Meet our Psychologists
All of the psychologists at The Young Mind Clinic in Lane Cove are registered with AHPRA and are able to provide services under Medicare.
Sophie Smith, Clinic Director
Sophie is a Psychologist endorsed in both the Clinical and Educational & Developmental areas of practice. She has over 15 years experience and started her career working as a school psychologist, addressing the needs of children who ranged from preschool age through to older adolescents. During this time Sophie delivered numerous training seminars to parents and teachers as well as being invited to guest lecture on the Masters of Psychology Educational and Developmental program at the University of Western Sydney. In addition to working within the educational environment, Sophie spent some time working within an older adolescent and adult inpatient context, seeing patients in a group and individual setting presenting with a wide range of mental health issues.
Sophie transitioned to private practice 6 years ago and has been seeing children, adolescents and their parents for a range of difficulties that manifest from early childhood right through adolescence. Sophie’s strength of navigating through the problems clients ay bring to therapy and assisting them to make sense of this and find the most succinct path forward means that where possible, interventions are able to be timely and effective. She is very interested in being able to help parents to help their child and to make the most of their parenting approaches. She utilises a range of strategies to help her do this, including Family Integrated Intervention in addition to approaches that focus on emotion coaching skills such as that presented in the Tuning into Kids and Tuning into Teens programs. She is also particularly interested in diagnosing and treating sleep issues in young people. Sophie brings a warm and non-judgemental approach to therapy and enjoys engaging with young people to help them find understanding and solutions to the difficulties they are facing.
Sophie has also been trained and registered as a Psychology Board Approved Supervisor who is able to provide supervision provisionally registered psychologists, registered psychologists and registrar psychologists in both the Clinical and Educational & Developmental endorsed areas of practice. She is also able to provide supervision to non-psychologists working in the child and adolescent mental health field. Please contact the practice to discuss supervision opportunities further.
Lisa strongly believes in the therapeutic value of being respectfully heard. Her warm and engaging nature provides a calm and empathic environment for her clients and their families.
Nikita is a warm and passionate Clinical Psychologist, who is committed to working with young people and their families. She has worked with children and adolescents and their families across the non-for-profit, private and school settings. Nikita is particularly interested in treating anxiety, depression, emotion regulation, behaviour difficulties, and sleep difficulties. In addition, she has a special interest working with individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
Nikita endeavours to draw on the strengths of an individual to help them reach their full potential. She is dedicated to delivering empirically validated interventions and has a broad range of therapeutic experience, including Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Positive Behaviour Support, and Schema Therapy. In addition, she has facilitated both parent support groups and empirically validated school-based programs targeting social and emotional skills for children and their parents.
When supporting students, Nikita strives to engage them, their family and their support networks, including schools. She has experience working collaboratively with schools and she enjoys visiting them to complete classroom observations and to allow her to work collaboratively with school staff to develop behaviour and learning support plans.
Nikita completed a Master of Psychology (Clinical) at Deakin University in Melbourne, where she was awarded the Head of School prize for the most outstanding thesis. Her research project evaluated a school-based program designed to enhance the social-emotional skills of adolescents in order to prevent depression. She also contributed to the development and publication of a school-based program called Resilient Families which is offered in various schools in Victoria.
Pina is a registered Educational & Developmental Psychologist with over 15 years’ experience working in both the private and the public sectors. In her time working at a government disability agency she developed extensive experience providing support to children with developmental delays, intellectual disabilities and Autism Spectrum Disorder. She facilitated group parenting programs targeted towards teenagers, conducted developmental assessments and provided behaviour management plans to families. She spent time working collaboratively with the Disability Specialist Unit (DSU) Westmead Hospital, providing a specialist Sleep Clinic service targeted to children with disabilities and has incorporated this in her general practice.
Pina has spent the last 5 years working as a School Psychologist in NSW in pre-school, primary school and high school settings. During this time, she provided counselling to young people who presented with anxiety, friendship difficulties, grief and loss, device usage and child risk assessments. Pina provided psychometric assessments to identify attention and learning difficulties and evidence-based intervention strategies. Pina is passionate about early intervention and educating parents on how best they can assist their child’s development to promote positive outcomes.
She is trained in multiple evidence-based approaches including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Motivational Interviewing and has an interest in Mindfulness and Attachment-Based Approaches. Her extensive experience conducting cognitive and academic assessments using standardised tools guides her recommendations and interventions. Her therapy is tailored to the client’s unique needs and addresses their concerns in a supportive and respectful way.
Pina is registered with APHRA and is a full member of the APS and is a Board approved Supervisor.
Dr Shivani Vij
Shivani is a registered Psychologist and has led a rich career as a clinician, educator and author of peer-reviewed journal articles and books. Shivani has extensive experience of working with children and adolescents presenting with a range of developmental and psychological disorders, such as ASD, ADHD, Intellectual Disability, Anxiety and Depression.
Shivani is a strong believer of person-centred practice and focuses on an inclusive and empowering service that helps clients address the barriers and lean on the enabling factors in their life. She endeavours to deliver evidence-based interventions and has experience in using Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Dialectical Behaviour Therapy and providing Positive Behaviour Support. In addition, Shivani has facilitated a number of parent support groups and evidence-based group programs for children including Secret Agent Society, Take Action, Zones of Regulation and PALS.
Shivani has worked in multicultural environments in Australia and overseas, and she has an in-depth understanding of the importance of acknowledging and respecting all cultural beliefs and practices.
Sophia is a registered Provisional Psychologist. Following her completion of a Bachelor of Psychology, where she received first class honours, she commenced her Masters degree in Clinical Neuropsychology, a discipline that focuses on assessment, diagnosis, and intervention of brain-based disorders, a degree she is in the final stages of completing.
Sophia has held positions as an NDIS Home and Community Support Worker and completed an internship at the Centre for Brain and Mental Health Research, contributing to an international research study of multi sensory integration of sound and touch in Autism Spectrum Disorders.
During Sophia’s Master’s placements, she has had experience working in a multidisciplinary team with children and their families in the assessment and diagnosis of neurodevelopmental disorders such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and specific learning disorders within a community health setting. She has also worked with parents and schools to develop evidence-based recommendations and interventions that support children’s learning and behaviour at home and in the classroom. Sophia has a strong understanding of the cognitive processes that underpin a child’s behaviour, including their attention and learning skills. She strongly believes that helping families to understand their child’s unique strengths and weaknesses empowers them with the understanding required to make informed choices.