Our Supervisors

Melissa Sarikakis

Melissa completed a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Psychology in 2007 and completed her Post Graduate Diploma in Psychology in 2008 at the University of Wollongong. She undertook a 4+2 internship program with Learning Links in 2009 -2010 and received general registration as a Psychologist at the start of 2011.

Whilst completing her internship, Melissa worked with the Benevolent Society and gained experience working in case management, conducting child and family assessments, case plan development and review, group work and counseling to assist in the improved well-being of children and their families. She also facilitated group programs such as PALS Social Skills Programs, Cool Kids Anxiety Programs, emotional regulation programs such as ‘Stop Think Do’ as well as Positive Parenting Programs.

Once registered, Melissa moved into a private practice run with other allied health professionals and provided clinical assessments, as well as diagnostic and counseling services to young children, adolescents and their families. She also worked with the Star Kids Australia transition to school program in the Developmental team assessing children at risk for developmental disabilities.

She has worked with children with ASD and gained experience working as a Senior Behavioural Therapist in Applied Behavioural Analysis (ABA Therapy) and Natural Environment Training (NET).

Melissa’s passion and experience lies in working with children, adolescents and families. She has a particular interest in children with Autism Spectrum Disorders, as well as children in out of home care and supporting families with children with behavioural difficulties. She has a strong background and interest in CBT, ACT, Family Systems and Art and Play Therapy.

Melissa began working part time at Learning Links in October 2018 as a counselling / psychology assessor and began as a psychology Supervisor in August 2019. Her advice to new interns is to be open to all opportunities provided to you, use all available resources to your advantage and remember to take each day as it comes. The program can be overwhelming at times and it is important to remember that there are people around you to support you, to listen, to guide you.

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Lucy Tchepak

Lucy holds a Bachelor of Arts (Psychology) and Post Graduate Diploma in Psychology from Macquarie University. She completed her studies in 2001. She completed her internship program with Learning Links between 2011 and 2015. During this time, she also worked as an Intake Officer at Learning Links, as we as running Professional Development programs and group sessions at schools with children who were identified as being disadvantaged either financially, culturally or due to personal circumstances.

Prior to obtaining her registration as a Psychologist, Lucy worked in the disability field for 13 years specialising in training, return to work and job capacity assessments with a focus on working with those experiencing mental health issues.

Once she was registered, Lucy worked in private practice for 3 years.

Lucy has a particular interest in the areas of parenting, management of anxiety, depression and self-harm, adolescent and child development and also in neurodevelopmental disorders such Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Lucy commenced her role as a Supervisor with Learning Links in late 2018. She finds the role of Supervisor rewarding because every supervision session is an opportunity for learning and growth for both the supervisee and supervisor.

Her advice to provisional psychologists is that while gaining your registration can seem overwhelming and challenging, be open about any struggles you face, seek support when needed but also have faith in your abilities and enjoy this period of growth and skill development.

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Julia Krattli

Julia completed a Bachelor of Science (Honours) majoring in Psychology at the University of Sydney and a Certificate in School Counselling at the University of Wollongong. She obtained general registration as a Psychologist in 2015. Julia also has a Graduate Diploma in Teaching.

Undertaking a 4+2 internship program in schools, Julia gained experience in assessments and counselling. She worked with children and young people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, as well as low socio-economic backgrounds.

Julia has worked for Learning Links as a counsellor, with a focus on anxiety, behavioural issues and social difficulties, and as an assessor with a focus on intellectual disability and learning difficulties. She has a particular interest in learning difficulties and disabilities, culturally appropriate testing and is passionate about improving educational outcomes for Aboriginal students. Julia became a Supervisor at Learning Links in June 2021.

Julia finds it rewarding to see the growth in supervisees over time and enjoys the two-way sharing of information. Her advice to provisional psychologists would be to take up as many of the opportunities that are offered to them during their internship as possible so they can explore what will work best in their own practice.

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Leesa Garrety

Leesa completed a Bachelor of Science and Maths, in Psychology at UNSW. She then completed a Master of Arts at The University of Sydney and holds a Diploma of Education in Primary Education The University of Newcastle.

She worked in a variety of settings, including Disability, Occupational Rehabilitation and volunteering with Lifeline. After travelling extensively, she returned to Australia, and finally completed her internship working in a crisis and mental health intake role for rural and remote areas, as well as working in gambling counselling and domestic violence support services.

Leesa has worked as a Supervisor with Learning Links since 2015. She currently also works in private practice. She has found that all her previous experience in different roles has proven invaluable as it has given her the skills and knowledge to work with a wide range of clients and presentations.

Leesa’s preferred therapy style is Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) as it takes into consideration the context, as well as thoughts, feelings and behaviour. Stories and analogies are a great way to teach in a less confrontational way for the client. ACT also helps with being able to be trauma informed and fits well with her values of teaching, humour and supporting others to help them identify and focus on what matters. She gets a lot of joy in seeing people creating the kind of life they want to lead.

Leesa joined Learning Links as a Supervisor in July 2021. Her advice to provisional psychologists – it is really normal to feel anxiety or to be overwhelmed at times. The Imposter Syndrome is your friend! Anxiety tells you that I don’t feel like I know this – that is great data. Problem solving is noticing what is wrong and using that to ask – What is it that I do want and what do I need to do to create that? That is how you keep learning, gain experience and how great clinicians are made.

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Tanya Nasr

Tanya Nasr is a generally registered Psychologist and Board Approved Supervisor with the Psychology Board of Australia. She completed her Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) at Western Sydney University, graduating in 2012 and undertook her internship with Learning Links 2013 – 2015.

Her passion lies in working with childhood and adult trauma and she utilises skills from CBT, ACT, DBT, and various other frameworks. She spent eight years in the rehabilitation space working with physically and psychologically injured workers. During this time, Tanya assisted a variety of clients including police officers, Australian Defence Force members, hospital officers, ambulance workers, educators, blue-collar and white-collar workers all suffering from a variety of physical and psychological workplace injuries. She provided these clients with counselling and coaching with a focus on Adjustment to Injury Counselling, vocational counselling and health coaching (within a CBT and ACT framework), providing clients with the practical skills and techniques to challenge their thinking styles, positively impact their recovery and approach to daily functioning.

Tanya has spent five years working with school aged children and adolescents in school counselling and the NDIS counselling space. This included one-on-one interventions, behavioural management support and group-based counselling. She has also done work with various organisations to develop and deliver bespoke mental health workshops.

She currently works in private practice working with adolescents and young adults at Headspace under the Medicare Scheme and supervises provisional psychologists who work in a variety of roles across Australia. She joined Learning Links as a Supervisor in July 2021.

Tanya loves helping provisional psychologists find their confidence as a therapist. Her one piece of advice for provisionals is to pace themselves, create a weekly plan they can stick to and chip away at tasks bit by bit each week. She finds the interns that are the most burnt out by the end of the internship program are the ones who’ve left things to the last minute and have stress around the deadlines. Structure and organise your time as best as you can.

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