Your Wellness Support Team

Wellness Support Team – Awhi Atu, Awhi Mai
Your Wellness Support Team is here to support you in managing stress and coping with challenges in life – for the wellness of you and your whaanau/ family. 
The members of Wellness Support Team are:
Dr. David Codyre, Mental Health Lead, Consultant Psychiatrist
GP Registrars in the “Advanced Competencies in Primary Mental Health” programme
Elaine Allison, Psychologist
Nicholas Cao, Health Psychologist
Leona Didsbury, Health Psychologist
Munira Haidermota, Clinical Psychologist
Amy Jackson, Intern Health Psychologist
Sue Lawrie, Psychologist/ Sex and Relationship Therapist
Pam Low, Health Psychologist
Lila O’Farrell, Specialist Therapist
Josephine Orejana, Health Psychologist
Charlene Pretorius, Health Psychologist
Caryn Trent, Clinical Psychologist
Helen Van Der Merwe, Intern Clinical Psychologist
Dr. David Codyre
Consultant Psychiatrist
MBChB (Uni Akld 1980), FRANZCP(1989)
David is an NZ medical graduate, who completed his post-grad years and psychiatry training in Auckland, and gained his specialist qualification in 1989. Apart from a further stint of travel and work in the UK in 1992/3, he worked as a psychiatrist in the NZ public mental health sector until 2001, in various adult community psychiatry roles. Over that time he worked in roles that increasingly involved clinical leadership, latterly as Clinical Director of District Mental Health Services for Waitemata DHB.
However, an increasing interest in early intervention, primary mental health, and integration, lead him to leave in 2001 to establish New Zealand’s first primary mental health programme at ProCare Health. After 10 years leading this award winning programme, David left ProCare in early 2012 to join the team at East Tamaki Healthcare to support further development of the ETHC primary mental health programme.
David provides clinics in all the larger ETHC practices. He provides telephone consultation advice to GPs, face-to-face consultation assessments, and limited follow-up, for patients with more complex or poorly treatment responsive mental health issues. David oversees the GP Registar “Advanced Competencies in Primary Mental Health” Programme at ETHC (see below)
GP Registrar “Advanced Competencies in Primary Mental Health” Programme.
The Wellness Support Team is delighted to be working with 6 GP registrars, in a trial of implementing this 3-year programme of advanced training in Primary Mental Health.  The GP registrars work with the team 1 day a week, running medical clinics for people with mental health issues who would benefit from an extended appointment (first appointment 50-60 min, follow-up 20-30 min) with a GP with special training in mental health issues.  The rest of their week they work as a GP in the clinics.
Year 2 Registrars: Kazi Mahmud, Prabhu Pandey, Moana Taylor
Year 1 Registrars: Niraj Gundawar, Louisa Sinclair, Kun Yao
Elaine Allison
Psychologist (NZ Registered)
BA, PGDip Social Work, MSc, PGDip Neurology, PGCert Cognitive Behaviour Therapy
Elaine previously worked in Health, Education and Social Services within the UK and New Zealand. Elaine is skilled in working with children and families, and also supporting people with depression, anxiety, stress, grief, eating disorders, life changes and many other mental health issues.
Elaine uses a wide range of therapies to fit her client’s needs, interests, and goals for moving forward as a person and in their lives. Elaine uses a range of therapies such as CBT, Drawing Therapy, mindfulness, play therapy, art therapy, family therapy and parenting skills. Elaine works to support individuals to believe in themselves, their strengths and that positive long term change can occur in their lives.
Nicholas Cao
Health Psychologist (NZ Registered) & Stanford Chronic Disease Self-Management (CDSMP) Educator
BA (Psychology), MSc, PGDip Health Psychology
Nicholas was born and raised in South Auckland and is of Samoan and European descent. After completing his undergraduate degree he worked as a youth worker for over two years as well as a variety of customer service roles, including within the ADHB.  His passion for health and wellbeing led him to return to Postgraduate study in 2011 where he specialised in Health Psychology.  For 3 years and throughout his postgraduate study he worked for Barnados as a counsellor for the children’s telephone helpline ‘0800WhatsUp’.    
Nic is dedicated to getting to know people from all walks of life who face a variety of issues with the aim of instilling hope and encouraging people to become better self-managers using cognitive behavioural therapy.  He is skilled in helping people with: depression and low mood, developing self-esteem, improving communication, managing stress, anxiety and panic, adjusting to and coping with physical health problems, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Leona Didsbury
Senior Health Psychologist (NZ Registered)
BA, MSc (Hons), PGDip Health Psychology
Trainer in the Stanford Chronic Disease Self-Management Programme (CDSMP), Diabetes Self-Management Programme (DSMP) and Chronic Pain Self-Management Programme (CPSMP)
Leona is originally from the United States but has lived in New Zealand for 26 years. She completed her studies in Health Psychology at the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences at Auckland University nine years ago. She has worked as a psychologist in primary care mental health for eight years. She is a member of the NZ Psychological Society.
Leona has done further training in self-management programmes at Stanford University in California. She specializes in providing self-management strategies and therapies which aim to increase a person’s confidence to manage the impact of illness on their lives. This includes management of long-term conditions such as: arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, anxiety, depression, irritable bowel and chronic pain. 
Leona is experienced in supporting people as they deal with the ups and downs of their lives. She is skilled in assisting individuals who are struggling through grief, loss, family issues, medical problems, burn out, work issues as well as mood problems such as anxiety and depression.  
Munira Haidermota
Clinical Psychologist (NZ Registered)
Masters in Clinical Psychology
Munira completed her training as a Clinical Psychologist in May 1992. She is registered in the specialist category of Clinical Psychologist under the Health Practitioners Competency Assurance Act (2003), and is a full member of the New Zealand Psychological Society and their Institute of Clinical Psychologists. Munira is originally from India and has lived and worked in India and the Middle East before moving to New Zealand. She lives with her husband and 2 boys.
Munira works previously worked at the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service with the District Health Board as well as with the Disability Services in New Zealand & overseas. She has extensive experience in working with mental health issues for children and their families as well as adults. Munira has trained as a Family Therapist in New Zealand.
Munira possesses specialized knowledge with the diagnosis and management of Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and facilitates psycho educational sessions on ASD for families and care givers. Social Skills training for ASD is also undertaken.
Therapy is guided by Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and Behavioural Therapy Principals with considerations for individual’s interests, culture, spirituality and general goals for life. Work is undertaken in collaboratively with clients to set goals, time frames and issues they would like to address. Opportunities are provided to clients to gain mastery and control over their lives. There is regular assessment of therapy goals and review of progress.
Areas of Specialization:
Anxiety / Stress / Worry, Depression,
Loss and Grief,
Work Related Stress,
Anger Management,
Relationship difficulties,
Life transitions,
Autistic Spectrum Disorders – Diagnosis and Management,
Psychometric Assessments,
Marital Counselling,
Parenting Challenges.  
Family Therapy
Amy Jackson
Intern Psychologist (NZ Registered, Health) & Stanford Chronic Disease Self-Management (CDSMP) Educator
BSc conj. BA (Psychology), MHealthPsych (Hons), PGDip Health Psychology
Amy is originally from the UK but has lived in Auckland for the past 10 years. She is currently undertaking her Postgraduate Diploma in Health Psychology at the University of Auckland, following the completion of her Master’s thesis which explored the links between emotions and smoking behaviours. 
Amy is passionate about empowering clients to manage their health, and increasing clients’ confidence to cope with the stress in their lives. Amy’s areas of interest include helping people with long-term conditions including chronic pain and chronic fatigue, as well as mood difficulties such as anxiety and depression. She also has a strong interest in self-compassion and Acceptance and Commitment therapies.
Sue Lawrie
Senior Psychologist / Sex and Relationship Therapist
RN, BSc, MSc (Hons), PGDipPsychPrac. MNZPsS
Born in Christchurch, New Zealand, Sue began her career in health as a Registered Nurse.  She has worked in New Zealand, Australia and the United Kingdom. In the late 90’s, Sue arrived home, became a mum to her beautiful Taranaki boy and enrolled to further her studies at the University of Auckland.  As a Psychologist, Sue has worked with a variety of problems in a number of settings including acute inpatient, addiction services and primary mental health. 
Sue uses a range of therapies, such as CBT and ACT to empower individuals, couples and families.   She works alongside people to explore obstacles to well-being and understand what more they might like to achieve. Sue likes to support people to recognize their strengths and existing coping skills, and improve their self-confidence to manage ongoing challenges.  
Her approach to therapy is warm, positive and collaborative and she tailors her treatment to the unique needs of the person. Sue has a special interest in the dynamics of relationships and specializes in sexual and couple therapy.   She has completed Sex Therapy training with Sex Therapy New Zealand and three years of training in Emotion Focused Therapy for couples.  Sue values feedback from her clients to assist her to help them.  She takes the good and the not so good feedback, in order to achieve her goal of providing a safe and sacred space of exploration and healing.
Pam Low
Senior Health Psychologist (NZ Registered) & Stanford Chronic Disease Self-Management (CDSMP) Master Trainer & Educator
BA, MSc (Hons), PGDip Health Psychology, GradDip Theology
Pam grew up in Auckland and is of Filipino and Chinese descent. She has been working as a psychologist for more than 10 years, most of this time in South Auckland. She has the experience and ability to work with people with a number of different issues including depression, anxiety, grief and loss, work stress, family and relationship problems, and health problems. Pam only works with adults 18 years and older.
Pam completed her psychology studies at the University of Auckland, specializing in Health Psychology. This means that she can help people cope with the challenges of having a long-term health condition such as a diabetes, arthritis or chronic pain. She can also work with people who have medical symptoms or illnesses that doctors may find hard to explain or treat including Chronic Fatigue or Irritable Bowel syndrome. Further training as a Master Trainer and Facilitator in the Stanford University CDSMP means that Pam helps run self-management education courses at ETHC and trains those who want to facilitate the programmes.
She is a member of the NZ Psychological Society, including the Institute of Health Psychology and the Aotearoa New Zealand Association of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (ANZACBT). 
Pam is passionate about working with people to overcome significant challenges in their lives. She tries to do this with compassion and by looking at the whole person. She is also enthusiastic about helping people take better care of their own health and well-being.   
Lila O’Farrell
Senior Specialist Therapist, Mindfulness Educator & Interfaith Chaplain
BA (Psych. Hons), MA (Couns. Psych.), M.Div, MNZAC
Born in Aotearoa NZ, Lila completed the majority of her education in North America, where she lived for twenty years.  Her post-graduate work includes training for health care professionals in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction with Drs. Jon Kabat-Zinn and Saki Santorelli at the Omega Institute in Texas.
Since 1998, Lila has worked as a professional hospice and hospital chaplain, as a specialist therapist, and as an adult educator and clinical supervisor.  She has taught the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Programme since 2001, in health care, hospice, cancer retreat, and corporate settings.
Lila has expertise in helping with stress, anxiety and depression, challenging emotional habits, relationship difficulties; with pain, chronic and life-limiting illness, existential and spiritual concerns, and grief and loss.  She specialises in mindfulness based, cognitive behavioural, schema and psychodynamic therapies, and has nurtured her own mindfulness meditation practice for over twenty years.
Lila believes people are experts on their own lives.  She works holistically, helping people to reach their self-identified goals through the recovery and discovery of resources for optimal health and wellbeing.  She enjoys, and frequently works with people of many cultures and beliefs.
Lila provides therapy for adults and couples in Ranui, and facilitates the Mindfulness & Awareness Aotearoa, Stress Reduction Programme in South and West Auckland.
Josephine Rose Orejana
Health Psychologist (NZ Registered) & Stanford Chronic Disease Self-Management (CDSMP) Educator
BSc Psychology; MSc, PGDip Health Psychology (University of Auckland)
Josephine was born in the Philippines, where she first started her education in Psychology. Her family then moved to New Zealand, and she decided to continue her education and training in Psychology with the University of Auckland. Josephine had previously volunteered as a support person for Anxiety New Zealand Trust’s 24 hour phone-line, and also as a Friend of the Emergency Department (FEDs) for St. John. Josephine had also worked for several research labs including the Memory Lab and the Early Learning Lab, both in the University of Auckland.
Josephine is a member of the New Zealand Psychological Society, including the Institute of Health Psychology, and an affiliate member of the Association for Contextual and Behavioral Science.
Josephine has always been fascinated with how the mind, beliefs and perceptions influence our physical bodies and environment. She believes in the philosophy of mindfulness, self-compassion, and values-based living, and hopes to be able to assist others in applying these concepts in order to attain richer and more meaningful lives.
Charlene Pretorius
Health Psychologist & T-Trainer (Stanford CDSMP, Chronic Pain, Diabetes, Positive Self-Management for HIV) Accredited Licensed Trainer of Trainers (Flinders Chronic Condition Integrated Program)
Cert (Treaty of Waitangi Studies), BSc, MSc (Hons), MBS (Health Management), PGDip Health Services Management, PGDip Psychological Practice, PGDip Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, FSMLT (Haematology)
Charlene was born in Cape Town, South Africa and has lived in Aotearoa New Zealand for more than 25 years, starting NZ life with her family in Dunedin before moving to Auckland. Charlene is a NZ registered psychologist with a special interest in mental health, long-term condition self-management, health promotion and workplace health. Charlene divides her time between clinical practice, training and consulting. In her clinical practice Charlene delivers cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) and other evidence-based treatments to adult clients with a range of emotional, behavioural and adjustment problems, such as depression, anxiety disorders, weight management, stress management, grief and loss, workplace issues, burn-out, challenging life-transitions, and long-term health conditions. Charlene applies her experience and compassion with clients as they begin to address issues that will help them improve their quality of life and accomplish a sense of fulfilment.
Charlene is a member of the NZ Psychological Society, the Institute of Health Psychology, Aotearoa New Zealand Association of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (ANZACBT) and the Australian College of Health Service Executives (ACHSE). 
Caryn Trent
Clinical Psychologist (NZ Registered)
BSocSc; SocSc (Hons); MSocSc
Caryn is originally from Zambia.  She completed her training as a Counselling Psychologist in South Africa, moving to New Zealand in 2002, where she is registered in the Clinical Scope of Practice in Psychology.
Caryn has worked with children and adults since 1997, with a focus on working with people who have experienced stress and trauma reactions related to life changes, exposure to violence, abuse and neglect; including work with people with refugee or asylum seeking backgrounds.
Caryn has training and experience in the treatment of children with severe behavioral, social and emotional problems.  She also has experience in assessing parent-child relationships and Parent-Child Interaction Therapy work.  Caryn is passionate about: helping people in the early stages of life: assisting children to build their coping skills and resilience; and assisting parents/families to build parent-child relationships, parenting confidence/skills and strategies to manage non-compliant behavior in children. 
Helen Van Der Merwe
Intern Clinical Psychologist (NZ registered)
BFA, BA Conjoint, University of Auckland, BA (Hons) Massey University, currently enrolled in DCinPsych, University of Auckland
Helen is in the final year of a Doctorate of Clinical psychology at the University of Auckland. Helen has always been passionate about working with people. Prior to returning to study Helen worked in mental health and Corrections roles, and decided to start post-graduate study to further her therapeutic skills and knowledge. Helen predominantly uses Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. However, she seeks out ongoing training and learning opportunities in other therapeutic modalities because she endeavors to use an eclectic therapeutic approach in order to meet the unique needs of clients.
Helen was born in South Africa and immigrated to Aotearoa with her parents at a young age. She feels very privileged to have been brought up in this beautiful country.