BA Education (Aus)Studied a Graduate Diploma of Special Education (Aus) Master of Counselling (Aus)
Associate Member: Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia Associate Member: Hong Kong Professional Counselling Association
Allison Garing has a background in education and has completed her Masters of Counselling with Monash University. Since graduating she has worked as a School Counsellor with adolescents and with adults at Psynamo. Allison has raised four children and understands the challenges of family life.
Allison's therapy is person-centred and collaborative and her goal is to empower the client with tools and strategies to use beyond the counselling process. She utilises Cognitive Behavioural and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy approaches as well as Mindfulness techniques. She also has an interest in Art Therapy. Allison is happy to work with Adolescents and Adults.
Allison consults in English.
Emma Wienker | Psychologist & Counsellor
MCounseling (Aus), MPsych (Organisational (Aus), BA (Psychology) Hons (First Class)(Aus)
Member of the Australian Psychological Society, MAPS,Registered Psychologist, AHPRA
Emma believes that creating positive mental health is not limited to overcoming psychological distress, but also focuses on enabling clients to achieve their potential and self-fulfillment. Emma uses an empathic, collaborative and solution-focussed approach in supporting young people and adults to enahnce their psychological well-being and resilience, enabling them to effectively pursure their goals and reach for a full and meaningful life.
Tailoring her approach to the needs and desires of each client, Emma draws from well-researched and developed techniques, including positive psychology, solution-focussed, cognitive-behavioural and acceptance and commitment therapies. Her aim is to facilitate the achievement of client-centered goals through a process of self-discovery and guided development of skills and tools that clients can use to sustain positive, lasting changes aligned to their individual values.
Before moving to Hong Kong with her family, Emma worked as a psychologist for over ten years in Australia, New York and London. Her work focused on the enhancement of psychological wellness, motivation, values alignment, and career/leadership development at an individual and organisation-wide level. Her experience provides her with a unique understanding of the challenges faced by individuals in their work context and how to empower clients to achieve personal well-being and work/career goal achievement, while also balancing important goals in their other life domains.
Since moving to Hong Kong with her family, Emma has completed further study to broaden her expertise. Prior to joining Psynamo, Emma worked in an international school providing counselling to primary and secondary students, parental/family support and collaborating with teachers to align classroom strategies to support students.
Area of Focus
Emma works with adolescents and adults across a range of challenges that might be getting in the way of leading a fulfilling life, as well as supporting individuals that want to maximise their personal performance through identifying and pursuing meaningful work and life goals.
Examples of areas Emma works with her clients on include:
Low self-esteem/Poor self-image
Adjustment issues (e.g. changing schools, moving countries, new/changed job, having children, other life transitions)
Overcoming difficulties related to school/work life
Building positive relationships, friendships and teams
Motivation and goal planning
Career/leadership transition and planning
Emma consults in English.
Janet Lau | Counsellor
Master of Social Science (Counselling)(HKU), Master Of Counselling (Monash, Australia)
Ms. Janet Lau is an English-Cantonese bilingual counselor with years of experience working with children, young people and adults, couples and family, psychoeducation as well as corporate training. She is a doctoral candidate in clinical psychology from the California Southern University, and she possesses a Master of Social Science (Counselling) from the University of Hong Kong and a Master in Counseling from Monash University in Australia.
Janet has years of counselling experience in stress management, emotional management, interpersonal communication, parenting management, marriage and family counseling, business and workplace training, and providing psychological assessment services. She is also a registered clinical hypnotherapist, Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) practitioner, corporate coach as well as "Happy Parenting Program" practitioner. She is skillful in applying hypnotherapy on individual, couples, and family issues. By inducing client naturally into a hypnotic trance, client can acquire a different perspective to the problem. Through accepting the negative emotions and reframing his / her mode of thinking, the client can eventually unlock his / her inner resources and empower the self.
As a child and adolescent psychotherapist, Janet is also proficient at art and play therapy to provide a safe and non-judgmental environment for children and adolescents who are unable to express their emotions and needs effectively. Through art facilitation and plays, young people can freely express their inner feelings so that they are contained and supported. This would eventually contribute to personal growth. In addition, through the parental management training and stress management training, the parents can manage the parent-child relationship better which can facilitate the family dynamics as well as the development of the children.
Janet consults in Cantonese, Mandarin and English.
Julia Minsberg |Clinical Psychologist
MA Clinical Psychology, BA Psychology
Membership: APA, Division 12 – Society of Clinical Psychology
Julia was born in France, grew up in Israel and Hong Kong, and attended universities in Canada, France, and USA. As a Third-Culture person she experienced relocation and adapting to new countries and cultures first-hand, which developed her awareness and knowledge of multicultural issues.
Julia has been working as psychologist in a range of environments (including private and school settings). Her clients (children, adolescents and adults) are of varying cultural backgrounds, presenting with a diverse range of difficulties and conditions.
Using CBT, mindfulness and positive psychology as her main psychological techniques, Julia adapts sessions to each client’s individual needs and personality. Amongst other, Julia has helped individuals experiencing: depression, anxiety, and problems with adjustment, self-esteem, bullying, self-harm, procrastination, body image, study-skills, time management, grief, inter-racial adoption, addiction.
In summer 2016 Julia did an immersion training at Lanna Rehab – an Alcohol and Drug Addiction Rehab centre in Chiang Mai, Thailand – where she practiced the therapeutic methods: CBT, DBT, Mindfulness, 12 Steps study, SWOT, relapse prevention, NA/AA meetings. Additionally Julia participated in the clients’ daily routine, including: morning opening and evening closure meetings, group sessions, meals, mindfulness, physical therapy, yoga, excursions.
Julia’s prior experience also includes * implementing and conducting psycho-educational, social and emotional programs, for children and adolescents with learning disabilities * research in the areas of: immigration and identities (at AUP, France) and Autism (at HKBU, Hong Kong).
Kim Pascoe | Psychotherapist • Counsellor
BA Psychology (Aus) MScPsychology (HK)
Associate Member: Australian Psychological Society, AssocMAPS (Aus)
Kim has an educational background in Psychology, completing a Bachelors of Science majoring in Psychology in Autralia. She graduated from City Unuiversity of Hong Kong with a Master of Applied Psychology. Kim has also completed numerous counselling courses including The Asia Pacific Certification Commission for Addiction Professional (APCAAP) Level 1.
Since graduating Kim has worked with asylum seekers, counselling inmates in a Hong Kong prison and suicide prevention and has also provided support for clients with addiction issues. Recently, Kim completed an internship at a drug and alcohol center in Thailand where she gained very valuable experience working with clients from all over the world. Kim was able to learn all aspects of rehabilitation from intake to discharge, this hands on experience allowed her to work with clients using a holistic approach.
Kim works with adolescents and adults in one to one and group therapy, utilizing the modalities of Cognitive Behavior Therapy and Motivational Interviewing as well as Mindfulness practices and Client Centered Therapy techniques.
Laura Parker | Counsellor
Master of Counselling (Aus)
Laura is a graduate of the Master of Counselling program at Monash University. She employs a person-centered, collaborative approach. Laura focuses on helping her clients discover enhanced self-awareness, clarity and purpose in their lives. Having had counselling experience in a secondary school she also works with young people and families who seek counselling to help them through difficulties. Depending on the need she employs a range of approaches including cognitive behavioural therapy, narrative therapy, dialectical behviour therapy and mindfulness.
In her professional education she is building up her skills in ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy) to work with individuals who are experiencing challenges or frustrations in areas such as parenting, relationship issues or life changes.
Before becoming a counsellor, her first career was in financial planning where she worked with individuals and couples for over 15 years to understand and help them work towards their financial goals.
Marian Wong has completed her Masters in Clinical Psychology program with the University of Melbourne in collaboration with the National University of Singapore, a course accredited by the Australian Psychology Accreditation Council (APAC). She has assessment and treatment experiences with children, adolescents and adults presenting with a range of psychological issues and individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders (autism, learning difficulties, intellectual disabilities, etc) using a range of therapy approaches (ACT, CBT, DBT, SFT, mindfulness-based approaches, etc).
She also has had experiences working with the medical populations, including individuals experiencing cognitive difficulties related to potential neurological or medical conditions as well as cancer patients. During her training, she also initiated a Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy-based mental health paraprofessional training for Foreign Domestic workers, which was the first of its kind in Singapore.
Before commencing her clinical psychology training, Marian completed her first Masters in Mental Health Studies in the Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London (UK), which she co-facilitated Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) programs for individuals with Bipolar Disorder. Coming from a multi-cultural background and having worked in Hong Kong, the United Kingdom and Australia as well as Singapore, Marian has substantial experiences working with individuals from diverse ethnic communities and one of her aspirations is to increase ethnic minorities' access to psychological therapies.
Marian can offer consultation in English, Cantonese and Mandarin.
Rachel Rendall | Counsellor
MA Counselling (Aus), BA Education (Aus)
Rachel Rendall offers confidential and professional counseling on a sliding scale. She employs an empathetic and person-centered approach, incorporating elements of narrative therapy. Rachel believes that counselling can help clients achieve greater personal well-being by developing new perspectives on themselves and their experiences. Clients are free to explore life issues and personal stories in a supportive and judgment-free environment.
Rachel has experience in educational settings in Australia, the UK and Hong Kong. She understands the challenges for students and their families and offers support in one-on-one sessions with children and young adults or group sessions with families.
Rachel also has experience working with survivors of verbal, physical, emotional and sexual abuse. She counsels individuals or couples on relationship issues and conflict resolution.
Scarlett Mattoli is an empathic and sensitive Psychotherapist/Counsellor, Coaching Psychologist & Supervisor and Psychometrist who works with each individual client at their own pace, supporting each individual's personal development according to their needs and timing. She provides a caring, empathic and confidential space for clients who may need support with a range of challenges in life and wellbeing.
Engaging clients in a largely facilitative and stregths-based approach she utilises evidence-based and well-researched modalities such as CBT, MI, ACT, SFT, AI, TA and Bowen Family Systems. She also utilises theory and practices from mindfulness, positive psychology and positive guidance practices where appropriate. Scarlett approaches each client's needs from a 'biopsychosocial' and neuroscience informed perspective and supports every query in an all-encompassing manner to move each person from ambivalence to ambition and on to achievement in as much time as is needed or in as little time as possible, given each client's needs.
Scarlett works therapeutically with children from five years of age, adolescents, families and individual adult clients throughout the lifespan development as well as with organisations through EAP programmes and in a consultancy capacity. Issues typically supported include; stress, anxiety, depression, grief and loss, addictions, anger management, assertiveness, transitioning, LGBTQI, relationships, family, parenting and careers.Additional training and credentialing in SPED, SpLD and Dyslexia support, Play Therapy and Psychometric and Educational Assessments is utilised in her work with families and clients who experience learning differences and difficulties with social-emotional skills, self-esteem, resilience, health/dietary and behaviour management issues. She also offers supervision for coaches, training for a range of disciplines and public speaking for a broad variety of topics. She works in tandem with the multidisciplinary team at Psynamo and the extensive network of colleagues throughout Asia to help you find the solutions you deserve.
Currently working towards her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology (PsyD), she continues with her research and specialisation interests in Additions, Family/Parenting and Learning Differences.
Professional memberships include; Graduate Basis for Chartership (MBPsS): BPS(UK), Registered test user/administrator (Personality, Ability, Education): BPS(UK), Associate Member (AssocMAPS):APS, (Aus), Level 2 Counsellor: ACA(Aus), Accredited Coach/Member (MACAccred): AC(UK), Member (MISCP): International Society for Coaching Psychology (UK), Additional Accredited Practitioner/Member (MEMCC): European Mentoring and Coaching Council (Europe)
Further training/qualifications include: Statementing, Child Development, Play Therapy, Special Educational Needs, Specific Learning Differences, Dyslexia Support, Positive Guidance/Behaviour Management, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Solution Focused Therapy, Appreciative Inquiry, Motivational Interviewing, Bowen Family Systems Therapy, Mindfulness, Addictions, Careers and Coaching Supervision.
Her professional qualifications and public and private sector experience were gained whilst living in the USA, UK, Europe and Asia over the past two and a half decades.
Yulia has an educational and professional background in special and individual educational needs and has developed a full appreciation of working with students and families in this capacity.
In further developing her abilities to support families in a natural manner, she has sought out training and qualifications in homeopathic and reiki practices. These practices can support individuals in a natural and holistic manner for those who might wish to seek additional or alternative support for health and well-being.
Yulia consults in English, Russian and Hebrew.
Dr Vanessa Wong | Psychiatrist
BA Medicine, BA Surgery (HKU)
Member of Royal College of Psychiatrists
Fellow of the Hong Kong College of Psychiatrists
Fellow of the Hong Kong Academy of Medicine
Vanessa studied in the United Kingdom in her formative years and graduated from the University of Hong Kong. She obtained her specialist qualification in psychiatry and worked in an Addictions Unit at a local hospital for several years before setting up her own private clinic in Central, Hong Kong.
Vanessa works with clients of all ages and nationalities who are dealing with various mental health issues. She uses motivational interviewing techniques and supportive counselling as well as providing medication management and physical detoxification support when necessary.
She also focuses on lifestyle interventions and takes a holistic approach in supporting her clients on their road to recovery. She has furthered her passion in the field of functional medicine and incoporates this into her practice.
Nick Anthony DeFilippis, PhD | Psychologist
BA Psychology Northwestern University, MA Psychology Universoty of Iowa, PhD Psychology University of Iowa
Based in Atlanta, GA, USA, Neuropsychologist Dr. DeFilippis has been practicing, researching and teaching for over 40 years. His extensive clinical, teaching, consulting and research experience in neuropsychology, psychological and neuropsychological testing and related fields sets him apart from his peers. He has held the position of Professor at the Georgia School of Professional Psychology since 1990, and is the Coordinator of the Neuropsychology training programme there.
Dr. DeFilippis' consulting and clinical experience includes work directly with or advising for youth or in an educational capacity, the elderly, Veterans, Social Security and Workers issues, Head Injury cases, Hospitals, Drug & Alcohol misuse and forensic consultations. He has personally treated and/or evaluated over 40,000 patients in his career.
Dr. DeFilippis has had editorships and been a part of the editorial panel of several prestigious journals such as Clinical Neuropsychology, Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, Applied Neuropsychology-Child and Applied Neuropsychology-Adult. He has served as a Peer Reviewer for the National Insititute of Health, the American Psychiatric Association and the American Psychological Association. He serves as an Examiner for the Board Certification Examinations for the American Board of Professional Neuropsychology and the American Board of Professional Psychology.
Dr. DeFilippis developed neuropsychological screening instruments based on the behavioural neurological examination of Alexander Luria, the Booklet Category Test , and has developed scales of perseveration, memory and loss of set for the Booklet Category Test with researchers at the University of Aveiro, Portugal. He is working with Portuguese researchers to develop a Portuguese version of the Category Test and study EEG correlates of antisocial personality.
Dr DeFilippis is a member of numerous professional organisations, and is a fellow of the National Academy of Neuropsychology and the Georgia Psychological Association. He is board certified in clinical and neuropsychology.
Dr DeFilippis is involved in numerous research projects in a variety of areas of psychology through his supervision of doctoral dissertations. He also has contributed to his community in a wide variety of settings such as with child abuse shelters, rape centres, head injury centres as well as pro bono consultations.
For a more complete description of Dr. DeFilippis' achievements, work, publications and current endeavours, please consult the website of Atlanta Psychological Associates.
We thank Dr. DeFilippis for his very valuable time in consulting for our organisation. We would invite you to indicate your interest in attending any information session or talks he may offer in Hong Kong by emailing us on
Member College of Clinical Psychologists (Australian Psychological Society)
Member College of Health Psychologists (Australian Psychological Society)
Dr Headley (BA (Hons), PhD, MAPS) is a nationally registered, and endorsed Clinical Psychologist with 36 years experience in clinical and health psychology in Australia. She has a wide range of clinical and management experience in Health Services that spans 36 years. She has worked in hospitals, outpatient clinics, and community settings, in mental health, health & medical psychology and sports psychology in Private Practice, Government and Universities. She held the most senior clinical position in State Government for almost a decade. Dr Headley has over many years taught and trained and supervised post-graduate clinical psychologists at public and private Universities. For almost 10 years, Dr Headley worked as an Assistant Professor at a private university teaching Psychopathology: Children, adolescents and families; Psychopathology & Therapy: Adult Problems I, Psychopathology & Therapy: Adult Problems II; Health Psychology & Drug Treatments; Ethics & Professional Practice; and 4th year Community and Health Psychology and Clinical Psychology and 3rd year, Personality. Dr Headley was the Director of Post-Graduate Clinical Psychology Programs, and supervised clinically and post-graduate student research projects. She currently has a Private Practice on the Gold Coast and Brisbane.
Dr Headley completed a Ph.D. in the area of Clinical Neuropsychology and is a member of the Australian Psychological Society (APS) and the APS College of Clinical Psychologists and the APS College of Health Psychologists. She developed expertise in working with complex mental health and serious health problems, and in the provision of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and Acceptance and Commitment therapy, Behaviour Therapy, Hypnosis, Counselling, and IPT. She has worked with a wide variety of problems in children and adults, families and couples, including severe mental disorders, personality disorders, anxiety problems, injury, trauma, PTSD, and pain, couple distress and relationship problems and parenting. She worked as an accredited Triple P provider, and trainer and provided accreditation in Triple P programs.
Research interests included her PhD which investigated Cognitive sequelae following traumatic brain injury in children, as well as other projects such as Cognitive changes, quality of life and disease progression in men with Prostate Cancer following treatment; Effects of stress on the immune system; Screening and treating depression and anxiety in a cardiac treatment setting; The effects of a short midday nap on cognitive efficiency; Measuring outcomes of evidence based psychological interventions with clients with depression and anxiety and eating disorders; and Psychological distress and treatment compliance in diabetes and working with patients with Hep C and Pain.
We thank Dr. Headley for her very valuable time in consulting for our organisation.