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 Psychology majoring in Narrative Studies, a Bachelor of 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 or has completed training in  Dr. Bessel van der Kolk on How the Body Keeps the Score: Intensive Trauma Treatment Course';   'Male-Friendly Counselling: Enhancing Therapy Work with Men - Develop gender-sensitive strategies for working with men and boys';  'Clinical Applications of Polyvagal Theory in Trauma Treatment with Stephen Porges & Deb Dana: Integrating the Science of Safety, Self-Regulation and Attachment';  'Essentials of Trauma Treatment: Certified Clinical Trauma Professional (CCTP) Training Course';  'Trauma Treatment with EMDR, CBT and Somatic-Based Interventions: A Certified Clinical Trauma Professional Training Course'. 

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.
Availabilities Tuesday 9am-5pm, wednesdy 9am-5pm and Thursday 9am-5pm. All other appointments need a request to be made. 

Ian has time limitations therefore he won’t be offering a full therapeutic involvement in 2023, as in the past.  Ian is no longer providing relationship and couple counselling, working with adolescents and children and their families, and high needs complex counselling. 

IMPORTANT INFORMATION: Ian has made the decision to reduce the counselling side of his practice and will not be seeing any new clients. For the clients he is currently seeing, he will be available until the end of 2023. The start of 2024 and beyond Ian will be focusing just on clinical supervision with workers from the sector. He would like to take this opportunity to thank many for their support with referrals over the past 32 years of practice and being witnessed to many powerful recovery and growth stories.

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.
‘Important information: Jill will not be seeing any new clients, as she will be retiring from her counselling work in September/October 2024.
Jill counts it as a privilege to have been able to work with past and present clients. She deeply appreciates the trust placed by the clients in the counselling relationship, and over the years has witnessed much vulnerability, change and growth.’

Introducing our practicing intern…….

Heath Salmon Dip MH, CCTP, BSocSc(Psy)

Dip Mental Health, a degree in social sciences (Psychology)and currently undertaking his master's in social work to become an accredited mental health social worker. 

Heath is our new intern who is being supervised by Ian Hanslow our principal clinician. In 2019 he completed his placement of 220 hours at Macquarie Cottage Counselling Services Inc in 2019 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 and working with children and adolescents in a therapeutic approach. Heath’s career goal is to become an accredited mental health social worker and to work with developmental and complex trauma with children and adolescents. Heath is starting to learn about the polyvagal nerve and the polyvagal theory developed by Stephen Porges, and the importance this has in our social engagement as well as our physiological state. 

'Dr. Bessel van der Kolk on How the Body Keeps the Score: Intensive Trauma Treatment Course';   'Male-Friendly Counselling: Enhancing Therapy Work with Men - Develop gender-sensitive strategies for working with men and boys';  'Clinical Applications of Polyvagal Theory in Trauma Treatment with Stephen Porges & Deb Dana: Integrating the Science of Safety, Self-Regulation and Attachment';  'Essentials of Trauma Treatment: Certified Clinical Trauma Professional (CCTP) Training Course';  'Trauma Treatment with EMDR, CBT and Somatic-Based Interventions: A Certified Clinical Trauma Professional Training Course'. 


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.

Beata McLean  

Beata is a qualified practising counsellor and holds a Bachelor of Counselling from the Australian College of Applied Psychology (ACAP). 

In her counselling approach, she integrates several counselling therapies and psychotherapy approaches, including Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Existential Therapy, Narrative Therapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Solution Focused therapy, Internal Family Systems therapy, Attachment therapy, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Mindfulness-based therapies, Polyvagal therapy and more to suit each individual and their unique situation. She is also trained in Domestic and Family Violence, Suicide Prevention, and Interventions.  Her aim is to always put the clients first, help them to explore and understand their situation, discover the best solution, and guide them to overcome problems, barriers, and to achieve their goals towards a more fulfilling life. 

She is practising trauma-informed counselling, supporting people wide range of issues and mental health problems including anxiety, depression, loss and grief, domestic and family violence, alcohol and other drugs counselling, stress management, interpersonal relationships, reduce emotional concerns, work life balance, workplace difficulties, career counselling, managing difficult life situations and decisions, challenges and changes, strengthen relationships, and improve social connections. In addition to healing therapies, she also provides psychoeducation to help develop positive self-identity, self-awareness, mindfulness, healthier sense of self, healthy relationships with self and others, improve overall mental health and wellbeing. 

Beata has extensive knowledge and experience in working with people of all ages, from diverse cultural, ethnic, socio-economic, and racial backgrounds and with various experiences, religious beliefs, genders, sexual orientation, lifestyles, and challenges. 

Beata currently manages her private counselling practise YourLife Counselling and Psychotherapy and provides ongoing counselling services. 

She is a member of The Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia and is committed to ongoing professional development to further her knowledge and skills. 

She is perfectly positioned to get you started in a new way of life, help you to identify your strengths, goals, support and encourage you to achieve what you want and to get you to where you want to be in life. 

Beata is available for counseling sessions at two locations, at MCCS in Springwood and her private practise in the Hawkesbury. For more information visit her website

Introduction to our current student/s:




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