Suite 6, Level 1, 88 Boundary Street, West End, Brisbane Q 4101

MEET THE TEAM

Minds & Hearts has a team of eleven psychologists and four administrative staff. Although not all disciplines are represented in our team we maintain close ties with other specialists in Brisbane and will assist in finding the best professional for the need.

We hold a strong commitment to professional training, and usually will also have a Clinical Postgraduate Intern on placement with us. Interns are in their 6th or 7th year of study. They provide some psychological services under clinical supervision. These services are offered at a reduced rate and for a specified period of time. Please contact us if you are interested in these services.

Dr Michelle Garnett

MPsych(Clin) PhD MAPS MCCP

Michelle is a clinical psychologist and founder and Director of ‘Minds & Hearts: A Clinic for Asperger’s Syndrome and Autism.’ The clinic was born through her passion for understanding autism spectrum conditions (ASC), and her strong desire to be part of positive change for people who have ASC and their families. Michelle thoroughly enjoys working in this area as a diagnostician, therapist, consultant, mentor, clinical supervisor, workshop presenter, student and researcher. She has specialized in autism spectrum conditions for the past 17 years, developing expertise in all subtypes of autism across all ages. Michelle created the first screening instrument for Asperger’s Syndrome, the Australian Scale for Asperger’s Syndrome (ASAS) in 1993. She obtained a PhD for her research into ASC, diagnosis and families in 2007 from the University of Queensland, Australia. She provides training in ASC for postgraduate clinical students for four Australian Universities. Michelle has been an invited speaker at many national and international conferences and workshop events, including New Zealand, England, Wales, Norway, Portugal, and Slovenia.

Prof Tony Attwood

MSc PhD AFBPsS MAPS MCCP

Tony is a clinical psychologist and Senior Consultant at Minds & Hearts. He acquired his original qualifications in England, and achieved a PhD from the University of London. He has specialised in autism spectrum conditions, especially Asperger’s syndrome. Tony is an adjunct professor at Griffith University, Queensland. His book Asperger’s Syndrome: A Guide for Parents and Professionals has become one of the primary texts on Asperger’s Syndrome and has been translated into twenty languages.

His current clinical interests are developing diagnostic procedures and Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for emotion management for children and adults with Asperger’s Syndrome.

Radhika Tanksale

M.A., M.Phil (MAPS)

Radhika gained her Post-Masters in Clinical Psychology from India in 2004 with her area of research in behavioural interventions in children with autism. Since qualifying, Radhika has been closely associated with the ASD population. She is one of the founding members of a school for children with autism in her homtown in India. Radhika moved to Brisbane in 2010 from Massachusetts, USA where she lived for 3 years and continued to gain experience in this field in both community and school settings. She realizes the importance of a multidisciplinary approach in the management of children on the autism spectrum and understands the therapy for them needs to be individually tailored as they possess a unique set of interests and strengths.

Radhika is registered with the Psychology Board of Australia and is a member of the Australian Psychological Society.

Dr David Zimmerman

BPsySc(Hons) Clinical PhD, MAPS

David is a clinical psychologist and has worked as part of the Minds and Hearts for the last two years. He completed his Clinical PhD at Griffith University and his research was focused on understanding why some adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) cope better than others with everyday challenges. In the clinical setting, David primarily works with adolescents and adults with ASD, conducting diagnostic assessments, individual and group therapy as well as cognitive assessments. David has an interest in the principles of mindfulness and is guided by evidence based interventions, such as cognitive behavioural therapy. Outside of clinical practice, David has worked as a sessional staff member at Griffith University for the last 5 years and was responsible for tutoring various undergraduate and honours level subjects. David also has a background working in organisational settings running group traning and workshops.

Sonya Blandford

BEd/Psych MEd (Guid & Couns) AMAPS

Sonya started out her career as a primary school teacher. She then worked as a Guidance Officer before she moved to London, UK to work for 12 years as an Educational Psychologist. Sonya currently works part time at Minds and Hearts and part time as a Guidance Officer in a North Brisbane Primary School.

During her time as an Educational Psychologist working in an Inner London Borough, Sonya gained broad experience with many types of disability and behaviour problems in schools. Sonya worked with children under five, primary schools and secondary schools. Sonya also worked in behaviour units and special schools. Sonya worked on a Behaviour Improvement Project for nine years that aimed to reduce exclusion, increase attendance and improve behaviour in schools. This role involved helping schools improve policies, training staff and doing individual work with the most complex behaviour cases. Sonya also worked on the Early Years Team working with children 0-5 years of age and their Teachers and Families for five years. This involved assessing and planning interventions for children with complex needs and supporting Early Years settings to manage difficult behaviours and situations. During her time in London, Sonya developed a speciality in ASD and was allocated time to create a role with her colleague that provided individual assessment and intervention, group problem solving sessions, transition support (including co-ordinating a group that summarised the borough’s transition practice) and the training of staff and parents.

Sonya enjoys working with families to assess current needs and to develop a plan to help achieve treatment goals. Sonya believes in looking at the presenting issues in a positive way and working together with the families to decide on the best evidenced based strategies to use. Sonya is available to diagnose under 5’s with ASD and work with children, families and schools up to secondary age.

Sonya has recently met the standards of a 5 day intensive course in Animal Assisted Therapy Human-Canine Team training. Sonya and her labrador Lulu graduated at level one and are working towards level two. Level one means that Lulu is deemed suitable for therapy work, but will need to wear her lead in the clinic. She is also suitable for working with calm, older children and adults. Lulu is working with Sonya at Minds and Hearts on Tuesday afternoons. Research has been continuing to increase regarding the positive impact animals have. As animals are non-judgemental and provide an unconditional love, they not only assist in increasing the engagement between therapist and client, but can also assist as an intrinsic motivator. Animals also have the unique ability to provide immediate feedback regarding a person’s mood, behaviour and method of communication.

Dr Wesley Turner

BPsych, BSocSc, Clinical PhD, MAPS

Wesley is a clinical psychologist. He completed his PhD in Clinical Psychology at Griffith University, with his research focusing on the development of a video game based assessment of Problem Gambling/Gambling Disorder.

Wesley is passionate about working with individuals and Autism Spectrum Conditions, and conducts individual, group and couples therapy, and congnitive assessments. His practice is guided by evidence-based interventions including Behaviour Therapy, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Acceptance Commitment Therapy and Mindfulness. 

Wesley’s clinical interest areas include addictions and coping, emotion understanding and management, resilience and hope, couples therapy, and trauma. Wesley greatly values helping individuals, couples and families to develop and improve their abilities to overcome challenges and enjoy life.

Tonéya Ashby

BPsych (Hons), MPsych (Clin), MAPS

Tonéya is a registered psychologist and a clinical psychology registrar. She completed her Master of Clinical Psychology at Macquarie University in Sydney, and her undergraduate and Honours degrees at the University of Adelaide. During her Honours year of study, Tonéya worked as an in-home Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) therapist for a number of children with Autism Spectrum Conditions (ASC). Here, she found her passions each for working with children and adolescents, and working in the ASC area.

Tonéya brings a warm and enthusiastic approach to her work, and is committed to helping children and adolescents with an ASC to build resilience, empower them to overcome their challenges, and to capitalize on their strengths. She has particular interests in helping children manage their emotions, develop social skills, build a strong and positive sense of self, and providing support to parents of children with an ASC.

Tonéya is registered with the Psychology Board of Australia, and is a Member of the Australian Psychological Society.

Fun fact: Tonéya has a Samoyed at home called Miesha, who she would love to train to become a therapy dog in the future!

Mr Jay Hobbs

BA(Psychology) MA (Professional Psychology) MAPS

Jay has worked with children, adolescents and adults with autism in the UK and Australia for the last fifteen years. Jay’s experience has been as a teacher at Autism Queensland, a Autism consultant for Brisbane Catholic Education and working with adults and university students to transition to work. Most recently Jay worked for the NHS in London working with adults on the autism spectrum. 

Jay completed a Master of Professional Psychology at Australian Catholic University before training at the Minds and Hearts clinic for 18 months under the supervisor of Dr. Michelle Garnett. At this time Jay conducted cognitive testing, diagnostic assessments individual and group therapy working with children adolescents and adults at the Minds and Hearts clinic. Jay helped to develop the Thriving Now transition to work program with Prof. Tony Attwood and Dr. Michelle Garnett and has supported adults across Australia with their transition to work. 

Lizaan Schwartz

Provisional Psychologist

BA, BPsych, MEd(Autism)

Lizaan gained her BA and BPsych in psychology from South Africa 2015. When Lizaan was completing her undergraduate and Honours degree in psychology between 2011 and 2015 she volunteered as a teacher assistant (Golden-Key programme) at an autism-specific school in South Africa. She supported teachers and children on the spectrum from the ages of 3 to 18 years. She became the Co-Director of this programme in 2013. Lizaan’s passion to work with children, adolescents, and adults on the spectrum started from her volunteering experience. 

Lizaan has since moved to Brisbane in 2016 to complete her Masters degree in Autism Studies. During this time, she continued to gain experience in this field by completing a 12-month Internship at the Minds & Hearts Clinic. During this time, she was supervised by Dr Michelle Garnett and Prof Tony Attwood. Lizaan is passionately committed to work and support individuals of all ages on the autism spectrum that experience daily challenges. She realises the value of working in a team that shares the same passion for children on the spectrum. Lizaan is committed to assisting her clients to build on their strengths to reach their full potential. Lizaan has a special interest in helping girls on the spectrum to develop their social-emotional and self-understanding.

Hannah McInnes

BSc(Health)

Hannah is th Personal Assistant to Dr Michelle Garnett at Minds and Hearts. Prior to joining Minds and Hearts Hannah completed a degree in Health Science. Hannah has a passionate interest in the health and wellbeing of children and adults and has a strong background in working with people of all ages and cultures.

Nicola Stigter – Administration Officer

Nicole King – Administration Officer

Beverlee – Administrative Officer

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