person focus and works compassionately, logically, and with a strong ethical foundation to help young people and their families improve their lives.

 

 

 

 

STEPHANIE CASSON

Stephanie Casson is a Clinical Psychology Registrar who has recently joined our practice. Stephanie completed a Bachelor of Arts (Psychology) at the University of Wollongong. She has also completed an Advanced Postgraduate Diploma (Psychology) and a Master of Psychology (Clinical) at the University of New England. During her postgraduate studies, her research focus was on individual differences in attachment style.

Stephanie is a friendly and engaging psychologist who is passionate about assisting children, teenagers, and their families to work through a range of mental health concerns, including depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, emotional regulation, behavioural concerns, and social skills. She utilises evidence-based treatment models, such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), and dialectic behavioural therapy (DBT). Stephanie is also looking to expand her therapeutic knowledge by undergoing further study in systemic and family therapy.

Stephanie is also skilled in the administration of a range of diagnostic assessments, including cognitive, learning, and developmental assessments to assess for autism, ADHD and ADD, specific learning disorders (including dyslexia, dysgraphia, and dyscalculia), and intellectual developmental delay.

 

SEAN FARDELL

Sean has 25 years experience with qualifications at the Masters level in clinical psychology. Sean has worked exclusively with children and young people, and their families in a range of clinical settings including public health and child protection services. Sean's interests and expertise in child and family psychology is broad, encompassing developmental issues such as intellectual disability, reading disorders, and the autism spectrum disorders; those affected by trauma and adversity; ADHD and other disruptive behaviour issues along with anxiety and mood concerns. 

Sean's passion and commitment is with supporting children and adolescents feel valued and important, and to reach their potential with the support, guidance of their family and others which play a critical role in children's lives including teachers and schools.

RACQUEL MASON

Racquel is a Clinical Psychologist with experience in the not for profit and private sector. After completing an undergraduate Psychology degree in 2000, Racquel has had a varied work history including Police Officer, Probation Officer, child disability services and private practice since 2018. 

Racquel completed her Clinical Masters at Newcastle University in 2017, her thesis investigated the link between traumatic brain injury and self-reported childhood trauma within a juvenile offender cohort.  

Experienced in supporting people with disability by providing therapeutic interventions to clients, autism assessments, as well as specialist behavioural support in designing and implementing behavioural support plans.Racquel sees clients from early childhood to young adults with a range of presentations including trauma, autism, ADHD, depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, eating disorders, obsessions and compulsions, relationship issues, post-traumatic stress, bipolar, personality disorders, drug and alcohol issues, grief/loss issues and child behavioural issues.

Racquel utilises a range of interventions including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Behaviour Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Dialectical Behaviour Therapy, and Interpersonal Psychotherapy.

Experienced in administering assessments including cognitive assessments (WAIS, WISC, WPPSI), and autism assessments. Trained in the Secret Agent Society program designed to improve social skills for children with autism.  

Racquel is also SIRA registered, to see Workers Compensation clients.

 

DR FIONA DYET

Fiona has worked for over 18 years providing psychological support to children and adolescents. During this time she has worked in the child and adolescent mental health service and has experience in supporting young people with a range of mental health concerns including depression, anxiety, ADHD, ODD and eating disorders. She has specialist skills in neuropsychological assessment of the impact of brain injury, neurological conditions, learning difficulties or mental health conditions on learning and academic progress. She has specialist skills in providing family based therapy to young people experiencing eating disorders. Fiona has an interest in attachment and family systems approaches to understanding the difficulties young people experience. Fiona completed a Doctor of Psychology (Clinical Neuropsychology) and holds endorsement in Clinical Neuropsychology and Clinical Psychology.  

HANNAH WEST

Hannah is a Provisional Psychology Registrar. Hannah completed her Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) in 2020 and her Master of Professional Psychology in 2021 at the University of Newcastle.

Hannah is passionate about working with children, young people, and families and is interested in working with a variety of mental health presentations and concerns. Hannah has previously worked with presentations of depression, anxiety, and trauma and delivered the Cool Kids Anxiety program as part of her postgraduate training. Hannah utilises evidence-based treatment models including Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and sometimes incorporates aspects of narrative therapy and mindfulness practice.