Diane Gillespie

Registered Psychologist

BA (Psych) MA (Psych) PGDip (PsychPrac)

My name is Diane Gillespie and I am a New Zealand Registered Psychologist who is based in Invercargill, Southland. I have Bachelor, Masters and Post Graduate qualifications in Psychology, Counselling and Psychotherapy.

I have over 20 years’ experience in the fields of domestic violence, disability, mental health, sexual abuse, trauma, child development, child welfare, youth advocacy, psychology and counselling.


My aim is to work with other professionals to provide comprehensive client-centric therapeutic psychological/mental health services to clients in the Southern districts of Aotearoa/New Zealand (and other areas where there is need). 


95 Turner Street, Edendale (and will also travel)
027 246 8437


Caitlin Busch 

Intern Psychologist

More info coming soon.



027 208 5531

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Jim Gillespie

Equine Manager

95 Turner Street, Edendale

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Sandy Ewers

Counsellor/Social Worker

Kia ora, my name is Sandy, I’m a registered Social Worker and accredited ACC provider of counselling services.  For the past 25 years I have worked in New Zealand, the United Kingdom and in Australia with children, young people and families in a range of services including Child Protection, Hospital, Women’s Refuge and Police. 


I am currently working with children and young people in mental health, and I have worked in rural, urban and remote settings with a diverse range of cultures.   


I enjoy working alongside people and assisting them to find tools to help them move forward with their lives.    


027 617 2366

Kathryn M (2).PNG

Kathryn Mamanu

Counsellor/Social Worker

I am a fully registered social worker with the SWRB and member of ANZASW.


I am primarily based in Gore but have the capacity to travel to Invercargill to see clients. 

I am passionate about working alongside my clients to help them achieve their goals and find being a part of their  journey very rewarding.


I work from a strengths based approach that is client led with a strong emphasis on practice that empowers clients to reach their potential.


57 Main Street, Gore


(Can travel to Alexandra, Dunedin, Te Anau, & Queenstown)

027 753 9982


Annie Coughlan

Counsellor/Social Worker

More info coming soon.

70 Victoria Avenue, Invercargill

27B Clyde Street, Balclutha
027 250 9838


Karen Willis

Counsellor / Social Worker

More info coming soon.


027 3291 644


Dr Matthew McDonald

Registered Clinical Psychologist/ Neuropsychologist

Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology, Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Psychology (with Distinction), Bachelor of Science with Honours (First Class)

Matt enjoys working with adults of all ages, young people, and their parents, all seeking to make positive change in their lives.


His special interests include rural mental health, anxiety, depression, grief, loss and trauma, and he is ACC registered.


Over the years he has been employed in child and adolescent mental health, community health, corrections and palliative care.


Matt believes that in therapy,”one size does not fit all” and it is important to take time to talk with his clients and come up with a plan together to ensure that it works for them.


Matt is trained in various therapies including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Brain-based and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), which ensures tailored treatment based on client needs.


He researched psychometrics and neuropsychological functioning in older people for his PhD and uses these principles in his practice, including digital neuropsychological testing.


Matt says that he spent far too many years training at the University of Otago, and is enjoying being involved in the local community through Rotary volunteering.


He is a full member of the New Zealand College of Clinical Psychologists (NZCCP) and New Zealand Psychological Society (NZPsS) Institute of Clinical Psychologists.



Website: Mind Your Head Psychology

021 0880 4248


Sonia Pera


Māori Cultural Advisor

I am a qualified Counsellor registered with NZASW. I am ACC accredited, and my fundamental training is in historical sexual abuse, addictions, relationships and family dysfunction. I work with both men and women from all cultures and ethnicities. I am a fully trained functional family therapist and have worked as a relationship counsellor for 20 years for Family Court, and Rape Crisis for 15 years, as a counsellor. I am flexible with my session times and can provide counselling through skype.

I’ve enabled my clients to make healthier choices in their lives, and supported them to learn and develop better ways to handle life’s difficulties. Contact me today and begin the journey of recovery.



95 Turner Street, Edendale
027 823 9455


Dr Candy Fox


Please email all enquirers to


Jo Blackmore

Psychotherapist/Sex Therapist 

MA(Psych), PGDip Coun, BA(Hons) Arts Therapies, BACP, SWRB

Jo is trained in Psychotherapy, specialising in person-centred practices and working systemically in the field of trauma and distress. Jo works with individuals and families.

Jo has a wealth of experience working with people. She has worked with male prisoners, migrants, the armed forces, families and children in a variety of settings.

She has experience across many areas of mental health and has worked in a number of different settings including secure government facilities, outreach services, schools, prisons, youth specialty services as well as a variety of community health settings.

Jo uses a range of therapeutic approaches that are guided by psychoanalytic formulation and influenced by client preferences. She has skill in many evidence based therapies.


Jo aims to develop a sound therapeutic relationship with her clients and to empower them to make positive changes in their lives.

Timaru/Pleasant Point/Southland

021 126 3369


Kate McKay

Counsellor, NLP, Time Line Therapist, Hypnotherapist

BA Soc Sci, PG Dip Rehab Applied, Ergonomics, Guidance Studies, MCDANZ

Currently Unavailable

Kate’s heartbeat for life is all about the environment in which we live – the outside and the inside. Always seeking balance and harmony. For Kate, her work is a natural extension, an easy step from personal journey to assisting others seeking change and personal growth.

With over 15 years’ experience as a career coach, life coach and counsellor, Kate assists clients to better manage a wide range of personal challenges including negative emotions, troublesome habits, relationship tensions and confidence / self-esteem levels.

Kate enjoys working with people of all ages. Kate is intuitive, caring and sensitive, her mission being to help women, men and children connect with self – enabling them to move from stuck positions to enriched life experiences by discovering, accessing and using their pool of personal resources.

Kate is a coach, therapist, counsellor and trainer – Certified as an NLP Practitioner, Time Line™ Therapy Practitioner and an American Board of Hypnotherapy registered Hypnotherapist. Kate brings a wealth of background experience from earlier work in areas including vocational rehabilitation, administration and teaching music. She holds a degree in Social Science (Psychology) and has successfully undertaken post graduate study in Vocational Rehabilitation Ergonomics and Guidance Studies. She is a professional member of the ASORC: CDANZ and NZCCA and an accredited ACC provider – meaning that she can work with government and other agency client referrals in addition to private self-referred clients.

Kate enjoys living and working in Invercargill, New Zealand, making sure she gets regular breaks in beautiful Arrowtown with her husband John and two ‘fur kids’ Ruby and Emma.

She loves meeting with people in the open, relaxed and parklike offices at 70 Victoria Avenue, Invercargill but is equally happy to work over Skype.

70 Victoria Avenue, Invercargill

3 Brennan Lane, Gore


027 222 2865


Dr Latesha Murphy-Edwards

Registered Clinical Psychologist

Currently Unavailable

Dr Latesha Murphy-Edwards is a clinical psychologist who has been practicing since 1996. She worked for the Southern District Health Board until 2015 and has 20 years’ experience treating young people with mental illness. Latesha has also worked with adult mental health clients and as a clinical supervisor, an academic tutor, and a consultant report writer for the Youth Court.


Since leaving the SDHB and developing her private practice, Latesha has worked with ACC clients with physical injuries and sexual trauma.


She enjoys working with people of all ages and ethnic backgrounds and offers individual and family-based therapies. Latesha trained primarily in cognitive-behavioural therapy and is also interested in using various other interventions including mindfulness-based therapies in her work.


She is a member of the New Zealand Psychological Society (Institute of Clinical Psychologists) and a member of the New Zealand Pain Society.

70 Victoria Avenue, Invercargill
021 295 9207


Jess Brown

Counsellor/Social Worker

Jessica is a Registered Social Worker with the SWRB also a member of ANZASW. She is an experienced and dedicated Social Worker with a Bachelor degree in Social and Community Work and a Post Grad (Distinction) in Social Welfare. Jessica appreciates working alongside people in their change journey, and enjoys working with children/youth and welcomes referrals from all demographics embracing diversity. 


Jessica has experience working from a Kaupapa Maori lens and has worked in the fields of grief, mental health, crisis intervention, addictions and whanau centered practice. 

Jessica is available to travel to Central Otago (currently fortnightly) but is primarily based in Invercargill. She is an accredited provider of ACC Sensitive Claims as a counsellor and social worker. Session times can be flexible and telehealth is an option if needed. 


Jessica works from a strengths based model and believes that finding the right therapist is key to a healthy and successful therapeutic relationship. 


Jessica is born and bred in Southland with a passion for cheese rolls, has an interest in societal sociology, loves dressing up her puppy Gus, enjoys cooking and entertaining at home, and feels that working with people to give them tools, ideas and motivation to be the best version of themselves is an absolute privilege. 


027 296 7477


Katie O'Connor

Counsellor, Mindfulness Teacher

MNZAC, Certified MBSR Teacher, BA (psych), Dip. Soc Services (Counselling), Dip. Integrative Psychology (Hakomi), Spiritual Companion (Ignatian Tradition), LTCL

Katie enjoys working in a holistic, sensitive and caring way and accompanying people on their spiritual journey and leading retreats. She has over 20 years’ experience in counselling, mindfulness and mindfulness based approaches, teaching Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and (Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT).


She is especially interested in the connection between wellness and nature and its power as a resource for healing. Katie believes that through cultivating a safe nurturing space others can explore their lives with curiosity and compassion and find greater clarity and freedom and connection with the Divine.


Katie originally trained in Hakomi psychotherapy and over the years has trained in a number of other counselling modalities. Her current focus is in teaching mindfulness one-to-one and in groups, and being a Spiritual companion to those seeking to find ‘the one they name as God’.  Trained in Ignatian Spirituality through the Te Wairua Mahi programme she is also involved in taking the Spiritual Exercises, and running a variety of short and longer retreats. 


Katie feels privileged to travel with others on their journey. While she comes out of a Christian tradition she has a special love of Celtic spirituality, a heartfelt respect for Buddhism, and a curiosity and reverence of other faiths. She has attended and run numbers of different retreat days and longer retreats in New Zealand over the last decade.


027 478 2782


Tony Mfumu-Nsuka

Registered Psychologist

More info coming soon.

020 4165 7000


Sue Lattimore


More info coming soon.


021 466 607


Katrina Collie

Counsellor/Social Worker

Degree in Community and Social Work, PGDip in Social Work (with Distinction), 200 hr Registered Yoga Teacher, certified iRest Yoga Nidra teacher.

Currently Unavailable

Kate is a social worker who has experience in the fields of mental health, addictions, social work supervision and family work. She also has a particular interest in the use of mindfulness and somatic (body) therapy to support wellbeing. She believes the combination of talk therapy and somatic therapy offers a holistic approach to healing.


Kate acknowledges that seeking support can be scary and can cause us to feel vulnerable however, seeking support also shows courage and strength.


81C Don Street, Invercargill
027 419 6525


Wendy Scott


Addictions (Dip), DBT (Cert), Social Services (Cert),ACC and DAPAANZ Registered

Currently Unavailable

Wendy is an experienced registered Addiction Practitioner and trained DBT therapist. She incorporates a strength based approach and a holistic perspective - spiritual, emotional, social and psychological elements when working with clients.


Wendy’s counselling studies formally began in 2005. She has worked with a diverse range of people from youth to seniors since beginning her career. She has a passion for assisting and empowering individuals achieve their select goals.


She enjoys outdoor activities including horse riding - horses have always been her soul food. She is married and has 2 adult sons and enjoys getting together with her whanau and extended whanau.

70 Victoria Avenue, Invercargill

57 Main Street, Gore

027 300 8454


Annalisa Cairns

Social Worker

More info coming soon.




Penny Walker

Registered Clinical Psychologist

BA, BSc (Psych), MSc (Distinction in Psych), PGDipClPs

Currently Unavailable

Penny is passionate about helping clients achieve their goals. She is a Registered Clinical Psychologist originally from Southland and of NZ European and Māori descent.

Penny’s special interests include mental health among rural and farming communities, relationships, trauma and Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT). She utilises knowledge and skills from a broad base of therapies to help improve wellbeing and functioning. Penny has gained clinical experience working with forensic adults in an impatient setting, as well as adults, adolescents and children in the community.

Penny studied at the University of Otago where she gained a Master of Science (MSc) with Distinction in Psychology, Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Psychology (PGDipClPs), Bachelor of Science majoring in Psychology (BSc) and Bachelor of Arts double majoring in Indigenous Development and Japanese (BA).

She is a full member of the New Zealand College of Clinical Psychologists (NZCCP).




Theresa Ratima

Counsellor/Social Worker

Kia ora, I am a registered Social Worker with SWRB a full member of ANZASW and an ACC accredited Counselor/therapist.

My passion is to empower people from all walks of life to achieve to their fullest potential.


I worked as a community social worker with youth, I have worked alongside of children as a social worker in schools, I managed adult mental health residential services both Kaupapa Māori and mainstream, and I have tutored in Te Wananga o Aotearoa teaching social services from a Kaupapa Māori perspective.


I work from a strength-based perspective but will incorporate western and Māori frameworks to enhance my practice.


I am committed to the well-being of those I walk alongside


Whakataukī (proverb)

He aha te mea nui o Te Ao

He Tangata, He Tangata, He Tangata

What is the most important thing in the world?

Tis people Tis people Tis people.


5 The Crescent, Invercargill

027 855 8026


Justine Holland

Counsellor/Social Worker

Justine Holland is an experienced social worker who has worked in youth justice and with youth and their families in both statutory and non-statutory roles. Justine has a passion for empowering individuals to realise their full potential and being supported to do this. She works from a strengths based perspective and incorporates psychosocial and solution focused frameworks into her work with clients.

Justine is a fully registered social worker (SWRB) and member of ANZASW. She is an ACC accredited counsellor providing counselling and her own practice providing supervision for social workers and those working within social service settings.

Justine considers Southland home, moving to Invercargill in the mid 90’s and raising her family here.

70 Victoria Avenue, Invercargill (and will travel)

027 713 1255

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Catherine Hanson-Friend

Counsellor/Social Worker

I am an experienced and mature Registered Social Worker (SWRB) and Counselling Professional (UC Post-graduate) having practiced for 30 years as a Social Worker and therapist/counsellor in the UK; New Zealand; Solomon Islands; the USA and Northern Thailand. Over the 30 years I have worked with: Children and Families (predominantly in the Child Protection sphere), the Health Care sector (including Palliative and Cancer Care; Loss and Grief; Traumatic Brain Injury; Elderly and Dementia Care and with the three components of Mental Health, namely: cognitive health, emotional health, and behavioural health), humanitarian work (including with child-sex-trafficking practices).


I am also a fully qualified and certified Havening Practitioner®, with Havening Techniques® being backed by neuroscience and being evidenced to benefit many health conditions especially anxiety, depression, stress, chronic pain, anger, panic attacks, phobias and past or present trauma. This revolutionary psychosensory therapy provides some with a way to make the most of their neural plasticity and can assist in providing freedom from unnecessary fears, blocks and pain.

Each of my therapeutic interventions come laden with respect, acceptance, compassion, appreciation, connection, inclusivity and safety, all whilst working with the client on their stuck emotions/frozen feelings/buried trauma and overwhelming anxieties.

I embody my knowledge of, and experiences with, various cultures and communities within my work and fully embrace any opportunity to educate and empower people to remember that their own healing potential is mostly deeply seated within themselves. 


027 890 8132


Shane Pleasance


Shane works across Southland and Otago. He has recently become a grandfather for the first time, so may have medals of babymilk on his shirt and photos of his granddaughter at any time.


Shane has been a counsellor and psychiatric nurse for 30 years, and has a strong background in addictions.

Southland Community House

46 Kelvin Street, Invercargill


027 589 9921 / 0800 589 9921 


Karen Goffe


Kia ora. My name is Karen a registered Social Worker and accredited ACC provider of counselling services. I like people and enjoy working alongside children and adults to embrace diversity, respecting that everyone is unique.  I focus on an individual’s strengths to overcome barriers to recovery, trauma, and grief so that healing can take place. Over 20 years working in mental health, rape crisis, suicide prevention and trauma has allowed me to create an eclectic and integrative approach to address individual needs.


I am experienced in the following models: integrated trauma focused therapy, interactive drawing therapy, narrative therapy, sand-tray therapy, play therapy with children, grief and loss, ACT, CBT, mindfulness and suicide prevention. Karen only works with ACC sensitive claims.


My specialities are in Te ao Maori models: Powhiri, Te Whare Tapa Wha, Te Pae Mahutonga, Mauri Ora, Te Wheke.


27B Clyde Street, Balclutha


021 777 732


Diane Johnstone

Counsellor/Social Worker

More info coming soon.


027 739 9590


Liz Randell

Counsellor/Social Worker

BA(Psych), PGDip Social & Community Work

Currently Unavailable

Liz is from Invercargill and over the last 15 years has worked in youth mental health, youth justice/care and protection and currently works in education with at risk students.


Liz has a BA (major psychology) and post graduate diploma in social and community work (with distinction) and is a member of ANZASW. Her passion is youth and considering how the wider support system around people can be strengthened. The goal is always relief from distress and a way for people to move forward with autonomy and hope.


In her free time she enjoys running, learning the guitar, reading and getting out and about with her two kids.

Southland Districts


Sandra Marshall

Counsellor/Social Worker

Sandra is currently working as a case worker for Women’s Refuge and has been for the past 18 years. Sandra’s passion is working with people of all ages and from all aspects of life to empower everyone.

Sandra works with compassion and warmth and walks along side to help guide and nurture people to make positive change. Sandra is a member of ANZASW since 2009, continued with professional development with child protection and CBT.

021 069 7650

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Annelize Prinsloo

Registered Clinical Psychologist

Annelize Prinsloo is an experienced Clinical Physiologist based in Invercargill Southland.


Annelize obtained her Masters degree in Clinical Psychology in South Africa where she worked with people from various backgrounds who faced a variety of psychological

challenges. Annelize has several interests within the field of psychology which include: Adjustment Disorders, Anxiety Disorders, Bipolar Disorder, Depression, Loss and Bereavement, Parental Guidance, PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), Relationship and Marriage Counselling, Stress Management and ACC Supported  Assessments. Annelize has experience working with children, adolescence and adults, she offers individual psychotherapy and assessments.

Annelize  follows and integrative approach that entails the utilization of various techniques from a variety of psychological therapeutic approaches, some of the approaches relied upon are, CBT (Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Gestalt Therapy, Narrative Therapy and Solution Focused Therapy.

70 Victoria Avenue, Invercargill

0204 014 3661


Janet McKnight

Counsellor/Social Worker

Janet has 14 years’ experience working within Mental Health services. She has worked with people who have experienced a range of mental health issues, and who come from a range of backgrounds, including children, teenagers, older adults and people of various ethnicities. Whilst working within Mental Health services she has provided therapy and support. She has education, training and experience in a range of therapy models.

Janet is committed and passionate about working with people to help them work through the emotional difficulties they are experiencing. She tailors her therapy to suit each person she is working with.

Janet is ACC Registered Counsellor to work with those who have experienced sexual trauma and she is also a Registered Social Worker.

70 Victoria Avenue, Invercargill
027 457 0010


Tess Preininger

Registered Clinical Psychologist

BA; BA (Hons); MA Clin Psych MNZCCP

Currently Unavailable

Tess has worked in public and private health care settings in South Africa and New Zealand over the past 12 years. She enjoys working with adolescents and adults of all ages, who are seeking to improve their emotional and psychological wellbeing.

Tess predominantly uses a client-centred, systemic approach, which allows for intervention to be tailored to each client's unique needs and situation. Special areas of interest are providing treatment for depression and anxiety, adjustment difficulties and trauma.

Tess is a registered assessor and treatment provider for ACC Sensitive Claims and also works as a health assessor for the Ministry of Justice. Tess speaks English, Afrikaans, and German.

70 Victoria Avenue, Invercargill

021 084 34613


Theresa Parker

Registered Clinical Psychologist

BMus, DipGrad(Psych), GradDipTchg, MSc (Distinction in Psychology), PGDipCIPs

Theresa is a Registered Clinical Psychologist working in Dunedin and Southland. Her work includes Assessment and Treatment for ACC sensitive claims as well as working with adolescents and adults with a wide range of mental health issues. Theresa also works half time for the Intellectual Disability Service with the Southern District Health Board.

Theresa is motivated to work collaboratively with clients to achieve their goals and a life that is meaningful for them. Theresa strongly believes that positive change is attainable for all individuals. In the past, Theresa gained clinical experience working with adults, adolescents, and children in a Community setting, as well as forensic clients with Intellectual Disabilities in an Inpatient Setting. Her areas or interest and experience include trauma, anxiety, depression, psychosis, autism, and learning disabilities. Her knowledge and skills are across a wide range of therapies.


Her primary interests are in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), trauma-focused therapy, and Mindfulness based therapies. Theresa also has specialist assessment skills in Neurodevelopmental Disorders, including Intellectual Disability, Autism Spectrum Disorder, and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

Theresa studied at the University of Otago where she gained a Master of Science (MSc) with Distinction in Psychology, Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Psychology (PGDipCIPS), and Diploma for Graduates (DipGrad) in Psychology. Prior to training in Psychology, Theresa completed a Bachelor of Music (BMus), Graduate Diploma in Secondary School Teaching (GradDipTchg).

Theresa is a full member of the New Zealand College of Clinical Psychologists. Theresa is available for ACC clients.


Level 5 of the Westpac Building

106 George Street, Dunedin
022 384 7175


Helen Rathore

Registered Clinical Psychologist

More info coming soon



Dr Shelley Taylor

Registered Clinical Psychologist

I am a registered clinical psychologist who has experience working with adolescents and adults. I love working with people and sharing their journeys. I have supported clients with trauma, anxiety, depression, psychosis, bipolar and personality disorders.

I have over 13 years’ experience working in acute and rehabilitation mental health wards. I use various therapeutic interventions and approaches that are chosen based on formulations and client preferences, including CBT, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Dialectical Behaviour Therapy, Mindfulness Based Therapy, and Schema Therapy.

I am a full member of the NZ College of Clinical Psychologists.


27B Clyde Street, Balclutha

83 Moray Place, Kirkland Cambers, 1st Floor, Dunedin

027 249 5006


Symantha Johnston

Counsellor / Social Worker

Symantha is a therapist with training in the disciplines of Social Work and Counselling.  She is registered with ANZASW, SWRB, NZAC, ACC.  


Her background is in care and protection, mental health, sexual abuse and Social Work Supervision.  


She has worked with babies, children, youth and adults for the past 18 years.  She keeps her practice refreshed and current through continual professional development.  


Symantha works from a relational client focused style that holistically integrates emotional, spiritual, physical and social modalities to assist in building awareness and understanding of self and environment.  


She believes it is a privilege to meet and work with people who share their stories and life journey with her.   

027 698 5550


Michael Sommerhalder


I am a qualified and registered drug and alcohol counsellor. I work with both men and women from all cultures and ethnicities. I am trained in cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and motivational interviewing.


I have a vast life experience and often draw from that too. I like to work in a holistic way and including all aspects of the client’s life.

95 Turner Street, Gore


Queenstown/Lakes District


021 331 815

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John Sayles


I am married with 2 children, 8 grandchildren, and a little dog called Flossie.


I have had past experience in working in the rural sector, retail management with the last 30 years in mental health and addiction.


I trained as and worked as a counsellor for the last 25 years. Specialty in Alcohol and Drugs along with mental health, trauma, grief, and PSTD. Gained a BAC in Alcohol and Drug Studies. I also have extensive training in trauma and PSTD therapies.


I have worked with a large cross section of people from different cultures and ages in a lot of different settings with zoom and telephone work included.


I love what I do and seeing people set free of the things that bind us so that they can move on with their lives.


I love playing bowls, fishing, cooking and being with my family.  


Clutha District



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Moalia Lattimore


Kia ora, my name is Moalia Lattimore.  Most people call me - Mo. I am Māori, Pākehā and American Norwegian. I am descended through Upokorehe and the Lattimore clan.


I am a Provisional member of the NZAC. I take up a practice of Narrative Therapy through a Te Ao Māori lens, basically this means I love to be alongside people in their journey.


I am a listener and a curious gentle explorer of experiences. Sometimes I am a butt kicker – not literally though, it old for that kind of action!


I am pretty down to earth. I’ve been a computer programmer, a casual labourer, unemployed, a young student and an older student. I’ve doubted myself, thought I was the worst of the worst and believed I would never get anywhere, at about 40 years I discovered I am Māori – a real one, it was a (re)discovery which firmed up my tūrangawaewae and lead me further down an amazing journey where I discovered I am also human and awesome.


I stand solid in this world in a way I never thought was possible. I learned to respect myself and love myself as much as I respect and care about others. I aim to be a point of difference in peoples lives. A professional who can hold the hard stories. Someone who can share in conversations which help open a healing and nurturing world of possibilities. It is my passion to help others (re)discover their own awesome.


021 136 5212


Judy Leith

Person-Centred Counsellor / Somatic – Mindfulness Practitioner

BSocServ Counselling, Relational Wholebody Focusing Therapist

Judy is a Counsellor and Wholebody Focusing Oriented Therapist & Trainer in private practice in Southland. She is presently undertaking her Counselling Internship with South Coast Psychology and is a provisional member with the NZAC. Judy’s person-centred approach to counselling is based on self-worth, positive regard, and a deeply embodied empathy towards others. Her emphasis is on the quality and depth of the therapeutic relationship through her willingness to be authentic and real so a genuine connection can be established and is summed up below:


‘I am non-judgmental, empathetic and interested in listening to you and hearing what you have to say and working together with you to bring about any change in your life that you desire, that will enable your life to become better’.


Judy integrates somatic-mindful trauma therapy, IFS (Internal Family Systems) and wholebody focusing into her counselling practice to help clients to relax and bring relief from anxiety, pain, fear, and tension held in the body. This gentle practice encourages a deep meaningful connection with self and in relationship to others and gives clients tools to take away to use in their everyday lives to self-regulate and help to manage challenging relationships and stressful life situations. Judy has been practicing the mindful practice of wholebody focusing for ten years having become certified with the Focusing Institute of New York as a trainer in 2015 and as a Relational Wholebody Focusing Oriented Therapist in 2018.


Additionally, Judy’s areas of interest include working with groups to build self-esteem and self-awareness, teaching grounding techniques from wholebody focusing by tuning into and connecting with the body’s own knowing and wisdom and guiding individuals to deepen their experience of staying in the present, in ‘moment by moment awareness’ through the practice of somatic mindfulness.


Judy welcomes non-ACC private referrals for counselling and focusing therapy.

5 The Crescent, Invercargill

027 275 7473


Anne Neilson

Intern Counsellor

Anne is proficient in DBT skills, mindfulness, CBT, ACT and Rogerian therapies, and has experience in working with people from diverse cultures, teens and adults, and a variety of mental health presentations.

Anne has experience working with sexual abuse in her past role within a rape crisis centre providing counselling for people presenting with sexual abuse and rape and their effects. This may suit clients that don’t qualify for ACC referrals. She is happy work with clients teaching them skills and assisting them to apply skills and strategies into their everyday lives.

Anne is undertaking her counselling internship with South Coast Psychology. She welcomes non-ACC private referrals for counselling/ therapy.


027 215 8002


Dr Kay McKenzie

Registered Counselling Psychologist

Kay is a Registered Counselling Psychologist and also an accredited EMDR therapist who specialises in trauma therapy.  She is trained in ways to reprocess trauma from immediately after the event, through to reprocessing historical trauma. 

Kay is a Board Member of EMDRNZ and she is active at a National level in supporting EMDR expertise



027 228 9747


Mayuri Samant

Intern Counsellor

Mayuri Samant is undertaking counselling with children and adults. She has her degree and Master in Applied Psychology from the University of Mumbai, India, and a Post-Graduate Diploma in Applied Health Sciences Wellness and Rehabilitation from New Zealand.


She has lots of experience working with people who are struggling with their mental health and trauma both in India and in New Zealand.  

Mayuri’s interest in the field of psychology includes but is not limited to: working with trauma, loss, anxiety, professional growth, relationships, and marriage.  

Mayuri is an accepting and non-judgmental person who believes that every individual has the potential to overcome the difficulties they face in life and is happy to be able to be a part of their journey to overcome them.


Mayuri is working towards studying to be a Registered Psychologist in New Zealand. 


021 051 8726


Michelle Colvin

Intern Community Worker

More info coming soon.


027 341 8772


Rene Frey-Jennings


Master of Health Practice in Psychotherapy Practice, AUT, NZ
(Advanced Psychotherapy & Clinical Supervision), Diploma Analytical Psychology, ATNZ, NZ, Diploma Depth Counselling, ATNZ, NZ, Diploma Relationship & Psychosexual Counselling, ATNZ, NZ, Diploma Yoga Teaching, IYTANZ, NZ, Certificate Emotional Clearing Facilitator (Ruskan approach) NY, USA, Current study – 2-year Meditation Teacher Training with Tara Brach and Jack Kornfield, USA

Rene is currently accepting private referrals only

My approach combines Western and Eastern psychology using psychotherapy, yoga and mindfulness philosophy. I enjoy supporting clients to reconnect with the language of their bodies to greater understand their emotional world and heal old wounds.


In helping clients develop their awareness, curiosity and reflective skills they come to know themselves more deeply. Together we look at old beliefs, old patterns which keep people stuck and question whether they’re relevant in their lives today. We process trauma in a gentle and safe way through emotional clearing and integrate the long-rejected parts to return to wholeness. A typical session includes different pathways to healing, such as talk/depth therapy, mindfulness, easeful yoga, visualisation, breath-work, dreams, sand-trays, drawing, etc.


I’ve been in private practice in Invercargill and the Catlins since 2003. Alongside my psychotherapy practice I’ve spent the last twenty years studying with the majority of my study being in psychotherapy, clinical supervision, yoga, mindfulness and integrative processing/emotional clearing.


Over the past several years I’ve done much of my training in mindfulness through attending residential retreats. I especially find silent retreats which last several days enlightening and enriching.


Originally I’m from Canada and have been in Southland since 1993. I’m interested in how people from different cultures view the world and I like to spend time learning about evolving consciousness.

142 Don St, Invercargill

The Catlins

027 687 8113

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Vicki Yarker- Jones 

Intern Counsellor


I am a professionally trained counsellor and mental health nurse, and registered therapist with The New Zealand Association of Counsellors. I have advanced training in online counselling and am dedicated to ongoing professional development.

I offer a supportive and encouraging environment to explore your needs. I work as an integrative therapist, essentially meaning I use varying techniques depending on how you present to me on the day.

Techniques may include those used in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Solution Focused and Narrative Therapy. 


I am passionate about supporting people to find themselves when a significant life event occurs. Helping you to develop an understanding of where you are now. Sometimes this happens through a deeper understanding of the past, sometimes by working through what presents right now.


Together we can find the best way ahead for you.

I will be your safe place to share life’s hassles, your cheerleader and conscience as required. I will listen without judgement and allow you your own space to develop.