About me

about me

I am a Clinical Psychologist and Child Psychologist based in Wellington CBD. I came to New Zealand from Italy in 2012. I worked for two years as clinical psychologist at Child Adolescent and Family Service (CAFS), Hawke’s Bay District Health Board.

Since 2014 until October 2018, I worked with nongovernment organizations specialized in meeting the mental health needs of clients with refugee background, first in Auckland, and then in Wellington. The work consisted of delivering mental health services to former refugee from various ethnic groups and nationalities (e.g. Burmese, Afghans, Iraqi, Ethiopians, Syrians, Eritreans, etc.). I dealt with clients of different cultural and religious backgrounds such as Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, and Hindus. All my former refugee clients have traumatic experiences caused by torture, war, oppressive regimes and ethnic, religious and/or political persecutions.

I am currently employed as clinical psychologist of Health Pasifika, a mental health service of the Capital and Coast District Health Board which caters the mental health needs of Pacific Island people living in the Wellington area.

I work part time as a private practitioner. I am an ACC registered clinical psychologist for Sensitive Claims. This means that I provide assessment and psychotherapy to clients who are victims of sexual abuse.

I am of Filipino origin. I obtained my degrees in Psychology, Psychotherapy, and Theology in Rome, where I lived for more than 20 years. I practiced the profession in Rome for a number of years before coming to New Zealand.

I have extensive knowledge and experience in treating various disorders such as Mood, Anxiety and Developmental Disorders in both children and adults. I have particular competence in assessing and treating Stress and Stress Related Disorders such as Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Acute Stress Disorder, and Adjustment Disorder in all age range.

I do psychological interventions that are culturally sensitive and safe. Whilst I specialized in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, I employ other treatment models such as Schema Therapy, ACT, Mindfulness, psychodynamic approach, brain-based therapy and Client Centred Therapy,. I believe that the human mind is too complex to be understood and treated by one single model.

I favour an integrated approach of therapy that takes into consideration the various aspects of your life like: the physical, the mental, the social, and the spiritual dimension. I do therapy in different languages: English, Italian, Filipino, and Cebuano. I am also experienced in doing therapy with an interpreter.

Education and Memberships

Education

Advance Post Graduate Studies in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Children and Adolescents (Highest Honours)
HUMANITAS, Rome, Italy - 2009

Master’s Degree in Psychology (Summa cum Laude)
Universita Pontificia Salesiana, Rome, Italy - 2004

M.A. in Religious Sciences (Summa cum Laude)
Pontificium Institutum “Regina Mundi”, Rome, Italy - 1998

B.S. in Educational Sciences (Magna cum Laude)
Universita Pontificia Salesiana, Rome, Italy - 2001

B.S. in Agriculture (Agricultural Chemistry)
Visayas State College of Agriculture, Philippines - 1983

Present Memberships

New Zealand Psychologists Board – Registration n. 90-04861
Scope of practice: Clinical Psychologist

New Zealand Psychological Society

BPS – British Psychological Society – Clinical Division

American Psychological Association

Past Memberships

Albo degli Psicologi del Lazio (Psychologists Board – Lazio Region)
2010 – 2012

A.L.Æ.F. - Associazione di Logoterapia e Analisi Esistenziale
Frankliana (Association of Franklian Logotherapy and Existential Analysis)

SITCC - Società Italiana di Terapia Comportamentale e Cognitiva (Italian Society of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy)

Trainings and conferences

  • Complete Workshops on Schema Therapy:

    The Model, Methods and Techniques, by Dr. Robert Brockman of the International Institute of Schema Therapy.
    7-9 March 2018, 545 Parnell Road, Auckland

    Advance Schema Therapy Workshop: Beyond the Basics, by Dr. Robert Brockman of the International Institute of Schema Therapy.
    14-16 August 2019, Quality Hotel Parnell, Auckland.

  • An introduction to Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT) by Dr. Allyson Waite and Dr. Nicola Crook
    13-14 November 2017, Wellington Hospital, Wellington

  • CAT (Cognitive Analytic Therapy) in Everyday Practice.
    29 August 2017. Te Papa Porirua

  • Annual Conference of the New Zealand Psychological Society.
    1-4 September 2016, Massey University, Wellington

  • Clinical Supervision: A competence-Based Approach; Clinical Supervision: “You Said What?”, presented by Dr. Carol Falender, USA
    25-26 February 2016, 169 Willis Street, Wellington

  • “Northern Primary Forum: Youth Co-Existing Problems (Mental Health - ICAMHS/AOD)”
    24 September, The University of Auckland-Tamaki Campus, Auckland

  • “Brain Talk: Integrated therapy that includes a discussion about the brain with the client”, by Dr. John Arden.
    11-12 May 2015, Wesley Conference Centre, Sydney, Australia

  • The Forum of Australian Services for Survivors of Torture and Trauma (FASSTT) 5th National Conference 2015: Consolidating Our Expertise
    17-20 February 2015, Cypress Lakes Resort, Hunter Valley NSW

  • Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) Training relative to Alcohol and Drug Abuse, by RAS
    28-29 February 2015, Kakariki House, 293 Grey Street, Hamilton.

  • Webinar on “Healing Trauma: Emotional Transformation through Sand Play Therapy”
    16 June 2014, STARTTS, in: www.psychevisual.com

  • Workshop on “Vicarious Trauma”, by Kerry Gibson PhD.
    25 June 2014, RASNZ-RYAN, 1224 Dominion Road, Mt. Roskill, Auckland

  • Seminar on “Effective Techniques for Dealing with Highly Resistant Clients”, Clifton Mitchell, PhD
    26-27 May, 2014, Oaks in Market, Melbourne, Australia

  • Certificate in Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.
    Online course in: http://tfcbt.musc.edu

  • Seminar on “Sudden Traumatic Events: Managing the Effects, Facilitation Recovery”, by Dr. Eva Alisic. 3 September 2013, Mission Estate Winery, Napier.

  • “Metacognitive Therapy Workshop”, by Dr. Jennifer Jordan.
    20 February, 2013, Havelock North Community Center, Hastings

  • EIT Professional Lecture Series: “Exploring the Relationships between Experiences of Loss, Spirituality, and Post Traumatic Growth” by Peter Bray.
    10 October 2012, EIT Hawke’s Bay Campus, Taradale, Napier

  • Experiencial Workshop on “Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)” by Steven Hayes and Jacqueline Pistorello, Accademia Cusanus,Bressanone.
    28 giugno-1 luglio 2007