Meet our clinical team at the Macquarie cottage counselling service 

Ian Hanslow (senior clinician and clinical registrant PACFA: Registered clinical counsellor RCC) 

Ian has a Masters in Cultural Psychologies majoring in Narrative Studies, a Bachelor Social Sciences and Diploma in Social Sciences.  He is a clinical registrant and accredited supervisor with the Psychotherapists and Counsellors Federation of Australia (PACFA) registration number 22722 and has been so for over 20 years.

Ian has over 28 years of therapeutic experience in the areas of Child Protection, Domestic and Family Violence, Family Therapy, Adolescent and Family Therapy, Alcohol and other Drug Family Counselling, working with adults who have experienced childhood sexual abuse and trauma, Men’s health issues including masculine identity and sexuality issues and male sexual assault, relationship and couple therapy, living with a terminal illness and loss and grief. 

Ian’s preferred therapeutic approach is Relational collaborative approaches with their origins in Narrative Therapy. His approach is also influenced by Strength Based Solution Focused approaches, Acceptance and Commitment therapy and client-centred approaches.  He believes the client and person seeking therapy is the holder of the knowledge of their experience and the finder of the words to describe and make meaning of their experience.

Overarching Ian’s approach is his commitment to being Trauma-informed in his desire to assisting and supporting those who have experienced all forms of trauma reclaim a safe purposeful life and safe comforting, supportive relationships. 

Over the past 29 years, Ian has developed a speciality in working with men who have experienced childhood and adolescent trauma, which in turn is impacting their lives today. As well as this Ian has developed skills in working in the following areas;

Identity issues both Sexual and Gendered.

Grief and Loss, and complicated Grief and Loss.

Relationship Difficulties and breakdown.

The impacts of childhood sexual assault, neglect, psychological and physical abuse. 

 Domestic and Family Violence Impacts on parents and children.

Conflicts between Parents and Children/ Adolescents. 

Adolescent Development and Forming Identity.

Significant life changes, such as loss of work, terminal illness, pain management and chronic health. 

Impacts of trauma, such as the issues mentioned above plus people affected by bullying, impacted by a natural disaster, complex repeated trauma’s, managing levels of disassociation.

Ian has also presented at international conferences and develops, facilitates his own training workshops for interested counsellors and therapists.

Ian is also commencing his training as a Craniosacral Therapist through the Craniosacral Institute Australia in line with the Polyvagal Theory in working with Trauma, Depression, Anxiety and Autism and the adjustment of the Vagus Autonomic Nervous System.

Ian has a wealth of experience and is open to be interviewed by those seeking a suitable Counsellor or Therapist to see if he can assist and is the right fit for you.

 Ian believes people have the desire to change and improve their life situations and with the supportive environment and relationships that are meaningful and supportive, this is possible.

Jill Gannon (Clinical registrant PACFA)
is an experienced counsellor who has lived and worked in the Blue Mountains for many years. Prior to joining the team at Macquarie Cottage in 2005, Jill worked as a teacher at various preschools up and down the mountains and spent many of these years working with children with additional needs and their families.  The cornerstones of working with children and their families - building connection and emotional safety, and a commitment to respectful listening and talking - are integral to Jill’s counselling practice. 

Jill works in a collaborative, strengths-based way with people facing changes and adversity across the lifespan. She offers trauma-informed care and a safe space to build trust. Jill recognises that it is a big step to connect with a counsellor and ask for help.  There are many reasons people choose to see a counsellor. Jill is skilled at providing counselling support on a range of issues, including:

* Grief and loss

* emotional health issues - low mood, depressions, worries, anxiety

* effects of trauma

* victims of crime

* effects of Domestic Violence

* recovery from the effects of bushfire

* parenting issues

* dilemmas and concerns relating to  world view and spirituality, faith and the making of meaning

* stress management

* self-destructive behaviours

* challenges of ageing

* Support for Carers 

* living with a disability

* eco-anxiety

Jill’s therapeutic work is based on Systemic and Emotionally Focused modalities but draws on a range of other approaches to ensure that interventions are tailored to the needs of the individual.  Expressive approaches such as Sandplay Work, which involves working with figurines, can be a useful adjunct to ‘talk therapy’ for some people. They can find ways to represent aspects of self, relationships, desires and fears in symbolic form.  All therapeutic work is client-led and respectful of where the person is at and what they want to gain from counselling.

Jill has been a Clinical Member of PACFA since 2017 and before that a Clinical Member of CAPA since 2009. Jill  has a current Working
 With Children number and Police Check clearance.

Introducing our intern…….

Heath Salmon

Dip Mental Health, Studying a degree in social sciences (Psychology)

Heath is our new intern who is being supervised by Ian Hanslow our principal clinician. He recently completed his placement of 220 hours at Macquarie Cottage Counselling Services Inc last year whilst completing his Diploma in Mental health. 

Heath’s role at the cottage is to develop, implement and review recovery, safety and wellness plans. Heath is also the co-facilitator of the Young men’s group and has experience working with adolescents and children from Barnardos Australia and out of school care. His interests are, developing ways to have Narrative informed conversations in conjunction with meeting the young person’s goals, working with children and adolescents in a therapeutic approach. Heath’s career goal is to become a clinical psychologist, which then he wants to work with developmental and complex trauma with children and adolescents. Heath is starting to learn about the poly vagus nerve and the polyvagal theory developed by Stephen Porgies, and the importance this has in our social engagement as well as our physiological state. To have the vagus nerve be a part of the therapeutic process, by using a massage technique known as craniosacral therapy, which Heath will be attending a course later this year in 2020.




Geoff Blackburn 

Geoff is a registered counsellor, therapist, and coach.

He holds a Bachelor of Arts from Macquarie University, a Master of Counselling from the Australian Institute of Professional Counsellors and a Graduate Certificate in Career Development Practice from the Australian National Institute for Business and Technology. He holds Level 2 accredited membership with the Australian Counselling Association.

Geoff conducts his private practice at Macquarie Cottage and also works part-time with an NGO providing individual, couples and family counselling services in western Sydney and the Blue Mountains.

Geoff’s approach is client-centred and collaborative based on unconditional regard for the dignity and inherent value of each client. He utilises practices drawn from Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Narrative Therapy, Solution Focused Therapy and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. He sees psychoeducation and therapy as a way for clients to view their lived experience through a different lens, gaining new perspectives and re-calibrating their view of self and others through meaning-making and re-storying.

His practice is trauma-informed having worked with refugees, survivors of partner and family violence, child abuse and post-separation/divorce clients seeking to regain access to their children.

Geoff has been a Blue Mountains resident for 45+ years.

Introducing our two students completing their placement at the service. While these students are here there will be subsidized fee's available when seeing them. The fee's vary in price based on your individual situation. Therefore, discussion with student counsellors will be needed to come to a subsidized fee for therapy.

 Beata McLean 

Beata is currently in her final stages of her Bachelor of Counselling studies and is a qualified Life Coach with over 15 years experience in working with people of all ages and cultural backgrounds. 

Her particular areas of expertise include people management, change management, training and development, working with and supporting children, young adults and adults. She is experienced in supporting and guiding people, coaching and mentoring, identifying personal and career goals, monitoring, action planning, personal and professional development, counselling and guiding people through challenging times. She has supported and guided people through simple and extensive changes at the workplace and personal life, helped people to move forward and to create the life they desire creating a balanced life that suits individual needs. 

Beata moved into a community and people-focused field, where she can help people on a deeper level to create a better life, make necessary changes, achieve desired results, live to the fullest and achieve their full potential. 

Over the years Beata has completed a Diploma of Management and Leadership, a Cert IV in Training and Assessment, Cert IV in Customer Service, Diploma of Life Coaching, a Diploma of Community Services Work, Cert IV in Education Support and is always looking for further development opportunities. She is also a certified Change Management Practitioner and is a qualified specialist in sleep training and coaching children as well as trained in Domestic and Family Violence. 

Her interests are in working with children, young adults, families, domestic and family violence, relationships, grief and loss, challenging life situations, alcohol and other drugs counselling. She truly believes that everyone can live a happy and fulfilled life given the opportunity, support, guidance and encouragement. 


Stephanie Ip: 


Master of Counselling and Psychotherapy (studying) 


Stephanie is our new student counsellor who is finalising her last year of qualification. She has experiences in working with people from diverse backgrounds. Her counselling style focuses on integrating cognitive behavioural therapy, solution-based focused therapy, mindfulness-based therapies and narrative therapy, which aims to put the clients first and help them discover the best solution for themselves. 


Stephanie’s interests are to provide support services covering a wide range of issues, such as loss and grief, stress management, depression and anxiety, interpersonal relationships and/or managing life changes. She will also be a co-facilitator of the Young Women’s Group to help adolescent girls develop positive self-identity and healthy relationships, meanwhile working with those young persons to meet their life goals. 


Stephanie’s career goal is to develop a trauma-informed practice and provide supportive and caring services in people’s lives, especially for children and adolescents who are experiencing hard times during their development. 

Photo's of the counsellors can be seen at the bottom of this page with counsellors photo's going in the same order as their biographies. Note. Not all counsellors have their photo's available.