College of Counselling Leadership Group

Pat Bradley (Convenor)  M.Sc. Counselling, Dip Supervision, Dip Primary Care Counselling, is a counselling practitioner (clinical), accredited supervisor and Mental Health Practitioner in private practice in West Beach, Adelaide, SA. She qualified in the UK in 2000 and was in both private practice and employed by the National Health Service in the UK before emigrating to Australia in 2013.

Pat has been heavily involved in and committed to the profession of counselling and previously served as both Secretary and President of the Counselling Association of South Australia before becoming a member of the PACFA Board in 2017. She is deeply passionate about progressing our profession and strengthening our collective voice both nationally and locally.

Fiona Griffith, (Deputy Convenor) BA Dip Ed, MSS (counselling), Dip Clinical Hypnosis, is a clinical counsellor, supervisor and educator in Melbourne’s inner North who has been in private practice in since 2000. She has a background in education and has taught and had counselling roles in primary, secondary and tertiary education. She taught various courses in the counselling post graduate program of the University of South Australia in Adelaide, also delivering this material in Hong Kong and Singapore until 2010. She has also delivered clinical supervision for counselling students and has two decades of experience writing and delivering CPD for the counselling profession. Fiona’s work has recently focused on on-line delivery of counselling and supervisory services and in particular, of supervising those counselling in educational settings. As a continuing member of the Leadership Group, Fiona embraces the College of Counselling’s core purpose to develop a sense of community for PACFA registered counsellors throughout Australia, and in doing so, deliver high quality and accessible continuing professional development and further resources to the counselling community.

Dr Cathy Bettman

Cathy currently holds the position of Senior Lecturer in the School of Arts and Sciences at the University of Notre Dame. She is a leadership group member of the College of Counselling.

Previously, Cathy worked as a Senior Lecturer at ACAP where she was the Discipline Lead of the Sydney Campus and the Coordinator of the Bachelor of Counselling degree. Cathy also worked as an individual, couple and family therapist at Relationships Australia (NSW), served as the Academic Head of AIRS (the Australian Institute of Relationship Studies) and was later Manager of its Higher Education section. For her own PhD, Cathy conducted a qualitative research study in the area of domestic violence which resulted in a number of publications including a novel based upon her thesis.

Nigel Polak is a psychotherapist in a mostly online private practice working with individuals, couples, supervisees and groups, and is an academic teacher and supervisor in the School of Counselling at the Australian College of Applied Psychology. Nigel has more than 25 years of experience working in and leading diverse justice, families, welfare and educational organisations. He has had prior careers with IBM and Telstra, and as a solicitor, Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner and mediator. He is a member of both the PACFA College of Counselling Leadership Group and Chair of the 2022 Conference Committee. He recently moved from Melbourne, Victoria to the mid-north coast of NSW and so brings an understanding of issues facing both regional and metropolitan practitioners.

Emma Hodges is a Counsellor and Psychotherapist with a Master of Counselling and BA (Psychology), both from the University of Queensland; she is a doctoral candidate for her Professional Doctorate in Therapeutic Arts Practice and experienced in Post Qualitative Inquiry methods. Emma has a passion for the area of complex trauma for the past decade particularly with infants, children and women who have experienced violence and abuse. Partnering with Swinburne University and MCRI, Emma is the Chief Investigator of Australia’s first study using the Alarm Baby Distress Scale investigating mental health outcomes for infants (and mothers) living in refuge who are participating in a group psychotherapy program. Drawing from a trauma-informed framework, Emma employs primarily arts and play-based modalities and is one of a few practitioners to use Narrative Exposure Therapy in Australia with adult clients.

Theodora Qassrani was a lecturer in counselling from 2004- 2011. Prior to that she took 10 students per year at her workplace, from Doctoral, Master, Pastoral, Psychology, Social Work, Bachelor and TAFE courses as Manager of a Counselling Unit, and provided training and supervision when working as a Counsellor in previous positions. Theodora’s qualifications include a Master of Arts in Counselling, Bachelor of Social Science in Sociology, Advanced Diploma of Community Services Management, Diploma of Community Welfare Work, Diploma of Alcohol and Other Drugs Work.

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