Our Team


Paula Gillespie-Fotheringham

Paula Gillespie-Fotheringham

Paula is the founder of Expressive Therapy SA, which was born out of Paula’s love of working with early and primary years children – supporting them to reach their developmental milestones and helping them process their worries and enhance their emotional wellbeing.  Paula specialises in supporting children who have experienced traumatic events, have extreme difficulties forming relationships, or are low or non-verbal.

Paula has worked in a wide range of child-focused settings – as both a child development specialist, a child psychotherapist and in managerial capacities.  These include at Yourtown in the Early Child Development Program, in various Child and Adolescent Mental health services (CAMHS) in the UK, in inpatient psychiatric services and residential units.   Paula holds a range of Masters level qualifications (Arts Psychotherapy, research, CBT) and has additional training in trauma related dissociation, EMDR, EFT, Clayfield, play therapy, Learn to Play program and the Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP).

Together with her clinical work, Paula has worked as an educator in Expressive Therapies in both the UK and Australia for the past 10 years.  Holding the post of Head of Faculty at the Ikon Institute and later Program Coordinator for the Masters of Counselling and Psychotherapy at the University of Adelaide.  ETSA welcomes the opportunity to host students on placement.

Outside of work Paula enjoys being a parent, getting outdoors as much as possible – bike riding and walking her dog and drinking great coffee!  She shakes stress off using martial arts, painting and settling into a good novel.

Click here to book an initial appointment with Paula.


Rana Kökçinar 

Rana is a PACFA registered psychotherapist, and works with children, adults, couples and families utilising child-focused expressive therapy and systemic family therapy. An important aspect of Rana’s work involves working collaboratively with families in a way that validates power injustices and systemic oppression, while striving to create opportunities for families’ strengths and important values to also come forward. She strives continuously toward cultural democracy and humility in her work. She is a passionate member of the LGBTQI+ community, and welcomes clients from all walks of life.

Rana has experience in providing counselling to young adults at the University of Adelaide College, and provided psychotherapy for adults and children in distress at the Humane Clinic. Rana is passionate around subjects of critical psychology, climate change related distress, decolonising and anti-oppressive methods and qualitative research in psychotherapy.

Rana has a background in medical science and public health research. She completed her Master of Counselling and Psychotherapy from The University of Adelaide. Here, she received the Adelaide Graduate Award for her co-curricular work and volunteering, was the MCP representative on the School of Public Health Board, and recieved Dux of the School of Public Health in Qualitative Research. Outside of her work, she enjoys yoga, bike riding and dancing.

Click here to book an intiial appointment with Rana.


Shane Fotheringham

Shane is an experienced registered Social worker with many years of practice relating to children and families and is trained as a Family Therapist and Systemic practitioner. Shane works directly with Individual’s and Families and oversees Family Therapy practice at Expressive Therapy SA

Shane’s extensive experience includes working with complex behavioural and emotional issues and dysregulation in children, inclusive of children who have attracted one or multiple diagnoses. This includes working with children identified as Neurodiverse (Autism, Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)). Shane also has experience of working with individuals, couples and families where there are general anxiety disorders and depression, issues of grief and loss, Alcohol or Drug use, complex mental health matters and with families where there are co-morbid issues.

Shane works systemically with individuals, families and the wider community, with a key focus on exploring relational patterns, how they may be sustaining problems and what strengths can be utilised to address these. As well as the above Shane’s interests include working with couples to help solve issues of conflict and improve relationship functioning.

Originally from the UK Shane spent several years working with children and families from various cultural backgrounds where multiple complex issues needed to be worked with. Shanes practice is trauma-informed and routed in theories of human development and growth across the whole of the lifespan which is interwoven into his family therapy practice. Shane is also a Lecturer and Course Coordinator at the University of Adelaide’s post-graduate programme in Counselling and Psychotherapy and currently is completing his PhD at the University of South Australia.

Due to teaching and research commitments Shane works with a limited number of clients, bookings are essential.

Click here to book an initial appointment with Shane.


Marissa Coleman

Marissa works with children aged from 2.5 to 14 years old, and loves watching her client’s grow, find their strengths and resilience, and build up their social and play skills through expressive therapy. Marissa is passionate about early intervention and providing therapeutic support to youth and marginalized demographics. She utilises expressive therapy modalities and a play-based approach to remain child-focused in her work. Marissa understands that play is a child’s natural language and is an effective way for children to express their emotions and internal world.

Marissa has over two years’ experience working in the Playford area providing therapeutic interventions to children who have experienced trauma, anxiety, developmental delays and difficulties regulating their emotions. Marissa provides therapeutic services across a range of environments, including the city office, home visits, or outreach at childcare, kindergarten or school. She supports the assessment of current developmental state, highlighting strengths and addressing barriers to reaching developmental milestones.

Marissa is a registered psychotherapist with PACFA, having completed a master’s degree in Counselling and Psychotherapy from the University of Adelaide. Marissa holds a certificate in Child-Centred Play Therapy and a bachelor in Psychological Science. She is an accredited Safe and Sound provider for the Safe and Sound Protocol delivered here at Expressive Therapy SA.

In her down time, Marissa enjoys hot yoga, hiking, beach walks, reading a good book and snuggling up with her kitten!

Click here to book an initial appointment with Marissa.

ryann thompson

Ryann Thompson

Ryann is a PACFA registered psychotherapist with a master’s degree in Counselling and Psychotherapy from the University of Adelaide. Ryann enjoys working with children of all ages and their families. She uses expressive modalities to create a child-centred, non-judgemental, and fun space for all her clients. Ryann’s gentle and nurturing approach to therapy allows her to create a safe and supportive environment for clients to build resilience and happiness. Further, Ryann believes in utilising the power of play to better help a child communicate their feelings and experiences. She loves watching a child’s creativity and imagination grow.

Ryann also holds a Bachelor of Health Sciences and Bachelor of Science in Nursing, and she has previously worked as a registered nurse in mental health at a psychiatric hospital in Toronto, Canada. As a registered nurse Ryann cared for a variety of mental health presentations. Ryann has experience serving various populations including children, adults, individuals with disability, and individuals in aged care facilities. She is also an accredited Safe and Sound provider. This well-rounded background has allowed her to build a holistic understanding of mental, physical, and emotional wellbeing. Ryann recognises how difficult it can be to take that first step toward seeking help for yourself or your child, and aims to always meet the client where they are at in their journey.

In her down time, Ryann enjoys the outdoors, playing sports, running, baking, and music.

Click here to book an initial appointment with Ryann.

Asees Kauer

Asees Kaur

Asees has completed her Masters in Clinical Psychology from Christ University, India in 2017 and has recently completed an additional Masters in Counselling and Psychotherapy from University of Adelaide.

She has experience working with both children and adults with special needs both in Australia as well as overseas. She approaches her clients using a person-centred framework by valuing their strengths.
Asees finds zeal in making a positive change in the lives of vulnerable children and adults so that they can live their life in a fulfilling manner. She feels content in using her skillset to help those around her by bringing a positive change in their lives, thus promoting happiness. Her work is influenced mainly through the principles of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and Expressive Therapies which makes therapy fun for her clients.

Amanat Dhamoon

Amanat honours working with children and considers it a privilege to be invited into their world to form a therapeutic relationship that is honest, non-judgemental, nurturing and above all enjoyable for the child. Amanat understands that a child’s first language is play and works within that space to help children express themselves authentically and regulate their emotions safely. Amanat previously worked as a guitar teacher for adults and children and uses her musical abilities to foster an environment of safe expression for children.

Amanat holds an Honours degree in Psychology from St Bede’s College. Shortly after, she began working with children living with HIV and the LGBTQI+ community through the Naz Foundation. Amanat later moved to Adelaide and completed her Masters in Counselling and Psychotherapy from the University of Adelaide. Amanat has experience working therapeutically in diverse populations from all ages, having previously worked in aged care and in education.

Her knowledge and experience within the mental health sector, combined with her passion for working with children through expressive modalities and her gentle and caring demeanour makes her well positioned to walk alongside children as they work towards building a greater sense of safety and security. Outside of her work, Amanat enjoys playing the guitar and riding her bicycle with her partner.

Practice Management


Tina Demann

Tina worked in the printing industry as a screen printer for 30 years, where she took joy in training young people her craft and creating graphic designs for clients. In addition, she worked as an assistant teacher at community school interacting with children and families from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds. Whilst completing a Certificate III in Business Administration, she has maintained a strong passion about her role within the organisation, as it has allowed her to make a difference in the community, in particular the family sector. Tina thoroughly enjoys her role with ETSA and yourtown where she supports two teams, the early Child Development Program and the Flexible Learning Options (FLO)

In her free time, she enjoys swimming, riding her bike and catching up with friends on weekends.

Tina is the friendly, caring, and compassionate face you will see assisting the ETSA team and you can speak to her on Monday and Tuesday.

Alyssa Ladegourdie

Alyssa Ladegourdie

Alyssa is the junior admin who is currently doing a traineeship while studying for a certificate III in Business. She is one of the main people you will speak to when you call to book in appointments or have any questions. Alyssa is looking at building her experience and confidence in the workplace, she is ready for whatever is thrown her way. Alyssa has previously worked with children and would like to stay in that type of work. She enjoys helping people and being able to make a difference. Alyssa is a fun and bubbly person who enjoys going for hikes, out with friends on adventures and live music. She has a pet guinea pig that she loves very much, his name is Theodore or Pig (his nickname).

“(Our child’s) time with Paula is never enough and he never wants it to end. We all love her so much.”

Parent, Southern suburbs.

“Very pleased with the support our daughter has been given… very good communication”.

Parent, Western suburbs

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NDIS Registered Provider

Adelaide CBD
Level 2 147 Currie St
Adelaide 5000

Unihealth Playford
250/252 Curtis Road
Munno Para SA 5115

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Expressive Therapy SA acknowledge that the Kaurna people, the traditional custodians of the land on which we live and work, have always been creatively expressing, supporting and caring for community on these lands. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging, and recognise that sovereignty was never ceded. 

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