Health professionals

Associate Professor Sathya Rao is a psychiatrist and the Executive Clinical Director of Spectrum Personality Disorder Service. He is the Vice President of the Australian BPD Foundation. He is also an adjunct clinical associate professor at Monash University. Dr Rao is involved in clinical research and has published research papers, contributed chapters and co-authored books on borderline personality disorder. He was a member of the NHMRC Clinical Practice Guidelines development committee, 2012. He has taught clinicians across Australia and was the head of the psychiatry training program of Victoria for the RANZCP previously. He is involved in treating complex personality disorder patients and provides second opinions and secondary consultations for complex clinical conditions associated with personality disorders. He was the recipient of the 2020 Meritorious Award of the Victorian Branch of RANZCP.

Professor Jo Beatson is a Consultant Psychiatrist and Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist who has worked in the field of Personality Disorders over many years. She is particularly interested in how early childhood experiences influence personality development in the direction of health or pathology and in what psychotherapeutic treatments are able to achieve through treatment of these disorders. Jo has supervised, taught and published widely in this area and is regarded as one of Australia’s foremost authorities in the field.

Marianne Weddell is a Clinical Psychologist with 20 years experience in public and private setting treating a wide range of disorders, managing teams, training staff and supervising/mentoring clinicians. She has a special interest and significant experience with BPD, in particular, developing service and family systems to work effectively in this space. She believes in therapy as a tool to help people understand themselves, their passions and build a life worth living.

Rita Brown is the Carer Consultant for Spectrum and works from a lived experience of supporting/caring for someone with BPD at a number of Spectrum’s workshops and BPD Family and Carer Support Group.  Rita is a volunteer and board member of the Australian BPD Foundation

Dr Lukas Cheney is a consultant psychiatrist at Spectrum. He has training in Dialectal Behaviour Therapy and Mentalization Based Therapy and has a keen interest in research to improve our understanding of personality and associated disorders. In his work at Spectrum, Dr Cheney is involved in the most complex cases of personality disorder from across Victoria and to mental health services seeking consultation around Australia. Dr Cheney is a strong believer in a stepped care model of treatment for personality disorder and the idea that, with the right knowledge, any mental health clinician can engage therapeutically with a person living with personality disorder.

Harry Constantinou is a psychologist practising psychoanalysis in Spectrum’s Psychoanalytic Clinic and has been a senior clinician at Spectrum for ten years. He also works within Spectrum’s Referral and Consultation Service.

Zoe Gibbs is a Senior Clinical Psychologist at Spectrum where she provides DBT and DBT for complex trauma (DBT-PTSD) for adults, young people and their families. She’s been with Spectrum for several years now where she coordinates the DBT team. She has a particular interest in working with BPD in a youth population, having spent several years working at the Maudsley hospital in London where she specialised in DBT for adolescents, in addition to experience within the CYMHS sector in Victoria.

Kat Kahler is a qualified mental health nurse with over 15 years of experience working in acute and therapeutic settings in Victoria, interstate and overseas. Over the past few years, she has worked as an emergency mental health Clinician in a Metro Melbourne hospital whilst also working part-time at Spectrum and in private practice. Kat enjoys providing clinicians with a space where they can reflect and learn and as such runs a variety of training courses within Spectrum

Dr Julian Nesci is a senior clinical psychologist and accredited Mentalization-Based Treatment practitioner and supervisor. His work within Spectrum’s Mentalization-Based Treatment clinic includes individual and group therapy, supervision, and training. Julian also works within the Complex Care Service, providing consultation and treatment for consumers, carers, clinicians and services. Julian also has a background in working with people with severe eating disorders, acute mental health issues, and the adolescent forensic field. Together with his colleagues, he is advancing Spectrum’s Mentalization-Based Treatment program accreditation with the Anna Freud Centre in London. He is eager to support the growth and delivery of psychotherapy for people with complex difficulties within Australia.

Ben McGill is a psychoanalyst, social worker and senior clinician who works in Spectrum’s Psychoanalytic Clinic and Complex Care Service. Ben has been working with Spectrum for 13 years.

Andrew Mottram is a senior clinical psychologist and accredited Mentalization-Based Treatment practitioner and supervisor. He holds broad experience in working with complex and severe personality disorder across several therapeutic modalities including ACT and DBT, focusing solely on Mentalization-Based Treatment since 2016. His work with Spectrum includes Complex Care Service consultation and treatment as well as the delivery of Mentalization-Based Treatment to both groups and individuals. Andrew is passionate about this treatment approach and the value it holds for both consumers and clinicians.

Cathryn Pilcher is the Acting Associate Clinical Director of Spectrum and an Occupational Therapist with more than 15 years experience in Mental Health, specialising in working with people with personality disorder. She is a Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) therapist and was integrally involved in setting up the first regional DBT program in Western Australia. Along with clinical leadership, Cathryn provides consultation, supervision and training and as an OT, is passionate about helping people with personality disorders experience a meaningful and purpose-filled life.

Dr Alex Potter is a senior clinical psychologist and MBT therapist. He has experience working with clients with complex personality disorders in community, forensic and private practice settings. At Spectrum he is a member of both the MBT team - running groups and working with individual clients – and a member of the Complex Care Service providing treatment and consultation. Alex sees MBT as a dynamic and flexible modality for working with people with personality disorders.

Joanne (Jo) Veltkamp is a mental health nurse with extensive experience in a variety of roles in both private and public mental health settings. Her predominant interest lies in working with those with a lived experience of personality disorder and their carers. She is currently employed as a Senior Clinician at Spectrum working in collaboration with the Spectrum Lived Experience Team (consumer and carer) and the intake team. She also continues to work with adolescents and adults in public mental health settings.  

Sarah Wallace is a Senior Clinical Psychologist at Spectrum who brings years of experience from multiple practice settings, including; Outpatient community mental health, non-government organisations and private practice. She works in the Complex Care Service providing individual therapy and secondary consultation as well as in Spectrum’s Dialectical Behaviour Therapy clinic providing individual therapy, facilitating DBT skills groups, and providing adjunctive therapies for trauma and family work.

Deborah Dick is a Senior Psychiatric Nurse with more than two decades’ experience in mental health working in a variety of areas including inpatient, community, and crisis settings. Deborah has worked at Spectrum for over 20 years providing consultation to public mental health services, training and direct treatment for clients and families. She has been involved in developing specific courses for nurses working in mental health and has contributed to various nursing textbooks.

Andy Bouwman is a mental health social worker with 10 years of experience working in public mental health services in Victoria. He has worked within community and acute teams and has developed a solid understanding of working with clients with BPD in a variety of settings. Andy is a member of the ACT team at Spectrum, providing individual therapy and group programs using this framework. He has joined the workforce development team as he is passionate about sharing his experience and knowledge with other clinicians.

Dr Mithira Nithianandan is a consultant psychiatrist at Spectrum Personality Disorder Service. She has had training in dialectical behaviour therapy and metallization based treatment.  Dr Nithianandan believes that training and support for the mental health workforce are crucial for addressing the needs of people with personality disorder. She has a particular interest in supporting primary care providers in working therapeutically with clients living with BPD.