Human Therapists

Dr Traci Coventry

I am the principal of our practise and have spent the past 2 decades working as a doctor of clinical psychology specialising in child and family psychology in hospitals and private practice. My qualifications include a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology (Child and Family Specialisation), an Honours Degree in Behavioural Science, a Graduate Diploma in Psychology, and an Honours Degree in Arts. I am an AHPRA registered Psychologist, a member of the Australian Psychological Society and the APS College of Clinical Psychology. I also have specific qualifications in Equine Assisted Psychotherapy and learning, and am registered as an Equine Psychotherapist with the Equine Psychotherapy Institute of Australia. My equine work has allowed me to speak as an expert on equine assisted psychological therapy on Contact Talk Radio, and in magazine interviews for Women’s Health and Hoofbeats. I am also a writer, and my articles on psychology have been published in Dolly, Madison, Huffington Post, The Sydney Morning Herald Australian Women’s Health magazines. I consider myself incredibly fortunate that working at Epona Brae in the company of my animal family has allowed me to combine my passionate love of animals and nature with my professional career, and to make a positive differences in the lives of both the animals and humans who work with me.

Melanie Bloomer – Provisional Psychologist

Hi. I am Melanie and I am a provisional psychologist with a particular interest in working with clients with complex diagnosis or impacted by trauma. I have worked with individuals from culturally and socially diverse backgrounds – both in an individual and multidisciplinary team setting. My expertise includes crisis counselling, working with adolescents and older clients under the NDIS, and my work is psycho-dynamically informed with a client-centred approach tailored to the individual. My therapeutic approaches include mindfulness techniques and psychodrama in animal assisted work, in addition to traditional psychological therapeutic models. I am also a qualified Yoga teacher and bring this body awareness and mindfulness to my work with the animals at Epona Brae.

Samantha Dax – Provisional Psychologist

I am a provisional psychologist currently completing a Masters in Clinical Psychology. I have 3 years-experience working in a community mental health setting supporting young people experiencing complex mental health issues. I have also worked in crisis telephone counselling and support group facilitation. I work in a collaborate manner, meeting people where they are at, allowing choice and autonomy in the therapy process. I have worked with people experiencing a range of concerns including: self-harming, emotion regulation, interpersonal challenges, anxiety, depression and trauma. I utilise interventions and techniques from mindfulness, CBT, ACT, IPT, DBT and the structural dissociation model of trauma. I am very excited to be working with all of the wonderful animals at Coventry Psychology.

Amrit Kaur – Provisional Psychologist

I am a provisional psychologist who has a special interest in working with children, adolescents and families. My formal qualifications include a Bachelor in Psychological Studies (Honours) and a Master of Professional Psychology. I use a diverse range of therapeutic techniques depending on the client’s presentation and goals, and my goal is to work together with clients in a collaborative way to find what best supports their needs. I may incorporate techniques from Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Dialectical Behaviour Therapy, Phenomenological enquiry with animal-assisted therapy.I have experience working with individuals with a wide range of issues related to including stress and coping, trauma, anxiety and depression. I loves spending time with animals at Epona Brae, as they all have unique personalities and I enjoy working with them as they can help us relax and regulate our emotions. I especially enjoy working with Dr Dakota, who has often assisted people in grounding and regulating their emotions.

Mary Marriott – Psychologist

Hi. I am Mary and I completed my Masters of Educational Psychology at Melbourne University 15 years ago. I have since worked in the areas of developmental disability, and the private, public and Catholic education systems, and have provided a range of cognitive, educational and developmental assessments. I enjoy supporting children, parents, young adults and adolescents along in a fun and relaxed way to address a large variety of social, emotional, educational, behavioural, developmental and mental health concerns through effective evidence based treatments. My two passions are horses and psychology, and I love the idea of working in animal assisted therapy in a nature based environment.

Ceara Nelson – Provisional Psychologist

I am a provisional psychologist who has worked with children and young people in lots of different roles for the last twenty years, including teaching, caring, and mentoring. I completed a Master of Professional Psychology in 2019 and I am currently completing a Master of Clinical Psychology. I have experience working with adults in a psychiatric hospital providing group and individual therapy aimed at building coping strategies and resilience from a recovery-based perspective. I have also worked with kindergarten and primary aged children at the Victoria University Psychology Clinic. I value creating a warm, compassionate and consistent approach that is person centred. This is aimed at supporting clients to navigate and manage the surprising and sometimes challenging situations that arise working with the animals and in their own worlds. I frequently use mindfulness, distress tolerance skills and cognitive behavioural therapy but also draw upon a range of modalities including acceptance and commitment therapy, schema and psychodynamic therapy. I love working with Princess Leah who is a reliable and caring pony that loves to play, run and explore.

Marnie Vertigan – Psychologist

I am an Educational & Developmental Psychologist with extensive experience working with a broad range of psychological, emotional and behavioural issues. Since completing my Master’s Degree in Educational and Developmental Psychology in 2011, I have worked for government and private sectors providing intervention and support for children, adolescents and adults, as well as their families and social networks. I have specialised in assessment and intervention for children with developmental disorders; supporting and resourcing parents, families, and social networks; parent education and support; providing services to schools; and individual counselling and psychological intervention for mental health, emotional and behavioural concerns. I am passionate about working with individuals and families to achieve positive outcomes, to develop resilience and social-emotional growth. I am currently undertaking training and certification with the world-class Equine Psychotherapy Institute of Australia and am excited to combine my life-long love for horses with traditional psychological approaches to work towards greater benefits for clientele.