Vanessa is a consultant, counsellor, and educator to those who care for animals. She has blended her practical and theoretical knowledge of human psychology and human-animal interactions in a number of previous roles over the last 20 years. These include veterinary nursing, psychology lecturer at Monash University, and researcher at the Animal Welfare Science Centre, The University of Melbourne. She is an associate member of the Australian Psychological Society (APS), member of the American Psychological Association (APA), and has registration with the Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia (PACFA), as well as further qualifications in mindfulness, animal bereavement, and certification as a compassion fatigue educator and therapist with the Green Cross Academy of Traumatology.
In addition to her private practice, Vanessa is a research fellow in the School of Psychology & Public Health at La Trobe University. Her research areas include compassion fatigue, human-animal interactions, and human wellbeing. She regularly publishes her work in peer-reviewed journals and presents at international and national conferences. Vanessa works with a range of animal care industries including animal shelters, veterinary clinics, zoos, and research facilities. She also provides individual counselling and support to companion animal owners and professional animal caregivers from a range of industries.