Sandra Fowler

Sandra Fowler

Areas of specialty

  • Sexuality and Intimacy
  • Gender Identity issues
  • Couple Therapy
  • Trauma, including sexual abuse
  • Psychological impact of (and adjustment to) physical health issues
  • Chronic pain
  • Depression, anxiety
  • Stress and adjustment
  • Peer supervision

Academic Qualifications

Bachelor of Arts in Psychology (University of Canterbury)
Master of Arts (Hons.) in Psychology (University of Canterbury)
Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Psychology (University of Canterbury)
Advanced Training in Sex Therapy (Goodfellow Unit, University of Auckland)

Professional Qualification

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

Professional Affiliations

Full Member of the New Zealand College of Clinical Psychologists (MNZCCP) since 1998.

Experience and current work environments

After completing my clinical training in 1997, I worked in public mental health for many years. I also spent 5 years on the staff of the Clinical Psychology training programme at the University of Canterbury. I left the University in mid-2013, to concentrate on developing my clinical practice. Currently my work involves seeing clients who are self-referred or referred by GPs and medical specialists, particularly gynaecology. I also see ACC clients for psychological treatment following physical injury and sensitive claims.

I have worked with a number of different client groups, in both adult mental health settings (A specialist Anxiety Disorders Service, and a hospital Psychiatric Consultation Service), and child and adolescent mental health settings (A Child and Family Specialty Service, a tertiary student counselling service, and a residential treatment programme for male youth with sexual offending histories).

In more recent years I have developed an interest in working with both couples and individuals who are experiencing problems with their sexual and intimate lives. This can include problems such as sexual pain, problems with desire, arousal and orgasm, and issues concerned with gender identity, and sexually compulsive behavior (sometimes called sexual addiction). I also work with couples around broader relationship and intimacy issues (couple therapy).

I have presented to my peers on Sex Therapy in November 2013, and I have also presented various workshops on Stress and Recovery following the Christchurch earthquakes, in 2012 and 2013.

Approach to the work

I work primarily from a cognitive-behavioural framework, but with significant influence from other therapeutic frameworks, including systemic and attachment models. I have also trained in Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprogramming (EMDR), a well-validated treatment for trauma.

My belief is that working alongside people rather than doing treatment to people, is very important. I help people to identify and strengthen their own ideas and resources, as well as providing additional skills and ideas where these are needed. I believe that liaison with others involved in the health care of my clients, including GPs and other mental health providers, is best practice, and I encourage my clients to consent to this. I am also happy to involve family and significant others in treatment if my client wishes. Sometimes effective treatment requires this.

At the beginning of treatment, a period of assessment is necessary in order to develop an individualized and effective treatment plan with my client(s).

Fees and Services

Fees are currently $210.00 per 50 minute session. Please enquire at time of booking.


I see clients Wednesday to Friday. A limited number of evening appointments are available.

Articles of interest written for The Press newspaper

Is my sex life good enough?
When Love Hurts


Phone: (03) 4239309 027 6554611

Consulting Rooms:
20 Gamblins Road
St Martins

Postal address:
P.O. Box 12215
Christchurch 8242