Areas of specialty
BA (University of Canterbury)
MA (University of Canterbury)
Alcohol Counselling Certificate (University of Canterbury)
Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Psychology (University of Canterbury)
I am registered with the NZ Psychologists Board in the Clinical Scope of Practice
Member of The NZ College of Clinical Psychologists (NZCCP)
Family Courts Association of New Zealand
Experience and current work environments
I am now in full time private practice operating under the Child and Family Psychology Centre with Dr Fran Vertue. This developed after many years in the public service, specifically the Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB) in the Child and Family area. I spend my week either seeing clients face to face, attending home observations for Family Court assessments, or writing reports. Fran and I join together for Family Therapy work at times, as ‘two heads are better than one’ in some instances.
I enjoy attending professional development courses and am a member of the committee for the local branch of the NZCCP where I support local education initiatives and co-ordinate book reviews for the National Journal. I am committed to professional and ethical practice and have been involved in Professional Complaints Committees (PCC’s) for the Psychologists Board. I have contributed to two series of articles about children’s psychological difficulties published in The Press (Christchurch). These are available as Fact Sheets on this website.
My training in Clinical Psychology equips me to assess and treat a variety of presenting problems and assist with skill development. My background and experience is in the area of child, adolescent and family psychology which I continue to practice and enjoy. This covers a wide spectrum of psychological problems including family adjustments and stress, behavioural problems and assessment of learning difficulties (including intellectual disability). I am interested in attachment and the anxiety disorders including trauma and obsessive compulsive problems. It’s great to have variety in my work and I love the fact that no two people or families are quite the same. I am often impressed by the trust and courage shown by people in their seeking help and understand the ‘leap of faith’ in taking this step.
In recent years I have developed a great interest in couple therapy which I provide for the Family Court and also write specialist reports in the area of custody disputes. An additional area of interest is in the area of grief with a particular focus on bereavement by suicide. I enjoy providing supervision to my colleagues within the same or other areas of practice and regularly attend supervision myself. This is to ensure that I maintain professional and ethical standards in my work.
Approach to the work
It is a challenge to be explicit about my approach to this work and I do not adhere to one particular model. Assessment is informed by a broad multifaceted biopsychosocial framework which means that the individual’s biology and physical functioning, emotional world, social and interpersonal functioning, intellectual functioning and history are explored. The contexts within which the individual developed, and currently functions, form an extremely important part of this enquiry. My therapeutic model is primarily informed by
Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT)
which is my training background. However, this is integrated with various additional approaches depending on an individual’s developmental needs, their context and whether therapy is with a child, adolescent, adult, individual, couple, family or group.
Fees and services
I charge NZ$160 per 50 minute session. However, a Child Assessment involving two sessions, questionnaires and feedback with recommendations costs NZ$380. A written report will incur further cost.
I am available for consultations on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 9am to 5pm. I am usually able to provide an appointment within 2 weeks of contact.
Articles of interest written for The Press newspaper
Suicide and grief
How Children Feel When Parents Fight
Ritual, Recovery and Guy Fawkes
The Christchurch Earthquakes and Ongoing Stress
Emotion and Reason in Relationships
“I saw Prue for supervision for over a year. She’s supportive, open, and accepting but also direct and clear when she needs to be. I never felt like I needed to hold anything back in sessions because I could trust that she’d react in a supportive and kind way. I’ve also referred clients to Prue.” – Dr Alice Boyes
Child and Family Psychology Centre
P O Box 7544 (for all postal mail)
67 Durham Street
Tel: +64 3 3665267
Fax: +64 3 3665264