QUALIFICATIONS
B.A. (Psych) Grad. Dip. (Psych) M.C. (Psych) Grad. Dip. Sc. (ClinPsych) MAPS

Leanne Winter – Senior Clinical Psychologist

Owner and Director of Mullum Road Clinic

Pronouns: She/Her

Leanne is a member of the APS College of Clinical Psychologists (CCLIN) and a Clinical Psychologist Medicare Provider. Leanne Winter is also a qualified Clinical Supervisor for the Psychology Board of Australia (PsyBA) and is registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA).

Leanne has been a registered Clinical Psychologist since 2005 and has completed a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, Graduate Diploma in Educational Psychology, Master of Counselling Psychology, and a Graduate Diploma in Science - (Clinical Psychology). In a previous career, Leanne worked as a teacher of the Deaf, having completed a Diploma in Teaching, Graduate Diploma in Special Education (Hearing Impairment) and a Master of Special Education.

Empowering neurodivergent Individuals 

Leanne enjoys working with neurodivergent individuals, including those identifying as autistic (young adults and adults), as having attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and those living with an invisible disability. Historically, neurodivergent adults have been misdiagnosed and overlooked. The incorrect diagnosis has the potential to lead to the incorrect psychological intervention and poor understanding of the challenges neuro divergent individuals may face.

Leanne’s personal experience, such as identifying as Neuro Divergent (Audhd) and having many neurodivergent family members, contributes to Leanne's deep understanding of neurodivergence and passion to support neurodivergent individuals.

Assessments
  • Leanne offers neuro-affirming Assessments for adults and young adults (from 18 years of age) at the Panton Hill location on Thursdays. The MIGDAS-2 (Monteiro Interview Guidelines for Diagnosing the Autism Spectrum – Second Edition) is utilised as part of the assessment process.
  • The MIGDAS is a sensory based approach of gathering information needed to diagnose Autism Spectrum Differences in children, adolescents, and adults. It involves several questionnaires and a diagnostic interview.
  • The MIGDAS provides questions to help create a narrative and to assist the client to tell their life story. Whilst the MIGDAS focuses on the person’s strengths, it does not minimise challenges and aims to empower people to move towards understanding and embracing neurodivergence. 
Therapeutic Approaches

Leanne focuses on incorporating experiential therapies into her work. Leanne has a deep passion for guiding individuals toward emotional well-being and personal growth, integrating innovative and interactive therapeutic approaches tailored to each client's unique needs.

When most people think of therapy, talk therapy generally comes to mind. Experiential therapy on the other hand, like the name suggests, is a form of therapy that involves immersing yourself in a certain experience. Experiential therapy is distinguished by its emphasis on action. Action is important because when a person is bodily engaged, they have access to psychological elements they may not have access to otherwise. Action can also be a precursor to change—by acting in a new way, a person may be supported to think in new ways.

As such, Leanne’s practice focuses on experiential therapies, which emphasize hands-on, action-oriented activities to help clients explore and find resolutions to difficulties brought to therapy. These methods are particularly effective in accessing and expressing emotions, building self-awareness, and fostering meaningful change. 

Leanne has training and certifications in the following modalities:

Gestalt Therapy: Gestalt Therapy focuses on the present moment and the client's experience in the "here and now." By emphasizing personal responsibility and self-awareness, this approach helps clients gain insight into their behaviours, thoughts, and feelings, fostering a deeper understanding of themselves and their relationships.
Sand Tray Therapy: Sand Tray Therapy allows clients to express and explore their inner world using miniature figures and a sandbox. This non-verbal, creative approach provides a safe space for clients to visualize and process their emotions and experiences, leading to profound insights and healing. Sand Play Therapy utilizes the symbolic use of sand and figures to facilitate healing. This approach is deeply rooted in Jungian psychology and allows clients to access the unconscious mind, bringing hidden emotions and experiences to the surface for processing and integration.
Animal-Assisted Therapy: Incorporating the therapeutic presence of animals, Animal-Assisted Therapy enhances the therapeutic experience by promoting relaxation, reducing anxiety, and encouraging emotional expression. Interacting with animals can help build trust, empathy, and connection, making it easier for clients to engage in the therapeutic process.
Equine-Assisted Therapy: Equine-Assisted Therapy involves working with horses to address therapeutic goals. Horses, with their keen sensitivity to human emotions, provide immediate feedback and mirror clients' feelings and behaviours. This interactive experience fosters self-awareness, emotional regulation, and personal growth.
Somatic Experiencing: Somatic Experiencing is a body-cantered approach to healing trauma and stress-related disorders. By focusing on the body’s sensations and physical responses, clients can release stored tension and trauma. This method helps restore the body’s natural ability to self-regulate and promotes a sense of safety and empowerment.

Leanne believes in the transformative power of experiential therapies and the importance of creating a safe, supportive, and non-judgmental environment for her clients. By engaging in these dynamic therapeutic activities, clients can work through trauma stored in the body, gain new perspectives, and develop effective coping strategies.

Recently Leanne completed training with Eating Disorders Victoria (EDV) and will be focusing on supporting neurodivergent clients identified as having disordered eating in 2024. 

Leanne has also enrolled in EMDR (Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing) training for later in 2024. Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is a therapeutic modality that involves moving your eyes a specific way while you process traumatic memories. EMDR's goal is to help clients move through trauma or other distressing life experiences.

 

sooty grey bg

Sooty the groodle is the next certified therapy dog and he visited the ABC Radio Melbourne Studio with Leanne in 2019. Most recently is BeeBee a standard poodle puppy and the first girl puppy therapy dog! BeeBee will join Leanne at the Eltham Clinic.

Leanne has also expanded into Equine Assisted Therapy and has a large and small herd on her farm. This is primarily horses, ponies and mini donkeys. Additional farm animals are at the farm, that is 20 minutes from Eltham.

LeanneElmo photo

Equine Therapy

In 2017, Leanne completed extensive training with the Equine Psychotherapy Institute in Daylesford to qualify as an Equine Assisted Psychotherapist. Equine Assisted Psychotherapy sessions are currently available on two days, and are approximately a 20-minute drive from Mullum Road Clinic (out past Warrandyte). Leanne has completed several courses with the Equine Psychotherapy Institute including:

  • The Initial Intensive Training Course in Equine Assisted Psychotherapy
  • The Advanced Intensive Working with Children and Adolescents Training course
  • The Working with Addictions in equine Assisted Psychotherapy course.
  • The Trauma and Attachment: Somatic and Holistic Practice course

Instagram

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horsays
Client Groups
  • Adolescents
  • Adults
  • Couples
Therapy Specialties
  • ADHD Coaching
  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
  • Comprehensive Behavioural Intervention for Tics Therapy (CBIT)
  • Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT)
  • Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT)
  • Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT)
  • Sand Tray Therapy
  • Gestalt Therapy
  • Somatic Experiencing
  • CBT for Eating Disorders
Service Specialties
  • Neurodivergent Cancelling and Assessment
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders (ADHD)
  • Living with a Disability
  • Tourette Syndrome (TS)/Tic Disorder
  • Depression
  • Anxiety & Phobias
  • Learning Difficulties
  • Social Phobia/Anxiety
  • Eating Disorders
  • Bullying
  • Trauma
  • Parenting Strategies
  • Carer Support
  • Pathological Demand Avoidance Syndrome (PDAS)