Our Staff

Mental Health Nurse, Family and Couples Therapist, Parent Educator (including antenatal and perinatal support), Therapeutic Group Facilitator, and Couples Group Facilitator.

Lisa Butcher has a passion for everything family, individual, couples, adoption, and ante- and perinatal support.

Life can be challenging, and her goal is to navigate, nurture, and support positive outcomes for all families. Her form of therapy enables people to talk, individually or together, often about difficult or distressing issues in ways that respect your experiences, invite engagement, and support recovery and reconnection. Lisa is considerate of the needs of each member and/or the key relationships in people’s lives. She is also sensitive to diverse family forms, relationships, beliefs, and cultures.

Lisa’s other passions are family, baking, sewing, socialising, music, and juicy crime shows. Lisa is also a wife, mother, and nonna, and has a cat, Gracie, and a dog, Olive.

Lisa has worked in mental health as an Inpatient Clinician, Mental Health Outreach Clinician, and in private practice. Her experience spans over 30 years including working at Mitcham Private Hospital in the perinatal mental health unit and as a family therapist and group facilitator, which included running parent-child attachment play groups, psychotherapeutic groups, and parent support groups.

Lisa’s professional qualifications include being a registered Division 2 Nurse and holding a Graduate Diploma of Social Science in Family Therapy.

Marisa Abatehas been providing counselling, training, and supervision for over 25 years.

She has worked in counselling, training and managerial roles within educational institutions (in both schools and tertiary settings), as well as offering counselling to individuals and families in community and medical settings.

She has worked in private practice for about 25 years, and currently consults in school and medical settings and with the Building Better Brains team.
Marisa has been a fully registered psychologist for approximately 20 years, and has completed a graduate diploma in educational psychology, as well as post graduate studies in health psychology and anxiety disorders. She also holds a Master degree in Creative Arts Therapy. Other areas of study have included cognitive behaviour therapy, Mindfulness, Positive Psychology, EFT, NLP and hypnotherapy training.
Marisa has enjoyed working with clients of all ages (including young children) and has counselled individuals, couples, and families. She is skilled in the use of brief intervention work and uses solution focused and strength-based approaches with clients. She has counselled younger and older clients and has assisted them to reconnect with their lives in a happier and calmer way, so that they are able to get on with their lives with greater hope and joy.
Marisa particularly enjoys working with the intelligence, beliefs, and energy that children and young people bring to each session. Her training and experience allow her to use a creative arts focus to work with them to collaboratively develop ideas and strategies that impact the way that they see themselves and the ways in which they engage with the outside world. The benefits derived in this work continue both within the shorter term as well as affecting their lives on a longer term basis.

B.A.,B.S.W.,B.Ltt. (Psych), Grad.Dip.Ed.Psych.,

M.C.A.T. (Master in Creative Arts Therapy),M.A.P.S.

Lanah Notman is a qualified speech pathologist with a love for all things speech, language and communication related.

Lanah has experience providing speech pathology services to a wide range of individuals and families. Lanah has experience working with neurodivergent paediatrics and adults. She is looking forward to continuing her career providing play-based therapy to children and working alongside their families to support their communication journey.

She has a keen interest in the augmentative and alternative communication world of speech pathology and enjoys supporting people along their communication journeys. She is passionate about empowering families to help their children reach their speech and communication goals. Lanah lives in the Yarra Valley and enjoys watching footy (As a keen Brisbane Lions supporter), attending live music, and baking. Lanah has a love for all animals, with a particularly soft spot for dogs. Lanah also enjoys spending time with family, playing with her nieces, and walking her dog.

Bachelor of Applied Science (LaTrobe University)

Master of Speech Pathology (LaTrobe University)

Cherie Izzard is a passionate teacher and early years therapist who has a deep understanding of early childhood development.

Cherie has personal and professional experience supporting neurodiverse children and their families.
She has an interest exploring in the link between brain development, movement, and emotional regulation. She
believes empowering children with knowledge about how their brain works, how their body responses and strategies to deal with this increase long-term wellbeing outcomes.
Cherie is a firm believer that play is the language of young children and developing an attuned connection is the best way to support them and their family. The powers of play and filial support have inspired her to explore Play Therapy, she is currently studying with the Queensland Institute of Play Therapy with the aim to complete this by the end of the year.
Cherie lives with her husband and two children at the bottom of Mt Dandenong, where the wonders of nature fill her cup daily. Cherie enjoys bush walks, gardening, photography, and water colour painting.

Bachelor of Arts (Secondary Science)
Bachelor of Early Childhood Studies
Graduate Diploma of Education
Child Centred Play Therapy (Finalised October 2023)

Mary Diamond has been a children’s entertainer in the character of Fairy Mary for over 30 years and brings her knowledge and love for enchantment and imagination, into all her interactions with children, meeting them in their world and creating beautiful connections.

Mary is a Children’s Yoga and Mindfulness teacher, including Yoga for Children with Additional Needs, a Storyteller and Children’s Performer, a Toddler Dance Teacher and she is also a Certified Chakradance Kids facilitator. Mary is currently studying for her Diploma in Counselling, majoring in Child Development and Effective Parenting, Working with Children and Adolescents and Family Therapy.
Mary is also a one on one coach and mentor for children, and her mission in life is for all children to feel seen and
heard, to give them the skills and tools that empower them to navigate life and to show them their inner magic. She loves to show children creative and fun ways to learn about themselves and the world around us.
Mary is married to her teenage sweetheart and a mother of 3 beautiful girls, aged 21, 19 and 13 years. She loves to
dance, be in nature, sit in circles with other women and spend time with her family.

Completed Level 1 and Level 2 Yoga and Mindfulness for children with RAINBOW KIDS YOGA 

Completed Yoga for Kids with Additional Needs with RAINBOW KIDS YOGA


Currently studying Diploma of Counselling. Majoring in Child Development and Effective Parenting, Working with

Children and Adolescents and Family Therapy.


Sales and Marketing Manager, Receptionist, and Photographer.

Lauren Elliott is a creative person with a keen interest in small business. With a work history in people management, Lauren enjoys the interpersonal relationships between colleagues and clients and identifying areas for business and personal growth.

Lauren was first introduced to Sian and the Building Better Brains team in 2017 when her daughter participated in a children’s yoga (Glow Bugs) class. This sparked an interest in Lauren and how she could help her children with their emotional intelligence and well-being as they grew.

Lauren has 4 children with her husband and has recently completed a ‘big lap of Australia’ with her family. She loves exploring new areas, hiking, sewing, cooking, reading, photography, time at Venus Bay (her favourite place) and being outdoors in general. Does not discriminate between tea and coffee.

Lauren is particularly proud of the personal success she has experienced with her business’s establishment then sale, as well as having been able to ‘tick off’ her number one life-goal of swimming with the whale sharks in Exmouth, WA.

Lauren has a Diploma of Communication & Media (RMIT) and Certificate IV in Photography & Photo Imaging. Lauren has completed two Certificates in Modern Mandarin, Certificate in Mentoring, Mediation & Conflict Resolution and successfully established a local ladies clothing business in Lilydale which she owned for over ten years prior to selling.

Amanda Jung is passionate about art and using Creative Art Therapy to help the wellbeing and coping strategies of young people. Amanda is a qualified Art Therapist, and she has also been an art teacher and a practising artist for 15 years.

Throughout her years as a teacher she has helped support and mentor children to express themselves through their art making. This love of supporting her students has led her to becoming an art therapist who specialises in working
with children.
Amanda’s calm and kind manner helps her to quickly build rapport with young clients. She always ensures that she provides a safe space for every child’s unique and individual needs. Amanda lives in the outer-east with her two creative, kooky primary school aged daughters, her husband, as well as many pets, including a dog, bunnies and several fish.

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting (RMIT)
Diploma of Education (Melbourne University)

Advanced Diploma in Transpersonal Art Therapy (The College of Complimentary Medicine)

Individual, Couple, and Family Therapist, and Registered Counsellor and Provisional Psychologist.

Nasim D’Alberti’s philosophy towards counselling is that everyone deserves respect, empathy and to be heard. In addition, the priority is to provide a space that is safe and free from judgment. She believes in working alongside clients and supporting them to draw on their internal resources and develop practical strategies to respond in healthy, integrated ways to the world around them. 

Nasim is also a devoted wife and mum to two boys, 9 and 5. She loves spending time with her children, travelling, yoga, bush walking, and lifting heavy weights at the gym. In addition, she has a passion for learning and strives to stay up to date with the latest developments in the counselling and psychology field.

Nasim’s work background comprises over 15 years in the health and community sector. In addition, prior to becoming a counsellor she worked in kindergarten and childcare settings as a teacher. She has worked with families, couples, children, and adolescents in various roles and has supported the most vulnerable members of the community.  She has facilitated mental health programs for adults, parenting groups such Tuning In To Kids, and support groups for victims of family violence. She has worked for organisations such as Lifeline, Anglicare, Relationships Australia, and Beyond Blue.

Therapeutic Group Facilitator, Therapy Assistant, Dance Teacher, Primary School Educator, certificate holder in Dance Movement Therapy, Choreographer, Dancer, and small business owner.

Megan Bishop is hugely passionate about all things dance and movement. Megan (also known to family and friends as Meggs) has always believed movement and dance to be therapeutic. This sparked a strong desire to learn about therapeutic dance and how it integrates body, mind, and spirit. Megan is currently studying Dance Movement Therapy and working towards becoming a Registered Dance Movement Therapist. Megan has been dancing for over 30 years across many disciplines, with a particular interest in contemporary dance, and has over 20 years dance teaching experience with children and adults.

Megan lives in the leafy outer eastern suburbs of Melbourne with her husband, two young boys, a greyhound, and too many pairs of in-your-face bright activewear leggings. She is a dreamer, has a massive sweet tooth, and loves to live life with eyes and heart wide open.

Megan holds a Certificate in Dance Movement Therapy and is currently working towards Dance Movement Therapist accreditation upon completion of her Diploma. She is also a Primary School Educator with over 10 years teaching experience, with a specialisation in performing arts, junior years, and STEM. She has a Graduate Diploma in Primary Education, a master’s in Arts and Entertainment Management and a Bachelor of Arts in Contemporary Dance and Health Promotion.

Megan runs her own small business, ‘The Shake Lab’, where she facilitates dance and movement classes for adults and workshops.

Social Worker and qualified Primary School Teacher. 

Cathy Uren is very passionate about the power of early intervention in helping children and families to thrive. She implements trauma-informed practises and strength-based approaches to support learning and development. She loves to read and is excited about inspiring children to learn about the world and themselves through interactive stories, books, and play. Cathy has navigated a range of services and the NDIS with her own family and is looking forward to working in partnership with families to support them in providing foundations for their children’s development.

Cathy loves to go on adventures with her husband and children, exploring national parks and beaches any chance they get. She also loves curling up with a good book and a hot chocolate.

Cathy is a qualified Social Worker with a double degree in Social Work and Human Services, as well as a qualified Primary School Teacher. Through her social work and many years as a teacher, she has worked extensively with children and their families.

Qualified Counsellor focusing on Child-Centred Play Therapy, Therapeutic Group Facilitator, and Physical Education and Health Teacher.

Cassandra Adams loves empowering people. She feels it is her purpose in life to provide opportunities and relationships where children, teens, and adults can find and utilise their strengths.

She has personally benefited from parent training sessions in Filial Play Therapy and is excited to share her lived experience and formal training with the children and families that she meets. She is passionate about teaching health and PE and using movement or physical activity to promote improved mental health.

Cass lives in the local area with her husband, three young daughters, and their pet dog Maya (a Siberian Husky). She loves spending time with friends, playing board games, watching the footy, playing with her kids, exploring the outdoors, and going out for brekky.

Cass is a high school teacher with over 13 years experience specialising in health, PE and wellbeing. She is passionate about using creativity and play to support young children and teens to heal and to grow coping skills and self esteem!