Meet your two perinatal psychologists in Wollongong, NSW

Location Address

Banksia Psychology & Supervision
Level 1, 133 Crown Street
Wollongong NSW 2500

 

Dr Brooke Van Zanden
Clinical Psychologist
MCP – Master of Clinical Psychology; PhD – Psychology

Brooke is a clinical psychologist who values a warm, conversational and collaborative approach to therapy. Brooke enjoys working with new parents and infants to help navigate the ups and downs involved in family life, and throughout the challenges of conception, pregnancy, and postpartum. Brooke thinks it’s important to acknowledge that the perinatal period can be a lot harder than what is typically recognised, and that there is value in holding space for both the delightful and difficult moments that occur throughout (and sometimes all at once!).

Brooke’s approach to therapy is informed by Attachment Theory, and she really enjoys helping people to understand themselves and their past and current relationships through this lens. Brooke also has a special interest and experience working in conjunction with other health professionals (e.g., GPs, gynaecologists, and pelvic floor physiotherapists) to support people experiencing painful intercourse (including vaginismus and vulvodynia), which can be a common, but underreported difficulty in the perinatal period.

Outside of clinical practice, Brooke is currently undertaking research exploring how breastfeeding parents navigate infant sleep. Brooke has completed introductory training in this area with the Possums Neurodevelopmental Care Model for infant sleep.

Having a baby is a family affair, and Brooke welcomes babies, partners, and support people to appointments.

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Location Address

Banksia Psychology & Supervision
Level 1, 133 Crown Street
Wollongong NSW 2500

Mathew Aquilina
Perinatal Psychologist
BA (Psyc), PG Dip (Psyc), MPP

Mathew is a Registered Psychologist and board-approved clinical supervisor. Mathew has a keen interest in the support of fathers and the area of men’s mental health. His interest in perinatal mental health was in part influenced by his own transition to fatherhood and the fascinating, rewarding, and challenging moments that the perinatal journey brought.

Mathew is passionate about providing families and expecting parents with evidence-informed information to assist the transition to parenthood. He is an accredited Becoming Us Facilitator, and Circle of Security Parenting Facilitator. With a background in child and family psychology, Mathew has worked from an attachment-informed lens for the duration of his clinical career. He values the important role that attachment and bonding play in developing psychological wellbeing and positive relational experiences, and this informs his therapeutic style and practice.

Mathew takes an integrative approach to his practice, with experience in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Schema Therapy, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), Psychodynamic therapy, and EMDR. He has a warm and conversational style and a strengths-based view of those he supports, working to build capacity and increase insight rather than focus on deficit or disorder.

Mathew has completed intensive training with the Perinatal Training Centre and is engaged in ongoing clinical supervision in perinatal mental health, to ensure the best care to his clients.

Parents are welcome to bring babies and children along to sessions, with Mathew’s practice space having space and facilities to accommodate this.

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