Dr Fran Vertue

Dr Fran Vertue

Areas of specialty

  • Peer Supervision
  • Children, Adolescents, and Adults with mental health difficulties
  • Relationship Therapy
  • Adjustment to life changes
  • Family Court counselling
  • Family Court child custody reports

Academic Qualifications

BSc (University of Canterbury)
BA Hons (1st Class) (University of Canterbury)
MA (with Distinction) (University of Canterbury)
Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Psychology (University of Canterbury)
PhD (University of Otago)

Professional Qualification

I am registered with the New Zealand Psychologists Board in the Clinical Scope of Practice

Professional Affiliations

Fellow of the New Zealand College of Clinical Psychologists (FNZCCP). I was awarded the Fellowship in 2007 by the NZCCP for “significant and pre-eminent contribution to the NZ College of Clinical Psychologists or the Psychology profession in general”.
Family Courts Association of New Zealand
Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, USA
Australia and New Zealand Association of Psychiatry, Psychology and the Law
Academy of Cognitive Psychology, USA

Experience and current work environments

I worked in the public health system for many years in the Child and Family area, and subsequently moved into private practice in 2004, starting the Child and Family Psychology Centre in Christchurch. I have been a lecturer at the University of Canterbury on and off for many years where I have taught Child and Adolescent Development, Family Psychology, Clinical Psychology, and Couple and Family Therapy. From 2013 to 2018, I worked with the Department of Corrections, training and supervising Psychologists and other Corrections staff, developing treatment programmes for young people whose behaviour has incurred a violent or sexual criminal conviction, working directly with youth and adult offenders people who want to live prosocial lives, and developing systems for Psychological Services. I am now working in a private practice, Christchurch Psychology, with a colleague, Liz Waugh.

In my clinical practice I see children and adolescents with all kinds of psychological difficulties, including learning problems, anxiety, depression, and a wide range of behavioral difficulties. I see couples for relationship therapy, and do Family Therapy. I work with adults who are struggling with mental health, adjustment to change or trauma, relationship, or personality difficulties. I do child custody evaluations for the Family Court and I also counsel parents who are struggling to reach agreement about the care of their children. I work with people who have committed crimes in order to reduce the risk of further offending. I provide peer supervision to my colleagues in various professions besides Clinical Psychology and I advise organisations on their work with clients.

I have published articles in academic journals and in popular magazines, two series of articles about children’s psychological difficulties in The Press (Christchurch daily newspaper) and a series of articles in The Press about many psychological issues. These articles are available in the form of Client Fact Sheets on this website. I have also presented workshops on many topics over the years in New Zealand, Australia and North America.

Approach to the work

It is difficult to be explicit about my approach to the work, and I would not want to be rigid about any of this.

My assessment model involves assessing four areas of functioning (social, emotional, physical, and intellectual) within four contexts (the person’s own biology, the family, the school/workplace, and community).

My approach to therapy involves

Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT)

with children at an age-appropriate level; parent training and psychoeducation; CBT and Family Therapy with adolescents; and an integrated model including various CBT approaches, interpersonal therapy and psychodynamic therapy for adults.

I am committed to peer supervision on a regular basis to ensure that my work is challenged by colleagues and that I have a forum for discussion and professional development. I attend formal professional development training courses in my areas of interest, and make presentations to various community organisations, medical practices, and schools.


Articles of interest written for The Press newspaper

Always Late!
Depression: Prevention and Treatment
Children who are Different
Anxiety: Afraid or Angry?
Thinking about Puberty
Gossip can be Good for You!
Sports fans – the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Adolescents and Facebook
Earthquake: Trauma and Stress
When does a Collection become a Hoard?
People and their Pets
Earthquake Aftermath
Getting Back Into the Building
The Highly Sensitive Person
CBT for Earthquake Anxiety
How to Tell Your Children You’re Separating
Daily Pleasure
Sibling Rivalry
The Christchurch Earthquakes and Ongoing Stress
One Degree of Change
Me, We, and the Meaning of Life
Bereavement, Grief, and Mourning
Specific Learning Difficulties
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