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About Us

Nurture Family Services Ltd is the vision of three passionate therapists. We have over 30 years of combined experience working with children and families, specialising in therapeutic interventions.

Nicki McNab

Child and Family Psychologist
Ngāi Tahu – she/her

I am a Registered Child and Family Psychologist and have completed both a Masters degree and Postgraduate Diploma in Child and Family Psychology through the University of Canterbury.

I have worked in Specialist Mental Health Service and community services for children and young people with learning disabilities and moderate to severe mental health needs. I have enjoyed a varied career providing assessment and intervention for children and adolescents with anxiety, depression, ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorder, eating disorders (including Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder), Obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress. I am currently working in a specialist infant mental health team within the CDHB providing intervention for children under the age of 5 years. Recently I have also delivered therapy for children and young people under the ACC Sensitive Claims service. Another part of the role I enjoy is providing clinical supervision for other psychologists.

I have trained in Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing/EMDR (including specialist child and recent traumatic events training) and completed Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy Level 1 and 2 trainings. I am a Theraplay Foundational Practitioner, meaning that I have completed Level 1 and 2 trainings, as well as fulfilling practice and supervision requirements to obtain Foundational Practitioner status. I have completed Watch Wait and Wonder training and am working towards independent practice in this intervention. My practice draws on each of the above models and I enjoy the challenge of developing an individual intervention package to best meet the needs of each child and their family.

I have a passion for working with children, and through my career, I have developed a special interest in the areas of attachment, trauma and anxiety. Becoming a mother myself lead me to also develop a special interest in the area of infant mental health, particularly in attachment-based therapies.

Natasha Nish

Infant/Child Mental Health Clinician
she/her

I am a fully registered Clinical Social Worker, with a Masters of Social Work (Applied) and a Post Graduate Diploma Mental Health (Perinatal and Infant) through the New South Wales Institute of Psychiatry. I have a special interest in Infant Mental Health, supporting parents during the perinatal period and the first five years. This can be a time of transition and is different for every parent. I specialise in parenting and dyadic, play-based interventions. 

In my practice, I draw from a range of attachment-based interventions, including Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP), Theraplay and Circle of Security. I have completed both Levels 1 and 2 of DDP training and am currently working towards my full accreditation. Another intervention I am passionate about using is Watch, Wait and Wonder, in which I am a fully accredited independent practitioner. I am a fully certified Theraplay practitioner, meaning that I have completed Level 1 and 2 trainings, as well as fulfilling practice and supervision requirements to obtain full certification. I have also completed Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) Level 1 and child specialist trainings. 

I worked with young parents in the community for ten years, offering parenting assessments, and interventions. I decided to further develop my therapeutic interventions with children from 0-18 years of age and joined the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Team at the CDHB in 2016 where I have provided assessment and intervention for children and teens with anxiety, depression, ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorder, and risk assessments. I am currently working in a dedicated infant mental health team within the CDHB, providing specialist assessment and intervention for children under the age of 5 years.

Sarah McLaren

Occupational Therapist/Child and Family Mental Health Clinician
she/her

I am a Registered Occupational Therapist and have completed Postgraduate studies in both Mental Health and Addictions, and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. I am also trained in trauma informed Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, and provide clinical supervision to other Occupational Therapists. I am currently working towards becoming a Foundational Practitioner in Theraplay. I am a member of the Occupational Therapy New Zealand – Whakatata Ngangahau Aotearoa.

Since graduating, I have worked in Specialist Mental Health Services in the public sector both in Auckland and Christchurch and over that time have specialised in working with children, young people and their family with mental health needs.

I love working with children and being able to provide a specialist Occupational Therapy lens to my practise and their therapy journey. I love supporting the child and their family/caregiver to thrive in their everyday activities, despite the barriers they may be facing.

Malena Penney - Child and Family Psychologist

Malena Penney

Child and Family Psychologist
she/her

I am a mother of three children and Registered Child and Family Psychologist with a Postgraduate Diploma in Child and Family Psychology through the University of Canterbury.I have completed a Masters degree investigating the impact of Food Allergy and Coeliac Disease on Quality of Life in both children and parents.

I have trained in a specialist infant mental health team and paediatric consult liaison team within Te Whatu Ora (formerly CDHB). I am currently working in a Specialist Mental Health Service for children and young people with moderate to severe mental health needs. As part of my role, I provide assessment and intervention for children and adolescents with anxiety, depression, ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorder, eating disorders, Obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress. I also enjoy helping to provide on the job training to psychology students.

I have trained in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, and Trauma-Focussed Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and completed Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy Level 1 training. I have also completed Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and have completed an Advanced training in the Collaborative and Proactive Solutions Approach. I am currently undergoing training in the Interpersonal Neurobiology course. My practice draws on each of these models and incorporates them into a therapeutic intervention with the individual child or family in mind.

I love working with children, and throughout my career to date, I have developed a special interest in the areas of attachment and trauma and place a large emphasis on parent work alongside the child.

Kate Goonan - Child and Family Psychologist

Kate Goonan

Child and Family Psychologist
Ngāti Porou – she/her

I am a Registered Child and Family Psychologist and have completed both a Masters degree and Postgraduate Diploma in Child and Family Psychology through the University of Canterbury.

I have worked across a variety of settings, such as Education, Community, and Child, Adolescent and Family Mental Health Services. This included a specialist infant mental health team and a Muslim mental health and wellbeing team. I am currently working within the Child Health department at TeWhatu Ora, Waitaha providing psychological assessment and therapy to children and young peoplewho are experiencing medical conditions and treatment, and/or undergoing medical procedures.

I have completed Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy Level 1 training and am working towards becoming a Foundational Practitioner in Theraplay. I also utilise Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) in my practice and am soon to train in Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing/EMDR. My practice integrates these therapeutic approaches to provide individualised support that build on the strengths and skills of the child and their family.

I have a special interest in the areas of infant mental health, attachment, and medical trauma. I enjoy working alongside infants/young children and their parents, supporting the parent-child relationship to thrive in the early years through dyadic, play-based approaches.

Contact Us

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*Please note we only accept referrals for children aged 9 and under

Rosewarne House, 303 Selwyn St, Spreydon, Christchurch

info@nurturefamily.org.nz

020 401 18741