About Penrith Therapy Centre

Established twenty-five years ago in a cottage surrounded by trees, Penrith Therapy Centre offers you a relaxed, friendly and discreet environment where you will feel immediately welcome and comfortable.

We aim to make attending therapy a positive experience from the moment you enter our cottage. Our friendly receptionists Vicki, Kellie, Gina, and Pam will make you feel welcome and answer any questions you may have.

Penrith Therapy Centre was established in order to provide a comprehensive range of psychological services by experienced clinical psychologists. Over the years Penrith Therapy Centre has established a reputation for excellence in the communities of Western Sydney and the Blue Mountains.

Therapy works best when a collaborative relationship is formed between therapist and client. When you see a psychologist you get to learn more about yourself and how your mind works and the relationship between your beliefs and thoughts and how you feel and behave.

Our People

Our clinical psychologists have a minimum of six years training and are registered under the Australian Health Practitioners Regulation Agency (AHPRA) with specialist endorsement in clinical psychology. In addition to our post-graduate qualifications in clinical psychology we have additional training in hypnosis, EMDR, family therapy, marital therapy and therapy specifically for children.

Dr Rudi Črnčec

BPysch (Hons), Doctor of Clinical Psychology

Rudi is clinical director of the Penrith Therapy Centre. His work focuses on the assessment and treatment of psychological and learning difficulties affecting children, adolescents, and their families, including autism spectrum disorder and Tourette syndrome. Rudi also sees adults experiencing anxiety and depression. His approach is client-centred, friendly, and built around evidence-based practices. Rudi is a board approved supervisor.

Rudi holds a conjoint senior lecturer position in the School of Psychiatry at the University of New South Wales and is active in conducting and publishing research in the field of child and adolescent mental health. He is a supervisor of trainee psychologists at Western Sydney University.

Necia Merrells

B.A. (Hons), Master of Clinical Psychology

Necia is a clinical psychologist who established the Penrith Therapy Centre twenty years ago. Necia works with adults and adolescents, couples and families. She has experience in the area of anxiety and mood disorders including post-traumatic stress disorder and recovery from sexual assault.

Necia has post-graduate training in hypnosis, family therapy and EMDR. Her approach to therapy is collaborative and informed by cognitive behaviour therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy and transactional analysis. Her interest is in working with clients to build upon their strengths. Necia views therapy as a chance for clients to reflect and become active in shaping the lifelong journey we are all embarked upon.

Wendy Ellsmore

B.A., Dip.Ed., Master of Arts (Psychology), Dip.Counselling, Dip.Clin.Hypnosis

Wendy is a counselling psychologist who joined Penrith Therapy Centre in 2000. She has over 30 years of experience working with individuals, couples, and families. Presently, Wendy works mainly with adults, providing therapy for a range of psychological problems including mood and anxiety disorders, and relationship difficulties. Particular areas of interest are bereavement and loss, recovery from trauma and abuse, and management of chronic pain.

Wendy has post-graduate training in hypnosis, EMDR, emotional freedom techniques, family and narrative therapies; and is a board approved supervisor. Wendy views therapy as a creative, collaborative and confidence-enriching process, informed by research, and tailored to meet individual needs and goals.

Heather Reilly

B.A. (Hons), Master of Clinical Psychology

Heather is a clinical psychology registrar with a passion for working with children, adolescents, and their families. She provides assessment and therapy for a range of behavioural, emotional, and learning difficulties affecting young people, including depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder and psychosis. Particular areas of interest include intellectual disabilities and autism spectrum disorder. Heather also works with adults experiencing mood difficulties.

Heather works collaboratively with her clients toward achieving their goals. Her therapeutic approach is warm and informed by evidence-based interventions including cognitive behaviour therapy and acceptance and commitment therapy. Heather has previously worked at headspace and in children’s hospital clinical and research settings.

Sarah Francese Goonniah

BPsych (Hons), Master of Clinical Psychology

Sarah is a clinical psychologist who works with children and adolescents experiencing a range of anxiety and behavioural difficulties. Areas of particular interest include social anxiety, separation anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, panic attacks and ADHD. Sarah has experience in the psychometric assessment of intelligence and learning across the lifespan, including the assessment of specific learning disorders. She also enjoys working with clients to assess for ADHD.

Sarah was previously the manager of the learning assessment team at the Sydney Developmental Clinic. Her approach to therapy is collaborative, and informed by evidence-based interventions including cognitive behaviour therapy and mindfulness.

Katherine Widman

B.A.-Psych (Hons), Master of Clinical Psychology

Katherine is a clinical psychologist who joined Penrith Therapy Centre in 2011. Katherine enjoys working with children, adolescents, and adults. She provides assessment and therapy for a range of psychological and behavioural difficulties that affect children and their families. She also works with adolescents and adults experiencing mood, anxiety and adjustment difficulties.

Katherine has a warm and collaborative approach to therapy. She is committed to providing evidence-based interventions, in particular cognitive behaviour therapy. Katherine has experience working in inpatient and outpatient hospital settings, and in working with families with complex needs.

Sheila Holley

B.A. (Hons), Master of Science (Clinical Psychology)

Sheila is a clinical psychologist with over 30 years experience who joined Penrith Therapy Centre in 2002. She works with adults and adolescents aged 16 years and over. Sheila provides assessment and therapy for a range of psychological problems including mood and anxiety disorders, recovery from trauma and abuse, and relationship difficulties. Particular areas of interest are eating disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, and psychological problems related to physical illness including brain injury. Her approach to therapy is collaborative and focused on evidence-based practice.

Sheila has previously held senior positions in community mental health and in psychiatric and general hospital settings. She is a board approved supervisor.

Nicola Carter

B.A. (Hons), Master of Clinical Psychology, Master of Couple and Family Therapy

Nicola is a clinical psychologist and couple and family therapist with over twenty years experience. She works with children, adolescents and families, adults and couples across a range of areas including anxiety, depression, and parenting and family issues. Particular interests are helping couples resolve relationship difficulties, optimal recovery from trauma and abuse, loss and grief, and assisting people experiencing adjustment or life direction issues. Nicola has post-graduate training in mindfulness based therapies, family systems therapy, sensorimotor psychotherapy and EMDR.

Nicola is a warm, empathic, and person-centred therapist who assists her clients to gain clarity and confidence in their journey towards their desired therapeutic outcomes.

Michelle Everett

B.A. (Hons), Master of Clinical Psychology

Michelle is a clinical psychologist with over twenty years experience. She sees adults and adolescents experiencing a range of anxiety, mood and trauma-related disorders. Michelle enjoys working with people at all life stages, including those navigating the complexity of parenting and family life, and has a particular interest in working with people who are experiencing the effects of trauma and abuse. Michelle’s approach to therapy is collaborative, and supports self-management and making informed choices about evidence-based treatments.

Michelle is also involved in writing and teaching courses in adult mental health and complex trauma for a variety of professional and community audiences, and is a board approved supervisor.

Mary Ha

B.Sc.Psych (Hons), Master of Clinical Psychology

Mary is a clinical psychologist who has been practising for over 15 years. She works with children and adults in the assessment and treatment of a range of mental health difficulties. Mary has experience in the management of post-natal depression, early parenting concerns and challenges, adjustment disorders, grief and loss, anxiety and depression, and child behavioural and emotional problems.

Mary takes a holistic approach to her clinical work that is guided by her client's desired goals. At its foundation, her therapeutic approach is informed by an understanding of attachment and relationship styles, and is guided by evidence-based therapies including cognitive behaviour therapy, dialectical behaviour therapy and schema therapy.

Dr Ritu Wadhawan

B.A. (Hons), M.A., Master of Philosophy (Clinical Psychology), PhD

Ritu is a clinical psychologist who has experience in the management of anxiety and mood difficulties in adults, older adults, and adolescents. She has particular interest in working with clients experiencing obsessive compulsive disorder, phobias, panic and depression. Ritu also provides relaxation techniques, including in groups. Her therapeutic approach is respectful and collaborative, and revolves around evidence-based practices including cognitive behaviour therapy.

Ritu was previously an Assistant Professor of psychology in India, where she managed a clinical training program and clinic. Ritu continues to enjoy academia, with her major areas of interest being depression in later life and conversion disorder

Karen Moses

B.Soc.Sc. PG Dip. Master of Clinical Psychology

Karen is a clinical psychologist who works with children, adolescents, families and adults. She sees clients experiencing a range of difficulties, and has particular interest in the management of anxiety and mood disorders including social anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder and depression. Karen also works with young people who have behavioural and emotional difficulties. Karen's therapeutic approach is warm, collaborative and client-focused, and is guided by evidence-based interventions such as cognitive behaviour therapy.

Karen also oversees the Western Sydney University post-graduate psychology clinic and is a board approved supervisor. She has worked in university settings and conducted and published mental health related research.

In fond memory of Dr Phillip Faber, a compassionate clinical psychologist and long-standing member of the Penrith Therapy Centre team, who passed away in 2017.

Services

Penrith Therapy Centre offers therapy and assessment services for children, families, individuals and couples. We also offer educational and behavioural assessments and therapy with clinical child psychologists.

Therapy services

Group services

Professional services

  • Professional supervision
  • Workplace supervision
  • Organisational assistance and training
  • Employee trauma debriefing

Assessment services

  • Intellectual (IQ) and educational assessments
  • Developmental assessments for preschoolers
  • Autism spectrum disorder assessments
  • ADHD assessments

Penrith Therapy Centre has a scale of fees that are well below those set by the Australian Psychological Society. Please contact us to discuss our fee structure. In the case of hardship please consult your psychologist to discuss the negotiation of fees.

Medicare and Heath Fund rebates

Medicare rebates may be available if you have a Mental Health Care Plan from your GP or a referral from a relevant specialist. See the links below for further information about the Medicare initiative. Health Fund rebates may also be available when you consult a psychologist. Please note that online processing of Health Fund and Medicare claims is available at Penrith Therapy Centre

Cancellations

We set aside an hour for your appointment. If you need to cancel or change an appointment please give us 48 hours notice. If you cancel an appointment with less than 48 hours notice you may be charged a cancellation fee.

Contact Us

Our friendly receptionists will make you feel welcome and answer your enquiry.

Phone: 02 4721 1488
Fax: 02 4721 5465
Address: 159 Derby Street
PENRITH NSW 2750

For emotional support after hours consider calling Lifeline on 13 11 14, or the Kids HelpLine on 1800 55 1800.

Please note the Penrith Therapy Centre is not a crisis service. In the case of emergencies, make contact with the mental health service at your local public hospital.