Anxiety, Phobic and Obsessive Compulsive Disorders and their Co-Morbid States (e.g. Depression):
Anxiety disorders are the most common psychiatric illnesses affecting both children and adults
Most people experience feelings of anxiety before an important event such as an exam, a job interview or a first date. Anxiety disorders, however, are illnesses that fill people's lives with overwhelming anxiety and fear, that are chronic and unrelenting, and that can grow progressively worse. Sufferers may be very disabled by panic attacks, obsessive thoughts, flashbacks of traumatic events, nightmares or frightening physical symptoms; in extreme cases, sufferers may become housebound with agoraphobia.
How Common Are Anxiety Disorders?
Anxiety disorders, as a group, are the most common mental illnesses in the world. Children and adolescents can also develop anxiety disorders. Anxiety disorders may develop from a complex set of risk factors, including genetics, brain chemistry, personality, and life events. Anxiety disorders may be chronic and can become quite disabling. Fortunately, they are among the most successfully treated emotional disorders in medical practice.
The Clinical Team at the Anxiety Disorder's Clinic
What is the Difference Between a Psychiatrist and a Psychologist?
A psychiatrist is a licensed medical doctor who specialises in identifying the symptoms of, and diagnosing and treating, mental illnesses. They are also able to prescribe medication if needed. You may have been referred to a psychiatrist if your doctor feels you need specialist help. The Phobic Trust has a GP with a MOSS Psychiatric specialty, Dr Henry Plant.
Dr. Henry Plant, MBChB - joined the Phobic Trust in December 1997. He has been in the field of psychiatry for the last seventeen years and takes a holistic view of mental distress. In addition to addressing the biological aspects of anxiety, phobias and depression he emphasises the importance of staying emotionally and physically healthy.
Dr. Plant’s particular interest is in helping people to understand how feelings related to grief, sadness, anger and conflict can underpin anxiety, and therapy is much enhanced if they can learn to be comfortable with those feelings.
A psychologist is not a doctor, but has completed a course in the scientific study of the mind and its activities. They are able to assess and test for mental disorders, but do not prescribe medication. Psychologists offer psychotherapy, or 'talking cures', for mental disorders. At the Phobic Trust, psychologists offer Cognitive-Behavioural Therapies, Family/Systems Therapy, Narrative Therapy, and a range of other therapies which are used in accordance with the needs and age of the client. Therapeutic workshops and support groups for clients are offered as well as support groups for family and whanau.
The psychologists affiliated with the Anxiety Disorders Clinic are:-
Steve Malcom MA Clinical Psychology, BHSc Occupational Therapy. Steve is a registered Clinical Psychologist and Occupational Therapist. He has worked at the Phobic Trust for 18 months and specializes in anxiety, depression and related disorders, working with adults and adolescents. Steve also has a 15 year history working with people with an experience of brain injury and other neurological disorders.
Dr. Deborah Perrott BSLT, BA (Psych), MA, PhD. Deborah is a registered psychologist with a background in speech-language pathology. She has worked as a psychologist in Melbourne for 19 years with children, adolescents and adults with a range of psychological problems. She specialises in anxiety, depression and stress-related disorders with an interest in communication skills development.
Anngret Sisask BA (Psych) from Estonia & Germany; postgraduate clinical skills training from Sydney (Australia) focusing on CBT and schema-therapy. Registered psychologist in Australia and New Zealand specialising in anxiety, depression, trauma (including complex trauma) and related disorders. In depth experience working with victims of workplace bullying and harassment and with people suffering with chronic pain.
Katie Sreedharan MSc (First Class Honours) Health Psych, PGDip Health Psych. Katie is a registered psychologist with a background in using psychology to improve both mental and physical health. She has worked with people experiencing anxiety, depression and other disorders, as well as people working through challenges such as coping with and managing chronic illness and making healthy lifestyle changes.
Vivien Feng BA/BCom, BA (Honours) Clinical Psychology, Doctorate in Clinical Psychology. Vivien is a registered Intern Clinical Psychologist. She has worked with children, whanau and adults in community mental health settings.
Needs Assessor and Support Services Manager
Emma Barker MSc Couns Psychol, MNZPsS, Provisional member of NZAC - Emma has worked part-time as a Needs Assessor with the Trust for 10 years and is currently also managing the 24 hour Phoneline and its volunteers. Emma worked as a Psychologist in London at Guys Hospital and the London School of Economics Student Health for several years before moving to New Zealand.
CEO-Marcia Read, QSO - is the Founder and Director of the Phobic Trust and is involved in carrying out needs assessments and consumer information, as well as organising the Trust's international conferences on the latest developments in the treatment and management of Anxiety Disorders. She has devoted time to raising awareness, lobbying government, and is directly involved in the strategic planning and direction of the Trust.
Marcia has published several books including 'Silent Sufferers', 'Screwed Up' and, for youth and adolescents, 'Scary Thoughts' and 'Phobi Faces Fear'. 'Scary Thoughts' has an educational video to assist with it and the book/video package has been distributed to all schools throughout New Zealand.
Deputy CEO -Vivienne Euini has worked in a voluntary capacity for the Phobic Trust for the past 20 years on our board (off and on as Chairman of the Board). She has first-hand experience with anxiety and phobic disorders, as several close members of her family have suffered through them, and has a genuine empathy and passion for our cause. Vivienne has in-depth knowledge and experience in finance and leadership. Her career started in sharebroking and she is a qualified Sharebroker. She then moved on to banking and held several senior positions with Bank of New Zealand including Area Manager for West Auckland and National Manager Sales & Service Development. Vivienne is married with three children and is of Maori descent (Ngapuhi) and her husband is Samoan.
Sarah Woollard - National Manager. Sarah has a background in Population Health and Epidemiology while studying a BHSc. She combines knowledge of health systems, policy and management into the mental health arena.