Our Team

Dr Deborah Finney

Senior Clinical Psychologist

Deborah is a Senior Clinical Psychologist with more than twenty years experience working with children, adolescents and families.  She completed her Honours, Master of Psychology (Clinical) and PhD in the late 90s at UNSW.  Following this, Deborah spent several years working at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, treating children and adolescents with both mental and physical illness.  In her later years at the Children’s Hospital, Deborah held a conjoint position at the University of Sydney training postgraduate students in Child Psychology and supervising their clinical training at the Children’s Hospital.  Deborah also spent a year in New Zealand setting up a Paediatric Consultation Liaison Service at a children’s hospital in South Auckland.  


During the last thirteen years, she has worked privately on Sydney’s Lower North Shore. Deborah particularly enjoys working with families, treating children’s psychological problems systemically.  She finds it especially effective upskilling parents to help their children, so that the benefits of psychological therapy can be maintained when the therapy ends. Deborah also believes that systemic therapy enhances communication in families. In terms of psychological challenges, Deborah works with the following presentations, anxiety disorders (including generalised anxiety, social anxiety, specific phobias, separation anxiety, and she has a particular specialisation in Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), mood disorders, pain and illness (particularly psychosomatic presentations), challenging behaviour in children, ADHD, social skills and bullying and general assistance with parenting tricky children.

Presentations and Publications

Finney, D. A., Falkov, A. (2003, May). Mummy has the sad sickness: Children’s understanding of parental mental illness. 38th Congress of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists, Hobart, Australia. 

Finney, D. A., & Taplin, J. E. (2001, September). Children’s understanding of blood. 36th Australian Psychological Society Annual Conference, Adelaide, Australia. 

Finney, D. A., & Taplin, J. E. (2001, July). Children’s understanding of the causes of illness. Twelfth Australasian Human Development Conference, Brisbane, Australia. 

Finney, D. A. (1999, October). Illness: Do children know what adults think they know?  34th Australian Psychological Society Annual Conference, Hobart, Australia. 

 Finney, D. A., & Taplin, J. E. (1999, July). ‘I have Mummy’s asthma’: Children’s Understanding of the heritability of some illnesses. Eleventh Australasian Human Development Conference, Sydney, Australia. 

 Taplin, J. E., Finney, D. A., & Gelman, S. A. (1998, July). Theory-based constructs underlying 

children’s causal analysis of illness. XVth Biennial Meeting of the International Society for the Study of Behavioural Development, Berne, Switzerland. 

 Finney, D. A., & Taplin, J. E. (1998, July). Children’s understanding of illness in living kinds. XVth Biennial Meeting of the International Society for the Study of Behavioural Development, Berne, Switzerland. 

 Finney, D. A., & Taplin, J. E. (1997, July). The development of children’s understanding of germs as biological causes of illness. Tenth Australasian Human Development Conference, Adelaide, Australia. 

Blagus, L., Scroope, J., Finney, D. A., & Fulcher, G. (2001, October). Immunotherapy support and the effects of gender on adherence. Conference of the International Federation of Multiple Sclerosis, Melbourne, Australia.  

Dohrn, C., O’Keefe, S., Atkin, E., Finney, D. A., & Fulcher, G. (2001, October). MS, sex and intimacy downunder: A client services research project. Conference of the International Federation of Multiple Sclerosis, Melbourne, Australia. 


Finney, D. A. (2006). Verbal therapy with a girl who could not hear. Clinical Psychologist,       10, 120-127. 

Finney, D. A., & Falkov, A. F. (2009). Children’s understanding of severe mental illness.  The Clinician, Vol.4, 21-30. 


Work Days


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Senior Clinical Psychologist


B.Sc. (Psych)(Hons), M.Psych(Clin), PhD. 

Interest Areas:

Child and adolescent services: Mood disorders, pain and illness, social skills and bullying, behavioural difficulties and anxiety

Adults: Parenting


Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Family Systems Therapy and Solution Focussed Therapy

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