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:-
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.
Jill Robotham BSc Hons (Psych), MSc Clin Psych. Jill is a registered Clinical Psychologist with 25 years' experience working in mental health services, mainly in the UK. She specialises in helping people make changes in the way they manage painful emotions and likes to encourage people to challenge themselves to improve the quality of their lives. Jill is very excited to be joining the team at the Phobic Trust Anxiety Disorders Clinic.
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.
Support Services Manager
Emma Barker MSc Couns Psychol, MNZPsS, 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.
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.
Sarah Woollard, BHSc - Practice Manager. Sarah has a background in Population Health and Epidemiology. She combines knowledge of health systems, policy and management into the mental health arena.