About

We first opened the doors of Back to Balance on Glebe Rd in Adamstown in 2008.

We are a complementary team of Osteopaths and Psychologists working with a common goal.

For us the name says it all, our focus is on restoring our patients and clients to a state of balance in their bodies and in their minds.

Each of us has an in-built mechanism that works to restore us to health and well-being, but this can get stalled or even completely derailed by trauma, tension, blockages and life-style stresses of one kind or another.

We get stuck, maybe we’re in pain, we start to stiffen up and there is no flexibility or flow in our lives, whether physically or emotionally.

Finding balance then is about dealing with these sticking points, in whatever form they take, that are preventing us from regaining our natural equilibrium.

At Back to Balance we are not trying to deliver a standardised ‘fix’, our work is to help you shift your particular road blocks and to support you in finding and maintaining your own natural balance.

This is the same balance that we see at all levels in the natural world and that is within reach for all of us.

Our Team

Philip Maxwell About Back To Balance - Osteopaths & Psychologists Adamstown

Philip Maxwell

I trained in Osteopathy in Sydney in the 80s and then worked there for a couple of years before moving to Newcastle.

My wife and I consider ourselves very lucky to have found such a wonderful place to settle and bring up our three kids. Newcastle ticks all the lifestyle boxes for me: fantastic beaches, pockets of green with walks and bike tracks, entertainment and great places to eat, and then complete wilderness less than two hours away.

From the start with Osteopathy I knew I had found my perfect job: I’m one of the lucky ones who love what they do, and I would still be there on Monday morning even after winning the Lottery.

I’m passionate about helping people to come into a better relationship with their bodies. Cooperating partners on the journey of life rather than master and slave, or even sheriff and outlaw.

When the body’s own healing process is overwhelmed or blocked in some way then Osteopathy is a great way to shift the blocks and reboot the system.

The joy then is not just in restoring balance to the system but in helping the person to learn how to maintain that better level of functioning.

It’s a wonderful added bonus to see how restoring balance at the physical level so often goes a long way toward restoring balance in all aspects of our lives.

Gisela Tonat About Back To Balance - Osteopaths & Psychologists Adamstown

Gisela Tonat

My education and early training in Germany provided a strong health-based framework. On this I continue to build using the knowledge and skills I draw from my professional work experiences as a psychologist working across different sectors, my practical life experiences managing relationships, child-rearing, and work-life balance and from the most up-to-date research in the field at conferences, seminars and workshops. All are important components to better understand how health, wellbeing, attitude and lifestyle impact our ability to cope with life’s challenges.

Prior to coming to Australia in the early 1990s, I worked across a myriad of non-professional jobs as a student before working as a clinical psychologist in Switzerland in a holistic Drug detox hospital. In Australia, I worked in the Drug and Alcohol sector, in Women’s Health, and now as a psychologist in private practice. During this time I also fell in love with Australia, its climate and beaches, and its very down-to-earth lifestyle.

In my practice I have found EMDR to be one of the strongest therapies with the best outcomes and I have trained to become a certified EMDR Therapy practitioner and EMDR Therapy consultant. In simple terms, this therapy gradually reduces the power of emotionally charged memories that might lead to anxiety, panic, addictions, eating disorders, and feelings of being overwhelmed, to name a few. EMDR is an evidenced based therapy and has resulted in very successful outcomes for many people.

I also employ other techniques as required, including Hakomi and Narrative therapy, tailoring the therapy to suit the particular needs of my clients. All techniques that I use have a strong evidence base, acknowledge the whole person and the context in which they function, and ensure that compassion and empathy remain at the core of a person’s journey to good health.

I am, and will continue to be, open to new ideas. I spend nearly as much time learning as I spend delivering therapy because I believe that a willingness to share expertise and refine techniques, and being open to the most up-to-date techniques of proven effectiveness are fundamental components to good practice.

Ariana Anderson About Back To Balance - Osteopaths & Psychologists Adamstown

Ariana Anderson

I have been an osteopath at Back to Balance since 2012. After studying at RMIT in Melbourne I was looking for a place with more of a feeling of community, having originally come from a small country town. After visiting Newcastle, the clinic and the beach, I knew it was the perfect fit.

As an osteo I enjoy being able to assist with so many differing aches and pains using gentle techniques that can be tailored to each patient. Using a holistic approach I enjoy the challenge of not just treating the symptoms, but also trying to uncover the underlying causes of pain, in order to achieve the best long term results.

I really appreciate the diversity that I see in the patients that come into the clinic and recognize that every patient is unique and needs an individual approach.

I am delighted to be part of the team at Back to Balance and look forward to continuing to work with our community.

Kimberly Epton About Back To Balance - Osteopaths & Psychologists Adamstown

Kimberly Epton

I joined the team at Back to Balance after graduating from the University of Western Sydney in 2005 with a Masters in Osteopathy, having earlier graduated with a Bachelor of Applied Science with a major in Osteopathy.

I am passionate about helping patients of all ages and backgrounds to achieve their health goals, by managing pain and improving functional restrictions, whilst providing exercise, posture, lifestyle and ergonomics advice.

I have a varied patient base that enables me to use an array of techniques and styles to accommodate a patient’s needs, providing individualised treatment, in addition to a personalised approach to after treatment advice.

Elaine Bennett - About Back To Balance - Osteopaths & Psychologists Adamstown

Elaine Bennett

I commenced my study in the area of psychology as a mature aged student when my youngest child started school. My interest in psychology was born from a fascination with the human mind and the knowledge that I wanted to do something of real value with my life. There began an amazing journey which continues today and I hope well into the future.

After graduating with a Bachelor of Psychology from Charles Sturt University I began working with NSW Health in the Western NSW District Health Service where I gained experience in a variety of settings, including drug and alcohol treatment, youth mental health services, inpatient psychiatric services and rural primary health counselling. In 2014 I made the move to Newcastle/Lake Macquarie to be closer to family and at the same time started in private practice working with clients referred by their GPs for treatment of a large range of psychological problems. An interest in the role of the family unit in mental wellbeing led me to complete a master’s degree in Family Studies at the University of Newcastle.

Since completing basic training in 2016 I have adopted EDMR as one of my main treatment modalities. Ongoing training and attendance at masterclasses and clinical supervision have led to my certification as an accredited practitioner with EMDRAA. In practice, I use elements of a number of therapies flexibly, depending on the needs of the individual client. Whatever treatment approach we may use, the quality of the therapeutic relationship is an equally important ingredient in the positive change process that helps clients move towards their goals.

Personally, I love to take advantage of the beautiful outdoors environment the lake Macquarie area offers. Living near the lake, for me there is nothing more restorative than connecting with nature, either on foot or two wheels, and spending time with my family and pets. I enjoy mucking around in my garden and recently I took up backyard beekeeping. I joined the team at Back to Balance this year and really love the relaxed comfortable setting and the caring personal approach my clients find here. It’s the perfect starting point for the work we do in therapy.

Veronica Chapman About Back To Balance - Osteopaths & Psychologists Adamstown

Veronica Chapman

I am the newest member of the Back to Balance team but I have had over twenty years experience in various office environments and love working with people. I have a passionate interest in natural health and well-being and it is my nature to nurture and support people. I look forward to welcoming you to our clinic.