WHO WE ARE
As a team we pride ourselves on combining our clinical expertise with our dedication to supporting and enhancing wellbeing. Each clinician also has their own specialist skills and interests. Please scroll down to see who might best fit your needs.
MA(hons), Dip Clin Psych. MNZCCP
Milja Albers-Pearce is a Registered Clinical Psychologist with over thirty years of experience. This started with training in Christchurch, working for four years in The Netherlands, working for 27 years in Palmerston North and recently returning to Christchurch.
Milja has worked with adults and young people across a wide range of mental health issues. She has provided both therapy and assessment services as well as clinical supervision and training. Alongside therapy for issues such as anxiety, depression, pain and PTSD she can provide assessments and support for issues such as ADHD and Autism Spectrum disorders.
MSc PG Dip ClPs. MNZCCP
Amanda Baird is a Registered Clinical Psychologist with more than fifteen years experience. She studied at the University of Otago graduating with a Masters of Science (with Distinction) in Psychology and a Post-Graduate Diploma in Clinical Psychology in 2004. Since then, Amanda has worked in criminal justice psychology and in adult mental health, in both the public and private health sectors.
Currently, Amanda assists people to overcome a range of difficulties, predominately depression and anxiety, but also relationship difficulties, stress management, eating disorders, psychosis and personality traits which cause difficulties. Amanda has particular expertise in treating depression having worked on clinical research trials at the University of Otago. Amanda selects from a number of treatment modalities including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Metacognitive Therapy, Dialectical Behaviour Therapy and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy to best meet the needs of the individual client.
DR MICHELLE MCCARTHY
B.Sc (hons), D.Clin. Psych. MNZCCP, Clinical Psychologist
Dr Michelle McCarthy is a Clinical Psychologist with almost 20 years experience working in general mental health services as well as a specialist service treating women in the pre and postnatal period with anxiety and depression. She has also lectured, provided psychoeducation to community groups and written psychological reports for the Ministry of Justice.
Michelle now works in private practice specialising in anxiety problems including generalised anxiety, obsessive compulsive, social anxiety and health anxiety. She also specializes in working with women who are pregnant or in the postnatal period.
Michelle has also worked part-time for over 20 years running leadership programs and providing executive coaching for multinational organisations in NZ, USA, Australia, and the UK. She has a particular interest in helping people with work-related stress and burnout.
BA Hons MSc PG Dip Clin Psych MNZCCP, Registered Clinical Psychologist
Helen has been practicing as a Clinical Psychologist since 2002. She has worked in the areas of mental health with those with anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder and psychosis, and criminal justice assessing and treating both men and women whose behaviour has caused harm to others. Helen has expertise in working with anger, mood, anxiety and adjustment issues (loss, changes due to life events) and she has a particular interest in working with clients who may at times be scared of their own thoughts and/or behaviours and be fearful that they could engage in sexual or physical harm towards others. Helen trained in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy at the University of Canterbury.
DR DEBORAH WOOD
Consultant Psychiatrist, MBChb, FCPsych ( SA), FRANZCP, Dip. Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy
Deborah has recently joined PsychMed after many years as a consultant psychiatrist in the public hospital system here in Christchurch. She is from South Africa originally, having completed her medical degree and psychiatric specialist training in Cape Town. She has been in New Zealand since 2001. Through her work in the public hospital system she has gained a great deal of experience in assessing and treating a wide array of different mental health problems ranging from psychotic illness to treatment resistant depression, bipolar disorder and anxiety and substance use problems. Deborah has also trained in psychodynamic psychotherapy and is currently training part time as a Jungian psychoanalyst in Zurich, Switzerland. In addition she is trained in the use of EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Rehabilitation), a form of treatment that is helpful for a wide range problems, especially post traumatic difficulties.
DR SAMANTHA CHOW
Consultant Psychiatrist, MBChb, FRANZCP
Samantha is originally from Malaysia but has lived in New Zealand since 2006. As well as working at Christchurch PsychMed she works part time for the public mental health system. Samantha graduated from the University of Otago and has been involved in mental health work for over 10 years. She specialises in general adult psychiatry (adults aged 18 and over) and has a special interest in gender health and long-term psychodynamic therapy. Her preferred therapeutic style includes object relations theory, self-psychology, and existential psychotherapy. She also operates a weekly gender clinic at Christchurch Hospital aimed at helping the rainbow community access healthcare. Samantha goes by the ‘she/her’ pronoun.
DR SUE LUTY
Consultant Psychiatrist BM, BS, BMed Sci, FRANZCP, PhD
Dr Sue Luty has been practising as a psychiatrist for 20 years and works as an Associate Professor for the University of Otago in a teaching (formerly research) role and the Mothers and Babies Perinatal Mental Health Service.
She convenes training in psychotherapy for psychiatric registrars and is an expert trainer and supervisor of interpersonal psychotherapy.
She sees adults aged 18 years and over and has expertise in mood (especially bipolar disorder), anxiety disorders, eating disorders, perinatal mental health, personality and psychotherapy.
Please note Dr Luty has limited availability to see new patients.
DR PAUL BROWN
Consultant Psychiatrist MB BS, MRCPsych (UK), RANZCP Affiliate
Dr Paul Brown completed his medical and specialist psychiatry training in the UK, where he worked as a consultant psychiatrist for 8 years and as a clinical director in the NHS before moving to New Zealand in 2017 where he works in the public health system. He has completed training in psychodynamic psychotherapy, group dynamic therapy and cognitive behavioural therapy. He provides specialist assessment and holistic treatment-planning for adults aged over 18 who are experiencing a wide range of mental health problems including psychosis, difficult to treat depression, bipolar disorder, PTSD and anxiety disorders. This includes working with people who have mental health problems complicated by related issues including chronic physical ill-health or a problem with substance use.
Counsellor B.Soc Sci(Hons), M. Ed ( Distinction), NZAC
Ann-Marie has been practicing as a counsellor since 2005 and is trained in solution focused counselling which is a brief intervention and based very much on the strengths of the client. She is a registered member of The New Zealand Association of Counsellors and is bound by the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice.
She has worked extensively in the post- earthquake recovery arena and continues to consult for several organisations in this capacity including on site and with private practise consultation around work-based stress. Although trained primarily in solution focused therapy she has a toolbox of modalities as dictated by the clients presenting issue or preferred style of therapeutic interaction. Her aim is always to assist clients to see the many skills and strengths they possess, and choose to be the best version of themselves they can be.
ADMINISTRATION and RECEPTION
Adrienne and Leigh are our long-standing, super nice and highly capable admin and reception team who will arrange your appointments, answer your queries and keep us all organised!