Meet the

Brain Care Team

Nerida Saunders

Director/Senior Psychologist

Nerida Saunders

Nerida has been a founding director of Solstice Mind Matters and Brain Care for 17 years.

Nerida is a senior psychologist and fellow of the biofeedback certification of Australia.  She is an approved mentor for neurofeedback practitioners.   Nerida is a founding member and honorary fellow of the Australian Assoc. of psychology.  Nerida is a past president and fellow of the applied neuroscience society of Australasia.  She has studied under many of the world’s leading neuroscientists and has also published in this area.

Nerida has worked in the areas of psychology and counselling for many years.  One of her greatest frustrations with the work was the limited resources available to actually help people with difficulties.  That is until she discovered neuroscience and brain training sixteen years ago.  From here a whole new exciting world has opened up for both Nerida and her clients.

Nerida has seen some extraordinary improvements with people presenting with significantly disabling conditions such as autism, head injuries, ADHD, Asperger’s and anxiety and depression  through neurofeedback training and other modalities (brain training). Peak Performance training is how we describe our training. For anyone with any level of brain fitness.

Nerida also continues in her counselling role and interweaves this with the brain training treatment. She is an experienced EMDR therapist

Nerida strongly believes in the power of the individual, and the ability of the individual to overcome what may seem to be insurmountable problems and regain effective control of their lives. She believes a catalyst such as a Psychologist is necessary at times for this process to be nudged along, to empower and direct towards resolution. Nerida’s belief in and her acceptance of the individual are her most effective counselling tools. Her knowledge and experience come a close second.

Areas of Expertise and Interest 

  • QEEG measurement and interpretation
  • Neurofeedback for relaxing the brain and thereby improving performance
  • Trauma
  • Head injury
  • ADHD – adults and children
  • Supervision of psychology interns – registered in NSW as supervisor
  • Employer support
  • Provision of Employee Assistance Programmes– measurement of employability, emotional state in the workforce and rehabilitation
  • Career assessment
  • Individual growth
  • Grief and loss
  • Relationship counselling
  • Separation counselling
  • Measurement and interpretation of cognition, diagnosis of learning difficulties in adults and children
  • Depression and Anxiety
  • Peak Performance Training

Nerida is enjoys a close relationship with her two adult children and their spouses and five fun grandchildren. She is also mother to Pipi, our therapy dog. She enjoys life, socialising, music, swimming, travel, and walking.

Rustam Yumash

qEEG Manager

Rustam is a Neurocoach, Neurofeedback Practitioner, Researcher and developer of neuroscience based products and services.

After finishing his degree in medicine, he developed his approach to Mind – Body Somatic Therapy for treating trauma and chronic tension. Rustam’s main interests are in Brain Health & Fitness.  His objectives are developing and providing Neuroscience based services and products for enhancing brain performance, cognitive abilities and improved mental health.

Rustam  is fluent in Russian.

B. Med, Russia, Dip.Neurology (Russia)

Louise Oliver

Senior Psychologist

Louise Olivier

Registered psychologist, psychotherapist, counsellor, educator and trainer, Ms Olivier has over twenty years experience in Australia and USA working with individuals, groups and community organizations. Ms Olivier specializes in a wide range of stress management therapies and conducts classes and courses in personal transformation and lifestyle techniques.

She also works with adolescents, adults and the elderly, in areas of:

  • Anxiety and depression
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Grief and Bereavement
  • Terminal /chronic illness
  • Eating disorders
  • Anger and Conflict resolution
  • Disabilities
  • Relationships
  • Premarriage preparation
  • Career Issues
  • Debriefing of professionals
  • Workplace conflict /stress
  • Developing personal goals
  • Job network counselling
  • Study & exam preparation

BA, MA, Dip Ed, Psy D, MAPS, MACCP

Sydney Stokes

Registered Psychologist

Member of the Australian Association of Psychologists Inc. Sydney has a special interest in the areas of anxiety, adjustment, depression, trauma, self-regulation, sensory processing disorders, autism, attention deficit, couples, attachment, body image, disordered eating, school and work-related issues.

B. Psych. Sc. (hons), MAAPi

After venturing from her home town of Noosa, Sydney graduated from the University of Queensland in 2016 with a Bachelor of Psychological Science with Honours (Class 2A). Her research during the honours program explored the role of perfectionism and internalisation of media’s ideal image on female body satisfaction. Areas of special interest  included sensory neuroscience and child and adolescent development.

In September 2019, Sydney completed two years of training under the guidance of industry leading professionals; working with children and adults from all walks of life. Sydney has completed accreditation as an Auditory Training Program™ practitioner, and is soon to complete certification in EMDR, Biofeedback, and Secret Agent Society Social Skills Training.

Sydney uses a range of evidence-based techniques with her clients, incorporating advanced technology and methods of relaxation and self-regulation such as biofeedback. Sydney is competent in recording Quantitative Electroencephalography and Event Related Potentials, psychometric assessments, and auditory processing evaluations.

When she’s not in the office, you will find her surfing at rainbow bay, in the dance studio, or at the nearest local markets sipping on a strong coffee.

Paul Moorhead

Neurocoach and Counsellor

B. Psych. Sc.

Diploma of Counselling

M.A.C.A (Level 1).

Paul moved from Beaudesert to the Gold coast in 2010, where he studied a Bachelor of Psychological Science at Griffith University. Paul’s always had a keen interest in human nature and continued to explore a variety of Psychological and philosophical theories in his spare time before returning to TAFE to study Counselling.

Key interests for him include Brain anatomy and function, personality, development and self-actualisation. He also has a deep belief in the resilience of the body and mind to overcome diversity.

Paul is also a qualified Chef and enjoys experimenting in the kitchen on weekends in between doing the Lindy Hop (swing dancing) and playing cricket.

Mark Podesta

Provisional Psychologist

With a background in law, science, the Army Reserve, university lecturing, and pastoral care, Mark decided that the time was right for a sea change in 2017, moving from Sydney to Queensland to be with his family. Graduating from his fourth year of psychological studies at Charles Sturt University in 2019, the focus of his research explored the relationships between sexuality, religious upbringing, and narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy personality traits.

Mark is now undertaking his supervised internship here at Brain Care. His areas of professional interest include anxiety, depression, phobias, and stress. While he is delighted to work with a wide range of clients, Mark has a particular interest in working with men, and members of the LGBTIQ community.

Mark has a love for travelling. He had the opportunity to live in Florence and Rome from 2009 to 2012, where he became proficient in the Italian language. While based there, Mark had the opportunity to visit some 24 countries in Europe, with his favourite destinations being in the Baltic, Eastern Europe, Scandinavia, and of course his ancestral home, Malta.

At home, Mark is an avid astronomer and astrophotographer; he enjoys singing with his local community choir, and loves animals (his pets include a moodle, Suzy, and a black-headed caique, Francis); his ‘happy place’ is either in his kitchen cooking traditional Mediterranean recipes handed-down to him, or tending to his tropical garden by the water on the Gold Coast.

Julie

Administrator / NDIS Coordinator Administrator

Julie and Lorraine are the front of house at Brain Care and are the first smiling faces you’ll see as you arrive.  As well as first point of contact for clients & professionals Julie and Lorraine are responsible for administrative support across the clinic.  Together, they handle the flow of clients, new referrals and customer inquiries, all accounts & billing and all clerical duties.  Basically, Julie and Lorraine are our dynamic duo who keep our centre running smoothly.

Lorraine

Administrator / NDIS Coordinator Administrator

Lorraine

Lorraine has been with us at Brain Care for 4 years.   Born in England, Lorraine migrated to Australia 14yrs ago with her partner and two children.  Richard and Lorraine feel in love with each other and Australia whilst backpackers in 1991 and made the decision to bring their young family back to Australia in 1995.

They spent the first 6 months travelling Australia and have finally settled in Kingscliff.     Both Lorraine’s children attended local schools and are now grown and have spread their wings onto their own adventures.      Lorraine has always worked within a business administration role and whilst the children were small obtained a Diploma in Business Management and her Australian Gymnastics Coach Accreditation and Australian Netball Umpiring Accreditation.    She worked for Gold Coast Gymnastics Club for 9yrs running their under-five programs and also was a Representative Umpire for Queensland.

She loves the outdoor beach lifestyle of Kingscliff, loves all sports, keeping fit and the theatre (especially watching her daughter perform!).   Her daughter will shortly be leaving Australia to commence further training at the Royal Conservatoire The Hague in Netherlands, something she is very proud off.   Her elder son will shortly be returning from a long adventure travelling Europe.

Lorraine’s enjoys meeting new people and loves being the front of house at Brain Care meeting all current and new clients.

Pipi the Golden Retriever

Ally and Pipi

Pipi is our resident therapy pup in training. She loves all people, cuddles, pats and walks. Pipi was named after her predecessor Noni (our long standing clients may remember her well). Many years ago, Noni was running along Fingal beach, her favourite place. Upon arrival she pranced to the water and began to dig in the sand (the beach was the only place she was allowed to do this). Much to her surprise, Noni found a pipi shell and without hesitation, gently picked it up and ran with it for hours, smile ear to ear.

The joy our Pipi brings our staff and clients is reflective of the joy the pipi shell gave Noni. Pipi was an obvious choice for her name and we are so happy to have her here with us.