Who Are We?
Alex Johnson - Administrative Assistant
Alex is our receptionist here at Blossomtree. She organises appointments, takes care of payments and rebates and will do her best to answer any questions you have for her.
Alex tries her best to make the waiting room a fun place and encourages everyone to draw some pictures, read a book or even challenge kids to a game of UNO if she’s not too busy. When she isn’t at work, Alex loves to play in music groups around Ballarat.
Michelle Taylor - Clinical Psychologist
Jess Sewell - Clinical Psychologist
Prue Allan - Psychologist
Tesni Rowlands - Psychologist
Tesni Rowlands- Psychologist, BPsych (Hons), MPsych (Clinical)
Tesni is registered as a Psychologist with the Australian Board of Psychology and holds a Master of Psychology (Clinical) from Federation University Ballarat. Tesni has a passion for working with children and adolescents and has clinical experience across a range of settings, including mainstream schools, public mental health settings and private practice.
Tesni’s therapeutic approach is child-centered and strength-based with an emphasis on supporting children and their families through open and warm communication. She approaches all clients from a place of non-judgement, empathy and understanding. Tesni understands the importance of forming a strong therapeutic relationship in order to facilitate positive change. Tesni enjoys working closely with parents and aims to empower and support children and adolescents using evidence-based, creative and engaging therapeutic techniques.
Tesni employs evidence based therapeutic approaches, including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Process-Focused Therapy and Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) for a range of presenting issues including anxiety, depression, complex trauma, attachment disruption, emotional and behavioural difficulties and adjustment issues. Tesni will work with the child, young person and family to tailor intervention specific to their individual needs. Tesni works from an attachment and trauma informed perspective.
Tesni is a member of the Australian Psychological Society, and a registered provider with Medicare.
Rachael Silverman - Social Worker
Rachael is a registered AASW Social Worker and holds a Bachelor of Social Welfare and Masters of Social Work from Federation University. She is a passionate and dedicated Social Worker who strongly believes in the importance of authentic relationships; and brings an accepting and empathetic approach to all the people she works with. Rachael has a strong focus on attachment and seeks to understand each persons’ individual journey through their life to best offer support and empowerment to them.
Over the last 9 years, Rachael has worked with children, young people and families who have experienced complex relational trauma and many of whom are within the Child Protection system. Rachael is highly skilled at working with children who have experienced trauma and attachment disruptions, along with their parents/caregivers to build a strong foundation of understanding and therapeutic responses to behavioural and emotional concerns.
Rachael has spent a significant period working with young people residing in Out of Home Care (Foster care and kinship care) and those living in Permanent and Adoptive families. This work has given Rachael a strong understanding of the impact for children growing up in non-biological homes, and the unique challenges faced by non-biological parents. She also has an extensive background in supporting individuals and families who have complex needs; and aims to understand and make sense of their experiences and relationships, and build on their unique values and strengths.
Rachael utilises a variety of interventions including: Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), play therapy, life story work, dyadic work and somatic approaches in her work with children, young people and adults. Rachael has significant experience in providing training and education and is also an experienced Circle of Security Parent (COS-P) facilitator.
Ana Arbizu - Mental Health Social Worker and Family Therapist
Ana Arbizu is an AASW registered Social Worker and has a master’s degree in Family Therapy and a Bachelor in Social Work, as well as more than 25 years of experience working in different areas of the community. Ana also speaks fluent Spanish.
Ana has many years of experience providing trauma counselling to families and children, and has a particular interest in working with children and their families in a therapeutic context.
Ana has worked as a general counsellor in community health setting as well as in private practice. While in private practice, Ana provided psychological first aid to women and children escaping family violence.
For the past ten years Ana has been working within a hospital setting and has provided mental health assessments and support for people with chronic health issues.
Ana is very compassionate, and strives towards working in partnership with families. She believes in collaborative practices with families and other professionals.
Ana provides narrative therapy with a strength-based focus.
Ana relocated to Ballarat 1 year ago with her family, she has a good sense of humour, loves to garden and enjoys being around dogs.
Karen Fairhurst - Psychologist
Karen is a registered Counselling Psychologist, who is a Member of the Australian Psychological Society, a Fellow of the College of Counselling Psychologists, and a registered provider of Medicare Services.
Prior to becoming a psychologist, Karen’s vocational experience began with qualifications in teaching which saw her working in both Primary and Special Education settings. Following the birth of her children, Karen completed her 4thyear in psychology, whilst working in the TAFE sector training Child Care and Community Services workers. Karen then developed a strength-based inclusion service with Mental Health Services to provide pathways to recovery, through community education, to individuals with complex mental health issues.
Karen then made the decision to bring her vocational experiences with children, education and mental health together in the completion of a Master of Psychology (Counselling) at Swinburne University, at this time working for the Victorian Mental Health Carer’s Network. After graduating, Karen worked initially as a researcher for Anglicare and then moved into private practice.
In her work with children and adolescents, Karen is passionate about understanding the way in which children build a model of their experiences, and in the continuing development of our understanding, as adults, of the differences between the fully developed adult mind and the formative mind of the child.
In private practice to date, Karen has had extensive experience working with children and adolescents who have experienced anxiety, post traumatic stress, grief, depression, illness, ASD, ADHD, disorders of conduct and emotion, and disorders of social functioning.
Karen’s practice brings together evidence-based research with respect to the neurological basis of behaviour, the formation of a sense of identity and attachment, and the influence of the system of relationships which the child experiences, through their interactions with family, peers, and community.
Karen works in a trauma informed framework to understand and address the interaction between difficult, frightening and overwhelming lived experiences and the child’s internal experiences of thoughts, emotions and feelings of safety. Within this framework, Karen utilizes Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Mindfulness, Narrative Therapy, Play Therapy, and Art Therapy. Karen is skilled in, and utilizes, a range of child assessment and observational tools.
Karen believes in establishing inclusive, collaborative, and trusting relationships with both the child, and those involved in, and concerned about, their care: using her understanding of families and relationships to build inclusive, child focussed therapeutic interventions.