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Our Team

Step Ahead Psychology was founded in 2021 by Ashley Kelly and Claire McCosker, having both lived and practised in the Illawarra area for a number of years.


If you are new to our service, please contact us to book with our friendly team.



If you have seen us before, you can book online.


Ashley Kelly


Ashley has more than 10 years experience working as a psychologist and is also a Board Approved Supervisor. Her areas of specialty include Depression, Anxiety, Stress Management, Grief and Loss, Drug and Alcohol, Self-Care and Improving Communication. Ashley mainly uses EMDR, CBT and ACT and includes Mindfulness as part of her therapy; although she has experience in a variety of therapies and likes to tailor the sessions to the individual. No two people are the same and she enjoys finding helpful strategies to suit the individual. Ashley learns something new from every person she works with and says, “I am constantly amazed and inspired by the strength and resilience each person shows. I find this role very humbling and it’s always an honour to share in someone’s journey”.


Claire McCosker


Claire has more than 10 years experience working in the sector and has worked across a range of settings, including homelessness and domestic violence, mental health, family and relationships, university and school counselling, and private practice. Her areas of interest include grief and loss, anxiety, depression, stress and time management, trauma, adjusting to change, family and relationships, and improving general wellbeing. Claire applies EMDR, CBT, ACT, Mindfulness, Internal Family Systems, and solution focused techniques in her therapeutic approach. She integrates her knowledge to create a unique and creative treatment plan for each individual. “I love that each person has their own story and is the expert of their own life. It's such a privilege to sit with another person and be trusted with their story in often highly challenging situations. I love connecting with people, and helping them learn and grow and build confidence in themselves, while learning from them in return.”


Rhian Chapman


Rhian provides counselling to individuals aged 8 years and over under Medicare, NDIS and private fees. She also conducts cognitive and educational assessments across the lifespan. Rhian engages in an eclectic and individualised therapeutic approach including various tools from ACT, Compassion-Focused Therapy, Mindfulness and Somatic Therapies, IPT, CBT, and Solution-Focused Therapy. She has also begun her training in Schema Therapy. Rhian has a special interest in neuro-affirming care when working with individuals of the neurodiverse community. She has experience working with neurodiverse populations (autism spectrum disorder, attention hyperactivity disorder, learning disorders, intellectual development disorder), anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress, grief, burnout, gender identity, and interpersonal and/or communication difficulties across the lifespan. Rhian aims to create a safe, collaborative, authentic, and nonjudgmental space for individuals to explore their strengths and challenges, guiding and empowering clients to move toward a rich, meaningful, and purposeful life. In her spare time, she loves to explore, camp, swim, read fantasy and historical books, write poetry, and spend time with friends and family.


Michelle Wills


Michelle enjoys working with adults and teenagers and has worked in Out of Home Care, Disabilities, Remote Indigenous Communities and Early Childhood Interventions. She loves supporting people to set and work towards their goals. Supporting others to find their strengths and use them is the whole reason she does this work. She likes to use strategies from ACT and CBT and has begun training in Schema therapy. Strategies will be tailored depending on the client and what they are wanting to build their skills in. Michelle’s favourite part of the job is seeing clients prioritise themselves, build their strengths and begin to see unique and wonderful person they are. She says it is always a good day at work when somebody starts to find their strength. Apart from her job, Michelle also loves the finer things in life, like the beach and birthday cake!




Tully is our playful and cuddly cavoodle pup, who is currently in training as a therapy dog. He loves cuddles, meeting new people, playing at the beach with his ball and napping on our laps. He is currently working hard to earn his accreditation, so that he can be our specialist in Animal Assisted Therapy.

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