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About the Directors

Dr Leonie White and Dr Kate Owen have worked in collaboration since 2012.  They share a passion for Family Therapy, and supporting the development of those interested in extending their practice in the helping profession. 


Leonie and Kate have worked together in the Master of Mental Health (Family Therapy) degree previously offered at The University of Queensland. They have also worked together in providing professional development workshops through their private practices.

Dr Leonie White

Psychologist and Clinical Family Therapist

  • Bachelor of Behavioural Science, Bachelor of Psychology (Hons), Doctor of Philosophy in Organisational Psychology.

  • Registered Psychologist - Psychology Board of Australia AHPRA

  • Member - Australian Psychological Society

  • Clinical Member and Accredited Supervisor  - Australian Association of Family Therapy

Dr Leonie White is a Psychologist and Clinical Family Therapist with nearly three decades of experience in the counseling and mental health field, and a passion for supporting individuals, families, communities, professionals, and organizations through an integrative systemic family therapy lens.


Prior to founding the Queensland Institute of Family Therapy, Leonie's experience includes work with children, teenagers, adults, couples, families, foster families, residential care providers, teachers and other helping professionals, in Queensland Health (Child and Youth Mental Health Service & Evolve Therapeutic Service), as well as Australian and Canadian Education and Child Protection Systems.  Leonie has a special interest in supporting the Wellbeing, Mental Health and Family Relationships of children, teenagers, adults, couples and families.​

Leonie established a Systemic Family Therapy and Psychology private practice in 2013 providing counselling and family therapy.  In addition to clinical services Leonie supports the wellbeing, growth and practice of other helping professionals through mentorship, individual and group supervision, consultancy, and professional development training, and she is also a recognized supervisor of Psychologists with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency and of Family Therapists with the Australian Association of Family Therapy.

Leonie is committed to making Family Therapy accessible and useful and provides a range of free quality resources to the community through her website blogs, eBooks, worksheets and infographics, as well as through her YouTube channel, and online courses.

In April 2021 Leonie launched her passion project - the Helping Families Thrive Cards.  A deck of 36 cards covering key ingredients of growing healthy, thriving families.  These cards were inspired by the struggles families faced in 2020 and designed to make Leonie's clinical practice, and family therapy research and practice available and accessible to families.

Leonie's commitment to supporting wellbeing on a larger scale has also led her to contribute to the community by providing training events for the general public and in the Education sector.

Leonie enjoys ongoing teaching and supervision in the Masters of Counselling program at the Queensland University of Technology, supervising final year students in a Reflecting Team live supervision clinic, as well as providing guest lectures in Master of Clinical Psychology at the University of Southern Queensland and guest lectures in the Advanced Certificate of Psychotherapy for the RANCP Queensland Branch.  Leonie has valued her past contribution to the Master of Mental Health (Family Therapy) program at the University of Queensland teaching and supervising across the program as well as being the Family Therapy field of study coordinator. 


Leonie is passionate about connecting with other helping professionals and sharing systemic family therapy theory and practice, and has presented at multiple national conferences in relation to Systemic Family Therapy ideas in Mental Health, Child Protection, Collaborative Practice, Clinical Supervision and Integration of Therapeutic approaches.  These include multiple Australian Association of Family Therapy National Conferences, an Australian College for Child and Family Protection Practitioners Conference, a Child and Adolescent Mental Health Conference (Australian and New Zealand Mental Health Association), and she was an invited keynote speaker at the 2023 Association of Counsellors in Catholic Secondary Schools Queensland Conference.  

Leonie's contributions to the profession also include publications in academic journals, and the role of Guest Editor for a special edition of the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Family Therapy on the topic of Integrative Practice in Family Therapy.


As an integrative systemic family therapist Leonie's practice is grounded in systemic therapy with a focus on collaboration, strengths based practice, attachment understandings, creative therapy approaches, cutting-edge neuroscience, understandings of trauma informed care, and somatic approaches.


Find out more about Leonie's comprehensive private practice services for the public, for communities, and for professionals here


Dr Kate Owen

Clinical Psychologist and Clinical Family Therapist

B.Psych (Hons), DPsych (Clinical), Clinical Family Therapist

MAPS, FCCLP, Clinical Member and Accredited Supervisor AAFT

Dr. Kate Owen is a Clinical Psychologist and Clinical Family Therapist with over two decades of experience in the field of mental health. Since 2010, she has operated a thriving private practice, offering comprehensive support to adolescents, adults, couples, and families. Beyond her therapeutic work, Kate provides guidance and mentorship to individuals and both government and non-government organizations and is recognized as a clinical supervisor with the Psychology Board of Australia and the Australian Association of Family Therapy. Kate also conducts workshops catering to Helping Professionals and educators in her commitment to advancing mental health and professional growth.

Passionate about community well-being, Kate actively contributes to training events for the general public. She generously shares valuable resources on her private practice website and YouTube channel, in addition to developing online courses and programs.  Notably, in March 2020, Kate authored "Keep Calm Cards," a collection of 37 strategies designed to assist individuals in managing the effects of stress and anxiety.

Before establishing her private practice and founding The QLD Institute of Family Therapy, Kate gained diverse experience in the mental health field. She worked in a Child and Youth Mental Health Service, specializing in inpatient care, supporting children within the child protection system, and crisis and intake services.


Furthermore, Kate has valued teaching at institutions such as Griffith University, Bond University, and The University of Queensland's Masters of Mental Health (Family Therapy) program.

Kate's contributions extend to the academic sphere, where she has presented at two Australian Association of Family Therapy National Conferences, presented at The Australian Psychological Society Conference, was invited as a keynote speaker at the Child Inclusive Practice Forum, and has published articles in reputable journals.

With a passion for integrative systemic psychotherapy, Kate integrates cutting-edge neuroscience and fourth-wave therapeutic modalities into her family therapy frameworks.


To explore her comprehensive range of private practice services, please visit

the stepfamily journey _ dr kate owen_mn

Teaching Team

Laura Hawkins

Laura is a mental health occupational therapist and clinical family therapist. Laura has been working in this field for 10 years, supporting families, adults and young people.


Laura has taught at the University of Queensland in the Master of Mental Health (Family Therapy) course and currently holds the Systemic Facilitation Lead position at the Queensland Institute of Family Therapy (QIFT). 


Laura is an accredited supervisor with the Australian Association of Family Therapy (AAFT).

As a family therapist, Laura views challenges in the context of relationships, the environment and the wider system around the person. Therapy sessions often involve activities meaningful to the individual or family, with a focus on helping people discover their strengths and resiliencies to navigate life's changes and challenges.

Laura has a passion for providing professional supervision for professionals that work with children and families. Laura brings a unique perspective given her family therapy background, helping professionals and organisations to navigate the complexities of the family system when feeling stuck.

Laura's private practice services can be viewed at


Dr Mark Scholes

Clinical Psychologist & Clinical Family Therapist

B.Psych (1st Class Hons), DPsych (Clinical)

MAPS, Clinical Member AAFT

Hi, I'm Mark. I have been practicing as a Psychologist since 2002. I received my Doctorate in Clinical Psychology at Griffith University in 2005, researching Parent-Child Interaction Therapy and parents with depression. I have extensive experience working in government and non-government agencies, private practice, academic settings and schools. I worked as a Senior Psychologist for Evolve Therapeutic Services (Queensland Health) for several years, specialising in the field of childhood trauma, children in care, and collaborative practice across services. My broad range of experience has helped me understand and appreciate the challenges of "family and organisational systems", as well as rise above these challenges and create change. 

Along with clinical work, I am also very passionate and have a long history of providing Clinical Supervision (individual and group) to Psychologists and other health professionals.


In May 2019, I co-founded a new clinic “The Family Wellbeing Hub” in Ashmore with a group of fellow family-based practitioners. Our vision is to offer a range of independent wellbeing services that are centered on the importance and needs of the family and its individuals. Currently, The Family Wellbeing Hub contains psychological services for children, adolescents, families and adults with a range of psychological and social concerns. The Hub is a place where clients of all ages can seek support to improve their wellbeing.

Marks private practice services can be viewed at

Mark Scholes Photo.jpg
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