Anna Barker

Connections Therapy

 

It is common for people to feel lost, overwhelmed, or disconnected from themselves, others and their life in general, following trauma, severe life stressors or loss. My passion is to work alongside people, guiding and supporting them with evidence-based techniques, so that they may start to feel more connected to themselves and others while developing a passion for life.

I take a strengths-based approach to therapy; you are the expert in your life and experiences. What I bring to the therapy relationship is knowledge about what works for people in general. Together we can identify your best way forward ensuring you feel comfortable with every step of the process.

 

Background & Bio

My educational background includes a Graduate Diploma in Psychology from Monash University and Psychology Honours degree from Charles Sturt University. I gained my psychology registration in Australia following the completion of a psychology internship with the Australian Health Practitioners Regulation Agency. I moved to New Zealand in 2018 and registered as a generalist psychologist with the New Zealand Psychology Board. I became a member of the New Zealand Psychological Society in 2021.

I have a background working with families, schools, and agencies to support children with complex trauma and/or disabilities. This work included:

  • Parenting support (reducing behaviours of concern, trauma informed approach, and supporting parents/caregivers of children with disabilities).
  • Applied Behaviour Analysis.
  • Developing social skills plans for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders.
  • Developing wrap-around plans for children and families with complex needs.

In recent years, I have changed focus to working one-on-one with adults diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other mental health concerns (e.g. anxiety, depression, and anger).

 

Areas of Special Interest

  • Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), including complex PTSD.
  • Anxiety Disorders.
  • Parent coaching (including children with complex trauma, Autism Spectrum Disorders – ASD, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder – ADHD and Intellectual Disabilities).

 

Counselling/Therapy Services

  • 50 minute sessions via Zoom/FaceTime in red and orange traffic light alert.
  • Registered ACC Sensitive Claims Provider – Bay of Plenty Region
  • Registered Aoake Te Ra provider for people bereaved by suicide
  • Private sessions available – $180/50 minutes

 

Counselling/Therapy Approach

My approach to therapy is largely grounded in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). However, I draw from other evidence-based modalities to meet client’s individual needs, including Applied Behavioural Analysis, Emotion Focused Therapy, Schema Therapy, and Attachment pathology treatment. A treatment plan is developed at the beginning of the therapy process based on individuals’ needs and concerns, and this may change during the therapeutic process.

My approach to the treatment of depression and anxiety has a strong foundation in CBT, the therapeutic modality with the most robust evidence for the treatment of these conditions. Treatment may also draw from Emotion Focused Therapy and Narrative Therapy. The treatment of anxiety and depression typically spans 10-12 sessions over approximately 6 months.

CBT also provides a foundation for my approach to the treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (cPTSD). Treatment plans for PTSD and cPTSD follow a three phase model, recommended by the World Health Organisation. The first phase of treatment involves relationship and trust building with clients, learning tools for emotional regulation, addressing barriers impacting on quality of life (e.g. poor sleep or nightmares), and learning more about trauma and its effect. The second phase of treatment focuses more directly on PTSD symptoms. Finally, the third phase of treatment supported people with putting their new skills into practice in everyday life.

The treatment of “problem” behaviours (or behaviours that you would like to see less of), including anger and self-harm, is founded in Applied Behaviour Analysis. We look at what happens before, during, and after a particular behaviour occurs.

In cases of grief and loss, my approach follows Worden’s Four Tasks of Mourning. This evidence-based approach supports people to acknowledge the reality of the loss, process the pain of grief, adjust to the world without the deceased, and then find an enduring connection with the deceased in the midst of embarking on a new life.

Overall, my approach to therapy combines evidence-based techniques adapted to each individuals’ needs and concerns. I hope to build a caring and secure relationship with the people I work with, while we navigate the trials that life has placed in front of them. If you are interested in working with me, please feel free to get in touch through the Talking Works website. I am happy to answer any further questions via email, phone, or text message- please note that I only work on Mondays and Wednesdays and may not be able to respond outside of these days, thank you in advance for your patience.

 

FAQs

Q Registrations and Memberships

- Registered Psychologist
- Member NZ Psychological Society (MNZPsS)
- ACC Registered Counsellor
- Aoake te Rā Registered Counsellor

Q Qualifications

- Graduate Diploma in Psychology - Monash University, Australia
- Bachelor of Social Science (Honours - Psychology) - Charles Sturt University, Australia
- Australian Health Practitioners Regulation Agency (AHPRA) 4+2 Internship

Q Appointments

Mondays & Wednesdays – 9:30am to 3pm via video call (until Green Alert Level).

Q Fees

- $180/50 minute session.

Funding options available through:
- ACC for Sensitive Claims and Psychologial Services
- Aoake Te Ra for people bereaved by suicide

Q Payment Options

Direct deposit, invoices payable within seven days of appointment.

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