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Welcome to The Psychology Group

The Psychology Group is a group practice with friendly Clinical Psychologists who offer a wide range of expertise and experience. They will do their utmost to ensure your goals, needs and best interests are suitably addressed.

Life guarantees us experience of losses, troubled feelings, as well as happiness along the way. Are you experiencing problems within yourself, at work, or with your relationships? Do you want your life to be different? If so we can provide you with the guidance needed, the skills, insight and capability to manage emotions and to think and act differently.

Sometimes we can work things out by ourselves. Other times we need more than just a friend to lean on. If you are thinking it is time to start therapy with experienced professionals, The Psychology Group team are willing to help. We specialise in effective short and long-term therapy for dealing with issues of depression, anxiety, grief, loss and stress, as well as difficulties in interpersonal relationships, parenting and general life adjustment. If you want a team who lead with their hearts, are well informed in the science of wellness, are practical and collaborative, consider working with us.

Howick Psychology was established in 1987 by John Thickpenny. In November 2018, Dr Kirsten Davis (Clinical Director) and Kylie Raffaelli (Practice Manager) took over the business and rebranded to The Psychology Group.

When you contact The Psychology Group you will be greeted warmly and we will ensure we consider your needs and wishes and do our best to match you with which ever member of our Clinical Psychology team you feel you can relate to positively.

You may contact us directly to make an enquiry or appointment time. Alternatively you may be referred by a Professional (Practice Nurse, Doctor, Paediatrician, Psychiatrist, Community Mental Health Service etc.).

Please contact us now at 09 535 6624, use the booking form or e-mail us for an appointment at


Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny.

– C.S. Lewis



(09) 535 6624

Incase of a crisis please click here for emergency numbers



Monday - Friday 8am-8pm

Saturday 9am-3pm

The Clinical Psychologists within our team

  • Are committed to providing professional and friendly services to achieve the best outcomes possible. Our aim is to work collaboratively to assist you in speedy attainment of your goals and needs.

  • Our team has a wide range of experience working with children, adolescents, adults, elderly, families and couples. We work with a variety of presenting issues:
    • Depression
    • Anxiety
    • Drug & Alcohol
    • Grief and Loss
    • Eating Disorders
    • Autistic Spectrum Disorders
    • Disabilities
    • Self Esteem
    • Parenting
    • Stress
    • Chronic Pain
    • Trauma
    • Couples Therapy
    • Family Therapy
    • Relationship Difficulties
    • Anger & Conflict Issues
    • Workplace Issues & Changes
    • Personal or Interpersonal Adjustment

  • Work collaboratively with a focus on our client’s goals and best interests.

  • Utilise a range of research based therapy interventions:
    • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
    • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
    • Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT)
    • Mindfulness, Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT)
    • Eye Movement Desensitisation Therapy (EMDR)

  • Are registered under the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003 and have professional membership with the NZ Psychological Society or NZ College of Clinical Psychologists. 


Dr Kirsten Davis

Clinical Psychologist – DClinPsy, MA(Hons), MNZPsS
Location: Howick – Beachlands

Kirsten has worked with both adolescents and adults across both public mental health and private sectors for the last two decades. Kirsten is a founding member of DBTNZ and was involved in development, implementation and coordination of the first Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) Programme in New Zealand for adolescents and their families.

She has extensive experience in DBT consultation, supervision and training in community outpatient, inpatient, forensic, residential care & protection settings and schools. Kirsten has been a trainer for many Behavioural Tech licensed events, including DBT Intensive Training, and is particulary interested in implementation and development of sustainable DBT programmes across a variety of different settings. In her private practice Kirsten works with clients of all ages and is informed by Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), DBT, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Mindfulness based approaches.

She is competent in dealing with depression, anxiety, grief and loss, chonic pain and management of serious illness, difficulties in interpersonal relationships, parenting and general life adjustment.


John Thickpenny

Clinical Psychologist
Location: Howick – Pukekohe

John first entered private practice in 1986 and is a clinical psychologist with wide experience. John works with clients of all ages and utilises Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT) in providing collaborative and goal-focussed therapeutic solutions. John specialises in working with people who are dealing with adjustment issues; including depression, anxiety disorders, stress and trauma. John guides development of the skills needed to deal with distressing life events; such as relationship difficulties, issues within employment, or grief and loss.

John is available for appointments at our premises in Howick and also at rooms in Pukekohe.


Dr Maia Eremin

Clinical Psychologist – DClinPsy, BA(Hons), MNZCCP
Location: Howick

Maia is skilled in psychological assessment and treatment of adults, older adults, and couples presenting with a wide range of difficulties including anxiety, depression, work-related stress, adjustment to stressful life events, relationship problems, grief and bereavement etc. Maia has over ten years of experience working in public sector as well as in private practice in Auckland. 

In her practice as clinical psychologist, Maia draws on Cognitive Behavioural (CBT), Cognitive Analytic (CAT), Acceptance and Commitment (ACT), Schema Therapy, and Emotionally Focussed Therapy (EFT) treatment approaches assisting individual clients and couples to achieve positive change. Maia’s subspecialty is psychological assessment and treatment of older adults.


Dr Kathryn Russell

Clinical Psychologist – Ph.D P.G.DipClinPsych
Location: Howick

Kathryn has many years of experience working with adults, families, children and teens, within both community and hospital based settings. She is trained to assess and treat a wide range of psychological and emotional difficulties.  Kathryn is trained in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and also finds Acceptance and Commitment Therapy useful.  Kathryn utilises Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR – level 1 practitioner only) when working with psychological trauma.

Low mood, anxiety, coping with chronic pain or illness and stress related disorders can be really challenging. Kathryn works collaboratively with clients to make sense of current difficulties in the context of their life experiences and relationships. Kathryn aims to help her clients take actions that are meaningful, and will guide clients in their learning of important psychological skills.


Dr Chris Murray

Clinical Psychologist – BA(Hons), DClinPsy, MNZCCP
Location: Howick

Chris is a registered Clinical Psychologist specialising in psychological assessment and treatment to help clients explore life’s challenges and discover new possibilities. His approach to therapy is person-centred with a warm, non-judgmental, and collaborative style. 

He works with adults, youth and families who experience a range of difficulties including depression, anxiety and phobias, anger issues, trauma and abuse, grief and loss, stress management, self-esteem, identity, relationship issues, life transitions, and cultural issues.

His practice encompasses a number of evidence-based therapies including Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), Schema Therapy, and Systemic Therapy. 


Dr Andrea Greenwood

Clinical Psychologist – DClinPsy, BSc (Hons)
Location: Howick

Andrea has experience working in Maternal Mental Health and Adult Community Mental Health settings. She has a warm, compassionate and collaborative approach to therapy.

Andrea helps her clients make better sense of their current experiences, identify what is important, and supports them to make sustainable changes that lead to a more fulfilled and meaningful life. Drawing from a range of evidence-based treatment strategies, she adapts therapy to fit individual needs and goals.


Jessica Hardley

Clinical Psychologist – BA, BSc(Hons), MSc, PGDipClinPsych
Location: Howick – Beachlands

Jessica is an experienced Clinical Psychologist who specialises in working with children, adolescents and young adults. She utilises evidence-based practices such as Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR), Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) to address a wide variety of concerns including anxiety, depression, self-harm, PTSD, stressful life events, self-worth and developing self-identity.

She also has specialist training in assessment and behavioural support for Autism Spectrum Disorder.  Jessica believes in using a compassionate, client-centred approach, working in a collaborative manner with people to enable positive outcomes.


Shelly Hindle

Clinical Psychologist – MA(Clin Psych), PGDipClinPsy, MNZCCP, MANZAED
Location: Howick

Shelly has experience in treating a broad range of problems including Anxiety, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Trauma (including Sexual Abuse and PTSD), Depression, Complex Grief, Eating disorders, Emotion Regulation problems and Behavioural problems.

Shelly has training and experience in working with high risk clients (suicide/deliberate self-harm), and with children and young people (alongside parents) on a broad range of presenting difficulties. Shelly utilises a Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) approach but also has extensive experience in Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) and draws strategies from this as well as various other evidence based approaches such as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Family Based Treatment (FBT or the ‘Maudsley’ approach for work with adolescents who have eating disorders).

She is also skilled in using Mindfulness, Behaviourism and Motivational Interviewing techniques.


Werner Briedenhann

Clinical Psychologist –  MA(Clinical Psychology)
Location: Howick

As a clinical psychologist and fellow adult I understand that life is difficult and can be overwhelming. We tend to get caught up in unhelpful ways of thinking, behaving and relating to ourselves and others. This may lead to a variety of difficulties ranging from depression and anxiety to self-loathing, guilt and shame and sometimes substance abuse to escape ourselves.  

I believe having a good and honest relationship with ourselves and others is the starting point for change. That’s what therapy provides, a space to talk honestly and openly about our feelings and problems as well as an opportunity to discover more about ourselves.

Sometimes all we need is to talk to someone to gain clarity and find an answer we were searching for and sometimes we need more. I bring skills to therapy to help you explore, understand, accept, and change.  I believe we are complex beings and therefor work from an integrative and holistic therapeutic approach. I work with you as a person despite the challenges you face.

Therapy is also a two way street. Our therapeutic relationship is the catalyst for change. I reflect on this relationship and will share this with you. 

My work experience ranges across different cultures, nationalities and age ranges. Although a large portion of my work consists of seeing adult clients, I have experience in working with children and adolescents. Please enquire if you would like to know more about therapy for children and adolescents.

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Dr Vicky Bostock

Clinical Psychologist – BA(Hons), MA, DClinPsy, PG Dip(CAT), MNZCCP
Location: Howick

Vicky has over 10 years of experience working as a psychologist in the UK and NZ. She has worked across a variety of mental health and physical health settings providing psychological assessment and evidence-based psychological therapies. She works with adults and has a special interest in working with adults of older age.

Vicky will tailor her approach to each individual. At the forefront of this is developing a trusting and safe therapeutic relationship to allow people to talk freely about their difficulties at a pace that is right for them. She utilises a number of evidence-based therapy models, the choice of which is guided by best practice guidelines in conjunction with client preference. The therapy models she draws most heavily upon are Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT), Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), and Compassion Focussed Therapy (CFT).

Vicky is experienced in working with a wide range of presenting difficulties including anxiety, stress, low self-esteem, low mood / depression, anger, trauma, grief and loss, pain and physical health issues, eating related issues, and relationship / interpersonal difficulties.


Dr Camilla Nguyen

Clinical Psychologist –BSc(Hons), MSc, DClinPsy
Location: Howick – Beachlands

Camilla is a highly skilled, kind and compassionate Clinical Psychologist who completed her doctorate training in the United Kingdom. She has worked as a Senior Clinical Psychologist within the National Health Service across physical health and intellectual disability community settings in Northern Ireland. Camilla has also worked in community mental (adult and child & adolescent services), paediatrics, and schools in the United Kingdom and New Zealand.

She has extensive experience of working with clients of all ages from young children to older adults. Her main areas of expertise include anxiety disorders, depression, trauma, low self-esteem, relationship issues, and adjusting to life with a chronic health condition, including physical or cognitive impairment. She also offers tailored behavioural support to children and adults, their family/whānau.

Her practice is informed by evidence-based interventions, including Cognitive Behavioural Therapies (CBT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, as well as draws on attachment, cognitive analytic therapy, solution-focused and systemic approaches. She works flexibly and collaboratively, integrating multiple therapeutic models to help clients overcome their difficulties and develop in line with their personal values and goals of therapy.

Camilla provides specialist cognitive assessments as well as autism assessment. Camilla is experienced in offering individual therapy and runs social skills group (LEGO therapy) for children and adults diagnosed with autism.


Book an appointment with us

Please fill out the form below and we will get back to you as soon as possible with available appointment times.

Name *
Let us know how we can help and we will do our best to match a member of our Clinical Psychology team that is most suited to your needs (for example: depression, anxiety, grief, loss and stress, as well as difficulties in interpersonal relationships, parenting and general life adjustment).
Psychologist preference *
We are happy to take any preference you may have into account. When allocating new referrals, we also take into account psychologist availability and client fit.
If you have a preferred clinic please select below


What is the process?

You can make an enquiry either via email, booking form or by calling the office. The office hours are Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm. We will promptly respond to any enquiries so please state your preferred form of contact (email or phone). Once contact is made by our friendly Practice Manager we will briefly discuss your presenting concerns.

We do our best to ascertain your current needs or those of your family member/s and then suggest a Clinical Psychologist that may best meet those. We will also enquire what days and times suit you and aim to accommodate these. Some of our team only work specific days and hours so we will let you know these if you have a Clinical Psychologist in mind you specifically want to see. 


An initial assessment is a 60 minute session focusing on establishing an understanding of your current difficulties with a view to establishing shared goals for therapy. 


Early in therapy a treatment plan will be discussed with you outlining the therapeutic approach and an indication of the number of sessions you may need. Therapy is a collaborative process where the therapist will review therapy regularly to ensure goals are being achieved. Therapy sessions are 60 minutes and can be booked either weekly, fortnightly or when needed. 

CCM/Wellness Programme referrals

If we receive a referral through this programme we will make contact with you within 24 to 48 hours to book your sessions in. These sessions are free of charge. 

What to expect from therapy?

Building a relationship with your therapist where you feel respected, valued and understood is important. It takes time to build trust. Establishing clear goals you want to work on and an understanding that working toward these goals requires not only regular attendance at sessions but also practicing what you are learning outside of sessions. We will help you with suggesting what to practice as this is directly relevant to what you are learning in therapy. We understand that at times therapy can be challenging and we do our best to help you overcome obstacles you face along the way. 

How many sessions will I need?

The length of therapy varies depending on individual/couple or family needs and this will be discussed with you. Therapy may be short-term (3-6 sessions) or longer term (12+).

Am I eligible for funding?

Financial assistance for sessions may be accessible from WINZ, ACC, Employee Assistance Programme (EAP), or CCM/Wellness Programme funding through your General Practice Doctor. Each type of assistance does have criteria so please contact the provider to get more information.

Who is a Psychologist?

A Clinical Psychologist specialises in evidence based talking therapies. They are experienced in developing a formulation of your current difficulties and a treatment plan to suit this. We do not prescribe medication however will work alongside a Psychiatrist or GP to support your treatment if medication is indicated.


Your privacy will be respected and any information you provide us will be treated as confidential. Any notes will be kept in a secure location and viewed only by your therapist. Exceptions to this would arise only if your therapist considers that certain information needs to be disclosed to protect yourself or others from serious harm. 

Communication with your doctor – Your therapist will discuss with you whether or not you consent to them having communication with your doctor to provide the relevant details of the issues you have presented with, the methods being used in working with you and outcomes. You will need to sign a consent form to indicate you give your consent for this communication. When referred under the CCM/Wellness Programme there will be some communication with your doctor and this will be discussed at time of consultation.