WHAT HAPPENS IN THERAPY?
The first goal of therapy is to understand what is getting in the way of having a rich and meaningful life, and secondly working on a plan to move towards how you would like your life to be. This can include changing some activities or behaviours, understanding how your thinking impacts on how you feel and act, or working on how you relate better to other people. Certain problems, including anxiety disorders or depression, may benefit from a specific evidence-based treatment. Learning new ways to face challenges may help you to manage life situations.
An important building block of successful therapy is that the therapist and the client have a respectful and positive collaborative working relationship. A brief phone call before you book your first session might help you to decide whether we could work well together. Over the years I have worked with people from different backgrounds and continue to learn from each new person I see.
Talking about problems can be informative in understanding the experiences that have shaped a person, but the real change comes from a willingness to do things differently. Change may feel uncomfortable to start with, but flexibility in thought and action makes therapy (and life in general) more successful.
CONFIDENTIALITY AND ETHICS
The therapist - client relationship is confidential. Family, parents, adult children, or work places are not entitled to information about the client, even if they are paying for the sessions. An exemption to this is if I receive information that suggests that a client or others are at risk of harm. While I am able to break confidentiality in order to take appropriate action in these circumstances, I would endeavour to speak with the client first. Health professionals can also share information about their mutual client (e.g. talking to a GP or psychiatrist), but again I would attempt to speak to the client prior to this. For more information on confidentiality in healthcare you can look at the
Health Privacy Toolkit.
I work in accordance with the
Code of Ethics for psychologists working in Aotearoa/New Zealand. For more information on the governance on psychologists in New Zealand please see the
New Zealand Psychologists Board.
I take handwritten notes during sessions. These are stored electronically for 10 years in accordance with the
Health (Retention of Health Information) Regulations 1996. Clients are welcome to access their records on request.
FEES AND NUMBER OF SESSIONS
My fee is $190 per 50 minute session ($165.22+GST). Payment is made at the end of the session by EFTPOS, credit card, or cash. An invoice can be emailed for online bank transfer after the session by arrangement. Receipts can be provided.
The number of sessions a person needs will vary depending on what they want help with. It is also dependent on how ready they are to try new things learnt in therapy between sessions in order to make meaningful changes. Some people can get by with a few sessions to set them on track, others half a dozen, others a dozen or more for more long-standing problems or those of greater severity. Sessions may start out weekly, but move to fortnightly or less frequent as therapy progresses.
My fee for adult ADHD assessments starts at $900. Please see the
Adult ADHD Assesment section on this page for more information.
THERAPY OVER THE INTERNET
Please note I have temporarily suspended Zoom bookings due to variable internet connectivity in my office. There is a plan to resolve this.
In these uncertain times with the Covid pandemic I offer internet therapy using the Zoom video-conference application. This also allows clients from across New Zealand to access my services. Zoom will work on a computer, tablet or smartphone with an easy to download application and allows for video calls. Generally clients and therapists alike find that video-conference therapy sessions work in a similar way to face-to-face meetings, and in my experience is an improvement over telephone sessions. See
How to Use Zoom for more information about how Zoom works.
WHAT I DON'T DO
I don't provide neuropsychological assessment of cognitive impairment or dementia. I believe the public system can adequately cater for dementia assessment, diagnosis and support. For those interested in pursuing this I would suggest talking to your (or the affected person's) GP, who can follow the Cognitive Impairment Pathway of the District Health Board's Health Pathways resource. GPs can refer on to the Older Persons Mental Health service for more complicated cases and guidance.
I don't offer capacity assessments (e.g. for determining whether a person has the cognitive ability to understand and make important decisions, or to initiate or activate an enduring power of attorney). In most cases these assessments are best completed by a medical practitioner (e.g. GP or psychiatrist).
I am not ACC registered so don't provide funded assessment or treatment for mental health issues caused by sexual violence or physical injury.
I do not do assessments for child or adolescent ADHD, autistic spectrum disorder, or other developmental disabilities.
I don't offer opinions or assessments for driving safety of older drivers. Again the public system has a pathway for this (which includes some resources from the outcomes of my PhD research which was focused on the subject).
LATE CANCELLATION POLICY
Please give as much notice as possible if you have to cancel an appointment. Appointments that are unattended or cancelled with less that 24hrs notice will be charged at 50% of the normal rate. I endeavor to send a text message or email reminder of your appointment the day before.
ADULT ADHD ASSESSMENT
I AM FULLY BOOKED FOR ADULT ADHD ASSESSMENTS FOR THE FORESEEABLE FUTURE. SEE THE WEBSITE HOMEPAGE FOR SUGGESTIONS OF OTHER PLACES TO CONTACT FOR ASSESSMENT
I offer comprehensive assessment and diagnosis for adult ADHD (age 18+). The assessment includes a diagnostic interview, completion of forms by the client and by one or more close contacts, a review of any available documentation such as school reports, and a feedback session. Other mental health issues will also be screened for and/or diagnosed as required.
Please note that for diagnosis there has to be evidence that the person met diagnositc criteria for ADHD in childhood. Ideally a parent or caregiver would be able to provide this information through completing a report form and / or by interview.
If there is evidence that ADHD is present a report will be provided to the person's GP who can then send this to the adult psychiatric public health system to a psychiatrist who can prescribe medication (free!). Other behavioural options for treatment can also be discussed. See the
Common Problems section for more information about the symptoms and consequences of adult ADHD.
The fee for this service starts at $900 but may be higher if extra interviews or work is required, such as needing to perform additional assessment for co-occuring or complex mental health or social problems. Please contact me for more information about the process and for available time slots.
WINZ DISABILITY ALLOWANCE SUBSIDY
A WINZ Disability Allowance can be used to subsidise therapy sessions. You don't need to be on a benefit to receive a Disability Allowance, but you do need to meet income limit requirements - see Counselling - WINZ for details including the application form.
The maximum allowance is $65.36 a week. The subsidy can be used to subsidise weekly sessions or with permission of a person's case manager it can be saved over two weeks to provide a higher subsidy for fortnightly sessions. If you wish to utilise this allowance please contact Petra before booking a session to discuss.