Support for School-Age Clients

As a psychologist and addictions counsellor, I provide knowledgeable specialist assessment, support, and practical guidance to school-age youth and families. I have extensive experience working with youth who are experiencing problems with behaviour, addiction, ADHD, autism, learning disabilities, and difficulties in the classroom. I have a great deal of experience in particular working with boys and young men (10-18). For all clients, my priority is on meeting the needs and building up the strengths of both the child and their family.

Factors such as emotional dysregulation, trauma or serious communication difficulties may mean that each day becomes an uphill battle. Patterns become established that are difficult to understand and respond effectively to. In my practice, I embody the principles of ako and awhi. Ako means to learn from the learner in a reciprocal learning relationship, where the child, the family and I all bring key knowledge into each session. This is a core element in developing insight and paving the way for sustainable interventions and learning to communicate in a way that allows the child to achieve their goals and thrive in a learning and social environment.

Education

School life and achievement can be challenging for adolescents and teenagers who are experiencing difficulties with transition, mental health concerns, severe behaviours, or disabilities. Students can benefit from directed strategies alongside counselling and family guidance in order to navigate life in intermediate and secondary school.

I offer appropriate and manageable support, clarity and possible pathways forward around patterns of concerning behaviours. Common areas of concern can be disengagement, school refusal, truancy, communication difficulties, environmental stressors, and relationship boundaries. Substance or alcohol use may also present genuine challenges for young people. Most of these areas are interlinked with peer relationships and the child’s need for reassurance in order to achieve to the best of their abilities. I aim to give my clients the insight and tools they need to change harmful or unwanted patterns and behaviours in their lives.

Services in schools

Are you struggling to understand your child’s behaviours? Together we can identify what may be happening and enable positive change.

For youth and families who require a comprehensive assessment involving school, family and the child themselves, I need to understand the complete picture of what factors are involved in the child's behaviour and difficulties through a comprehensive detailed assessment process. This will cost upwards of $1500 and will be conducted over the course of three weeks. Over the course of these three weeks, I will observe in-class behaviour and interview teachers, family, and the child themselves. The result is a comprehensive written assessment that includes a potential intervention and treatment plan of where to go next and what can be done to help the child and family.

I provide:

Children and Youth

I provide a wide variety of individual therapies and forms of support for youth (10-18 years old), as well as working with whanau when appropriate. All clients under 16 will require parental permission for one-on-one sessions.

My areas of speciality

My work with youth includes assessment and interventions for a wide range of neurodisabilities, mental health concerns, and undesirable behaviours. I also offer support for rainbow (LGBT) youth. Client needs may include:

All support, whether individual or alongside family, will be considered from an ecological viewpoint in terms of impact, supports and forward planning. This means that treatment and recommendations may include involvement of people in school, home and social group environments.

I may recommend referral to other professionals if I am unable to best meet a client’s needs.

Addictions and mental health

In addition to being a psychologist, I am trained in Addiction Studies and have experience providing counselling in this field as a registered Addictions Counsellor. It is important to address addiction in youth within a safe, private and non-judgmental space, and I provide that while working toward sustainable long-term solutions.

Addictions assessment and treatment includes:

Relationships

Relationships and parenting challenges, especially with teenagers, can become overwhelming and distressing for all involved. There are usually a range of factors involved, and I take a collaborative approach with my clients, using the unique strengths that each client and each family brings to the table to restore balance and problem-solve. This ensures that solutions remain sustainable long-term for individuals, families and schools.