Welcome! I'm Dr. Mieke Garrett; I'm a Clinical Psychologist based in New Plymouth, New Zealand. I see adults with a wide range of difficulties for therapy, including but not limited to anxiety (worry, feeling on edge, panicking, avoiding things or places you fear, finding social situations intolerable), stress, depression, relationship issues, communication difficulties, and grief & loss.
Although I have a wide range of experience, I have a particular interest in anxiety. You can read more about anxiety on the Health Navigator NZ site, reviewed by me, here
These are all issues that can take a huge toll on us. We often carry them around for many years, battling them alone, with all sorts of reasons why we don't seek help from a therapist or psychologist.
However they are treatable difficulties, with sound scientific research guiding the therapies,
and frequent positive outcomes.
I welcome you to contact me for a confidential, no-obligation chat. We can discuss any questions, concerns, or reservations you may have first, and then you can take your time and make a fully informed decision about the next steps you'd like to take. If this isn't for you, I am happy to suggest other places and resources that you could reach out to so you don't go away empty handed.
Please note I am no longer taking clients but still welcome general inquiries (see bottom of page)
Online Appointments Available
I can offer online appointments throughout Covid-19 lockdown periods, as long as you live in New Zealand, and offer flexible hours including evenings and weekends. All you need is a device (laptop, computer, tablet) with a camera, a good internet connection, and somewhere private to talk. Feel free to send me a message and we can discuss whether this would be suitable for you and I can tell you more about the options.
Coping with coronavirus stress & anxiety
A selection of recommended resources below
Dr. Mieke Garrett
DClinPsych, BSc (Hons, 1st), MNZCCP
To become a Clinical Psychologist I completed seven years of University level training (3 degrees in total).
Following this, I worked in a range of settings providing assessment and therapy, including with older adults (65+ years) at Taranaki DHB; with adults aged 18-65 years experiencing a wide range of difficulties at Counties Manukau DHB; and as a Senior Professional Clinician at Massey University supervising Postgraduate students in the CBT Diploma. I have also worked in private practice in Ponsonby, Auckland, seeing adults struggling primarily with stress and anxiety.
I also really enjoy teaching, and have lectured at Massey University, guest lectured at AUT, and provided workshops to health professionals including GPs. I have co-authored several publications which can be viewed through my LinkedIn profile.
My family and I have recently moved back to the beautiful city of New Plymouth where my husband and I both grew up. We have two small children; a four year old boy and a one year old girl. You can read more about me and my interests if you would like to by clicking on the slides in the section above.
What therapy modalities do you use? The main therapy I utilise is Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT). Essentially this looks at peoples thinking styles, and how they influence their emotions, behaviours, and difficulties.By working on these biases in a number of ways, we can often produce substantial changes in the way we see things and feel. I also incorporate principles of Metacognitive Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, and Mindfulness amongst others. These all broadly revolve around looking at the way we engage with our thoughts, emotions, & experiences as a whole rather than trying to challenge each individual thought. I am very interested in Emotion Focused Therapy techniques as well which helps produce an emotional shift in the way we feel about something through processing and working through the emotions. I expand on this here
How does a psychologist differ from a counsellor or a psychiatrist? Have a read of this link on the NZ College of Clinical Psychologists website which explains what counselling, psychotherapy, and psychiatry is and how these professions differ. One important distinction is that psychologists provide talking therapy, not medication.
What does an assessment appointment & a therapy session involve? The initial assessment is a 60- 90 minute appointment, largely focused on gaining a detailed understanding of your difficulties, and the things you would like help with. I will ask you a range of questions, and make some notes, but mostly I will be listening to what's been happening for you and what's brought you here. Don't worry if you aren't exactly clear on what you'd like help with; I can help you work this out, as we define some clear goals in our first therapy session. I will aim to help you gain some clarity but summarising your key points and difficulties in this session, and if there are some resources that I can give you immediately, I will endeavour to do so.
Therapy sessions are 50-60 minutes long. I follow a general structure of reviewing anything that's happened since I last saw you, and how you are, then reviewing anything you've worked on from our last session since we last met. We will then focus on the 'body' of the session, which might be a problem you want help with presently, or continuing to work on what we've been doing in previous sessions. There will be a mix of you exploring and working out issues with my guidance, and me providing theory and tools to assist you. My aim is always to work collaboratively, with both of us contributing fairly equally. Finally we will set a few tasks and goals for you to carry on with before our next session.
Anxiety about seeing a psychologist? This is extremely common and a very normal way to feel. It's nerve wracking meeting a stranger, not knowing if you'll feel comfortable with them, not knowing what to expect, and sharing personal information that is frequently sensitive in nature. You are welcome to email or call me with any questions you have before booking your appointment. When you first arrive, I will talk you through the process. I will ask you to share with me what's brought you in, and then I will ask you a range of questions to get more detail about this and your background, My job is to work out what might have contributed to these difficulties, and what might be keeping them going, so that we can come up with a plan for building your toolkit and helping you feel better. Many people find that with this structure they soon relax into the process, and feel a sense of relief at the end of the appointment, and are hopeful about moving forward. I always listen attentively and non-judgmentally, and I hope that every single person feels supported and cared for in our sessions. It is important to remember however that not everyone will want to proceed after the initial appointment and that is perfectly okay too. The aim of the initial appointment is for us to meet each other and for you to decide if you'd like to proceed in working with me, and for me to ensure that I will be able to provide what you need. You do not have to answer any questions you do not want to or talk about anything you don't feel comfortable with doing so. We can take things at your pace, and we set goals and design the sessions collaboratively, to suit you.
Information & Resources
I regularly add articles to my website with detailed information about a range of topics, including anxiety, worry, phobias, mental health resources, and more. Check them out below or through my "Resources" tab.
Referrals | You are welcome to refer yourself to see me.
GPs may also send referrals by email or phone me to discuss.
Usual days | SUNDAYS
After hours & Phone / Skype appointments available by arrangement
Please note I am not taking any new referrals.
This will most likely not change until 2021.
I am still happy to answer questions and make suggestions of alternative people to see, if you send me a message.
Address | 46 Egmont Street, New Plymouth Central
(Entrance next to the engravers)
Email is the best way to contact me- Please note however there may be a delay in responding. This is not suitable for urgent matters.