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The Therapy Team

Paula Gillespie Fotheringham psychotherapy adelaide art therapist

Paula Gillespie-Fotheringham

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Paula is the Founder and joint Director of AkindaCo, the company was born out of Paula’s love of working with early and primary years children – supporting them to reach their developmental milestones and helping them process their worries and enhance their emotional wellbeing.  Paula specialises in supporting children who have experienced traumatic events, have extreme difficulties forming relationships, or are low or non-verbal.


In addition to Paula’s child work, Paula works with adults that identify as plural (multiple alters/parts or Dissociative Identity states).  To support this work Paula has completed advanced training with the Pottergate Centre (UK) and First-Person Plural (UK).


Paula has worked in a wide range of child-focused settings – as both a child development specialist, a child psychotherapist and in managerial capacities.  These include at Yourtown in the Early Child Development Program, in various Child and Adolescent Mental health services (CAMHS) in the UK, in inpatient psychiatric services and residential units. Paula holds a range of Masters level qualifications (Arts Psychotherapy, research, CBT) and has additional training in trauma related dissociation, EMDR, EFT, Clayfield, Play Therapy, Learn to Play Program and the Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP).


Together with her clinical work, Paula has worked as an educator in both the UK and Australia for the past 12 years. She has held the post of Head of Faculty at the Ikon Institute, and later Program Coordinator for the Masters of Counselling and Psychotherapy at the University of Adelaide


Outside of work Paula enjoys being a parent, getting outdoors as much as possible – bike riding and walking her dog and drinking great coffee!  She shakes stress off using martial arts, painting and settling into a good novel.

Rana Kökçinar 

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Rana is a PACFA registered Clinical Counsellor, psychotherapist and AAFT general member, and works with young people, adults, couples and families utilising systemic family therapy and expressive therapy. An important aspect of Rana’s work involves working collaboratively with families in a way that validates power injustices and systemic oppression, while striving to create opportunities for families’ strengths and important values to also come forward. She strives continuously toward cultural democracy and humility in her work. She is a passionate member of the LGBTQI+ community, and welcomes clients from all walks of life.

Rana has experience in providing counselling to young adults at the University of Adelaide College, and provided psychotherapy for adults and children in distress at the Humane Clinic, and teaches psychology students at the University of Adelaide as an Academic Staff Member. Rana is passionate around subjects of critical psychology, climate change related distress, decolonising and anti-oppressive methods and qualitative research in psychotherapy. She is a published, peer reviewed author and continues to write on these topics.

Rana has a background in medical science and public health research. She completed her Master of Counselling and Psychotherapy from The University of Adelaide. Here, she received the Adelaide Graduate Award for her co-curricular work and volunteering, was the MCP representative on the School of Public Health Board, and recieved Dux of the School of Public Health in Qualitative Research. She is currently undertaking a Master of Clinical Family Therapy at The Bouverie Centre and LaTrobe University. Outside of her work, she enjoys yoga, bike riding and dancing.

Rana Kokcinar psychotherapist adelaide
Shane Fotheringham psychotherpist counselling social worker adelaide

Shane Fotheringham

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Shane is a joint Director of Akinda Co, and is an experienced registered Social worker with many years of practice relating to children and families and is trained as a Family Therapist and Systemic practitioner. Shane works directly with Individual’s and families and oversees Family Therapy practice at AkindaCo.

Shane’s extensive experience includes working with complex behavioural and emotional issues and dysregulation in children, inclusive of children who have attracted one or multiple diagnoses. This includes working with children identified as neurodivergent. Shane also has experience of working with individuals, couples and families where there are general anxiety disorders and depression, issues of grief and loss, Alcohol or Drug use, complex mental health matters and with families where there are co-morbid issues.

Shane works systemically with individuals, families and the wider community, with a key focus on exploring relational patterns, how they may be sustaining problems and what strengths can be utilised to address these. As well as the above Shane’s interests include working with couples to help solve issues of conflict and improve relationship functioning.

Originally from the UK Shane spent several years working with children and families from various cultural backgrounds where multiple complex issues needed to be worked with. Shanes practice is trauma-informed and routed in theories of human development and growth across the whole of the lifespan which is interwoven into his family therapy practice. Shane was previously worked as a Lecturer and Course Coordinator at the University of Adelaide’s post-graduate programme in Counselling and Psychotherapy, and is a peer-reviewed academic author.

Amanat Dhamoon

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Amanat honours working with children and considers it a privilege to be invited into their world to form a therapeutic relationship that is honest, non-judgemental, nurturing and above all enjoyable for the child. Amanat understands that a child’s first language is play and works within that space to help children express themselves authentically and regulate their emotions safely. Amanat previously worked as a guitar teacher for adults and children and uses her musical abilities to foster an environment of safe expression for children.

Amanat holds an Honours degree in Psychology from St Bede’s College. Shortly after, she began working with children living with HIV and the LGBTQI+ community through the Naz Foundation. Amanat later moved to Adelaide and completed her Masters in Counselling and Psychotherapy from the University of Adelaide. Amanat has experience working therapeutically in diverse populations from all ages, having previously worked in aged care and in education.

Her knowledge and experience within the mental health sector, combined with her passion for working with children through expressive modalities and her gentle and caring demeanour makes her well positioned to walk alongside children as they work towards building a greater sense of safety and security. Outside of her work, Amanat enjoys playing the guitar and riding her bicycle with her partner.

Amanat Dhamoon psychotherapist adelaide
Carly Mercier psychotherapist adelaide

Carly Mercier

Carly has had 10 years of experience in the disability industry working with various age groups and organisations ranging from early years to mature adults. Carly has experience with supporting individuals with significant behaviours of concern. She has worked with people who have multiple disabilities such as autism spectrum disorder, intellectual disability, and global developmental delay and/or have a trauma background.

Carly holds a Bachelor of Disability and Developmental Education at Flinders University. Furthermore, she is a DEAI registered disability specialist, formally known as a developmental educator, with expertise in fostering skills, independence, therapeutic support, and quality of life for individuals with developmental and/or acquired disabilities. Carly has studied her Graduate Certificate in Therapeutic Child Play at Deakin University. Using a strength-based approach, Carly is passionate about providing client’s a voice through the powers of play to support her clients to process their emotions and allow them to articulate and express their frustrations and in doing so, achieve optimal growth and development.

Carly’s expertise over the years has allowed her to have great empathy, patience, and compassion for a child’s situation. Carly tailors her holistic therapeutic support by ensuring a child’s feelings, wants and needs are met while respecting their choices, decisions, and rights as individuals.

In her own time, Carly enjoys going to the gym, cooking, spending time outdoors and socialising with friends and family.

Chantel Nunn

Chantel enjoys listening and getting to know people from all different journeys of life. A significant aspect of her work is providing a space of understanding, empathy, and safety. As a member of the LGBTQI+ community, she is passionate about embracing openness, as well as helping people re-connect with themselves and uncover hidden strengths that lay in the challenges they may be facing. Chantel holds an interest clients living with grief and/or trauma, hearing voices, expressive therapies and play therapy.


Chantel is a PACFA registered psychotherapist completing her Master of Counselling and Psychotherapy from the University of Adelaide. Chantel has a background of working with young people and families in various capacities for the last seven years in primary and secondary schools, focusing on well-being capacity including relationships, emotions, and identity. She uses a relational approach to build a culture of safety, and has previously facilitated gardening, art, and Drumbeat groups. She has previously worked with young people with learning difficulties to engage in learning and build positive relationships.

When Chantel isn’t at AkindaCo, she loves going for nature walks, and checking out local cafes. On the weekends, she adores exploring op-shops to discover what new treasures she can find or working on arts and crafts projects. She also looks forward to weekend camping trips.

Chanetel Nunn psychotherapist counsellor adelaide

Practice Management

Tina Demann pschotherapy family therapy adelaide

Tina Demann

Tina worked in the printing industry as a screen printer for 30 years, where she took joy in training young people her craft and creating graphic designs for clients. In addition, she worked as an assistant teacher at community school interacting with children and families from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds. Whilst completing a Certificate III in Business Administration, she has maintained a strong passion about her role within the organisation, as it has allowed her to make a difference in the community, in particular the family sector. Tina thoroughly enjoys her role with AkindaCo and yourtown where she supports two teams, the early Child Development Program and the Flexible Learning Options (FLO)

In her free time, she enjoys swimming, riding her bike and catching up with friends on weekends.

Tina is the friendly, caring, and compassionate face you will see assisting the AkindaCo team and you can speak to her on Monday and Tuesday.


Alyssa Ladegourdie

Alyssa has a Certificate III in Business Administration which she acquired while working at AkindaCo. She is our fantastic person answering the phones at the front desk, and warmly greeting clients in our city office. Alyssa is looking at building her experience and confidence in the workplace, she is ready for whatever is thrown her way.

Alyssa has previously worked with children and would like to stay in that type of work. She enjoys helping people and being able to make a difference. Alyssa is a fun and bubbly person who enjoys going for hikes, out with friends on adventures and live music. Alyssa takes care of the AkindaCo resident pets (fish): ask her what all their names are!

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