18 Mar 2021

BY: Online Therapy

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy / Online CBT / Online Clinical Psychologist / Online Cognitive Behaviour Therapy / Online Counsellor / Online therapist / Online Therapy

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Can Online Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) be used effectively online?

Article by Marvis Bih

Can online counsellors effectively offer Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) using the online platform?

The answer is yes. Trained psychologists can provide online Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) in many contexts. Mostly, psychologists offer CBT in face-to-face settings, however, it could also be offered online using technology such as laptops, smartphones, iPads, emails or chat messages.

There are also different types of Internet-Based Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (ICBT) built on self-help material without a therapist interface. Often, face-to-face-sessions are combined with online programmes as well as therapist support ranging from emails, chat technology, virtual technology, video conferencing (Lindefors & Andersson 2016).

What is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)?

CBT focusses on the link between the way the patient thinks – which will affect the way the patient feels and behave. This can be referred to as the CBT triad – the thoughts, emotions and actions connection.

CBT Thought Feeling and Action link

Online Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a standardised and evidence-based treatment program. Therapists assist patients by helping them to help themselves by introducing systematic self-help methods that are practised outside of treatment.

What to expect in-session?

During a CBT session, patients can expect to learn more about their core beliefs. Generally, these start in childhood and include beliefs such as “I am not good enough”, “the world is not a safe place”, “I cannot trust anyone”. These core beliefs can become automatic when that thought becomes the first thing a person thinks about and believes. Unfortunately, these thoughts lead to emotional distress and a person that believes he/she cannot trust anyone may avoid meeting new people and may end up lonely.

CBT helps clients re-look at core beliefs and to change their problematic thinking. Thoughts are put on trial to see if it is actually true. Sometimes it is easier to start with behavioural changes that will then affect emotions and thinking. Treatment and experiences of CBT will be different for everyone.

Thinking affects feelings and actions

Why is Online Cognitive Behaviour Therapy necessary?

According to the world health organisation, about 34 million people across the Americas and Europe suffer from major depressive disorders in a given 12-month period which often goes untreated (Kohn, 2004). Some barriers to treatment include cost, the perceived stigma of seeking treatment, long wait-list and more. Therefore, Online CBT bridges this gap by eliminating these barriers by substantially enhancing access (Kohn, 2004). In addition, people who need online CBT are those who prefer to accessed treatment from the comfort of their homes, those who work 9-5 jobs and cannot schedule an appointment with a therapist during the day and those who are not motivated or have phobias leaving home especially during this season of the Coronavirus. 

After Covid-19, there has been a greater demand for people to use Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) online with active support from a therapist with basic psychotherapeutic capability in CBT (Lindefors & Andersson 2016).

Who should not access Online Cognitive Behaviour Therapy?

Online Cognitive Behaviour Therapy is not recommended for everyone, especially in cases where actual clinical diagnoses are required such as personality disorders. People suffering from psychiatric problems are encouraged to attend traditional face-to-face psychotherapy or pharmacotherapy (Webb, 2017). Stay tuned for the next issue on attachment styles and how to deal with attachments issues.

Want to learn more about online CBT? Feel free to complete the form below.

References

Kohn R, Saxena S, Levav I, Saraceno B. (2004). The treatment gap in mental health care. Bull World Health Organ, 82: 858–67.

Webb, CA., Rosso, IM. & Rauch, MD. (2017). Internet-Based Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Depression: Current Progress and Future Directions. Review, 25(3): 114-122.

04 Oct 2020

BY: Online Therapy

Online Counsellor / Online Therapy / Online Therapy Safety / Post Traumatic Stress Disorder / Trauma

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Online Trauma Therapist

Article by Marvis Bih,

Choosing an online trauma therapist

Last week, we talked about PTSD and its causes. This week, we are looking at what makes a good online trauma therapist, and patients who choose to make use of online therapy.

What makes a good online trauma therapist is their ability to abide by ethical considerations in the same way as with face to face therapy. These considerations include confidentiality, privacy and knowing when it is unsafe to work with trauma patients online.

Who seeks online trauma therapy?

People who need online trauma therapy are diverse and have different reasons for choosing this option. Sometimes, online therapy can be the first step to recovery for people who suffer from agoraphobia (fear of being in places you can’t escape) that could develop after a traumatic event.
Hence, online therapy can be the first step to get assistance for people who are unable to leave home, which include challenges or fears of using public transport (Maples & Han, 2008). Furthermore, during 2020, people were forced to stay indoors, and those who tested positive for Covid-19 had to self-isolate. This increased the need for online therapy. Also, people who do not feel comfortable going out due to trauma, the fear of contacting the Covid-19 virus or any other phobias may choose the online option.

Is online therapy for you?

Online therapy can be the best option because it is generally cheaper than face to face counselling due to savings on travel and time. This convenient option can be accessed from the comfort of your home, car or office. Besides, the flexibility of online therapy can be the best option for clients who work 9-5 jobs and are unable to see a therapist during working hours (Speyer & Zack, 2003).

Online counselling will not be suitable for all clients in all circumstances, for example, when a client requires a rehabilitation service or psychiatric care. The best a mental health practitioner can do in these situations is to offer referral services.

Confidentiality and privacy

It is important to ensure that you are in a secure setting so that your online conversations cannot be overheard. When working through trauma, make sure you have a support person that can provide extra support after your counselling session. The software used for online therapy is encrypted, and counsellors will inform clients when sessions are recorded. Make sure that you have updated your own software and that your virus software is up to date. Stay tuned for more on online cognitive behaviour therapy next week.

Want to learn more? Feel free to complete the form below and an online therapist will get back to you.

References

Australian Counseling Association. (nd) Guidelines for online counselling and psychotherapy. Available at: https://www.theaca.net.au/documents/Guidelines%20for%20online%20counselling%20and%20psychotherapy.pdf. Accessed 01/09/2020.

Maples, M.F., & Han, S. (2008). Cybercounseling in the United States and South Korea: Implications for counseling college students of the millennial generation and the networked generation. Journal of Counseling & Development, 86, 178-183. 44.

Speyer, C. & Zack, J. (2003). Online Counselling: Beyond the pros and cons. Available at https://www.researchgate.net/publication/265565618_Online_counselling_Beyond_the_pros_and_cons. Accessed 01/09/2020.

14 Jul 2020

BY: Online Therapy

Awards / Nominations / Online therapist / Online Therapy

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Global Health & Pharma 2020 Nominee

We have good news

Online Therapy is excited to share some news with you. In the past week, we received an email informing us that Online Therapy New Zealand has been selected by Global Health & Pharma as a 2020 nominee for the 5th annual Healthcare & Pharmaceutical Awards, by Global Health & Pharma (GHP).

About GHP

GHP is a global community for communication networks & collaboration and sharing of knowledge in three areas of health: human, animal and environmental.

Where does Online Therapy fit in?

The Healthcare & Pharmaceutical Awards praise companies and individuals who daily transform people’s way of living by improving their physical and mental health, and as a consequence, their wellbeing and enabling those in need of support to experience a fulfilling lifestyle.

Our promise

At Online Therapy New Zealand, every day we assume the responsibility to ensure that those in need of help and seek out for support have the highest quality of mental health care we can provide through our daily practice with online therapy. Thus, we are really happy for this nomination as it definitely is a sign of recognition of our hard work and our daily efforts to increase psychological health worldwide.

Please feel free to share your testimonies about your journey with us.

Testimonials

Tilak: For 10 years I had a troubling recurring dream at least once a week. Finally, I decided to talk to someone about it. Anna helped me to work through my dream. Thankfully it stopped. Thank you very much.

Anonymous: Thank you, Anna, for providing me with this service. Your help has been invaluable.

Do you want to contact us to provide feedback? Feel free to contact us using the form below. Sara and Jim will be glad to provide you with information on the Global Health Pharma nomination or therapy you may require.

12 Jul 2020

BY: Online Therapy

Online therapist / Online Therapy / Online Therapy Clinical Psychologist / Online Therapy Safety

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3 Essentials of finding good online therapy

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels | Article by K. Yusay

Are you thinking of trying online therapy? If you want to avoid wasting your time and find one that actually works well for you, then we can provide you with a few pointers in the right direction. Here are three things to keep in mind for finding good online therapy.

(1) Get a Qualified Online Therapist.

Nowadays, if you’re looking for an online psychologist, there are numerous qualified psychologists available online. Bear in mind, however, that there are a couple of things you need to watch out for.

According to the American Psychological Association, on the top of your list should be credentials and registration. Do your research and make sure that you find a licensed and qualified online psychologist. Preferably, work with someone who is registered with boards in your own country, even asking their practice certificate. If you work with someone outside of your country then you will be subject to the laws that govern outside your country and the complaints procedures may be difficult if you received poor or unethical services.

Moreover, you can also choose a specialist to help you in your healing journey. Whether you are suffering from trauma, childhood abuse, substance misuse, LGBTQ issues, etc., working with one who has the expertise you need makes it easier for both parties.

Additionally, as stated in a 2019 article authored by Melinda Smith, M.A. and Jeanne Segal, Ph.D., aside from credentials, you should ask your online therapist if your insurance covers the sessions. In New Zealand, find out if your insurance company covers psychological services. Jim Bierman works with insurance companies in New Zealand, feel free to contact him to find out if he has worked with your insurance company in the past.

(2) Try it with someone you can build rapport with.

As written by Noam Shpancer Ph.D. in Psychology Today, another way to spot if a therapist is right for you is if you’re able to build rapport with him/her. The therapeutic relationship is one of the most consistent predictors for therapeutic success, in research over the years. Noam further explains it’s necessary that you feel comfortable, understood, and connected with your psychologist.

(3) Prioritize security and privacy.

There are laws in place that can safeguard your data. The HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) ensures that companies providing mental health care prevent data leaks.

Another U.S. law called HITECH (Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act) ensures that if a data breach happens to you, you’ll be notified. The only difference is that PHIPA is a law for companies and organizations and PIPEDA covers information custodians like nurses, doctors, ambulance workers, etc.

As for the European Union, there’s GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation). It’s considered the world’s toughest data privacy law.It levies harsh fines for violators, even costing them millions.

The reason these laws are important is that it safeguards online users of psychological services of negligence on the side of the professional. It is also important to remember that safeguarding is not only the duty of the psychologist, but you must also make sure you have a secure connection and that you have downloaded all the security updates as recommended by your service providers.

Something that is often overlooked is your physical privacy. Is your location secure? Can family or colleagues hear your conversations? Security is more than just online safety, it is also securing your conversations so that others cannot hear what you talk about in confidence.

If you want to learn more about online therapy safety, click here.

Do you want to contact Jim or Sara? You can read more about Sara by following this link and Jim by clicking here. Alternatively, just complete the form below.

12 Apr 2020

BY: Online Therapy

Clinical Psychologist / Clinical Psychology / Cognitive Behaviour Therapy / Online CBT / Online Clinical Psychologist / Online Cognitive Behaviour Therapy / Online therapist / Online Therapy

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Why Online Clinical Psychologists Using Cognitive Behaviour Therapy are Incredibly Effective

Photo by Gustavo Fring from Pexels and article by Kimberly Yusay

Are you looking to try out online Cognitive Behavioural Therapy?

If you’re unsure and need some facts to help you, we have compiled 3 reasons why online CBT might just be what you need to get your life back on track.

1.    Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is Heavily Backed by Science.

The American Psychological Association indicates that compared to other forms of therapy, there is abundant scientific evidence that backs up the effectiveness of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).

Because of this, it is different and even considered more effective than other therapies.

It also treats a vast array of mental illness that includes:

  • Anxiety disorders,
  • Eating disorders
  • Depression,
  • Alcohol and drug misuse,
  • Marital problems,

As stated by UK’s National Health Services it can also provide help people suffering from:

  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Phobias
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Panic Disorder
  • Schizophrenia,
  • Borderline Personality Disorder
  • Psychosis
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Sleep Problems
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

NHS UK also emphasized that CBT helps you sort through the interplay of your emotions, bodily sensations and behaviours.

It allows you to break through from the cycle of repeated actions, negative thought patterns and unhealthy coping mechanisms.

2.    Online CBT is a Proven Beneficial Treatment.

According to a 2011 study, Online Cognitive Behaviour Therapy is a useful alternative to face-to-face CBT sessions.

In fact, this research which began in 1996, became the basis for the Dutch government. And, since 2005, the costs of online CBT were refunded through their country’s public health insurance.

3.    Online CBT Psychologists Have a Lasting Effect on Wellbeing

In a 2016 article published in the Internet Interventions journal, a total of 42 patients shared how the behaviours of their online clinical psychologists contributed to the improvement of their wellbeing.

  • Affirmation – This particular behaviour of online psychologists helped the patients long after the treatment was over. Its positive effect on depressive symptoms was shown to last even after two years.
  • Encouragement–  The effects of this can be seen right away. It emerged right after the patients have undergone the session/s.
  • Self-disclosure – Similar to affirmation, patients who were able to share their untold stories and vulnerabilities showed vast improvements in depressive symptoms even after some time has passed after the treatment.

Want to get in touch with a Clinical Psychologist who can help you with CBT? Contact below.

23 Mar 2020

BY: Online Therapy

Covid-19 / Online therapist / Online Therapy / Online therapy for Coronavirus

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Where to get Coronavirus Assistance

Are you affected by the Coronavirus?

As New Zealand joins the rest of the world by going into alert levels 3 and 4, many people experience tremendous stress at the thought of losing livelihoods. Remember, you are not alone. Most people are employed by small businesses, and many individuals have the same fears as you. The world is in this together.

Anna offered free online appointments. However, due to high demand, she is unable to accept more new clients. She will continue with the appointments she currently has. We have listed a number of emergency numbers you may need during this time.

Emergency numbers:

Lifeline: 09-522 2999 - text help (4357)
Suicide Crisis Helpline 0508 828 865
Anxiety NZ: 09-522 2999
Depression.org: 0800 111 757
LGBTIQ – Outline:  0800 688 5463
Woman’s refuge: 0800 733 843
Youthline 0800 376 633 (text 234 email talk@youthline.co.nz)
Barnardos NZ 0800 WHAT’S UP (0800 942 8787)
Family services https://www.familyservices.govt.nz/directory/searchresultspublic.htm?searchTerms=&cat1=-1&searchRegion=2&search=Search
Minds and hearts support directory: http://heartsandminds.org.nz/information-support/support-services-directory

Extreme emergencies:

First point of contact 111
Mental Health Crisis Team 0800 800 717.

For Online Counselling Sessions ($150 per session), please contact Sara:

References:

https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12318941

05 Sep 2019

BY: Online Therapy

Acceptance Commitment Therapy / Happiness / Online therapist / Online Therapy / Positive Psychology / Telephone Counselling

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Positive Psychology – choose happiness

Article by Sara Taveira. Sara uses telephone counselling or Zoom counselling to help you work through your difficulties. Would you like to learn more about Sara? Then follow this link. 

Positive psychology – choose happiness

We all want to find happiness, to smile and feel good about ourselves and our lives. This pursuit of happiness is intrinsic to human nature. Several self-report studies reveal that people rated happiness as more important than having meaning in life and being financially comfortable.

It would be great to experience lots of happy moments all the time. However, the belief in a constant state of happiness is not true. Happiness can be hard work and usually implies accepting a new way of reacting to discomforts. Being happy involves being in the moment, here and now, which entails a state of mind, and not a continuous feeling.

Read More “Positive Psychology – choose happiness”

20 Jul 2019

BY: Online Therapy

Introversion / Online therapist / Online Therapy / Shyness / Social phobia / Telephone Counselling

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Telephone Counselling working with introversion, social phobia and shyness

This article, Telephone Counselling working with introversion, social phobia and shyness was written by Sara Taveira.

Am I introverted, socially phobic or just shy?

This article deals with telephone counselling working with introversion, social phobia and shyness. These concepts are often interpreted as semantics and can lead to confusion.

Generally, social phobia, shyness and introversion are viewed in the same light. In this article, I will explain the difference between each concept and what they have in common.

Introversion

Introversion is a personality trait. Introverted people have a higher interest in their own internal world, their thoughts and feelings, and are usually happy to spend time alone. Actually, most introverts need alone time as a self-care tool as much as extroverts need social time to recharge their batteries.

Social Phobia

In contrast, social phobia is a mental health disorder based on a perceived irrational and exaggerated fear in social situations. A person suffering from social phobia is usually interested in social situations. However, their fears of being judged by others or embarrassing themselves lead them to avoid social interactions and facing them with significant distress.

People experiencing social phobia, are usually overly conscious people, perfectionist, and have constant feelings of being “put on the spot” in social interactions. This distress impacts several areas of their lives. It is not hard to imagine that someone struggling with social phobia will have extreme difficulties initiating and/or maintaining relationships, which contribute to social isolated.

Being isolated socially can lead to other mood disorders and may affect future goals. How? Well, think about choosing a university degree or a professional career pathway. If I am social phobic, will I choose a career involving primarily social interactions like public relations, politics, management, etc.? Probably not. Social phobia can vary in intensity and forms: some people only struggle with social situations (being the focus of attention) – performance type – while others will struggle simply with social interaction in groups. Severe forms of social phobia may have both forms present.

Children’s experiences of social phobia

Children’s presentation of social phobia may vary according to their different developmental stages. Due to developmentally appropriate diminished self-awareness, young children usually can only describe several physical symptoms, are extremely clingy in social situations, refuse to participate in social or school activities and do not tend to speak when meeting new people.

Middle school-age children, as they become more self-aware, can say things like “I expect bad things to happen” or “others are looking at me while I am eating” or “others are saying bad things about me”.

Teenagers experiencing social phobia, are usually very hard on themselves and self-critic, thus, will often avoid eye contact, or struggle at an academic level (which can lead to school truancy). They can have difficulty dating and in some cases start at-risk type of behaviours, such as alcohol and drugs experimentation as a coping mechanism for their anxiety.

Shyness

Shyness includes a number of uncomfortable feelings such as awkwardness, stress and worry when interacting with unfamiliar people. Shyness can be present when someone experiences introversion and social phobia.

Since I am a food lover, let me explain it this way: Introversion and social phobia are the two bread slices of a sandwich and shyness can be considered the cheese that connects the slices. Shyness often, but not always, leads to social phobia. Similarly, an introvert may be shy when facing unfamiliar social situations but it does not necessarily mean that he/she suffers from social phobia.

Conclusion

Telephone Counselling working with introversion, social phobia and shyness is possible. Whether you are an adult with a constant feeling of being “put on the spot”, or have a child who displays some of the above symptoms, the more you avoid it, the worse it gets!

Start today by taking the driver’s seat when it comes to your social phobia so that you can learn to park it somewhere and never look back! Talk to us, we can join you in these driving lessons.

Want to learn more about telephone Counselling working with introversion, social phobia and shyness? Feel free to contact Sara. Want to learn more about Sara, follow this link.

Contact Sara Now

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05 Jun 2019

BY: Online Therapy

Clinical Psychology / Depression / Online Depression Counselling / Online therapist / Online Therapy / Seasonal Depression

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Seasonal Depression

Article by Sara Taveira

WINTER IS COMING

Experiencing the Winter Blues (Seasonal Depression)?

What is seasonal depression? We are all familiar with this heading tagline from a famous TV Series. However, the expression is also highly used these days because of the difficulties of “surviving” through the winter, the so-called, winter blues. On a daily basis, we can already notice the slight changes in mood in everyone’s faces, the sense that people are already building up their emotions around the fact that the cold, dark and rainy days are ahead of us.

Why do we feel seasonal depression?

Well, although science has not come up with a specific answer yet, it mentions several contributing factors contributing.

  • Vitamin D: “you are my sunshine, my only sunshine”, indeed! This vitamin is very important to our energy levels and mood as it helps with cell growth, our immune system and many other things in our body. During the winter period, most of us wake up when there is no daylight, go to work, spend all day in the office and then, when it’s time to return home, the daylight is already gone. As a result, we do not have much of this vitamin in the winter when comparing to spring and summer time.
  • Hibernation: this may sound strange but some research talks about a physical slow down process that all mammals go through, during winter. Humans are no exception, although in a lighter way. The problem with this is that we actually cannot hibernate and have to keep going with our busy lives.
  • The relation between body hormones, light, and circadian rhythm: these three dances harmoniously. In detail, daylight differences regulate our internal biological clock through the release of hormones, such as melatonin. Therefore, at night, because daylight ends, our body starts producing this hormone which makes us feel sleepy, decreases our body temperature, and many other modifications to tell us “it is bedtime”. The opposite process occurs every morning. So, if you consider all this, you will find the answer to the common question “why am I still so sleepy and tired every morning?”. That is right, in winter when you wake up, there is no daylight, so melatonin is still running happily through your veins, so you feel very sleepy. The lack of light also decreases another hormone, which is extremely important for mood, appetite, sleep, social behaviour and even sexual appetite regulation – serotonin. So, it makes sense that you feel less happy during dark, cold and rainy days, as our natural mood stabilizer is much less produced by our brain.

What can we do beat Seasonal Depression?

Well, I guess just like olive oil, garlic and onions are the basis of any good recipe, so exercise, diet, and sleep are the basis not only for avoiding the winter blues but for good mental health. For this reason, eat smart by avoiding sugar, alcohol, and caffeine, which can deteriorate your mood, and nourish yourself with chocolate once in a while as it helps to boost your mood. Aim for 8 hours of sleep, and get moving by simply going outside and doing a 30 minutes’ walk. You will kill two birds with one stone: you will exercise and get some natural daylight. Other ideas that may help are expressing your emotions and being near your social support for those harder moments, turning on the radio or other music you like at home to glow the dark rainy days or learn a new skill/new project. If your wallet is “booming”, plan a trip to a sunny place.

What if the above ideas are not enough?

It might come as a surprise to you, but there is in fact a mental health disorder caused by the above alterations in our body, a seasonal depression. Some examples of symptoms are sadness and loneliness, social withdrawn, excessive tiredness, irritability, etc. These symptoms have to cause clinically significant distress and/or impairment in important areas of your overall functioning.

So please talk to us if you are worried you might be experiencing seasonal depression. We can assess if you are, and if so, help you to overcome them.

Want to know more about Sara? Follow this link.

Contact Sara Now

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06 Apr 2019

BY: Online Therapy

Clinical Psychologist / Clinical Psychology / Online Clinical Psychologist / Online therapist / Online Therapy / Online Therapy Clinical Psychologist

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Online Therapy welcomes Sara Taveira Clinical Psychologist

Online Therapy welcomes Sara Taveira Clinical Psychologist to our online family

Sara Taveira interviewed by Anna Keyter:

We are delighted to introduce Sara Taveira to our Online Therapy family,  and this is her story.  Sara is an independent clinical psychologist (Registered with the New Zealand Psychologist Board) joining our small group of therapists. Below is the interview with Sara to get to know her better.

How did you get into Clinical Psychology?

I started my University Degree initially wanting to become a forensic psychologist.  My dream was to be a “Criminal Profiler”. However, in the first years, I was introduced to the multitude of psychology fields and it was with clinical psychology that I connected the most.

I love life, people, smiles, a good laugh and positivity. Possibly, these are the things that motivated me to become a psychologist in the first place. That visceral curiosity about the other, the need to understand the person I am in a therapeutic relationship with, and help them if I can. With clinical psychology and psychotherapy, I can certainly do that.

Where did you do your training and how did you register at the New Zealand Psychologist board?

I completed my studies up to Masters level and psychologist certification in Lisbon, Portugal. In the European Union, the higher education is based on the “Bologna Process”, which in cooperation with all European countries, standardises higher education among all countries, thus strengthening quality assurance and facilitating the recognition of qualifications and periods of study. Therefore, the process to register at the New Zealand Psychologist Board (NZPB) was straightforward as they follow the guidelines from the UK as part of the Commonwealth of Nations.

What work did you do in New Zealand and internationally?

When I moved to New Zealand I started working for the District Health Board’s (DHB).  I attended to patients experiencing moderate to severe mental health disorders. I have worked in many different Hospital Services: Maternal Mental health; Children, adolescents and families services; Eating disorders Specialized Services; Parental intervention and group therapy for children with behavioural disorders Specialized Services and Mental Health Crisis Team.

I accepted a contract as a psychologist and psychotherapist with the ACC in 2015.  At the ACC, I provided services for Sensitive Claims, doing psychological assessments to determine mental injury from sexual abuse trauma.

In Portugal, I started my career as a university counsellor and providing psychological assessment services as a student. After completing my qualification, I gained experience in psychiatric hospitals, schools, private practice and psychosocial projects for children and adolescents with risk-taking behaviours, their families and the school community as a clinical psychologist.

What key functions will you bring to Online Therapy?

As a clinical psychologist, I am hoping to bring a new intervention approach – psychotherapy – to those who are not able to attend on-site consultations.  If you are unable to get to an office, you can contact me online.  The online space is where I can offer assistance for people physical problems and disability, illness, mobility, geographic area, language, difficulty in reconciling schedules and unable to get to an office.

Psychotherapy addresses overall patterns, including chronic or recurring problems in a person’s life, and focuses on feelings and experience. It is an in-depth therapy modality on internal thoughts and feelings and core issues. The main objective is to achieve personal growth and to gain insight into the main areas of a person’s life.

During my 12 years of experience, I have gained qualifications in different specific psychotherapy modalities which could benefit Online Therapy clients.  These qualifications include EMDR, CBT, Mindfulness, ACT, CRT, CBT-E and FBT, evidence-based protocols for PTSD and complex trauma.

I consider myself an eclectic psychologist, focused on adapting the intervention to each person. I don’t follow the trend of labelling with diagnostics and jargon but aim to understand each unique person I am working with, and then adapt working tools accordingly. Over the years of clinical practice, I have found that working with emotions is central to all processes when dealing with transformation and personal growth, which is the focal point in my therapy room.

Why were you brought on board and what is your specialist areas?

I have started my relationship with Online Therapy over a year ago, fuelled by my interest in telepsychology and helping patients who cannot attend face to face therapy.  I am also keen to maintain my bilingual psychotherapy skills. As an eclectic psychologist, I have gained experience and interest over the years in conditions such as anxiety and stress, depression, eating disorders, trauma, relationships, feelings of emptiness, emotional difficulties, life changes adaptation difficulties, parental coaching and personal growth/coaching.

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

I will start by saying that I may share DNA with cats since I love sunbathing. Food is another great passion as, in my culture, it means family reunion and connection. I get immense bliss when cooking for loved ones and putting smiles on their faces.

Motherhood has been, without a doubt, the joy of all joys and a highway to happy moments, personal growth and constant self-reflection.

Music provides the background soundtrack to my life. It allows me to personify emotions, it helps me to express myself and enables me to relate to others as well. My most recent personal goal is to learn how to play the guitar so that I can sing and play with my child.

A good conversation undeniably makes my day and time fly.  What else… well, I am a woman, a mother, a daughter, a sister, a wife, a friend, a colleague, a neighbour, a society member, a citizen of the world….

 

 

Contact Sara Now

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