About me: I trained as an occupational therapist, and graduated in 1984. Since then I’ve continued study at postgraduate level and my papers have included business skills, ergonomics, mental health therapies, and psychology. I completed by Masters in Psychology in 1999, and started my PhD in 2007.
I have many passions, but one of them is to help people experiencing chronic health problems learn to achieve their potential. I have worked in the field of chronic pain management, helping people develop ’self management’ skills for 16 years. Many of the skills are directly applicable to people with other health conditions.
My way of working: collaboratively - all people have limitations and vulnerabilities - as well as strengths and potential. I use a cognitive and behavioural approach - therapy isn’t helpful unless there are visible changes! I don’t use this approach exclusively, because it is necessary to ‘borrow’ at times from other approaches, but I encourage ongoing evaluation of everything that is put forward as ‘therapy’.
I’m also an educator. I offer an active knowledge of the latest research, integrated with current clinical practice, and communicated to clinicians working directly with people experiencing chronic ill health. I work in two academic institutions (University of Otago, Christchurch, Otago Polytechnic (Dunedin)), as a researcher (working on my PhD) and a clinician (pain management at Burwood Hospital, Christchurch). I offer courses, training and supervision for therapists working with people experiencing chronic ill health.
My blog is updated most week days, and is aimed at health professionals working with people who have chronic pain and other chronic health conditions.