Illumen are a growing team of Clinical Psychologists and mental health specialists. We combine science, theory, and clinical experience to help people with issues that are getting in the way of living.
We work with adolescents, adults, individuals, and couples. We provide assessments and evidence-based treatments across a broad range of issues and experiences, including depression and anxiety.
Our mission is to be a centre of excellence in supporting people through their difficulties. By providing specialist treatments supporting growth and positive change, we’ll get you back to living the life you value, as soon as possible.
Kathryn is an experienced Clinical Psychologist who is passionate about helping people grow and get more out of life. She works with people to pinpoint areas for change, identifying the roots of unhelpful patterns and what drives these, utilizes a person’s strengths, and teaches practical strategies to overcome difficulties and emotional pain. Kathryn uses a combination of evidence-based therapies aimed at reducing distress and improving quality of life. Integrating science, theory, and a breadth of clinical experience, Kathryn hopes to make therapy as brief as it needs to be, helping people get back to living the life they value as soon as possible.
Areas of speciality
Originally trained in New Zealand, Kathryn then lived and practiced in Sydney for ten years working in community mental health and private practice. She has worked with children, adolescents, and adults in diverse settings including specialised services for youth, mental health rehabilitation, adult community mental health, inpatient mental health units, and in private practice where she has been since 2013.
Kathryn specialises in mood and anxiety disorders, which includes the full spectrum of mood issues and anxiety difficulties, including panic, generalised anxiety, OCD, and social anxiety. Her special interests are in panic disorder, specific phobias (particularly using virtual reality), and trauma (including post-traumatic stress disorder and complex PTSD).
She also has a particular interest in women’s health and parenting, being a mum to two young children herself. This Includes pre and post-natal issues, and returning to work and balancing career and family life after having children.
Kathryn also has expertise in working with emotion regulation issues, particularly in young women, and psychosis and perceptual disturbances (such as hearing voices).
Kathryn has been involved in teaching and training mental health clinicians, and provision of clinical supervision to colleagues and intern Psychologists from Sydney-based Universities. Kathryn also participates in regular peer supervision and professional workshops to continue developing her knowledge, skills, and techniques.
Kathryn is at Illumen on Monday through to Thursday.
Amy is client centred and collaborative in her approach to therapy. Using evidence-based practices, each session will be tailored to your specific concerns and presenting issues. Engaging in therapy can feel like a daunting task. Her aim is to create a safe and supportive environment to progress towards your therapy goals, whether you want brief therapy and to the point strategies, or you need space for more long-term support and processing. Amy is a Grey Lynn native and values the diversity and vibrancy in our community, she has a genuine interest and respect for each person’s unique perspective, experience and culture.
Amy has experience working in hospital, community, primary care and corporate settings. Amy has most recently been working at a Primary Health Organisation on the North Shore and previously trained at Counties Manukau District Health Board in both community and inpatient adult mental health teams. Amy has experience working with adults experiencing a range of presenting concerns including stress, anxiety, depression, grief, adjustment, trauma, disordered eating, women’s health, aging and illness.
Areas of Speciality
Having experienced anxiety herself, Amy has a high level of empathy and understands the challenges anxious patterns of thinking can create. Amy has worked successfully with clients using evidence-based practices to build confidence and overcome anxious avoidance in panic attacks, social anxiety, generalised anxiety, specific phobias and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Amy’s doctoral research investigated the affects of a low intensity mindfulness-based phone app intervention on measures of stress, well-being and emotion reactivity. Her research investigated the active components of mindfulness underlying observed clinical benefits.
Amy works Tuesdays and Wednesdays at Illumen.
Stephen works in a collaborative goal focused manner utilising a variety of therapeutic approaches to help his clients gain mastery and peace with the issues they are facing in life. Therapies include Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), Mindfulness, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) ,Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT) and Solution Focused Therapy (SFT).
Sessions with Stephen will help you gain a deeper insight into what is causing you to feel and act the way you do and to gain coping skills and strategies to manage the difficulties you are experiencing so you can have a more rewarding and fulfilling life.
Sessions are worked through at your own pace in order for you to get the absolute most out of the time we spend together.
Areas of Specialty
Stephen works with people experiencing issues such as:
- Low and Depressed Mood
- Worry and Anxiety
- Motivational Problems
- Medically Unexplained Symptoms
- Men’s issues (including Pornography Addictions, Midlife crises)
- Spirituality or Existential Issues
- Chronic Health Issues
- The challenges and struggles of everyday life
- Sports Performance
Stephen is at Illumen on Thursdays and Fridays.
Clinical Experience and Specialty
Sarah has ten years of clinical experience in various settings including adult community mental health, primary mental health, university, and private practice. Specifically, she has experience treating depression, stress and anxiety including panic, social anxiety, specific phobias, health anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and generalised worries. In addition, she helps people adjust to new situations and roles such as parenthood. In recent years, Sarah has specialised in perinatal (both antenatal and postpartum) depression and anxiety.
Evidence-based techniques that Sarah uses are drawn from cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT), acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) and mindfulness-based practice. She also intertwines aspects of positive psychology to build resilience and utilise existing strengths. Sarah has an empathic and compassionate approach which strengthens her therapeutic relationships. She works collaboratively with individuals to empower them to achieve their goals.
Sarah has written three mental health books called My Coping Skills Journal, Mind Magic: Coping Tricks for Young People, and Brave Book. These have been helpful, practical resources for use in and between therapy sessions.
Sarah is at Illumen on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Primary therapeutic approaches include Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), Dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT), and Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy. Svenja is also experienced in Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) and Triple P (Positive Parenting Programme).
Originally from Germany, Svenja has been living in Aotearoa New Zealand since 2003. Svenja completed her Masters and Postgraduate Diploma in Child and Family Psychology at the University of Canterbury in 2012. In addition, Svenja completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy at Massey University. Svenja has worked as a Psychologist in the mental health, child care and protection, as well as education sector for a number of years.
Svenja is registered with the New Zealand Psychologists Board; and a member of the New Zealand Psychological Society (NZPsS) and the EMDR Association of New Zealand (EMDRNZ).
Svenja is currently available for appointments on Thursdays and Fridays (mornings).
Ursula values a humanistic approach. She strives to create a warm and culturally respectful environment where people feel safe to discuss difficult issues. She believes the key to successful therapy is developing a trusting and collaborative therapeutic relationships with clients, combined with evidence-based practices. She works by understanding a person’s unique worldview, and supports people to become reflective of their unhelpful patterns of thinking and behaving. She is passionate about motivating clients to live a more fulfilling life and regain a sense of wellbeing. Therapy can be short-term or long-term, goal orientated and/or reflection focused, and directed towards developing practical skills as well as deepening insight that can then be translated into meaningful change.
Areas of Specialty
Ursula’s clinical experience has mostly been in the public sector, both in mental health services across Auckland, and within a correctional/forensic setting. Ursula has experience working with people from diverse cultural backgrounds. She has been trained in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Motivational Interviewing (MI), Cognitive Self Change (CSC) and Mindfulness modalities. Her therapeutic approach is also informed by Attachment, Schema, Psychodynamic, and Systems/Family theory, and she has experience in skills based Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT).
Ursula has worked with clients on issues relating to Interpersonal and Relationship Problems, Personality Disorders, Anxiety and Depression, Emotion Regulation, Childhood Abuse, Issues with Anger and Violence, OCD related behaviours, Substance Use, Eating Disorders, and Concerning Sexual Behaviours and Thoughts.
Ursula has a special interest in infant mental health and developmental psychology and issues that relate to the parent-baby relationship. She has experience in forensic psychology (offending behaviours) and therapeutic group work.
Ursula’s Doctoral research investigated the experiences of Mental Health Support Workers in dealing with client suicidality.
Ursula is at Illumen on Fridays.
Bridget is an experienced Clinical Psychologist who works from a warm, compassionate, and non-judgemental stance. She strives to create a warm and safe therapy space so that you can feel heard and understood. Bridget uses evidence based practise to work collaboratively towards your therapy goals. This includes working with people to identify their thoughts, behaviour and feelings and to develop a tool box of skills to manage these. She hopes to offer short term therapy to enable you to live a meaningful and fulfilled life.
Areas of Speciality
Bridget has worked with children, youth and adults in diverse settings including child and adolescent community mental health, adolescent inpatient mental health, adult community mental health, private practice and youth forensic services across New Zealand and London. Bridget has extensive experience in working with people from diverse cultural backgrounds.
Her primary therapeutic approach is Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), although other approaches are incorporated as required in order to best meet the needs and goals of clients. These include Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Mindfulness.
Bridget has experience in providing interventions for the following experiences:
- Depression and mood difficulties
- Anxiety and Panic Attacks (including phobias, social anxiety and OCD).
- Trauma and Post-Traumatic Stress.
- Anger and emotion regulation difficulties.
She also has experience in neuropsychological assessment, including the assessment of Intellectual Disability and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. She has completed assessments of fitness to stand trial and has experience as an expert witness in the Youth Court. Bridget has experience in the supervision of Clinical Psychologists and other mental health professionals. She has also been involved in the teaching and supervision of Intern Psychologists
from London and Auckland Universities.
Bridget is at Illumen on Mondays and Tuesdays.
Areas of Speciality
Christine previously worked in the public health sector for over a decade and specialised in supporting parents whose children experience diverse needs, including neurodevelopmental disorders such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Autism Spectrum Disorder. In her current practice, Christine provides evidence-based assessment and therapy to adults, and also offers parenting support.
Christine draws on a range of therapeutic models, with approaches including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR), mindfulness techniques and distress-tolerance (DBT-informed). In her work with parents, Christine builds on her experience as a facilitator of programmes such as The Incredible Years and Parent-Child Interaction Therapy, as well as her knowledge of neurodevelopmental disorders.
In appreciation that starting therapy can be a big step, Christine strives to offer a warm and compassionate therapeutic relationship. She is committed to her clients' well-being and believes in working collaboratively, to tailor therapy to the individual's presentation and desired outcomes.
Christine is at Illumen on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
Dr Edwards has experience working with those who present with chronic emotional distress, and people who experience a range of mental health difficulties. Dr Edwards has a particular passion for working with young adults, those who have experienced trauma and neglect in their lives, and those who hold diverse identities.
Areas of Interest
-Trauma and neglect
-Transgender, non-binary, and gender diverse identities
-Difficult patterns of relating to self and others
-Adjusting to chronic health conditions
Dr Edwards is committed to offering a containing therapeutic space to explore developing new ways of understanding and responding to difficult experiences. They bring values such as compassion, humour, and ongoing learning into their therapeutic style.
Dr Edwards is available at Illumen on Thursdays.
Visit www.authenticpsychology.co.nz for more info about Dr Edwards and their practice.
Angus is full member of the NZ College of Clinical Psychologists, and a Professional Member of the Association of Contextual Behavioural Science.
Through working with Angus, you will learn how to clear away the clutter and the chaos, to focus on what is true, what is important, and what is of value to you. Using a combination of therapy techniques including Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Mindfulness, I can help you ‘get out of your head and into your life'.
Angus is comprehensively trained in a range of models including ACT, CBT and DBT. He has experience in the treatment of a wide range of clinical issues including:
Angus is able to integrate different modalities to meet the needs of each individual client.
Angus is availalbe at Illumen on Wednesdays.
Visit www.contextualpsychology.co.nz for more info about Angus and his practice.
Ondria applies a collaborative, non-judgemental and holistic approach to her work, and strives to provide a warm, welcoming and safe therapy environment. Using evidence-based therapies, sessions will be specific to your overarching therapy goals and needs, with the flexibility to address issues as they arise. Ondria will be able to cater to skills based learning and shorter durations of therapy, as well as longer process driven work. She is passionate about supporting her clients to develop more meaningful and fulfilling lives.
Ondria has been trained in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Dialectical Behaviour Therapy, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, and Parent-Child Interaction Therapy.
Areas of Specialty
Ondria has worked in hospital and community based settings with children and adolescents, and with adults. Her work has ranged from the North Shore of Auckland to West Auckland. Her training involved working with children in central Auckland, and with outpatient Adult Mental Health. Ondria has experience within child and adolescent settings around behavioural difficulties, Autism Spectrum Disorder and Selective Mutism, OCD, Anxiety, Depression, Parenting and the parent-child relationship, Interpersonal Difficulties – both within schools and families, and drug and alcohol use. Within adult settings, she has experience in working with Depression and Anxiety, Trauma, Borderline Personality Disorder and OCD.
Ondria’s doctoral research investigated the experiences of women who took antidepressants long term for the treatment of depression, and their experiences of recovery.
Ondria works on Fridays at Illumen.
Bex works in a down-to-earth, client centred, and professional manner. She draws on her full range of training and professional experience when working with clients. Her aim is to help you achieve any goals you come to therapy with, through improving understanding of self and patterns of thought and behaviour, learning new ways to communicate and manage emotions, through to specialised work in treating trauma and coping with mental and physical health concerns. Bex uses ACT, CBT, DBT and EMDR therapies.
Bex has experience in both public health and private practice settings. She completed her internship at Counties Manukau DHB, and then spent several years working for Auckland DHB, firstly in the Early Psychosis Service, and more recently with the Gynaecological Service. She also has prior experience working in the addictions sector. Bex has experience working with adolescents and adults with a wide range of mental and physical health concerns. She specialises in the areas of birth trauma, gynaecological issues (including pelvic pain issues and painful sex), chronic pain and chronic health issues.
Bex works Tuesdays at Illumen.
Joanna has experience working in primary, community and private mental health settings with adults experiencing a wide range of mild to severe mental health problems. She has specialty training in the areas of trauma, OCD, anxiety, depression, emotion regulation and in working with older adults. She is registered with ACC to undertake assessments and to support survivors of both physical and sexual trauma in their recovery.
Joanna is committed to supporting and guiding people to identify treatment goals and make tangible positive change in their lives. She works in collaboration with other services and providers as needed in order to support wholistic, safe and effective treatment. Joanna favours the use of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT) and Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprocessing Therapy (EMDRt) and draws on the principles of somatic, schema and neuropsychotherapies to support people in meeting their goals.
With her background in critical and emergency care nursing, Joanna brings a breadth of health related knowledge to her work as well as a compassionate and pragmatic approach to supporting her clients to live the life they strive for.
Clare’s approach to therapy is holistic, collaborative, and compassionate. She enjoys working with people to understand the patterns playing out in their life and what will lead to meaningful change. She is passionate about building on clients’ strengths and seeing people live more fulfilling lives.
Clare uses evidence-based practice to work with her clients toward their therapy goals. She has trained in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), Motivational Interviewing (MI) and Mindfulness. Clare also integrates techniques from Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), Compassion Focussed Therapy (CFT) and Schema Therapy as suited to clients’ needs and goals. Therapy can be short term or long term.
Clare’s has experience working in mental health, addiction, and forensic settings. Through her roles she has worked to help people cope with a range of problems including anxiety, depression, substance use difficulties/addiction, intense emotions, stress, anger, and relationship difficulties. She has trained in therapeutic group work and has experience working with people from diverse cultural backgrounds.
Clare completed her doctoral thesis on parents’ experiences of caring for a teenager at risk of suicide.
Clare works at Illumen on Fridays.
Chris integrates a number of therapeutic models into his practice including Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Schema Therapy, Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), and Mindfulness. He has a warm and compassionate style, with an approach that is person-centred, collaborative, and aims to meet the unique needs of each person. Chris focuses on helping people make sense of challenges they are currently experiencing, clarify what is important to them, and take steps to make desired change.
Chris has clinical experience working across a range of community mental health and private therapeutic settings, including working with adolescents and adults; working with families; working with Maori and Pasifika clients and whanau; and working with a range of difficulties and levels of distress including:
Trauma and attachment difficulties
Cultural issues and identity
Chris is available at Illumen on Fridays.
Tiare’s work is inspired by her understanding of the connectedness of human suffering, and the knowledge that all of us experience periods of difficulty in our lives. She knows that it can be hard to ask for support and even harder to address the causes of our struggles. Tiare is committed to creating a warm and safe therapeutic environment in which her clients feel empowered to do the self-reflective work required to make changes. She believes good work happens through connection, compassion and collaboration. Her eclectic approach is tailored to the style and needs of the client, strengths focussed and informed by evidence based modalities (including Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Solutions Focussed Brief Therapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Mindfulness self-compassion therapy, EFT).
Experience and Interests
Tiare has spent 20 years in various settings including corporate, PHO and private practice. She works with individuals and couples (EFT certified level 1) and has helped many hundreds of people navigate difficult periods of their life. She has a strong interest in anxiety, neurodiversity (ASD spectrum and ADHD) and relationship work.
Currently she is also supporting a number of organisations to navigate rising levels of burn up (refuses to use the word burnout) as we continue to face a world wide context of uncertainty and challenge.
Visit www.tiaretolks.com for more info on Tiare and her approach.
She welcomes referrals for bonding and attachment difficulties, parent-child relationship problems, child and youth behavioural difficulties, and adult insight-oriented psychotherapy.
Dr Sava can also offer assessments for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) for all ages, including administering the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS).
More information on Dr Sava, visit www.drsava.nz
Areas of Specialty
Susan has a special interest in working with adolescents and transitional youth, and their families, and in working with young people with eating disorders and co-morbid mental health conditions. Currently she works at Tupu Ora, the regional eating disorders service where she works within a multidisciplinary team both therapeutically using the Family based therapy model and SSCM, assessing and managing adjunctive medications and providing assessment and management of associated conditions such as depression and anxiety.
Susan is available to see children, adolescents and transitional youth for assessment and treatment of mental health concerns including eating disorders, anxiety, depression and ADHD. Susan accepts referrals from General Practitioners, psychologists and other mental health clinicians.
Susan is available for appointments at Illumen on Tuesday evenings.
Our Mental Health Social Workers
Carmel is a Clinical Social Worker who has worked within inpatient and community settings in Australia and New Zealand across a diverse demographic, supporting people through their individual recovery.
Carmel is a Mum of two young children and has a particular interest in women’s health. Her approach is person-centred and strengths-based, led with experience in the following areas of rehabilitation: multi-trauma orthopaedic, acquired brain injury (ABI), private orthopaedic, and amputee rehabilitation.
Carmel is completing further studies in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT) through the Beck Institute.
Areas of Interest
-Providing best practice tools for helping people adjust to life changes and/or difficulty with low mood and anxiety
-Women’s health pre and post-natal issues
-Supportive counselling in relation to a change in health status and community integration
Carmel is available at Illumen on Fridays.