About Us


 
 

The Life Skills Programs are run by registered clinical psychologists.
All the group leaders specialise in child and adolescent psychology
and are experienced in facilitating groups.


Francoise Ballantyne

Master of Clinical & Health Psychology
Curtin University 1999

Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
Murdoch University 1996

Francoise Ballantyne is a registered clinical psychologist whose expertise is in working with children and families. Since completing her postgraduate studies in clinical psychology in 1999, she has worked in roles with a strong focus on supporting the social and emotional needs of young people.

Francoise developed the Life Skills for Kids Program in 2002, which specialises in offering group therapy programs for children. The Life Skill for Kids Programs are based on the clinical Masters research she conducted in 1999, in which she authored and piloted the Aussie Optimism – Social Life Skills program, with groups of primary students.


Diane Ferguson

Master of Clinical Psychology
University of Western Australia 2000

Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Psychology
University of Western Australia

Diane Ferguson has worked as a Clinical Psychologist since 2001 in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS). Diane has always been interested in working with young people as she values preventative/early intervention and enjoys the creativity and fun of working with this age range.

Diane also has a strong interest in running groups and has developed a number of groups during her time as a clinical psychologist, including the Smoking Cessation group which continues to be run at the University of Western Australia and was published as a book in 2009 .

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Since 2000, Francoise has worked in private practice, community child and adolescent mental health and child hospital settings, supporting families with children that have issues relating to anxiety, self-confidence, low self-esteem and emotional difficulties.

Francoise works from a ‘strengths based approach’, to promote and maintain the wellbeing of all children, including those experiencing distress. She is committed to early intervention approaches that focus on giving children and families the strategies that are proven from research to build resilience, and healthy social and emotional development.

Francoise understands the joys and challenges parenting brings, being a parent to two children, a daughter aged 13 years and son aged 10 years, who have also participated in the Life Skills for Kids programs and had the opportunity learn the important resilience skills through the programs. Outside of her roles as a psychologist, Francoise enjoys spending time with her family, cooking, reading, scrapbooking and card making.

Francoise is registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency and Psychology Board of Australia.

Read more

In 2004, Diane also developed the High School Early Intervention program (an adolescent version of Life Skills for Kids programs) which has been shown in two separate studies to show significant improvements in adolescents’ coping skills. Diane received a PMH Foundation grant for one of these studies in 2013.

As a testament to Diane’s passion and hard work, she has been nominated for two awards in her time at CAMHS by parents of young people she has worked with and was named the winner of both these awards – the Consumer Excellence Award in 2016 and Mental Health Service Provider Award in 2006.

Diane has two children, a son aged 11 and a daughter aged 8 and she enjoys her family time, group fitness classes, reading and baking.

Diane is registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency and Psychology Board of Australia. .


Francoise Ballantyne

Master of Clinical & Health Psychology
Curtin University 1999

Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
Murdoch University 1996

Francoise Ballantyne is a registered clinical psychologist whose expertise is in working with children and families. Since completing her postgraduate studies in clinical psychology in 1999, she has worked in roles with a strong focus on supporting the social and emotional needs of young people.

See More

Francoise developed the Life Skills for Kids Program in 2002, which specialises in offering group therapy programs for children. The Life Skill for Kids Programs are based on the clinical Masters research she conducted in 1999, in which she authored and piloted the Aussie Optimism – Social Life Skills program, with groups of primary students.

Since 2000, Francoise has worked in private practice, community child and adolescent mental health and child hospital settings, supporting families with children that have issues relating to anxiety, self-confidence, low self-esteem and emotional difficulties.

Francoise works from a ‘strengths based approach’, to promote and maintain the wellbeing of all children, including those experiencing distress. She is committed to early intervention approaches that focus on giving children and families the strategies that are proven from research to build resilience, and healthy social and emotional development.

Francoise understands the joys and challenges parenting brings, being a parent to two children, a daughter aged 13 years and son aged 10 years, who have also participated in the Life Skills for Kids programs and had the opportunity learn the important resilience skills through the programs. Outside of her roles as a psychologist, Francoise enjoys spending time with her family, cooking, reading, scrapbooking and card making.

Francoise is registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency and Psychology Board of Australia.


Diane Ferguson

Master of Clinical Psychology
University of Western Australia 2000

Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Psychology
University of Western Australia

Diane Ferguson has worked as a Clinical Psychologist since 2001 in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS). Diane has always been interested in working with young people as she values preventative/early intervention and enjoys the creativity and fun of working with this age range.

See More

Diane also has a strong interest in running groups and has developed a number of groups during her time as a clinical psychologist, including the Smoking Cessation group which continues to be run at the University of Western Australia and was published as a book in 2009 .

In 2004, Diane also developed the High School Early Intervention program (an adolescent version of Life Skills for Kids programs) which has been shown in two separate studies to show significant improvements in adolescents’ coping skills. Diane received a PMH Foundation grant for one of these studies in 2013.

As a testament to Diane’s passion and hard work, she has been nominated for two awards in her time at CAMHS by parents of young people she has worked with and was named the winner of both these awards – the Consumer Excellence Award in 2016 and Mental Health Service Provider Award in 2006.

Diane has two children, a son aged 11 and a daughter aged 8 and she enjoys her family time, group fitness classes, reading and baking.

Diane is registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency and Psychology Board of Australia. .

We are passionate about our programs and strongly believe that all children will benefit at any stage of their social and emotional development.

Francoise and Diane

We are passionate about our programs and strongly believe that all children will benefit at any stage of their social and emotional development.

Francoise and Diane