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Anna Elders (MN, PGdipCBT, BN, RN); Clinical Lead/Cognitive Behavioural Therapist

Better mental health, one click at a time; Workshop 

With the current state of our mental health system defined in He Ara Oranga, we find ourselves doing some soul searching. Is it possible to turn our much-challenged reality around? Are we open to accepting innovative and engaging solutions to improve the lives of New Zealander’s who struggle with their mental wellbeing? How will we fill the desperate and ever-growing gaps in psychological support? 

Now imagine a New Zealand where a free online cognitive behaviour therapy tool, which had proven efficacy was available to all New Zealanders.  Imagine having the ability to prescribe or refer an easy-to-use, engaging, disorder-specific and validated tool that allows people to navigate their way through lessons, exercises and resources that normalise and validate their difficulties.  Think of the possibilities such a tool offers our mental health system and the difference it could make to the lives of New Zealand people.

This presentation will outline Just a Thought - an online CBT therapy tool with proven efficacy in Australia that has been specifically re-designed for New Zealanders. Just a Thought delivers evidence-based, immediately accessible, free and specific psychological help to New Zealanders. It gives people the right support they need, at the right time, in a way that works for them.  We will explore its application and the benefits for use including the benefits as part of face to face therapy and with people on wait lists for psychological support. We’ll outline the clinical evidence behind the tool and case studies to highlight potential application within primary care, secondary services and other health-related services.  We will also take a look through the tool from registration to course module content.

Anna Elders Biography

Anna has worked in mental health for the past 18 years, initially as a mental health nurse in Child and Adolescent and Adult mental health services before training as a Cognitive Therapist in the UK in 2005 where she become the Chair of the West Yorkshire branch of the BABCP.  Following her return in 2009, Anna was actively involved in setting up AnzaCBT to assist in raising the profile of CBT and other talking therapies within New Zealand and ensure a solid network of support and training for clinicians.

Anna has delivered various trainings to health professionals in CBT and psychological interventions across New Zealand as part of work to help reduce seclusion and restraint, enhance trauma-informed care and teach basic CBT theory and skills.  She is a professional teaching fellow at the University of Auckland, teaching a paper in introductory psychological knowledge, formulation and talking therapy skills to the nursing workforce.

Anna has worked in specialised clinics, within PHO psychological services in primary care and in private practice working with complex presentations across the lifespan.  She was endorsed as a Mental Health Nurse Practitioner in 2017 and incorporates psychological interventions with pharmacological treatment and more recently nutritional psychiatry after commencing training in nutritional and environmental medicine.

Anna joined the Wise Group this year as Clinical Lead for Just a Thought and is excited to help shape the development and promote and maximise the capabilities of the tool for New Zealanders.


Chris Skellett (MSc Clin Psy. FNZCCP); Clinical Psychologist, Author, and Workshop Presenter

When Trust Goes Missing; Workshop 

Trust surrounds us like oxygen.  We take it for granted.  But when trust goes missing, we suddenly find ourselves struggling to cope. Depressed clients do not trust themselves to make decisions or set goals. Anxious or traumatised clients do not trust the world to be safe. Women do not trust men. Criminals don’t trust each other, and paranoid clients trust no-one.  Trust is an embedded issue for many of our clients, and is of course a fundamental and necessary component to any effective therapeutic relationship.Trust is also a major contemporary issue. Trust between cultures, trust in politicians, trust in the media, and trust on the internet…these all present ambiguous and unpredictable challenges that need to be safely managed.

So what is trust, and how can we usefully introduce a ‘trust conversation’ into our therapy sessions?

In this workshop we will be looking at the psychopathology of trust, and will use a definition that defines trust as ‘an assumption of positive outcomes’. We will review a range of practical clinical techniques and suggestions for the re-installation of trust when trust goes missing. We shall consider the Trust Questionnaire as a client self-assessment tool, and we will learn how to undertake a ‘Trust Audit’ of a client’s life.This workshop is based on a recently published book by ANZACBT Foundation member Chris Skellett, which provides a clear template for building a life based on trust. The book can be used as a practical adjunct to therapy across a wide range of clinical problems.

Chris Skellet Biography

Chris is a Dunedin-based author and clinical psychologist who closed his practice in 2014 to concentrate on writing personal development books and running workshops, both throughout NZ and overseas. His most recent book, When Trust Goes Missing-A Clinical Guide, was released earlier this year. His two previous books have both received international acclaim, and he has previously presented at ANZACBT conferences on them both.


Ngarongo Ormsby (Ngati Maniapoto, Tainui, Ngati Ranginui, PhD Student, MIS (1st Class Hon), PostGradDipCBT); Registered NZAC Counsellor, Associate Member of the Arbitration Mediation Institute of NZ, ANZaCBT, Nga Pou Mana

CBT Adaptation-Maori Style, “Speaking into the Empty Space, a Therapeutic Neutrality”

CBT is acknowledged as the predominant global westernised preference for psychotherapeutic engagement with clients, a position of presumption and bias based on the efficacy of research and its application since its early creative beginnings by Dr Albert Ellis and Dr Aaron Beck. For Māori exposure to CBT, re-adaptation is required to occur to adopt cultural epistemologies and cultural pedagogies as a means to fully engage with Māori indigeneity as a Māori CBT Practitioner. The style of therapeutic sessional conversations requires adaptation techniques using two ancient cultural theories, (1) Pūrākau and (2) Pūkōrerorero. Pūrākau provides the framework mechanisms of story-telling which encompasses key metaphors, symbologies and strength-based enhancement affirmations. Pūkōrerorero is a process of conversational engagements using ancient methodologies of tū-mai-tū-utu and pāeke. This technique illustrates key positionings between the speaker-engagement and the ‘empty space to speak into.’ The technique provides an observatory position of neutrality where parties are in an enhanced analytical position to de-construct, make-sense-of and re-construct their new potential narratives. The modality promotes oratory engagement, story-telling, observational neutrality, empowered constructive positioning which validates Māori consciousness values through the adaptation and use of CBT, Māori style.

Ngarongo Ormsby Biography

“Teach a man how to make a rewena (bread), you teach him to feed his whānau for life.” I learned to readapt CBT to meet the need of my Maori clients. I learned to create and readapt CBT models of practice into Māori epistemologies utilising Mātauranga Māori. I also learned there was a very strong bias and prejudice to CBT clinical who advocated for Purist-CBT and therefore shunned me and the methodologies I used to enhance and enrich the lives of Māori clients. I gravitate to the work of the late Dr Albert Ellis and Dr Aaron Beck whom I affectionately deem my CBT hero’s. The work of Christine Padesky and Dennis Greenberger on CBT and Dr Leah Giarratano on PTSD, Dr Barbara De Angelis on Love Works, Dr Judith Beck, co-founder of the Beck Institute of CBT. Our own NZ cultural influences, Sir Mason Durie and Te Whare Tapa Whā, Dr Simon Bennett the first CBT PhD Māori, Dr Curtis Bristowe in Indigenous Studies, Dr Linda Smith on Decolonisation, Dr Rawiri Waretini-Karena on Hauora Māori, Taina Pohatu on Āta and Takepū, Mamae Takerei on Tainui history. Then there’s acknowledging a body of knowledge by oral traditions and customs by whānau, hapū and iwi which is an unwritten historical intergenerational trauma resulting from colonisation. For our historians, the late Dr Morehu Ngatoko, Dr Kihi Ngatai, Dr Hauta Palmer, Dr Desmond Kahotea, Antoine Coffin, Desmond Tata, Peri Kohu, Dr Evelyn Stokes, Dr Anne Salmond, Herewini Jones, Hirini Reedy, Jack Thatcher. My grandmother Ngarongoa Toma, my mother Nellie Ormsby who were pivotal in my upbringing as mana wāhine.

“Indigenous knowledge has value, indigenous knowledge has worth, more importantly, indigenous knowledge can provide answers and offer solutions to contemporary problems” (Bristowe, 2016). A departure from the norm is a brave, courageous bold step to innovate by accessing traditional knowledge and traditional concepts which will support the narratives and discourses, so Māori clients are best served by mātauranga māori and in-conjunction collaboratively by CBT clinical. That means my māori clients get the best of both worlds from a CBT perspective and a mātauranga māori conceptional world views.

The bases for the presentation is based on traditional māori encounters which require re-adaptation in a contemporary context. This research and learning is experiential, qualitative, eclectic over my life time exposed to ceremonies, rituals and traditions. Tikanga Māori, Living by Māori values by Professor Hirini Moko Meads is one such example.

“Ko koe te mārama, ko koe te takohanga mō te kaitiakitanga ō te ora,” (You are the light, you are responsible for the preservation of life – Thatcher, 2016) Ngarongo is a Kaiwhakatere (Navigator) who guides and empowers. He specialises in Relationship Conflict, Māori Conflict, Māori Depression, Blended Family Conflict, Cross Cultural Relationship Conflict and Parental Conflict. Ngarongo is an accredited National FDR Mediator; an accredited FDRP Australian Mediator, A specialist Family Court Counsellor (sec 46G, COCA 2004); Māori men and depression counsellor, specialist coordinator for the Tū Kaha Tāne Mana Enrichment Programme with Tauranga Womans Refuge; Consultant/Adviser, Supervisor. He is also an AMINZ Board member, Tauranga Moana Māori Trust Board member, Māori Adviser on WBOPPHO mental health advisory group.


Dr Jennifer Jordan PhD (Otago), Dip Clin Psyc (Cant), FNZCCP

Affiliation: Department of Psychological Medicine, University of Otago, Christchurch, New Zealand & Canterbury District Health Board, Christchurch, New Zealand.

Fight, flight or leave it alone – how much exposure is needed in psychotherapy for PTSD?

Dr Jennifer Jordan Biography

Jenny Jordan is a senior lecturer at the University of Otago, Christchurch, New Zealand, teaching on postgraduate mental health and addiction papers. She also works as a clinical psychologist and researcher for the Canterbury District Health Board in the Clinical Research Unit on psychotherapy research studies and clinically in an outpatient alcohol and drug service. Her primary research interest is clinical research for significant mental health problems, including comparative psychotherapy trials, translational research, and examining factors influencing psychotherapy outcomes. 


Ann Huggett MSc(Hons) (Otago),DipClinPsyc (Otago), MNZCCP

Pause Breathe Smile – A Mindfulness Based Intervention for Children with Anxiety

In 2014 Ann completed training to facilitate mindfulness groups for children in schools, with the Pause Breathe Smile (PBS) program. Over the past two years this has extended to running PBS groups for children with anxiety through the Psychology Centre. This presentation will outline the background to PBS, an overview of the 8 week program, how it is being applied with children experiencing anxiety, and anecdotal feedback from group participants.

Ann Huggett Biography

Ann is a Clinical Psychologist with the University of Canterbury Clinical Psychology Training Program. Her work involves clinical practice, supervision and teaching with students on the program. For the last 10 years she has also been involved in offering mindfulness based interventions at the Psychology Centre.