Meet our therapists

Brisbane team

An image of Penny Cosh, early childhood specialist social worker with Therapy Pro

Penny Cosh, early childhood specialist social worker

“Parents need to have the right information at the right time so that they can make the best decisions for their family.”

“Good therapy intervention and support are critical, particularly in the early days but also during times of transition and significant milestones such as starting kindy or school, or parents returning to work.”

Penny Cosh has helped bring clarity, sense and confidence to hundreds of south-east Queensland families during her social work career of more than 12 years.

Just as she was the ‘go to’ person called on to support adults and children in health crises at major metropolitan hospitals—and for more than a decade with Disability Services—she’s now Therapy Pro’s Brisbane early childhood specialist social worker.

Penny brings a delicate blend of empathy and comfort with no-nonsense practicalities when parents or carers of children with a disability need to make informed decisions.

She creates a safe space in a world that may have just been turned upside down and inside out, steering clients through a bewildering maze of services, networks and supports.

Penny’s role complements and supports Therapy Pro’s other therapists—psychologists, speech and language pathologists, physiotherapists and occupational therapists— who may be working with your family.

Penny has a Bachelor of Arts (Psychology) and a Bachelor of Social Work.

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Jodie Dobson, paediatric occupational therapist with Therapy Pro

Jodie Dobson, paediatric occupational therapist

Jodie understands that the world as she sees it is not the same for her young clients—it can be too loud, too cold, too prickly, too…much.

Jodie helps families to understand their children and helps her young clients cope better with their challenges so that they can take part in activities to the best of their abilities.

Jodie Dobson previously worked in her hometown of Toowoomba as Therapy Pro’s first specialist paediatric occupational therapist.

Occupational therapists are daily life specialists, supporting clients to ‘do’ more independently.

Jodie works specifically with children, helping them to develop their daily living tasks including dressing, toileting, bathing, exploring, eating, sitting, sleeping, going to school, making friends and playing.

“I love occupational therapy because it is about the everyday—helping individuals achieve more of the things they must do, need to do and want to do,” Jodie says.

“I help children build foundation skills for their daily activities.

“Play is up there as a need and a want because it’s through play that children learn so much about the world, other people and themselves.”

While Jodie is experienced in assessing and tailoring interventions for children who present with developmental delays and children who have physical or intellectual disabilities, her expertise is working children who have autism spectrum disorder and sensory processing difficulties and their families.

Jodie gained her post-graduate certification in sensory integration from Ulster University while working in the United Kingdom, supporting children within the home and classroom.

She’s a University of Queensland graduate and has recently relocated to Brisbane.

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An image of Jen Ryan, speech and language pathologist with Therapy Pro

Jen Ryan, speech and language pathologist

“I value family time personally and that influences how I work with families. I better appreciate parents’ concerns and time pressures.”

Therapy sessions with clients are fun, involving everyday activities, often with siblings, parents, carers or friends too so that ‘homework’ becomes part of everyday living rather than a chore.

Therapy Pro Brisbane team member Jen Ryan helps her clients find’ their voice.

speech and language pathologist, Jen works with children and adults who have communication challenges or swallowing difficulties.

Jen can assess and address challenges impacting language development, mealtimes, swallowing and literacy.

Jen has worked in the disability sector as a ‘speechie’ since 2004. She brings a wealth of experience and insights from supporting clients with speech and swallowing challenges brought about by a range of disabilities including intellectual and physical disabilities, autism and acquired brain injury.

Engaging and approachable, trusted and practical, Jen has a personality that sparkles–sometimes her face does too courtesy of glitter from her home life.

She can also prescribe technological aids to provide alternative non-verbal communication.

Jen’s expertise is highly regarded in her profession: she’s been a university clinical educator helping train undergraduate students and she’s a Therapy Pro’s speech and language therapist, ensuring our best practice delivery of speech and language therapy through clinical supervision.

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An image of Jennifer Nelson, occupational therapist with Therapy Pro

Jennifer Nelson, occupational therapist

She has particular experience with children and young people diagnosed on the autism spectrum or with intellectual impairment, working with them both at home and in school settings.

For more than a decade, Therapy Pro Brisbane team member Jennifer (Jen) Nelson has drawn inspiration from the people she’s worked alongside who have disabilities.

Jen is an occupational therapist, a practical professional whose focus is on helping her young clients achieve their goals in daily tasks.

For an OT, that may be anything from bathing, dressing and eating to being more attentive in a classroom.

She is also a qualified sensory integration practitioner.

Jen has worked with children in Queensland and the United Kingdom, in hospital, community, school and government agency settings.

She has particular experience with children and young people diagnosed on the autism spectrum or with intellectual impairment, working with them both at home and in school settings.

“I was drawn to a career helping people and swore I would continue for as long as I cared. I get a thrill, sense of joy, in seeing the difference an intervention—whether it’s a different strategy or technique or aid—makes to a person’s life,” Jen says.

“Every single client has different dreams and goals. What’s important to you is what becomes my focus.

“I particularly love children’s spunk—their stories, their attitude. Whether it’s managing a star jump or toileting, the look of achievement, the satisfaction on the client’s face, is gold!”

Jen is a James Cook University graduate with post-graduate certification from Ulster University.

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An image of Dresden Serna, physiotherapist with Therapy Pro

Dresden Serna, physiotherapist

Dresden has extensive experience working with children and adults with intellectual and physical disabilities, helping clients improve their postural control and movement. These, she says, are the building blocks of movement for function—including oral control, use of hands and for mobility.

She’s known for creative solutions, backed by evidence, that support children to work towards their goals and enable functional treatment programs to be adapted into day to day situations.

Dresden can prescribe appropriate aids and equipment to maximise mobility, independence and quality of life too.

Dresden has spent much of the past 15 years focusing on early intervention, working with babies, toddlers and children aged under seven and their family care-givers.

“I am a piece in the puzzle but the family, and all who support and care for a child, complete the picture,” she says.

Dresden has helped many clients transition to significant milestones in their lives.

Originally from the Philippines, where she gained a Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy, Dresden came to Australia in 1999 and undertook further professional training at the University of Queensland.

Dresden has delivered community-based physiotherapy for clients with disabilities since 2002.

As for her unusual first name, it is the name of a city in Germany– and somewhere that’s on her bucket list to visit.

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An image of Nancye Richardson is an occupational therapist with Therapy Pro's Brisbane and Gold Coast teams.

Nancye Richardson, occupational therapist

“Therapy needs to be fun as children learn through play. It is not an isolated activity with just me and the child. Family involvement is really important”.

Nancye Richardson has worked in the disability sector for more than a decade, using her skills as an occupational therapist to achieve positive outcomes for both child and adult clients.

While activities like dressing, bathing, toileting, eating, sleeping and sitting are everyday tasks for many people, her clients can find them challenging.

Nancye enjoys working in partnership with clients and their support network to identify and understand client priorities, goals and ways that they can use their skills and interests to increase their participation in everyday activities.

Nancye is passionate about providing tailored early intervention support to children who have disabilities (and often complex medical needs) and their families.

When working with children, Nancye believes in play-based learning and seeks family involvement so that play therapy activities can be incorporated in their everyday routines.

“Therapy needs to be fun as children learn through play. It is not an isolated activity with just me and the child. Family involvement is really important,” she says.

Nancye is a James Cook University graduate.

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An image of Isabella Wise is a speech and language pathologist with Therapy Pro in Brisbane.

Isabella Wise, speech and language pathologist

While supporting children and adolescents in their homes as well as at schools and child care centres, Izzy enjoys spreading understanding of alternative communication methods and ways to support communication with parents and other family members, child care workers and teachers.

As a speech and language pathologist, Therapy Pro’s Isabella Wise understands the importance of mealtimes and communication for her clients.

Izzy’s role involves assessing and addressing challenges that affect literacy, language development, the formation of sounds, words and sentences and swallowing.

She can also prescribe aids to provide alternative non-verbal communication—and solutions are not always high-tech: “I can work magic with Velcro and laminate!” she says of her practical approach.

Izzy has worked in speech therapy roles in hospital and community settings; most recently, exclusively in the disability sector, supporting children and adults with speech, swallowing and communication challenges.

Izzy is a University of Queensland graduate.

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An image of Marta Baraka, speech and language pathologist with Therapy Pro

Marta Barake, speech and language pathologist

Marta, a speech and language pathologist, is trained in sequential oral sensory feeding (SOS), using techniques that are particularly helpful for some people diagnosed on the autism spectrum who cannot tolerate certain textured or coloured food.

Over the past decade or so, Marta Barake has often found herself in the homes of clients at mealtimes but it’s not been an inconvenience! She’s responded to an SOS from parents dealing with ‘fussy eaters’.

It’s just one of the areas of expertise Marta has developed in a career that has seen her work with children and adults in community and government agencies, private practice and schools, addressing communication, speech, language and swallowing needs.

Her work includes prescribing technological aids to provide alternative non-verbal communication.

Originally from El Salvador, Marta speaks Spanish and English fluently and can provide therapy sessions in either—or both—language.

A University of Queensland graduate, Marta shares her professional gifts during time out, volunteering in overseas orphanages to help children with speech and feeding difficulties.

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An image of Cathy Davidson, psychologist with Therapy Pro with Therapy Pro

Cathy Davidson, psychologist

Cathy will find ways to connect and support children that may not be textbook. Yes, she has literally bounced on a trampoline with a client throughout a session because that’s what the client wanted to do. Yes, she’s fired Nerf gun darts with another client. And she’s sat and listened without judgement.

Therapy Pro psychologist Cathy Davidson believes that learning to bounce through life’s up and down challenges and changes makes a big difference to life satisfaction and quality.

It’s a lesson originally learned quite literally as a competitive trampoline gymnast and adapted since becoming a professional psychologist almost a decade ago.

As a registered psychologist, Cathy works with children, teenagers and adults, helping them address mental health and emotional and behavioural challenges.

She can help Therapy Pro clients with psychological assessments and interventions, behavioural support and advice including writing and developing Positive Behaviour Support Plans, individual and family counselling and psychometric assessments.

Cathy often works with clients who have anxiety or depression or who seek to improve their self-regulation, social skills, self-esteem or behavioural challenges.

She’s successfully worked with clients unable to communicate verbally.

“I’m passionate about helping people reach their full potential and meet their goals,” she says.

“It won’t just ‘happen’. It takes time to connect, to gain trust, and to understand, and then to put into effect solutions that bring about real change.”

Cathy gained her postgraduate professional psychology qualifications with the University of Southern Queensland.

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