Our Team

Dr Freya Smith

Clinical Psychologist DClin.Psych, BSc Psych (Hons)

Mondays: 1pm to 4pm

Tuesdays: 8am to 4pm

Thursdays: 8am to 4pm

Effective Caring

My philosophy in providing a clinical psychology service is effective caring. I believe that scientific evidence based practice and empathic understanding are crucial for good therapy. I also believe that the relationship between therapist and client is exceptionally important for positive outcomes.

 

I am fascinated by the topic of why we think the way we do, and love to read about new developments in neuroscience and biology. I have always had a strong empathic response to people and find that this drives me to want to help others understand themselves and enjoy personal wellbeing.

 

I work in private practice with adults and young people with a diverse range of psychological goals and needs. I have previously worked in the Child and Youth Mental Health Service at Royal North Shore Hospital with young people and their families who were admitted to hospital due to physical and psychiatric needs. I have also worked in other community, school and hospital settings. It is through these roles that I have found an enthusiasm for the integration of physical and mental health, the mind-body connection. I have a special interest in helping people cope with health and medical issues.

 

I have contributed to Allied Health training modules in Functional Neurological Disorder (FND) and this continues to be a special area of interest and professional development. I also work with people with functional voice disorders and consult to the Voice Connection clinic in Sydney.

 

I studied and trained in the U.K. and New Zealand, and hold a Doctorate of Clinical Psychology (D.ClinPsych). I am a registered clinical psychologist with the Australian Health Practitioners Association, and registered to provide clinical psychology services with Medicare.

 

Areas of special interest:

– Functional Neurological Disorder, Functional Voice Disorders, Functional Gut Disorders, Functional Dizziness (PPPD)

– Chronic fatigue, post-viral syndromes and Long Covid

– Coping with health conditions and medical issues

– Health anxiety

– Somatic and functional disorders (functional neurological, gut and voice disorders)

– Anxiety disorders

– Perinatal and postnatal depression and anxiety

– Relationship stress

Margie McCaskill

Clinical Psychologist MPsych (Clin), BAPsych (Hons), BSc, DipEd

Tuesdays: 8am to 7pm
Wednesdays: 8am to 7pm
Thursdays: 8am to 7pm

Caring holistically

I trained in clinical psychology because I care holistically about physical, emotional, and relational well-being. I value creating a warm and non-judgemental space for therapy, working collaboratively to understand and meet individual goals, and using international best practice based on scientific evidence.

 

Building on my background in medical and biological science, I enjoy fostering understanding of the mind–body connection and drawing on recent advances in neuroscience.  I have developed a strong professional interest in the diagnosis and treatment of cumulative stress related conditions with physical symptoms including health anxiety, somatic symptoms and functional disorders. I have facilitated the creation of Allied Health training modules in Functional Neurological Disorder (FND) and have advanced training in functional gut disorders.

 

My practice is informed by wide-ranging clinical experience working with people of all ages, diverse backgrounds and a broad range of concerns. I have worked both in private practice and also in the public sector, including at the Centre for Emotional Health at Macquarie University, Westmead Children’s Hospital, and Headspace in Camperdown.

 

I hold a Master of Clinical Psychology, Bachelor of Science (Biology), and Diploma of Education from Macquarie University. My professional associations include full membership in the Australian Psychological Society, the Australian Clinical Psychology Association, and Anxiety Practitioners Network.

 

I am a registered clinical psychologist with the Australian Health Practitioners Association, and registered to provide clinical psychology services with Medicare. In addition, I am a Board-Approved supervisor available to supervise both fellow psychologists, and provisional psychologists working towards full registration with AHPRA.

 

Areas of special interest:

– Coping with health and medical issues

– Health anxiety

– Somatic symptoms and functional disorders (functional neurological and gut disorders)

– Excessive worry, rumination, procrastination

– Obsessive compulsive disorders

– Sleep disorders

– Relationship stress (including coping with breakdowns, separation and divorce, and coping with emotional and physical affairs)

Thomas Bagust

Registered Psychologist BPsych, MAPS

Mondays: 9am to 6pm
Tuesdays: 9am to 6pm
Thursdays: 9am to 6pm
Fridays: 9am to 6pm

Friendly and supportive

I am a friendly and approachable psychologist. I am passionate about providing a non-judgemental and supportive environment, in which I work shoulder to shoulder with clients to overcome challenges in order to achieve their individual goals. My practice revolves around integrity, acceptance, innovation, humour and creativity.

 

I have experience working with people from diverse backgrounds, across various age groups, presenting with wide ranging concerns affecting their mental health and wellbeing. I utilise evidence based interventions including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Solution Focused Therapy. I tailor these models of treatment to individual needs to assist my clients to manage symptoms of their mental health conditions and improve their quality of living.

 

I am a registered psychologist with the Australian Health Practitioners Association, am a member of the Australian Psychological Society and am registered to provide psychology services with Medicare. I am also registered with State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA) to provide services to individuals claiming workers compensation or  a motor accident claim.

 

Areas of special interest
– Depression and mood disorders

– Anxiety and excessive worry

– Confidence building and self esteem

– Workers compensation and motor vehicle claims

– Stress management

– Coping with trauma

– Somatic and functional disorders (functional neurological and voice disorders)

Lea Maagh

Clinical Psychologist MPsych (Clin), BScPsych

Tuesdays: 10am to 6pm
Thursdays: 10am to 6pm

Therapeutic collaboration

I am a registered clinical psychologist and provide a supportive, compassionate, and safe space for my clients. I believe it is important to establish a strong therapeutic relationship based on respect and inclusivity to work collaboratively on my client’s goals and develop strategies to overcome difficulties that affect their everyday life. My  therapeutic interventions are evidence-based, and I take time to understand an  individual’s circumstances, to ensure treatment addresses their specific needs. I aim to work towards empowering my clients to best manage their mental health concerns and any challenges they face in life.

 

I am passionate about working with children, adolescents, and adults, as well as their support network.  I have experience providing individual and group therapy, as well as psychological assessments, to individuals presenting with a range of psychological concerns at different ages. I have worked in hospital and community mental health  settings and have specific experience supporting clients adjust to physical health concerns, and working with young people in the management of eating and body image concerns. I have a particular interest in perinatal mental health and working with  women during this period of life.

 

In my practice I utilise different therapy approaches such as Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT and CBT-E for eating disorders), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), drawing from Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) and Schema Therapy approaches, and Mindfulness. I studied in Germany and Australia and have completed my Master of Psychology (Clinical). I am a fully registered clinical psychologist with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) and am registered to provide psychological services with Medicare. I am also a member of the Australian Psychological Society (APS).

 

Areas of special interest:

 –      Coping with adjustment to health concerns, pain, and fatigue

–      Anxiety, perfectionism, and procrastination

–      Attentional difficulties (ADHD, ADD)

–      Sleep difficulties and stress management

–      Eating and body image concerns

–      Adjusting to the perinatal period

–      Helping young people manage difficult emotions

–      Somatic and functional disorders (functional neurological disorders)

Carmela De Robertis

Clinical Psychology Registrar / Psychologist MPsych (Clin), BAPsych (Hons), DipLANG

Tuesdays: 10am to 6pm
Wednesdays: 1pm to 6pm

Navigating life

I am a passionate and empathetic psychologist and I am intrinsically interested in human behaviour and the complexities in life that accompany this. I believe that therapy is a collaborative approach and combine my experience and expertise to work with your own unique needs and preferences.

I am particularly enthusiastic about working with adolescents, young adults and the systems that support them, to enable them to navigate themselves and their environments. I have worked with people from various diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds and believe in therapy being accessible and tailored for all.

I have experience in delivering Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT, Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT), Imaginal Exposure Therapy (IET) and Brief Psychodynamic Therapy for a range of concerns. I have studied interstate and overseas (Italy), hold a Master of Clinical Psychology and am a registered psychologist and clinical psychology registrar. I am also a member of the Australian Psychological Society and Australian Clinical Psychology Association.

Areas of special interest:

 –       Mood disorders

–        Anxiety disorders

–       Emotional regulation

–        Coping with trauma

–        Relationship stressors

–        Adjustment difficulties

Dr Ralf Ilchef

Psychiatrist, MB BS, FRANZCP

Mondays: 8am to 6pm
Wednesdays: 8am to 6pm

Recovery model

I am a general adult psychiatrist with a particular interest in difficult-to-treat depression,  anxiety and disorders that affect both physical and mental health.

I am also the director of the liaison psychiatry service at Royal North Shore Hospital with a specific focus on patients severely affected by neurological and mental health conditions. I try to work collaboratively with patients, their families and other health providers using a respectful, evidence-based and optimistic recovery model.

Shamikta Mani

Administrator

In office:

Wednesdays: 8.30am to 5pm
Thursdays: 8.30am to 2.30pm

 

Here to Help

Shamikta is your first point of contact with us on a Wednesday and Thursday at reception. She is kind and efficient, ready to help with any questions or receive feedback. Feel free to call or email Shami whenever you need and she will endeavour to respond as quickly as possible.

Shami is also studying for her psychology degree and when taking new enquiries for psychology appointments she will ask questions to help her understand which of our psychologists would be best suited to your needs.

Sebastian Habibi

Administrator

In office:

Mondays: 8am to 5pm

Tuesdays: 8am to 2pm

Hello

Sebastian provides administrative support to our team at Head to Toe. You’ll find him behind the reception desk in our office on a Tuesday and Thursday until mid-afternoon and he works remotely on other days of the week. The best way to contact Seb is by email, however he may also reach out to you by phone.

Seb is also studying for his psychology degree and when taking new enquiries for psychology appointments he will ask questions to help him understand which of our psychologists would be best suited to your needs.