About Us

Our Practice

Our practice was first was opened in 2006 with the aim of creating a specialist centre of cognitive assessment and treatment in NSW. Our clinic is highly unique in that we have specialist neuropsychologists conducting our cognitive testing and therefore offer much more comprehensive assessments than non-specialist psychologists. 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. 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. This can only be done through formally assessing core cognitive skills like memory, attention, visual processing, auditory processing, planning/organisation etc. 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 specialists in the following areas:
  • Neuropsychological/ cognitive assessment
  • Educational assessment & diagnosis of learning disabilities
  • Psychological assessment
  • Cognitive training
  • Psychological therapy
  • Neurofeedback

Our Director

Dr Shelley Louise Hyman
Senior Clinical Neuropsychologist
BSc (psychol) Hons, MClinNeuropsych, PhD (Med) MAPS CCN

Dr Shelley Louise 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 specialising in paediatrics. 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. She worked for 8 years at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead as a psychologist running a learning disabilities clinic for children with genetic disorders (NF1). She has also worked overseas for 2 years as a consultant neuropsychologists in various children’s hospitals as well as at Haifa University as a researcher into cognitive training programs. She has had extensive experience over the past 17 years with a variety of childhood neurodevelopmental/ genetic disorders, head injury, brain tumours, epilepsy, pervasive developmental disorders (autism), ADHD and learning disabilities. She has special interests in the development of cognitive training programs, the misdiagnosis of ADHD in children with visual and auditory processing disorders, and ACT therapy as a means of improving resilience in both children and adults. She has raised numerous grants and awards for her internationally recognised research, totalling over $2 million. In 2005 she was awarded a large 3 year grant from the US army to conduct international research into cognitive remediation programs with children.

Dr Hyman is a fully registered psychologist under APHRA and is a registered psychologist supervisor for both the APRHA and Australian Psychological Society. She is a Honorary Associate at Macquarie Univeristy. She has specialist registration as a fully endorsed Clinical Neuropsychologist and has been involved in helping supervise other neuropsychologists for the past 10 years. She is also a full member of the Australian Psychological Society and the International Neuropsychological Society. She is a member of the International Society for Neurofeedback Research and is a member of the executive committee of the Applied Neuroscience Society of Australia. She is certified in neurofeedback from the BCIA (Biofeedback Certification International Alliance).

Current research projects:

  • Virtual reality testing of children with ADHD using a virtual classroom (AULA)
  • The misdiagnosis of children with ADHD: Underlying visual deficits creating functional attention weaknesses
  • The relationship between visual processing issues and learning disabilities
  • Neurofeedback in children with ADHD
  • QEEG biomarkers for neuropsychological deficits and developmental disorders
  • The development of an online interactive emotional resilience program for children, teens and adults

Dr Hyman has two children of her own aged 8 & 14 years.

Our Specialists

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.

Tania Pickering
Psychologist

Tania Pickering is a fully registered psychologist and member of the Australian Psychological Society. She has a Master of Clinical Neuropsychology and has received extensive training in the area of cognitive dysfunction, conducting comprehensive cognitive assessments as well as providing cognitive treatment as part of our HighQ program. Tania also provides treatments for behavioural and social issues, working both directly with children and also with parents to increase skills for managing these difficult behaviours. Her knowledge however also extends to the assessment and treatment of other developmental and psychological disorders such as Autism Spectrum Disorders and anxiety and depression. Particularly, she has had specific training and worked in an early intervention capacity with children who have autism spectrum disorders and developmental delays. She conducts various types of psychological therapy and has had training in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy for anxious Children (MBCT-C), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), and the Cool Kids program. Tania has been working with the SCDC since 2009 and after a brief sabbatical we are delighted to have her back for 2016!

Angela Curtis
Psychologist 

Angela is a fully Registered Psychologist with AHPRA and an Associate member of the Australian Psychological Society. Angela has a Bachelor of Arts (Psychology) from University of Sydney, Masters of Social Psychology from London School of Economics, Masters of Science in Psychological Counselling from London Metropolitan University and a Masters in Social Change and Development from University of Newcastle. Angela has clinical experience in working with children, adolescents and parents in schools and private practice, as well as working with adults in a range of settings. Angela has a passion for working within a positive psychology framework to help others identify and focus on their strengths and values while teaching effective coping strategies around acceptance and mindfulness. Angela has had extensive training in evidence based approaches including Mindfulness Integrated CBT, (MiCBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT), Schema Therapy, Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Yoga Therapy. She has experience facilitating resilience based groups of all ages including Link3d Up for adolescents, Bright Thinking, Yoga for Calm Kids and Connect 3 for children aged 8-11 years old and Retrain Your Brain. Angela has expertise in treating children, adolescents and adults diagnosed with social skills deficits, emotion regulation difficulties, behavioural difficulties and anxiety. She has a particular interest in working with adolescents with depression, poor self-esteem and body image issues. Specific research interests include the effectiveness of mindfulness meditation (MiCBT) and yoga based interventions with children and adolescents, as well as drug and alcohol rehabilitation.

Jennifer Molinari
Psychologist 

Jennifer Molinari is a registered psychologist who is dedicated to helping young people and their families improve their health and wellbeing through a range of psychological therapies. Jennifer’s approach is to help others identify and focus on their strengths and values, while teaching effective coping skills around acceptance and mindfulness. Jennifer has over 8 years experience in working with people who have Depression, Anxiety disorders, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Oppositional Defiance Disorder (ODD), anger issues, low self-esteem and difficulties with social skills. Jennifer has had extensive training in evidence-based approaches including Positive Psychology, Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT), Solution-Focused Therapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Sand Play Therapy. Jennifer is a fully registered with APHRA and an Associate Member of the Australian Psychological Society. Jennifer is also passionate about sharing her skills and knowledge with others and mentors other Psychologists as an Accredited Supervisor. 

Dr Andrew Sheridan Clinical Psychologist

Andrew is a clinical psychologist, who has a passion for working with children, adolescents, and their families. He works collaboratively with all of his clients in order improve their wellbeing and help them reach their full potential in all aspects of their lives. Andrew has a postgraduate diploma in Paediatric Neuropsychology and a doctorate in Clinical Psychology. He has a special interest in ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorder, generalised anxiety, separation distress, phobias, selective mutism, OCD, trichotillomania, tic disorders, and behavioural/emotional regulation difficulties in children. He has considerable experience in parenting with approaches such as No Drama Discipline, Mindful Parenting, and Positive Parenting. Andrew strives to provide a holistic, empathic and caring service that is both personal and highly professional, utilising interventions such as Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Mindfulness, and Brief Solution Focused therapy. Andrew  is registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (APHRA), is a full member of the APS and is also a Member of the APS College of Clinical Psychologists. He worked as a Paediatric Neuropsychologist in Oxford for five years and has experience with supervising Assistant Psychologists and other Clinical Psychologists. He has lectured at the University of Oxford on Paediatric Neuropsychology, and maintains an interest in research.

Cassie Antees
Neuropsychology Registrar 

Cassie Antees completed an undergraduate degree in psychology as well as a Masters degree in Clinical Neuropsychology. She is a registered psychologist with the Psychology Board of Australia and a member of the Australian Psychological Society. For the past four years, Cassie has been working in childhood and adult mental health. Here she has been involved in providing neuropsychological and brain function assessments (EEG brain scanning) with adults presenting with mental health issues. More recently, Cassie has been conducting neuropsychological assessments for both children and adolescents in private practice. She has developed a particular interest in the neuropsychological assessment of children with neurodevelopmental difficulties, which was the focus of her Masters research project. In particular, this research looked at the developmental and cognitive profile of young children following an acquired brain injury. Cassie is involved in both neuropsychological assessment as well as qEEG brain scans at the SCDC.

 
Candice Michael
Cognitive Trainer

Candice Michael has completed her Honours in psychology. She is currently completing her Masters in Clinical Neuropsychology. She has been trained extensively under the guidance of Dr Hyman in neuropsychological remediation and is currently one of the main cognitive trainers running the HighQ cognitive training program. Candice was instrumental in the original design of the cognitive training program and worked with Dr Hyman as a research assistant for many years on this project.

Carla Haroutonian
Sleep consultant

Carla has completed an undergraduate psychology degree with honours. In 2016 she ran our neurofeedback team, and in 2017 she began her PhD. She is currently completely her PhD in the area of sleep treatment in children. She currently provides consultations in improving sleep in adults and children.

Our Administration Team

Maddie Fooks
Practice Manager 

Maddie has completed an undergraduate degree in psychology with honours and is our Case Manager. She completes our telephone intake interviews and is the friendly person that you will speak to when you call!  

NEUROFEEDBACK TEAM
Neurotechnicians  

We have a team of neurotechnicians to help run our neurofeedback program under the guidance of a registered psychologist. Our team is headed up by Michaela Hayes, and we have a team of 5 neurotechnicians. 

 
Michaela Hayes
Head Neurofeedback Technician

Michaela has completed an undergraduate psychology degree with honours. She has special interests in child psychology. She has completed a 4 day training course in neurofeedback with Dr Moshe Perl. She is working towards her masters. 

Ivana Dragicevic
Neurofeedback Technician & Provisional Psychologist 

Ivana has completed a Bachelor of Psychology (First Class Honours) at Macquarie University before moving overseas to complete a Masters in Cognitive Science at the University of Vienna. She has worked with underprivileged youth in Australia as a youth worker and has worked with children with autism as an applied behavioural analysis therapist. She is currently working as a provisionally registered psychologist under the supervision of Dr Shelley Hyman and is on her pathway to full registration. Ivana has completed the 4-day Neurofeedback training under Dr Moshe Perl and has a keen interest in neuropsychology, cognitive training and neuromodulation.

Stephanie Hunt
Neurofeedback Technician

Stephanie has completed an undergraduate psychology degree with honours. She is aiming on working towards completing her masters. 

Gabrielle Castle
Neurofeedback Technician

Gabrielle has completed an undergraduate psychology degree with honours. She is aiming on working towards completing her masters. 

Caroline Power
Neurofeedback Technician & Yoga Teacher 

Caroline has completed her Graduate Diploma in Psychological Science. She working towards completing her honours and masters. She has a special interest in working with children. She completed her Yoga for Kids teacher training with Little Flower Yoga in New York and has also completed a three day training for Yoga for Children with Special Needs.

Financial Director
Andrew Hyman

Andrew Hyman is a chartered accountant with over 20 years expertise in financial planning and business management. He deals with all the things that psychologists like to bury their heads in the sand about!

Associates:

The following professionals also work at the Sydney Cognitive Development Centre as associate colleagues.

  • Speech Pathologist: Ciara Holland
  • Optometrist/ Orthoptist: Eyal Pat
Work experience students
We love our 2017 team of intern students:  Pavi, Hillaire, Elaine, Jessica I, Jessica S, John, Pip, Vanessa & Georgia. They are always around to provide a helpful hand! If you are currently completing a psychology undergraduate degree and are looking for some clinical/research experience in the psychology field, visit our work experience program page.

SCDC Xmas 2016

 
SCDC Team

Christmas Party 2015

SCDC hard at work!

Publications for Dr 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.