About The Emotions Clinic Australia

 

 

The Emotions Clinic Australia was initially established by Dr Belinda Ratcliffe in 2012 (previously know as Interactive Feelings) as a clinical practice providing gold standard assessment, diagnosis and therapy in autism, intellectual disability and mental health.

 

Dr Ratcliffe expanded the The Emotions Clinic Australia’s clinical team in 2020 to meet the overwhelming demand for high quality clinical services in this space.

 

Dr Ratcliffe also expanded the Emotions Clinic Australia to include a dedicated professional development service to provide professional training and clinical supervision to practicing mental health professionals across Australia and internationally. Belinda aims to arm clinicians with the knowledge, skills and confidence to support individuals with autism, intellectual disability and/or co-occurring mental ill-health in their own service.

Our Team

Dr Belinda Ratcliffe

Dr Belinda Ratcliffe (Phd, MPsych(Clin) BSc(Psych)(First Class Hons & University Medal) FAPS, MCCLP), Lead Author of the award winning Westmead Feelings Program 1 for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder is a highly qualified Principal Clinical Psychologist. Dr Ratcliffe was a Lecturer in Child & Adolescent Clinical Psychology at Western Sydney University from 2017-2020. She continues to conduct clinical research in Autism with the Children’s Hospital at Westmead. Dr Ratcliffe has a PHD in Autism Spectrum Disorder from the Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney in Autism Spectrum Disorder.

 

Belinda is sought after by Government and Non-Government agencies in providing consultation and training for staff in Autism, Intellectual Disability and Mental Health.

 

Belinda is an AHPRA Board Approved Supervisor, and Senior Clinical Supervisor. Belinda provides Clinical Psychology Registrar supervision and supervision to practising allied health professionals across Australia.

 

Belinda leads a boutique practice in South-West Sydney (Padtsow) providing specialised assessment, diagnosis and therapy to children, adolescents and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Intellectual Developmental Disability and mental health issues.

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In addition to her private practice Belinda is a lecturer in Postgraduate Clinical Psychology (Child & Adolescent) and provides teaching, supervision and conducts research in Autism, Intellectual Disability and Mental Health. Belinda maintains strong links with the Children’s Hospital at Westmead where she worked for over a decade in the development, evaluation and dissemination of the award winning Westmead Feelings Program (formerly called Emotion-Based Social Skills Training for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Mild Intellectual Disability). Belinda has published her research in peer reviewed journals and regularly presents on developing emotion and social skills for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Intellectual Disability at national and international conferences.

 

Belinda has received multiple awards and prizes in recognition for her work, including the 2018 People’s Choice Award in the Western Sydney University Research Impact Competition for her work in “Preventing Mental Health in Autism”. Belinda was previously awarded the International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual Disability (IASSID) MENCAP Early Career Research Scholarship in 2016. Belinda was also awarded an Australian Postgraduate Award and a University of Sydney Merit Award to undertake her PHD research, as well as a scholarship under the Mental Health Postgraduate Scholarship Scheme to undertake a Masters of Clinical Psychology at Charles Sturt University. Belinda completed her Bachelor of Science (Psychology) at the University of Sydney where she received First Class Honours and the prestigious University Medal.

(Selected) Publications

 

  • Gardner, A., Wong, M., & Ratcliffe, B. (2020). Social-Emotional Learning for Adolescents of the Autism Spectrum: High School Teachers Perspectives. Australasian Journal of Inclusive and Special Education. 1-16.
  • Burton, T., Ratcliffe, B., Collison, J., Dossetor, D., & Wong, M. (2020). Self-reported emotion regulation in children with autism spectrum disorder, without intellectual disability. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 76 1750-9467. Doi: 10.1016/j.rasd.2020.101599
  • Ratcliffe, B., Wong, M., Dossetor, D., & Hayes, S. (2019). Improving Emotional Competence in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Mild Intellectual Disability in Schools: A Preliminary Treatment Versus Waitlist Study.Behaviour Change.
  • Wong, M., Lopes, A, Heriot, S., Brice, L., &, Carrol, L, Ratcliffe, B., Dossetor, D., (2018). The Westmead Feelings Program 2. Emotion-based Learning for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder without Intellectual Disability. Australian Council for Educational Research, Melbourne, Australia.
  • Ratcliffe, B., Wong, M., Dossetor, D., Grahame, V., Brice, L., &, Carrol, L (2017). The Westmead Feelings Program 1. Emotion-based Learning for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Mild Intellectual Disability.Australian Council for Educational Research, Melbourne, Australia.
  • Wong & Ratcliffe (2016). Social Skills For Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Raising Children Network
  • Ratcliffe, Belinda, Wong, Michelle, Dossetor, David, & Hayes, Susan. (2015). The Association Between Social Skills and Mental Health in School-Aged Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, With and Without Intellectual Disability. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 1-10. doi: 10.1007/s10803-015-2411-z. Available at link.springer.com
  • Ratcliffe, B., Wong, M., Dossetor, D., & Hayes, S. (2014). Teaching social–emotional skills to school-aged children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: A treatment versus control trial in 41 mainstream schools. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 8(12), 1722-1733
  • Ratcliffe, B. (2011). Developing emotion-based social skills in children with autism spectrum disorder and intellectual disability. In D. Dossetor, D. White & L. Whatson (Eds.), Mental health of children and adolescents with intellectual disability: a framework for professional practice. Melbourne, Australia: IP Communications.
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Daniella Saleme

Daniella is a Clinical Psychology Registrar. She holds a Master of Clinical Psychology (with Distinction) and Bachelor of Arts (Psychology) (Honours) from Western Sydney University. She also obtained a Master of Brain and Mind Science (with Distinction, University of Sydney); and Bachelor of Arts (Psychology; Macquarie University). She is a Member of the Australian Psychological Society.

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Daniella has a special interest in autism and child and adolescent mental health. She has undertaken specialist training in these areas and in psychometric testing with Dr Belinda Ratcliffe.

 

Daniella works with children, adolescents, adults, and families. She has previously worked at the Infant, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (Campbelltown) in a multidisciplinary team to support young persons with complex mental health needs. Daniella has worked across community, inpatient, and forensic mental health.

 

Daniella brings warmth and empathy to the therapeutic space, and works from a trauma-informed approach. She utilises treatments that are supported by scientific evidence and works collaboratively with clients to tailor those treatments to their needs. Daniella has had extensive specialist training in modalities including: Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Dialectical Behaviour Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, and Internal Family Systems therapy.

 

Daniella is an accredited facilitator of the Westmead Feelings Program for Children with Autism & Mild Intellectual Disability, and an accredited facilitator of the Cool Kids program. Daniella delivers these programs at The Emotions Clinic in individual and group formats. 

 

In addition to her role at The Emotions Clinic, Daniella is a Clinical Psychologist and Coordinator of the Dialectical Behaviour Therapy Program at the Northern Sydney Mental Health Service (Eastwood) where she is involved in research in mental health. Daniella is also a Sessional Academic at Western Sydney University where she teaches in the Psychology Honours program. Daniella has published her research in peer reviewed journal articles, has co-authored a textbook in neuropsychology, and is passionate about continuing her contribution to research to inform practice in clinical psychology.

Publications


Saleme, D.
M. (2020). The multifaceted nature of risk-taking in drug addiction. In A. A. Moustafa (Ed.), Cognitive, Clinical, and Neural Aspects of Drug addiction (41-60). Academic Press: Elsevier. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-816979-7.00003-0Publications

  • Saleme, D. M., Kluwe-Schiavon, B., Soliman, A., Misiak, B., Frydecka, D., & Moustafa, A. A. (2018). Factors underlying risk taking in heroin-dependent individuals: Feedback processing and environmental contingencies. Behavioural brain research, 350, 23-30. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bbr.2018.04.052
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Laura Dunne

Laura is a Clinical Psychology Registrar. She holds a Master of Clinical Psychology and a Bachelor of Arts (Psychology) (First Class Hons & University Medal) from Western Sydney University. She is a member of the Australian Psychological Society (APS).

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Laura has a special interest in Autism and Intellectual Disability and has undertaken training and extensive individual supervision with Dr Belinda Ratcliffe in this area. Laura provides evidenced based therapy to children, adolescents, and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Intellectual Disability, and co occurring mental health concerns. 

 

Laura is trained in providing comprehensive autism assessments using the gold standard assessment measures: The Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule- 2nd Edition (ADOS-2) and The Autism Diagnostic Interview- Revised (ADI-R). Additionally, Laura is an accredited facilitator of the Westmead Feelings program (WFP). Laura strives to build social and emotional skills in children to enhance their overall wellbeing. 

 

Previously, Laura has worked in specialised multidisciplinary intellectual disability and mental health team within NSW Health, as a School Psychologist, based in a High School in South-West Sydney, and in a non-government disability service in Southern Sydney. Indeed, Laura is passionate about research and has published several research articles in peer reviewed journals. Laura continues to collaborate with Western Sydney University, where she also teaches in psychology.

 

Laura takes a warm, empathetic and non-judgmental approach to working collaboratively with all patients.

 

Publications

Garrido, S., Dunne, L., Perz, J., Chang, E., & Stevens, CJ. (2020). The use of music in aged care facilities: A mixed-methods study. Journal of Health Psychology. 

 

Garrido, S., Dunne, L., Stevens, CJ., Chang, E., & Clements-Cortes, A. (2020). Music playlists for people with dementia: Trialling A Guide for Caregivers. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.

 

Garrido, S., Cheers, D., Boydell, K., Nguyen, QV., Schuber, E., Dunne, L., & Meade, T. (2019). Young people’s response to six smartphone apps for anxiety and depression: focus group study. JMIR Mental Health.

 

Garrido, S., Stevens, C.J., Chang, E., Dunne, L., & Perz, J. (2019). Musical Features and Affective Responses to Personalised Playlists in People with Probable Dementia. American Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease & Other Dementias.

 

Dunne, L., Perich, T., Meade, T. (2018). The relationship between social support and personal recovery in bipolar disorder. Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal.

 

Garrido, S., Stevens, C. J., Chang, E., Dunne, L., & Perz, J. (2018). Music and dementia: Individual differences in response to personalised playlists. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.

 

Garrido, S., Dunne, L., Perz, J., Chang, E., & Stevens, C. J. (2018). The use of music in aged care facilities: A mixed-methods study. Journal of Health Psychology.

 

Garrido, S., Dunne, L., Chang, E., Perz, J., Stevens, C. J., & Haertsch, M. (2017). The Use of Music Playlists for People with Dementia: A Critical Synthesis. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.

 

Novembre, G., Knoblich, G., Dunne, L., & Keller, P. E. (2017). Interpersonal synchrony enhanced through 20 Hz phase-coupled dual brain stimulation. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience.

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Talia Burton

Talia is a Clinical Psychology Registrar who holds a Master of Clinical Psychology (with Distinction, Deans List) at Western Sydney University and a Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) at University of Wollongong. She is a member of the Australian Psychological Society (APS).

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Talia has a special interest in autism and intellectual disability, and enjoys working with children, adolescents and young adults. Talia has also conducted and published research under Dr Belinda Ratcliffe at Western Sydney University in the area of emotion regulation of children with autism. This research was presented at the Asia Pacific Autism Conference at Singapore in 2019.

In addition to her role at the Emotions Clinic, Talia is a Clinical Psychologist (registrar) at the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Inpatient Ward at Campbelltown Hospital/ (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) at Liverpool Hospital). This role involves Talia working within a multidisciplinary team (such as psychiatrists, social workers, nurses, occupational therapists) to holistically support young people with complex mental health needs. Talia is trained in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (TF-CBT), Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), and Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), and has previous experience as a support person in the disability sector.

Talia is also an online facilitator for the Westmead Feelings Program (WFP): Facilitator Certification Course at the Australian Council of Educational Research (ACER) Institute, where she assists the learning of professionals to achieve certification in the WFP course.

Talia takes a warm, kind and empathic approach when working with all individuals within a collaborative framework.

 

Publications

  • Burton, T., Ratcliffe, B., Collison, J., Dossetor, D., & Wong, M. (2020). Self-reported emotion regulation in children with autism spectrum disorder, without intellectual disability. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 76 1750-9467. Doi: 10.1016/j.rasd.2020.101599.

 

  • Camfield, D.A, Burton, T.K., De Blasio, F.M., Barry, R. J., & Croft, R.J. (2018). ERP components associated with an indirect emotional stop signal task in health and depressed participants. International Journal of Psychophysiology 124 12-25. Doi: 10.1016/j.ijpsycho.2017.12.008.

Dr Anne Devlin

Dr Anne Devlin is a Senior Clinical Psychologist and an AHPRA Board Approved Supervisor. She holds a Doctorate of Psychology from University of Woollongong; Master of Clinical Psychology from University of New South Wales; Master of Neuroscience from University College London and Bachelor of Psychological Sciences (First Class hons) from University of Westminster.

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Anne has undertaken Clinical Research with Dr Belinda Ratcliffe in screening and assessment for Autism in Psychosis, after being awarded a grant from South East Sydney Local Health District. She has presented her research in a variety of forums including an invited talk to the Clinical College of the Australian Psychological Society (APS) on Autism and Psychosis.

 

Anne is an experienced Board Approved Supervisor. She is trained in the ‘Gold Standard’ Diagnostic Instruments in Autism Asessment and Diagnosis (ADOS and ADI-R) and has a special interest in diagnostic assessment of Autism in adults with co-occurring mental ill-health, including Psychosis. She is a certified provider of PEERS  (evidence-based social skills treatment) for young adults with autism spectrum disorder & has completed Level 1 training in Animal Assisted Play Therapy.  

 

Anne is trained in and draws upon a range of modalities including Cognitive-Behaviour Therapy (CBT), Family Systems Therapy, Narrative Therapy & Metacognitive Insight & Reflection Therapy. She has worked in Hospital & Community settings within Public Mental Health, and was a Research Clinician within a drug and alcohol service.

Anne also has extensive experience in Private Practice working with individuals, couples & families, across the life-span. Her clinical experience is broad and includes depression, anxiety, interpersonal difficulties, trauma, substance use and psychosis. 

Anne has collaborated on research that was published in peer reviewed journals and has also presented research at national and international conferences. 

Publications (selected)

 

Please note – Dr Anne Devlin, has published under her previous name Anne Comerford.

 

Ratcliffe, B., Devlin, A., & Morchio, C (2021, Under Review). A Preliminary Investigation of Autism Symptomology, Emotion Recognition and Psychological Mindedness in Adults with Psychotic Disorders in an Australian Public Health Service

 

Stevenson, J, Meares R & Comerford, A (2003) Diminished Impulsivity in Older Patients with borderline personality disorder. American Journal of Psychiatry 165-166

 

O’ Connell, Baharamali H, Comerford A, Gordon E, Meares R (2000) Central and Autonomic Dysfunction in Patients with Borderline Personality Disorder. International  Journal of Psychophysiology 35: 61-75

 

Basten CJ & Comerford A. (July 1999) The relationship between maladaptive schema, eating pathology and self pathology. Paper presented at the 22nd National Conference for the Australian Association of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy

 

Meares R, Stevenson J, Comerford A. (1999) Psychotherapy with borderline patients: A Comparison between treated and untreated cohorts. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry 33: 467-472

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Stephen Kelly

Stephen (Steve) is Clinical Psychology Registrar who holds a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology from Western Sydney University, as well as a Graduate Diploma and Honours degree in Psychology from The Australian College of Applied Psychology. He also holds a Bachelor of Applied Science (Sport Science and Exercise Physiology) from the University of Sydney. He is a member of the Australian Clinical Psychology Association (ACPA) and the Australian Psychological Society (APS).

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Stephen has a special interest in working in Autism, as well as experience working with child, adolescent and adult mental health. Stephen has undertaken specialist training in all of these areas and has ongoing supervision with Dr Belinda Ratcliffe. 

 

Stephen has completed clinical training in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT) and Internal Family Systems Therapy (IFS). He has experience working with individuals and groups across the lifespan in a range of public and private settings. Stephen uses an integrative approach to therapy working collaboratively with clients to individually tailor treatment plans that best suit their needs, improve skills deficits and build on individual strengths to promote personal growth. Drawing on a diverse range of psychological approaches, he provides a respectful, collaborative and empathetic therapeutic space. Stephen has completed his accreditation in the Westmead Feelings Program for Children with Autism, offering the program at The Emotions Clinic Australia. 

 

In addition to working at The Emotions Clinic Australia, Stephen is a Clinical Psychology registrar at Southside Health and Wellbeing where he has experience working in a private practice setting with children, adolescents and adults. Stephen has previously worked at The Sydney Clinic, Wesley Hospital Ashfield and Northern Beaches Hospital providing individual and group therapy for individuals across the lifespan working in a multi-disciplinary team with doctors, nurses, social workers and occupational therapists to provide holistic support and treatment for individuals.

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Paige Casacchia 

Paige is a Clinical Psychology Registrar who holds a Master of Clinical Psychology and a Bachelor of Psychology from Western Sydney University where she was awarded First Class Honors and the prestigious University Medal. Paige is a member of the Australian Psychological Society (APS).

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Paige enjoys working with children, adolescents, and young adults and has a special interest in autism and intellectual disability. She has undertaken specialist training with Dr Belinda Ratcliffe in these areas and in psychometric testing. Paige has also conducted research on improving social and emotional skills in children with autism using the Westmead Feelings Program, as part of her Clinical Research Project co-supervised by Dr Belinda Ratcliffe at Western Sydney University and co-authors at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead.

 

Paige has experience with children, adolescents, young adults, and their families including at the Macarthur Infant, Child, and Adolescent Mental
Health Services (Macarthur ICAMHS) the Prevention, Early Intervention, and Recovery Service (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service
CAMHS-PEIRS), and at the Lizard Centre.  She has skills in providing comprehensive clinical assessments, evidence-based psychological interventions, and psychometric testing for a range of presentations. Paige takes an empathic, supportive, and collaborative approach to her work and provides a safe and trusting space for her clients. 

 

Publications

Casacchia, P., Ratcliffe., B., Collison, J., & Wong, M. (under review). Evaluation of the Westmead Feelings Program: Improving Social and Emotional Skills in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.