The LifeWise Centre comprises of the following highly skilled team members

Lianne Neville

BA, Dip Ed, RT Cert., MAPS

Lianne has been working as a psychologist for over 30 years, 12 of which have been as a Consulting Psychologist in private practice. She is a Principal Psychologist and Co-Director of The LifeWise Centre. Lianne is registered with the Psychology Board of Australia and is a registered provider with Medicare and WorkCover. Lianne is also a registered provider for the ADF and VVCS.

Lianne is an active member of the Newcastle Branch of the Australian Psychological Society (APS) and has been a member of Australian Psychological Society for 30 years.

Lianne has extensive training and experience in working in many areas of psychology, including clinical, trauma, training and development and supervision. She has worked with front line workers such as police, fireman, teachers and Department of Community Service workers. She undertakes regular ongoing professional development and supervision.

Lianne’s specialist areas of expertise are: depression, anxiety, grief and loss, PTSD.

Lianne is an Authorised Supervisor for the purpose of registration of provisionally registered psychologists for a two year structured program and has successfully supervised 8 psychologists for registration.

Lianne’s books are currently closed.

Gwenda Brownell

BA, Dip Ed, Dip Soc Sc, M Psych (Ed) MAPS

Gwenda is a Principal Psychologist and Co-Director of The LifeWise Centre. Gwenda works mainly with adults. She holds a Master of Psychology and Bachelor of Arts degrees, with a Diploma in Social Science, Diploma in Education and is a member of the Australian Psychological Society.

Gwenda is a Registered Psychologist with the Psychology Board of Australia. She also has accreditation with Medicare and WorkCover .

Gwenda’s areas of special interest and experience include anxiety, depression, grief and loss, post traumatic stress, pain management. She mainly uses Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and EMDR (especially helpful for trauma) and undertakes regular ongoing professional development and supervision.

Gwenda’s books are currently closed.

Rob McAlpine

MA DipEd PhD MAPS

Rob is a Clinical Psychologist with over 30 years experience working primarily with adolescents and adults. His main areas of interest include depression, anxiety disorders, assisting clients who self harm and those with eating disorders. Rob is a registered provider with Medicare, WorkCover, the ADF and VVCS.

In addition to his clinical work, for the past 10 years Rob has taught a wide range of psychological interventions to practicing clinicians in Australia and overseas, including introductory and advanced courses in Interpersonal Psychotherapy, courses in managing post-traumatic stress disorder and in management of self harm. Rob is a certified trainer and supervisor with the Interpersonal Psychotherapy Institute and a Member of the Australian Psychological Society.

Dr Victoria Clay

PhD, M. Psych (Ed.), B.A., Dip Ed

Victoria has been a psychologist for over 25 years. She currently works with both child and adult clients.

Victoria has extensive experience in the assessment of academic, emotional and social issues in children. She works from a strengths perspective in assisting children and their parents to positively and effectively deal with the issues that can impact on a child’s development, such as anxiety and behavioural difficulties. She has a special interest in Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Her work with adults includes treatment of anxiety, depression and trauma, and development of life skills.

Victoria is a member of the Australian Psychological Society. She is an accredited provider for the Medicare Better Access to Mental Healthcare program, VVCS, WorkCover and the ADF.

Victoria’s books are currently closed.

Fiona Hellyer

BSc(psych)

Fiona has been working as a Registered Psychologist since 2002. She has worked in a range of areas such as intellectual and or physical disabilities, IQ testing, survivors of sexual abuse, behaviour management, carer support, anxiety, depression, health related problems and weight management.

Fiona is an accredited provider for the Medicare Better Access to Mental Healthcare program, WorkCover and the ADF.

Raquel Areans

B.A, Post Grad Dip Psych

Raquel is a registered psychologist and counsellor who has worked in a range of settings including drug and alcohol rehabilitation, juvenile detention, private practice and occupational rehabilitation. She is especially interested and experienced in managing anxiety, depression, trauma and workplace stress.

Raquel is an accredited provider for the Medicare Better Access to Mental Healthcare program, and WorkCover. She also enjoys working with people through the NDIS.

Suzan Peak

DipTeach DipEdSt BSocSc MEd(C.Psych)RTCert AssocMAPS

Sue has worked as a school counsellor for over ten years and as a registered psychologist in private practice at The LifeWise Centre since 2007. She enjoys both contexts and finds each complements the other.

This has also given her the opportunity to work with children, teenagers and families, as well as individual adults across a broad range of issues including academic and behavioural assessment, children with special needs, parenting, anxiety and depression, grief and loss, life threatening illness and significant life transitions.

Therapies used to support clients include Reality Therapy, IPT and CBT underpinned by a strength based focus that is optimistic that all clients can manage change with information and support delivered in the context of a strong therapeutic alliance.

John Mowatt

BA, BA Hons. M Psych. (Clin.) MAPS.

John has over 20 years experience as a Psychologist and Clinical Psychologist, mainly in Hunter New England Mental Health Services.

Currently he is the Clinical Leader for the Hunter Valley Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service, and prior to this worked for many years with the adult Hunter Valley Mental Health Service. He has also worked in private practice at The LifeWise Centre for a number of years.

John has experience working with people of all ages who suffer from a range of psychological issues, including depression, anxiety, OCD, adjustment issues, and personality disorder. John works largely within a Cognitive Behavioural framework, however, has expertise in other treatment modalities such as Dialectical Behaviour Therapy, Narrative Therapy and Family Therapy.

Sarah Baker

B. Psych. (Hons).

Sarah is a Registered Psychologist who enjoys working with children, adolescents and adults. Sarah is able to work with a variety of mental health issues including anxiety, depression, stress management, grief and loss, emotion regulation and social skills building.

Sarah’s main therapy modalities include Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Brief Solution Focused Therapy (BSFT), Art Therapy and Mindfulness. Through her time at LifeWise, Sarah has also helped clients navigate Social Media and their Cybersafety to support mental wellbeing. Sarah is experienced in comprehensive psychological assessment including IQ testing, autism diagnosis and vocational assessment.

Sarah is passionate about helping clients achieve their goals using a strengths based approach that is supported by a strong therapeutic alliance. Sarah is a registered Medicare Provider and an Accredited WorkCover Clinician.

Sarah is available at LifeWise Maitland.

Gloria Peacock

BSc(Psych Hons), Dip Sch Couns, MPsych(Clin), MAPS.

Gloria is a Clinical Psychologist, who has practised as a Psychologist for over 20 years. She is a member of the Australian Psychological Society (APS), as well as a member of two of the APS’ Specialist Colleges: The Counselling College and The Clinical College.

Gloria has also worked extensively with adults in a variety of community settings and different cultural backgrounds, as well as a range of issues. In addition to supporting people with Depression and Anxiety, her client groups include veterans, victims of crime and families involved in mediation through the Family Court of Australia.

Gloria works from a mainly structured solution-focussed framework, using supportive counselling, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy strategies as well as relaxation and meditation.

Lucy Walker

BA (Hons); MSc Psych; Assoc. MAPS – Provisional Psychologist

Lucy took up an internship shortly after her arrival to Australia from the UK in 2017. She has been working as a Provisional Psychologist with The LifeWise Centre since 2018. Lucy holds a Master of Psychology and is experienced in conducting psychological assessments with children and adults.

Lucy works with children with behavioural and emotional difficulties, and autism spectrum disorders, and as well as with adults adapting to life with neurological conditions (stroke, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, brain tumours).

She is also skilled and interested to continue working with people experiencing anxiety, depression, grief and loss, pain, and sleep difficulties.

Lucy takes an integrative approach, using therapies such as behavioural management, Cognitive Behavioural (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment (ACT), and Dialectical Behaviour (DBT), with a strengths-based focus.

Dr Rajshree Hariharan

M.B.B.S. M.D(India), FRANZCP

Dr Hariharan, who became a Fellow of the Royal Australia & New Zealand College of Psychiatry in 2014, completed her Advanced Training in General Adult Psychiatry in 2009. Having worked in both Queensland and New South Wales, she is interested and experienced in working with adults in relation to psychiatric assessments.  She also undertakes medication reviews and develops management plans for people with common mental health problems. Dr Hariharan uses a holistic approach including medications and psycho social interventions.

Dr Hariharan is available at LifeWise Maitland.

Dr Reka Sankar

MBBS, FRCPCH (UK), FRACP (Australia)

Dr Reka Sankar is a United Kingdom and Australian trained Paediatrician with over 18 years of experience in Paediatrics.

She trained as a specialist at London, Cambridge and Manchester in United Kingdom (UK), followed by a period in Hunter New England, NSW. She worked as a Consultant Paediatrician both in the UK before moving to Australia and at John Hunter Children’s Hospital, Newcastle.

Dr Sankar has substantial experience managing a broad range of general paediatric conditions (ages 0 – 18). She also has specific interests and experience in managing childhood neurodevelopmental disorders such as ADHD and Autism, behaviour and sleep difficulties, eating disorders and failure to thrive as well as other general paediatric conditions.

Dr Sankar is available at LifeWise Maitland.