I remember wanting to be a psychologist when I was very young, I don’t even know how I knew psychologists existed back then. I took the long way round to getting my training and did many different types of jobs along the way – some more interesting than others. I did my degrees at Canterbury and graduated with my Masters and Post Grad Diploma in Clinical Psychology. I worked in the child and family area for more than 13 years. I loved working with the children and really enjoyed the creative aspects of working with young people. I particularly enjoyed developing and running groups for parents who wanted to find ways to help their children.
After the earthquakes, there were a lot of children who had trouble sleeping, going to schooland being alone. Trauma became a focus of my work in the following years and I undertook additional specialised training as the psychological impact of the quakes on our communities became evident.
I was especially excited to present this work at conferences here and in Australia and be able to connect with international experts on the effects of disasters. Locally I became involved in some exciting work in local schools and joined the advisory board for a project being run to lower stress and trauma levels in primary schools.
Now I am in private practice full time. I am working with people of all ages and on a wide range of issues. I tend to draw from a range of approaches in my work, I believe in using the most useful tools available. I encourage clients to make therapy their own, they are the experts on themselves and that expert knowledge is gold. I do my best to listen to understand, rather than to respond. I acknowledge that change is hard and everyone is doing their best. I think kindness (to self and others) and humour go a long way.