About Us

Leading Assessment & Treatment Centre in Sydney

Our Practice

Our practice was first was opened in 2006 with the aim of creating a multi-disciplinary centre of cognitive assessment and treatment in NSW. Our clinic is highly unique in that we have neuropsychologists conducting our cognitive testing and therefore can offer much more in-depth and comprehensive cognitive and neuropsychological assessments. We have one of the largest testing libraries in NSW, have the latest scientifically proven tests, and offering the highest level of standardised assessment possible.

Sydney Cognitive Development Centre Reception
Sydney Cognitive Development Centre Reception Area

Our Philosophy

Our philosophy is that we don’t just want to diagnose developmental disorders like ADHD and learning disabilities, but rather we want to identify the specific cognitive deficits underlying these disorders – so that rather than providing a ‘band-aid’ solution we can treat the root cause of the condition in the most precise manner. We feel this is best done through formally assessing core cognitive skills like memory, attention, visual processing, auditory processing, planning/organisation etc. Once the core cognitive weakness (or even weaknesses) are identified, then treatment can be specific to the precise processing weaknesses underlying these disorders.

We are the first clinic in NSW to actually provide comprehensive cognitive training programs that are uniquely designed for the individual and broad ranging, according to the specific neuropsychological skill. Our most unique feature unlike other cognitive training programs is that all our programs are conducted individually so that we can train children in the functional skills they need in everyday life and generalise the skills they learn in cognitive training to the real world. We have clinicians with extensive experience in the following areas:

Neuropsychological/ cognitive assessment

Educational assessment & diagnosis of learning disabilities

Psychological assessment

Cognitive training

Psychological therapy

Neurofeedback

Dr Shelley Hyman Senior Clinical Neuropsychologist Sydney

Our Clinical Director

Dr Shelley Hyman

Senior Clinical Neuropsychologist

BSc (psychol) Hons, MClinNeuropsych, PhD (Med) MAPS CCN

Dr Shelley Hyman is the director of the centre and she founded this centre in 2006 after returning to Australia, being inspired by the comprehensiveness of treatment centres overseas. She aimed to take Australian services into the new millennium and close the gaps between the Australian standards of assessment and treatment, and levels of expertise overseas. She has an undergraduate psychology degree with honours from the University of NSW, a Masters in Clinical Neuropsychology from Macquarie University, and a PhD from Sydney University in paediatric medicine. Her doctoral research examined cognitive profiling of ADHD and learning disorders from a neuropsychological perspective. It looked at how children change developmentally from childhood into adulthood in regards to their cognitive abilities, as well as profiled these disorders from an adult perspective. Following her PhD she received a 2 year award from the Children’s Tumour Foundation (New York) for her postdoctoral research. This postdoctoral research looked at the development of cognitive screening in children, as well as the relationship between neuropsychological tests and real world functional skills.

OUR CLINICIANS

Marika Donkin Clinical Neuropsychologist

Marika Donkin

Clinical Neuropsychologist

Marika Donkin is a clinical neuropsychologist and member of the Clinical Neuropsychology college of the Australian Psychological Society. She holds a first class honours degree in psychology as well as a Masters degree in Clinical Neuropsychology. She has strong research expertise into children who are gifted and special interests in children with ADHD and learning disabilities, as well as in the development of cognitive training programs. She believes strongly in not only identifying neuropsychological difficulties, but also developing programs for treating those difficulties by using tailored, comprehensive, research based cognitive training methodologies. She has been working conducting neuropsychological assessments for both children and adults in private practice since February 2010. She has also completed courses in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Acceptance & Commitment Therapy, and incorporates those therapies into her treatment programs.

Jennifer Szeto_Photo

Dr Jennifer Szeto

Registered Psychologist & Neuropsychology Registrar

Dr Jennifer Szeto was awarded a PhD (Medicine) by the University of Sydney. She is a Registered Psychologist with the Psychology Board of Australia, Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency, and a Member of the Australian Psychological Society. Jennifer has clinical experience working with adults and older adults presenting with a variety of conditions, including mental health and neurodegenerative conditions. She has completed an undergraduate Psychology degree with Honours at the University of New South Wales, a Master’s degree in Brain and Mind Sciences at the University of Sydney, as well as a Master’s degree in Clinical Neuropsychology at Macquarie University. Her doctoral thesis examined Mild Cognitive Impairment associated with Parkinson’s Disease. She has a special interest in the assessment of adults with memory problems and other forms of cognitive impairment. 

Zoe Goldberg

Zoe Goldberg

Clinical Neuropsychologist

Zoë Goldberg is a fully Registered Psychologist with AHPRA with an endorsement in clinical neuropsychology, and was awarded with a Master of Clinical Neuropsychology degree from the University of Cape Town, South Africa. She holds a first-class Honours degree in Psychology from the University of the Witwatersrand. Zoë completed her master’s thesis on sleep and memory and has presented her research at international conferences. Zoë has clinical experience in working with children and adults with a range of neuropsychological impairments. She specialises in the assessment of cognitive processes such as attention, memory, executive functions and language and has developed a keen interest in understanding the unique architecture of the human brain systems responsible for memory and other cognitive processes.

Alexandra Johnson

Alexandra Johnson

Registered Psychologist

Alex is a fully Registered Psychologist with AHPRA and a member of the Australian Association of Psychologists. Alex has a Bachelor of Psychology from University of Newcastle.  Alex believes in a whole person approach to mental health, working on a biopsychosocial model and considering all factors in a client’s life that could be causing them distress. She has experience working with a wide variety of individuals with various mental health and developmental concerns, including extensive experience working with individuals on the Autism Spectrum and with ADHD. Alex is comfortable working across the lifespan from young children to older adults. She has a passion for helping clients feel safe and comfortable to explore the issues and stressors impacting their mental health. Alex has training in a variety of therapies and believes that there is no single therapy model that suits everyone. She believes in finding the right mix of therapeutic techniques to suit an individual and support them in a way they find most comfortable and helpful. Alex used a mix of therapies including Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Schema Therapy, Dialectical Behaviour Therapy, Narrative Therapy, Play Based Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Motivational Interview and Mindfulness. Alex understands that in therapy the value of the therapeutic relationship cannot be underestimated and practices unconditional positive regard towards all her clients.

Kyra Thompson

Kyra Thompson

Registered Psychologist

Kyra is a fully Registered Psychologist with AHPRA and an associate member of the Australian Psychological Society. Kyra has a Bachelor of Psychology from University of Newcastle and a Graduate Diploma in Psychological practice from College of Professional Psychology. Kyra has clinical experience in working with children and their families, adolescents, as well as adults. Kyra has worked extensively with people who are on the Autism Spectrum and has expertise in treating patients (both children and adults) diagnosed with anxiety, low mood, autism, social, self-regulation and behavioural difficulties. Kyra predominantly focuses on using a Cognitive Behavioural (CBT), Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT), Interpersonal (IPT) therapeutic approach as well as Acceptance and commitment Therapy (ACT). She has completed the Cool Kids and Child Anxiety Program. She has extensive experience conducting social skills groups and anxiety groups.

Andrew Hyman

Andrew Hyman

Counsellor & ADHD Skills Training

Andrew has a Masters in Holistic Counselling, with his thesis focusing on ADHD interventions. He also has received an ADHD Specialist Certificate from the ICD. He is a Certified EFT Practitioner, accredited with EFT International. He also has a Masters in Empowerment Coaching and is a qualified meditation therapist.  His areas of interest are in ADHD, learning disorders, anxiety, depression, trauma and phobias.   He is a black belt martial artist and also occasionally teaches adults and children self-defence.

Rishika Kumar

Rishika Kumar

Provisional Psychologist & Neuropsychology Psychometrician

Rishika is currently completing her Masters in Clinical Neuropsychology at Macquarie University. She also completed her Bachelor degree in Psychology (Honours) at Macquarie University. Rishika is passionate about helping individuals with neurodevelopment disorders learn strategies to manage their difficulties. She has interests in research related to the gut-brain axis.

Madeleine Murphy

Madeleine Murphy

Provisional Psychologist & Neuropsychology Psychometrician

Madeleine is currently completing her Masters in Clinical Neuropsychology at Macquarie University. She previously completed a Bachelor of Science, with an extended major in Psychology, with Honours at The University of Queensland. She has conducted research in mental health, specifically in people with neurological disorders. Her interests lie in formal assessment and management of neurodevelopmental conditions.

Rachel Kaplan

Rachel Kaplan

Provisional psychologist, Head Neurofeedback Technician

Rachel completed her Bachelor of Psychology at the University of Sydney, with Honours. She has conducted research into learning and  cognition. She has worked in the associative learning lab at the University of Sydney and undertaken a volunteer work experience program at the InsideOut Institute for Eating Disorders. She is interested in neurofeedback as treatment for neurodevelopmental conditions, especially the Autism Spectrum. She plans to complete her Masters in Clinical Neuropsychology to further her skills in this field.

Natalie Dahora

Natalie Dehora

Neurofeedback Technician & Provisional Psychologist

Natalie is currently completing her Masters in Clinical Psychology at Macquarie University. Natalie completed her Bachelor of Psychology at the University of Sydney, with Honours. She has conducted research into memory and lie detection. She has special interests in neurofeedback and neuromodulation as a means of enhancing cognitive ability. She has also worked for the Sydney University Forensic Lab and the Social Cognitive and Individual Differences Lab, in the Department of Psychology.

Chris Evans

Chris Evans

Cognitive Trainer & Provisional Psychologist

Chris is currently completing in Master in Clinical Psychology at UTS. Chris completed his Bachelor of Science majoring in Psychology, with Honours in Immunology (2017) and Psychology (2018). He has conducted research into and is particularly passionate about improving the mental health and functioning of patients via personalised virtual reality experiences. He has worked with the Charles Perkins Centre and the Human Factors Lab at The University of Sydney in collaboration with the RPAH. Currently, Chris also works for The Brain and Mind Centre on research for a range of neuropsychological disorders including dementia and schizophrenia, with an interest in their associated cognitive deficits.

Wendy Wu

Wendy Wu

Provisional Psychologist & Neuropsychology Psychometrician

Wendy is currently completely her Masters in Clinical Neuropsychology at Macquarie University. Wendy undertook a double Bachelors degrees in Psychology and Human Sciences (majoring in Cognitive and Brain Sciences) at Macquarie University. She has completed her Honours year of Psychology, conducting research on auditory selective attention and its relationship with memory (2020). She has also worked closely with children on the Autism Spectrum as a behavioural therapist, and with the Australian Institute of Health Innovation as a research assistant. Wendy is passionate about cognition and its disorders.

Madeleine De Biasi Case Manager

Madeleine De Biasi

Case Manager & Neurofeedback Technician

Madeleine completed her Bachelor of Art with a major in Psychology in 2014. She has worked since then as a care worker for Wesley Mission Community Services, before joining our team in 2018. She has worked with autistic children and children with genetic disorders for many years, and has a passion for children with neurodevelopmental disorders. She also has worked with patients neurodegenerative disorders, and has strong interests in performance enhancement in adult populations.

Bella Mahony

Bella Mahony

Case Manager & reception

Bella is currently studying psychology at the University of Sydney. After her undergraduate is completed, she plans on completing an honours year in psychology. Bella has an interested in clinical treatments for psychological trauma and hopes to work in that field.

Andrea2

Andrea

Neurofeedback Technician

Andrea has completed her Honours in Psychology at the University of Sydney’s CODES Lab (2020), investigating the relationship between maladaptive perfectionism and burnout. She has assisted developmental research at the Brain and Mind Centre, and has worked as a research assistant for the University of Sydney's Social Psychology, and Brain and Behaviour Labs. Andrea is particularly interested in youth and adolescent mental health treatment, as well as personality disorder research, and plans to complete a Masters of Clinical Psychology.

CONSULTANTS

Eyal Pat Consultant Orthoptist

Eyal Pat

Orthoptist & Visual Trainer

Eyal Pat obtained an optometry degree in Israel and practised as an optometrist for 8 years overseas. He developed a passion for treating eye based issues and decided to move to Australia to study his Masters in Orthoptics. He now practices in Australia as an orthoptist, helping train both children and adults in improving their binocular vision. Orthoptics is the science of: "Orth"= straight and "Optics"=eyes. He works to strengthen eye muscles to help teaming between both eyes, which is used in focusing, tracking, fixation and general eye movements. These skills are fundamental to learning and motor skills in children. When the functional system is poor it may also affect higher-level visual functioning and visual perception, and Eyal has numerous programs to also improve these higher levels visual processing skills. He is a member of the Orthoptic Board and Orthoptic Australia.

Our team having fun!

Xmas Party 2021: Clay throwing
Xmas Party 2021: Clay throwing
SCDC Xmas 2020
Xmas 2020 Paintings
Xmas 2020 Painting Classes
Xmas 2020 Painting Classes
Halloween 2019
Halloween 2019
SCDC Xmas 2018
SCDC Xmas 2018
SCDC Xmas 2019
SCDC Xmas 2019
SCDC Christmas Party Intern Team photo 1
SCDC Xmas 2017
SCDC Christmas Party Intern Team photo 4
Laser Tag 2016
SCDC Christmas Party Intern Team photo 3
SCDC Xmas 2016
SCDC Christmas Party Intern Team photo 2
Xmas 2015

Publications for Dr Shelley Hyman

  • Hyman S.L., DuPaul, G.J. & Gormley, M.J. (2017) Evidence-Based Assessment and Intervention for ADHD in School Psychology. In, Theilking, M & Terjesen M.D. (Ads) Handbook of Australian School Psychology (pp: 311-330).  Switzerland; Springer.
  • Payne J., Hyman S.L., Shores E.A., & North K.N. (2011) Assessment of executive function and attention in children with neurofibromatosis type 1: relationships between cognitive measures and real-world behavior. Child Neuropsychology,17, 313-29.
  • Hyman, SL., Gill, D., Shores E.A., Steinberg, A., & North, K.N. (2007) Specific Regions of T2-Hyperintensities in Children with NF1 and their relationship to Cognitive Functioning. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry, 78, 1088- 1091.
  • Hyman, S.L., Shores, E.A., Gill, D., & North, K.N. (2006). Learning disabilities in children with neurofibromatosis type 1: subtypes, cognitive profile, and attention- deficit-hyperactivity disorder. Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology, 48, 973- 977.
  • Gill, D., Hyman, SL., Steinberg, A & North, K.N. (2006). Age-related findings on MRI in Neurofibromatosis type 1. Pediatric Radiology; 36: 1048-1056.
  • Hyman, SL., Shores E.A., & North, K.N. (2005). The Nature and Frequency of Cognitive Deficits in Children with Neurofibromatosis Type 1. Neurology, 65, 1037- 1044.
  • Hyman, SL., Shores E.A., Gill, D., Steinberg, A., & North, K.N. (2004). Children with Neurofibromatosis Type 1: Neuropsychological and Neuroradiological Aspects. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 10, 40.
  • Hyman, SL. Neurofibromatosis Type 1: Cognitive Profile, Natural History and Pathogenesis. 2004. PhD Dissertation.
  • Hyman, S.L., Shores E.A., Gill, D., Steinberg, A., & North, K.N. (2003). Natural History of Neuropsychological Ability and T2-Hyperintensities in Patients with Neurofibromatosis Type 1. Neurology, 60, 1139-1145.
  • North, K.N, Hyman, S., & Barton, B. (2002). Cognitive Functioning in Neurofibromatosis Type 1. Journal of Child Neurology, 17:616-623.
  • Young, H., Hyman, S. & North, K. (2002) Neurofibromatosis Type 1: Clinical Manifestations and Exceptions to the rule. Journal of Child Neurology, 17:624-632
  • Hyman, S., North, A., Shores, A., Gill, D., & Steinberg, A. (2002). Natural history of cognitive deficits and brain lesions in neurofibromatosis 1. Journal of International Neuropsychological Society, 8, 499.
  • Hyman, S.L., Shores E.A., Steinberg, A., Gill, D., & North, K.N. (2002). Natural History of Neuropsychological Ability and T2-Hyperintensities in Patients with Neurofibromatosis Type 1. Brain Impairment, 3, 80.
  • Hyman, S.L. An analysis of the mechanisms underlying the phenomenon of memory reactivation. (1997). Honours Thesis.