Areas of specialty
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)
I am registered with the New Zealand Psychologists Board in the Clinical Scope of Practice
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
New Zealand Psychological Society
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, starting the Child and Family Psychology Centre in Christchurch with another Clinical Psychologist, Prue Fanselow-Brown.
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 therapy, and do Family Therapy with Prue. One of the biggest parts of my clinical work is the child custody evaluations I do for the Family Court and I also counsel parents who are struggling to reach agreement about the care of their children. I provide peer supervision to my colleagues in various areas and advise organisations on their work with clients.
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.
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 current 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.
Services and availability
From the beginning of 2013, I will be working in the public sector, so will no longer be available for private practice. However, I encourage you to contact my colleague, Prue Fanselow-Brown, for assistance. Prue and I have worked together for many years and I recommend her highly. You can contact Prue on 366 5267, and read about her on this website
Articles of interest written for The Press newspaper
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
Getting Back Into the Building
The Highly Sensitive Person
CBT for Earthquake Anxiety
How to Tell Your Children You’re Separating
The Christchurch Earthquakes and Ongoing Stress
One Degree of Change
Me, We, and the Meaning of Life
Bereavement, Grief, and Mourning
Specific Learning Difficulties
Get started on your goal now!
Dr Fran Vertue