Our Clinic

The Caterpillar Clinic was created by Rachel Pearce, a registered psychologist and Board Certified Behaviour Analyst®.  Rachel completed her undergraduate studies through Victoria University (NZ), and subsequently gained entrance to the Applied Behaviour Analysis postgraduate program at The University of Auckland (NZ).  During this time, Rachel gained a Postgraduate Diploma of Science (Psychology), Masters of Science (Psychology – First Class Honours) and Postgraduate Diploma of Applied Psychology.  Rachel has worked with children and adults with a wide-range of abilities, providing support and intervention through home based, centre based, educative, residential care, and cluster home settings.  Rachel has a depth of experience in providing thorough holistic assessments, well-informed functional assessments, and complete behaviour support plans.  She designs and implements intensive behavioural intervention programs, provides psychological consultation and parent support, school consultation, and training.  Rachel has presented at a number of workshops and forums, providing information on a range of disabilities as well as the ABA model and methods of assessment and intervention. Rachel is passionate about early intervention, and using her knowledge and experience to maximise your child’s potential. NB: Rachel will have limited capacity for client appointments from 2021 onwards, as she is undertaking studies towards a PhD.  This will be of great benefit to the Clinic and clients, as the area of focus is ASD and anxiety, and developing rigorous assessment and intervention programs.
Kayla Rack Kayla is our friendly and approachable Registered Psychologist and specialist for our Early Intervention (ABA) Programs. She has completed her Masters in Science (Psychology) under the Applied Behaviour Analysis program at Waikato University (NZ) and has experience working with children, teenagers and adults.  Kayla has great experience in designing and providing early intervention programs for young children with ASD, teaching valuable communication, play, and self-care skills.  She oversees the Clinic's ABA program and behaviour therapists who implement them.  Kayla can complete ASD assessments using 'gold-star' tools including the ADI-R and ADOS-2.
Natasha O'Grady Natasha is a Registered Psychologist.  She worked with Caterpillar Clinic after completing her Bachelor of Psychology, initially as a behavioural therapist and building on previous experience providing early intervention ABA therapy to young children with ASD.  Natasha's developed her skills and experience while completing her studies towards general psychology registration.  She can administer cognitive and adaptive functioning assessments to explore intelligence and everyday living skills, can administer the ADOS-2 for ASD assessments, and delivers effective interventions using approaches such as Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT).  Natasha loves working with children and uses a fun, approachable style to help children manage emotions and develop skills to help them in day-to-day life.  
Rachel Charles Rachel is our latest Registered Psychologist!  She recently (October 2020) joined Caterpillar Clinic after completing her General Registration while being supervised through her internship by the Clinic Director.  Rachel has great experience in the assessment and support planning for children with disabilities, and has previously worked in roles supporting adults with mental health issues.  She can administer cognitive and adaptive functioning assessments to explore intelligence and everyday living skills.  Rachel enjoys working with children/adolescents and their families across a range of presenting issues, including anxiety, depression, challenging behaviour and skill development.  
Lisa Zappala Lisa is our Provisional Psychologist.  She is currently finalising the requirements towards general psychology registration.  She can administer cognitive and adaptive functioning assessments to explore intelligence and everyday living skills and delivers effective interventions using approaches such as Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT).  Lisa has experience working with children with disabilities who have experienced trauma, display challenging behaviours, and reside in out-of-home care.  Lisa's services are provided at a reduced rate to reflect her provisional status (not her experience!), as no Medicare rebates are available.    
Hannah Pearce Hannah is our admin/receptionist extraordinaire!  She comes to us with a background in managing childcare centres, and has amazing skills in managing a super busy reception and supporting all the Clinic's clinicians.  Hannah loves working with children and ensuring as many families as possible can access services with us.  She is responsible for scheduling clients, managing cancellations and reschedules, allocating referrals as well as the general running of the Clinic.  Always done with a smile on her face and spring in her step!  
Di Jonsen Di provides administration and reception support to the clinicians on Thursdays and Fridays.  Di is currently completing her studies towards a Social Work degree at JCU and is passionate about the Cairns community and people within it.  Di is super friendly, super efficient, calm on our busiest days, and a welcome asset to the Clinic!