College of Counselling Leadership Group

Pat Bradley (Convenor), M.Sc. Counselling, Dip Supervision, Dip Primary Care Counselling, is a counselling practitioner (clinical), accredited supervisor and Mental Health Practitioner in private practice in West Beach, Adelaide, SA. She qualified in the UK in 2000 and was in both private practice and employed by the National Health Service in the UK before emigrating to Australia in 2013. Pat has been heavily involved in and committed to the profession of counselling and previously served as both Secretary and President of the Counselling Association of South Australia before becoming a member of the PACFA Board in 2017. She is deeply passionate about progressing our profession and strengthening our collective voice both nationally and locally.

Dr Cathy Bettman currently holds the position of Senior Lecturer in the School of Counselling, ACAP. Previously, Cathy worked as an individual, couple and family therapist at Relationships Australia (NSW), served as Academic Head of AIRS (the Australian Institute of Relationship Studies which is the teaching branch of RA) and finally as Manager of its Higher Education section. As a former clinical member of the Australian Association of Relationship Counsellors and of the Society of Counselling and Psychotherapy Educators, Cathy is now an individual member of PACFA and a member of the new PACFA Colleges for Relationship Counsellors and Counselling and Psychotherapy Educators.

Nigel Polak is a psychotherapist in private practice working with individuals, couples and groups, and is an academic teacher and supervisor in the School of Counselling at the Australian College of Applied Psychology. He is the founding Secretary of the Victorian Association of Restorative Justice and brings more than 20 years of experience leading diverse volunteer organisations. He has had prior careers as a Solicitor, Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner and mediator. He lives in country Victoria and works in the Melbourne CBD and so brings an understanding of both rural and metropolitan needs to the Leadership Group.

Emma Hodges is a Counsellor and Psychotherapist with a Master of Counselling and BA (Psychology), both from the University of Queensland; she is a doctoral candidate for her Professional Doctorate in Therapeutic Arts Practice and experienced in Post Qualitative Inquiry methods. Emma has a passion for the area of complex trauma for the past decade particularly with infants, children and women who have experienced violence and abuse. Partnering with Swinburne University and MCRI, Emma is the Chief Investigator of Australia’s first study using the Alarm Baby Distress Scale investigating mental health outcomes for infants (and mothers) living in refuge who are participating in a group psychotherapy program. Drawing from a trauma-informed framework, Emma employs primarily arts and play-based modalities and is one of a few practitioners to use Narrative Exposure Therapy in Australia with adult clients.

Theodora Qassrani was a lecturer in counselling from 2004- 2011. Prior to that she took 10 students per year at her workplace, from Doctoral, Master, Pastoral, Psychology, Social Work, Bachelor and TAFE courses as Manager of a Counselling Unit, and provided training and supervision when working as a Counsellor in previous positions. Theodora’s qualifications include a Master of Arts in Counselling, Bachelor of Social Science in Sociology, Advanced Diploma of Community Services Management, Diploma of Community Welfare Work, Diploma of Alcohol and Other Drugs Work.