Health professionals

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 senior clinician and 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.

Rita Brown worked for nearly for 40 years as a pharmacist before embracing a career change to advocate for people impacted by BPD. Rita’s passion is to work with and advocate for the needs of carers while also remaining sensitive to the needs of people with BPD and clinicians and other workers. Rita is currently the Carer Consultant for Spectrum the Personality Disorder Service and draws on her lived experience as a family member of someone with BPD to advocate for the needs of families and friends within Spectrum, other services and the wider community. She is a volunteer, founding and current President of the Australian BPD Foundation.  Rita regularly facilitates peer to peer interactive workshops for carers run through Spectrum and presents at conferences and forum throughout the state and nationally.  In addition she has contributed to numerous state and national consultations and submissions.

Katrina Bull is a Senior Clinical Psychologist and trainer at Spectrum with the DBT and workforce teams. She is a certified DBT therapist with the DBT-Linehan Board of Certification and has completed advanced training in the DBT Prolonged Exposure Protocol for PTSD. Katrina has over 15 years’ experience in public and private youth and adult mental health services in Australia and the UK, specialising in treatments for BPD, PTSD, Complex PTSD and brief suicide intervention.

Dr Lukas Cheney is the Deputy Clinical Director 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.

Deborah Dick is a Senior Psychiatric Nurse with more than three 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 text books.  She is passionate about engaging clinicians in learning and thinking about how they may provide best possible practice for clients struggling with complex issues.

Dr Fiona Donald is a clinical psychologist at Spectrum within the Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Mentalization Based Treatment (MBT) teams. Fiona has a particular interest in the lived experience of BPD treatment and has published on the experience of recovery from consumer and clinician perspectives and on self-compassion and its relationship with recovery.

Jacinta Emery is a lived experience consultant and qualified peer worker. She has been working at Spectrum since 2020. Her area of lived expertise includes a diagnosis and recovery from borderline personality disorder, among other co-occurring mental health conditions. Working alongside Spectrum clinical training staff, Jacinta has strong interest in sharing her lived experience of psychiatric diagnosis and mental health service use, as well as demonstrating the importance of using effective principles of care to improve treatment and recovery for people living with BPD.

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.

Lilli Haig-Wood is a senior mental health Occupational Therapist with extensive experience in a variety of settings including public mental health (inpatient and community), forensics, specialist personality disorder services and homelessness. She works part time in the Spectrum ACT team, providing individual and group programs using the ACT framework and in the workforce development team. She passionate about working alongside clients diagnosed with personality disorders, empowering them to create meaningful and fulfilling lives.

Renee Harrison is a Senior Mental Health Nurse at Spectrum.  She has extensive experience working in a variety of mental health areas, including Aged Care, Adult Services and Child and Youth Mental Health.  She has over a decade of experience working on the CYMHS Early Psychosis Team and continues to enjoy working with this age group.  Throughout her career her interest has extended to working with individuals with personality disorders and complex trauma.  Renee currently works on the DBT Team and is passionate about person-centred, collaborative care in order to help people create a life worth living.   She is a Board Director at a Rural Mental Health Service and is keen to contribute to ensure access to quality mental health care to all Victorian’s irrespective of their location.  She has joined the Workforce Development Team in hopes to share her knowledge, decrease stigma and help create a positive culture in the work that we do.

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.

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.

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

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.

Cathryn Pilcher is the Associate 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.

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 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. In recognition of his contributions to psychiatry he received the award of the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) (General Division) in June 2022.

Dr Samantha (Sam) Tabak is a senior clinical psychologist and board-accredited supervisor. She has over a decade of experience working in Child and Youth Mental Health services, psychiatric triage, intensive outreach teams, and early psychosis, utilizing psychotherapy frameworks such as MBT, DBT, ACT, and Open Dialogue-informed therapy, and is currently part of the Complex Care Service at Spectrum. She also works with young people and their families in private practice.Samantha believes in a person-centred and collaborative approach to treatment and support. 

Joanne (Jo) Veltkamp is a mental health nurse with extensive experience in a variety of roles in both private and public metal 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.

Marianne Weddell is Clinical Manager of Spectrum and 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 borderline personality disorder, 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.