Department of Psychology, Counselling and Therapy Leadership

The Department of Psychology, Counselling and Therapy's leadership team are committed to providing an outstanding student experience, enabling transformative research and training outcomes, and being responsive to the communities we serve.

Professor Pauleen Bennett

Professor Pauleen Bennett has been Head of the Department of Psychology, Counselling and Therapy since 2018 and is also Deputy Dean of the School of Psychology and Public Health. She trained as a clinical neuropsychologist and behavioural neuroscientist but later specialised in animal welfare and then anthrozoology – the study of human-animal relationships. She is an internationally recognised scholar, with over 160 peer-reviewed publications. In 2017 she became a Fellow of the International Society for Anthrozoology. Professor Bennett loves creating opportunities for students and staff to reach their professional goals. She has supervised more than 30 PhD projects and now supports a dynamic Department of over 100 academic staff, all as passionate as she is about making a difference to the world.

Professor Emi Kashima

Professor Emi Kashima is Lead of the Living Well Cluster in the Department of Psychology, Counselling and Therapy. With 40 years’ experience in research, she is a Fellow of the International Academy for Intercultural Research and the Association of Psychological Science. She investigates traditional topics such as culture, identity and psychological adjustment by taking multi-methods including cultural neuroscience, social network analysis and qualitative analysis. Professor Kashima enjoys working with students and scholars in her international research networks. She is considered a world expert in acculturation and psychological threat. She has contributed to the development of social psychology in Asia as Editor-in-Chief of the Asian Journal of Social Psychology, and President and Senior Advisor of the Asian Association of Social Psychology.

Associate Professor Philippe Chouinard

Associate Professor Philippe Chouinard is Lead of the Brain, Mind and Development Cluster in the Department of Psychology, Counselling and Therapy. He is a leading international expert on the mechanisms of size and weight perception, having published studies on these topics in healthy and clinical populations, as well as in children and adults, in flagship journals such as Nature Neuroscience, Neuron and Current Biology. He also examines form and orientation perception, and how vision is used in action and subconscious processing. Teaching interests include cognitive neuroscience, vision and consciousness.

Associate Professor Kirstie McKenzie-McHarg

Associate Professor Kirstie McKenzie-McHarg is Lead of the Advanced Discipline Cluster in the Department of Psychology, Counselling and Therapy. The Cluster includes postgraduate training for Art Therapy, Family Therapy, Clinical and Professional Psychology, and the vibrant and growing placements coordination team. She has over 30 years' experience working in the perinatal mental health field, both as a clinical psychologist and a researcher. She is particularly interested in trauma related to childbirth and tokophobia presentations and teaches these subjects as well as foundational clinical skills and ethics. Associate Professor McKenzie-McHarg loves working with postgraduate Psychology students and seeing their growth in skills.

Professor Leah Brennan

Professor Leah Brennan is Lead of Clinical and Professional Psychology within the Advanced Practice Cluster, and the Albury-Wodonga Campus Lead. She is Coordinator of the Master of Professional Psychology Program. Professor Brennan is passionate about training top scientist-practitioners so they can provide best practice psychological assessment, treatment and support in the community. She is a practicing clinical and health psychologist and draws on this experience in her teaching, research and clinical training. Professor Brennan leads the Body Image, Eating and Weight Clinical Research Team. Her research, published in over 100 papers, focuses on the application of psychological approaches to understand, prevent and treat eating, weight and body image concerns and their biopsychosocial comorbidities (for example, polycystic ovary syndrome, depression and stigma).

Associate Professor Karli Treyvaud

Associate Professor Karli Treyvaud is Coordinator of Learning and Teaching in the Department of Psychology, Counselling and Therapy and a registered clinical psychologist and academic. She works with the School Learning and Teaching Leadership Team to support learning and teaching activities within the Department. Associate Professor Treyvaud teaches within undergraduate, honours and postgraduate Psychology programs in areas including child and adult development, psychological intervention and practice, and research methods. Her fields of research interest include mental health, and developmental and clinical psychology, with particular focus on parenting and parent-child relationships, and early intervention for children and families.

Associate Professor Matthew Hale

Associate Professor Matthew Hale is Coordinator of Partnerships (Academic) in the Department of Psychology, Counselling and Therapy, and Course Coordinator for the Bachelor of Psychological Science and Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) courses. He is passionate about teaching biological psychology and neuroscience to undergraduate and postgraduate students, and coordinates one of our large first year Psychology subjects, ‘Introductory Psychology: Brain and Mind.’ Associate Professor Hale is a behavioural neuroscientist whose research aims to understand the neuronal circuits that control emotional states and emotional behaviours such as anxiety and sociability.

Associate Professor Kristelle Hudry

Associate Professor Kristelle Hudry is Coordinator of Research and Industry Engagement in the Department of Psychology, Counselling and Therapy, and works with the School Research and Industry Engagement and Graduate Research Coordination team to support research efforts of staff and higher degree students (Masters by Research; PhD) in the Department. Associate Professor Hudry is also a registered psychologist, with Masters-level training in educational psychology. She coordinates and teaches psychology-informed research methods and application at undergraduate level, and supervises student research work at honours and postgraduate levels. Her research focuses on developmental learning processes in neurotypical and neurodivergent expressions; for instance, how and when signs of autism emerge in infancy, and how autistic development might best be supported through early life experiences such as low-intensity parent-mediated intervention.

Associate Professor Neelofar Rehman

Associate Professor Neelofar Rehman is Director of Clinical Training in the Department of Psychology, Counselling and Therapy. She is actively involved with the Placement Team and the La Trobe University Psychology Clinic. She coordinates internal placement for postgraduate students and teaches into undergraduate and postgraduate Psychology programs. Associate Professor Rehman is actively involved in the provision of clinical supervision to postgraduate Psychology students and also facilitates supervision for the supervisors in the Clinic. Her areas of interest include interdisciplinary therapy program development, group intervention and workforce development.

Associate Professor Theresa Van Lith

Associate Professor Theresa Van Lith is Lead and Course Coordinator for postgraduate degrees in Art Therapy in the Department of Psychology, Counselling and Therapy, and has a rich academic background. Previously, she served as an Associate Professor and Clinical Coordinator at Florida State University. Initially focusing on art therapy services for adult mental health, her research interests soon expanded to include art therapy evaluation methods and mixed method research approaches. Associate Professor Van Lith has played a pivotal role as the Principal Investigator on various research projects. Notable examples include group art therapy for children with autism spectrum disorder, early intervention art therapy with Latinx farmworker children, and a study funded by the National Endowment for the Arts. The latter investigated mindfulness-based art therapy and technology-assisted approaches for managing anxiety and stress.

Associate Professor Paul O’Halloran

Associate Professor Paul O’Halloran is Lead of Sport and Rehabilitation within the Living Well Cluster. He is Coordinator of the postgraduate degrees that relate to Rehabilitation Counselling and Mental Health. He is a practicing sport, exercise and health psychologist and is passionate about drawing on this experience in his teaching counselling, motivational interviewing and mental health at the postgraduate level. Associate Professor O’Halloran has published over 120 peer-reviewed articles on behavioural change in physical activity, sport and gambling related behaviour. He is also the Co-director of the Centre for Sport and Social Impact.

Ms Robyn Elliott

Ms Robyn Elliott is Lead of Family Therapy within the Advanced Practice Cluster in the Department of Psychology, Counselling and Therapy. She is a family therapist and mental health social worker (with clinical credentialing) and has been Coordinator of the Family Therapy Training Program, located at The Bouverie Centre, for the past 16 years. She is an active clinician interested in working with families who have experienced trauma and disrupted attachment. This has led to an interest in the integration of more individually based approaches with systemic work. She is passionate also about what this integration has to offer to the experience of students who are training in clinical skills.

Find out more about the School of Psychology and Public Health's Statement of Strategic Intent.