Our Practitioner Support Service team and consultants include veteran mental health experts from a range of disciplines.
Our team includes specialist clinicians and clinically trained researchers, with complementary skills and experience. They have varied expertise in clinical and neuropsychology, general practice, social work, family therapy and psychiatry. In addition, we can facilitate access to a range of other experts, such as sleep and pain physicians, and rehabilitation specialists.
Practitioner Support Service Team
Dr Richard Bonwick
Dr John Cooper
At Phoenix Australia, John provides psychiatry expertise across policy and service development, training and education, and research. He has particular expertise in veteran mental health, assessment, pharmacotherapy, and service development. John maintains an active private practice, where he specialises in the assessment and treatment of posttraumatic mental health problems, and he also works in a regional youth mental health service working with young people who have experienced trauma. John has held senior clinical and advisory positions in posttraumatic mental health at Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital and the Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS).
Tilly has worked extensively with high risk industries and services, supporting people affected by exposure to trauma, including veterans, Defence Force personnel, emergency service workers, staff in forensic settings, and others. Tilly’s experience in applying leading edge research in a delivery context is one the strengths she brings to her role with the Practitioner Support Service and at Phoenix Australia.
Dr Julia Fredrickson
Julia has experience in assessing and treating individuals who have a history of trauma. At Phoenix Australia, she has worked on a number of projects in the area of veteran mental health, including a clinical research trial to examine the delivery of intensive prolonged exposure therapy for the treatment of PSTD, and the redevelopment of group programs for the Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS).
Alexandra has extensive experience in the area of veteran and military mental health. At Phoenix Australia, Alexandra’s work has included development of written and online training resources for nurses, psychologists and GPs, and redevelopment of Veteran and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS) group program materials. She also leads the Department of Veterans’ Affairs’ Trauma Recovery Programs (PTSD) clinical data collection project. She has also been involved in the dissemination and delivery of practitioner training across Queensland following disasters, the revision of the PTSD treatment guidelines, and the development of disaster-focussed online training for GPs.
Dr Dzenana Kartal
At Phoenix Australia, Dzenana specialises in mental health service delivery and research including implementation and evaluation, knowledge translation and evidence synthesis. Dzenana has effectively managed a number of projects specifically related to veteran and military mental health and related to assessment, delivery and improving uptake of evidence-based practice by the Australian mental health practitioners working with veterans. She has also been a key contributor to DVA Evidence Compass Rapid Evidence Reviews and meta-analyses assessing effectiveness of treatments for PTSD.
Jane has 25 years’ experience in the field of trauma related mental health as a senior clinician, program leader, clinical supervisor, trainer, policy advisor, and researcher working with veteran, military and high risk industry personnel, as well as children and adolescents and communities impacted by disaster . Jane has also worked in the alcohol and drug, traumatic brain injury, older aged psychiatry, child and adolescent mental health, and developmental disability sectors. Jane’s training in Clinical Neuropsychology and Developmental Psychology fuel her research interests in exploring the neurobiological and neuropsychological aspects of trauma and exploring innovative treatments that help to improve the clinical and cognitive symptoms of PTSD and other trauma related mental health disorders. At Phoenix Australia, Jane has led a range of service development, training and research projects that focus on translating evidence into practice and enhancing the capacity of mental health practitioners to deliver evidence-based treatments.
Dr Paulina Mech
At Phoenix Australia, Paulina works across projects related to veteran mental health and trauma, and engages with multidisciplinary health professionals as a key part of her role. Paulina has a background in health psychology and chronic disease, previously working clinically in psycho-oncology and disability.
Dr Phil Parker
Jane has 27 years’ experience in the field of mental health, trauma, and working with families. She has held numerous senior positions within VVCS and non government organisations providing mental health services. Jane has a passion for working with veterans and military personnel and their families. She has worked as a VVCS centre-based counsellor for seven years and specialised in working with sons and daughters of Vietnam veterans. Other roles include acting as Deputy Director of South Australia and National Group Program Co-ordinator. Upon leaving VVCS to begin private practice Jane was contracted by VVCS to provide outreach counselling and group programs. VVCS clients remain the majority of Jane’s clients within her Adelaide Hills based private practice. Jane also has extensive experience working with families, especially adolescents. She was the mental health clinician in Doctor On Campus program at Victor Harbor High School which won a South Australian Mental Health Award for Innovation in 2015. Jane is a clinician committed to providing effective, efficient, evidenced-based clinical interventions to the clients with whom she works.
Nicole served as a full-time Army psychology officer for 23 years, and continues to serve as a Colonel in the Army Reserves. Through her military role, Nicole developed extensive expertise in military mental health, including in the issues and challenges for serving and ex-serving military personnel and their families, and the systems and services to improve and maintain mental health and wellbeing within high risk populations. Nicole has worked in psychology service provision, training, research, policy development and strategic planning, and has deployed in support of numerous Australian Defence Force operations. She held the senior psychology position within the Australian Army for more than four years. She is one of the Defence investigators on the joint Departments of Veterans’ Affairs and Defence Transition and Wellbeing Research Programme. She is currently undertaking a PhD through the University of Adelaide.
Dr Geoff Thompson
Associate Professor Darryl Wade
Darryl has many years’ experience in a diverse range of mental health settings, and still maintains an active private practice. At Phoenix Australia, he has led numerous initiatives to improve the mental health practices of primary care, specialist and other practitioners working with military, veteran, emergency service, health and general populations. He has also worked closely with the Commonwealth and state governments including the Departments of Veterans’ Affairs, Defence, and Health, as well as professional and community organisations. He is also an experienced trainer to a wide range of audiences, from peer support workers, teachers and health service managers, to psychologist and psychiatrists. He has published widely on posttraumatic, disaster, and youth mental health issues including controlled trials testing novel psychological interventions, systematic reviews and meta-analyses, and the evaluation of policy and practice initiatives.
Professor David Forbes
David has extensive experience in the assessment and treatment of mental health problems following trauma, having worked in both acute crisis and continuing care settings across the community mental health system and in specialist traumatic stress services. David is an international expert in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and military mental health, with strong national and international links with other researchers and experts in the field. David has published more than 130 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, and sits on the editorial boards of leading international journals. David is a member of many advisory committees for governments and other organisations, including the Departments of Veterans’ Affairs and Defence, and the Australian Psychological Society. David is a passionate advocate for the use of evidence-based responses following trauma in order to reduce the mental health effects on survivors, their families and communities.
Associate Professor Andrea Phelps
Andrea has extensive experience in the assessment and treatment of posttraumatic mental health problems, especially within the military and veteran population. She has consulted to a range of industry partners and government on organisational responses to psychological trauma. Government departments include Veterans’ Affairs, Defence, Health and Human Services, Australian Border Force, and Australian Transport Safety Bureau. Industry partners include TrackSAFE Foundation, state rail organisations, state police, fire and ambulance services. Andrea has also led research into innovative treatments for trauma populations, including the evaluation of an online early intervention for military personnel with adjustment and subclinical problems, and imagery rehearsal therapy for posttraumatic nightmares.
Professor Meaghan O’Donnell
Meaghan has published widely in the area of posttraumatic mental health, holds a number of large research grants, and is involved in both national and international research collaborations. She is Past President of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS), and is on the editorial board of the European Journal of Psychotraumatology. Meaghan is involved in a number of research projects that encompass a range of areas including epidemiology, phenomenology, intervention, and biology of posttraumatic mental health, and the mental health issues in military and veteran populations. Meaghan has particular clinical interests in transdiagnostic approaches to treatment, psychological recovery from traumatic injury and novel modes of treatment delivery.
Dr Richard Cash
Richard has many years’ experience in the treatment of mental health problems within the veteran community, and was previously the Deputy Director of the Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS) in Victoria. He has also worked extensively in the alcohol and drug sector in clinical service and research roles. Richard is an experienced trainer to a wide range of audiences, and is passionate about championing evidence-based interventions within allied health. He is also involved in policy and service development consultancy and the development of digital mental health resources.
Anne-Laure has extensive experience in the treatment of a range of mental health problems in hospital and community settings. She has specialised in the treatment of veterans and emergency personnel diagnosed with PTSD, and the effects of long-term childhood sexual abuse and neglect. Anne-Laure has a strong background in education and knowledge translation and has led several projects aimed at improving the uptake of evidence-based practice among mental health practitioners. Recent projects led by Anne-Laure include a Department of Veterans’ Affairs national training initiative to up-skill mental health practitioners, and an ADF national training program. Anne-Laure has also completed a fellowship with the National Institute of Clinical Studies focusing on the implementation of evidence-based treatment of PTSD.
Dr Ros Lethbridge
Ros is an experienced clinician with 14 years’ experience working in public, private, and university mental health settings. She was formerly a lawyer and has worked with the judiciary as a trauma specialist, developing and delivering substantive educative projects. Since 2014 she has sat on panels which regulate the practice of psychologists, and is currently appointed to the Psychology Board of Australia (Regional Board).
Ros has extensive clinical experience in the area of veteran and emergency services mental health. She worked for eight years as a senior psychologist in a specialist trauma unit at Austin Health, treating veterans who experienced psychological trauma, delivering training on the evidence-based treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder, and providing supervision for psychologists.
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