our team.

Fresh Minds employs registered health professionals, including psychologists, counsellors and nurse specialists. Our team come from a variety of personal backgrounds, cultures and professional experience.

Our therapists follow evidence-based therapy, using proven approaches and techniques. With flexibility across online and in-person services, together we design a mind health approach that works for you. Mind, body and environment – it’s your journey, we’re simply the guides.

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Nicola Rae

Health Psychologist

“Often, overcoming difficulties requires the willingness and courage to ask for help. Once you’ve taken that first step, my role is to help you continue to move in the direction that matters to you.”

As a registered health psychologist, Nicola's focus has been on helping people to cope with chronic health conditions and to adjust to major life changes.  She has worked with individuals suffering from chronic pain conditions, depression, post tramatic stress disorder, anxiety, stress, grief and loss.  

Nicola's approach is to tailor therapy to individual needs and she uses her clinical expertise in cognitive behavioural therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, mindfulness, relaxation therapy and patient centred counselling to help people greatly improve their wellbeing.  

Before joining Fresh Minds Nicola worked at the Auckland Regional Pain Service where she taught self-management strategies to individuals, as well as facilitated group sessions on a three week pain management programme.

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Rachel Massey


“It is a brave decision to seek counselling, and it is completely normal to feel anxious and unsure of what to expect. It is my job to make you feel safe and supported, by providing a comfortable and trusting environment, where we can work through the issues and achieve your goals. My approach combines professionalism, honesty and warmth, without judgement.”

Rachel is a psychologist who started with Fresh Minds when she returned to NZ after living overseas. Rachel has a background working both in private practice and schools, and equally enjoys working with both adolescents and adults.  Counselling is her passion, and she loves helping support people in achieving their goals and living a fulfilling life.

Rachel is experienced in a number of areas including anxiety, depression, stress and relationships issues. She tailors an individual approach, based on the client’s needs, drawing on various therapies, including ACT, CBT and Solution Focussed Therapy.   

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Anel Kieser

Health Psychologist

“The greatest wealth is health.”

I am passionate about working alongside people of all ages, cultures and backgrounds to support them through any difficulties or challenges they may be facing. I see each person as a unique individual, who is the expert of their own experiences.

I enjoy working with people to help them overcome stress, anxiety, depression, health and behavioural issues. 

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Desiree McGhie


“Ma te huruhuru ka rere te manu." "Adorn the bird with feathers, so it can fly.”

I always feel very humbled when individuals share their challenging life stories with me and I aim to guide each person as they navigate their own way through the struggles they experience.

Desiree believes that to achieve a sense of independence, resilience and self-respect it first requires conversation and the courage to change and she looks to collaborate with her clients as they embark on this positive journey.

Desiree has been a psychologist in the education sector for 16 years. Her work in trauma, attachment issues, fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, Autism spectrum disorder, parenting, grief and anxiety provides her with many tools in her kete to draw from. Her practice is complemented with an eclectic use of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and Mindfulness and other evidence-based interventions, dependent on the specific needs of the individual. 

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Allison Li


“A pearl is formed around a grain of sand that is an irritant. Therefore it is possible to overcome and develop from difficult experiences we go through in life. Working together we can utilise your strengths and adversity as a foundation to create changes you choose and build the life you desire to lead.”

As a registered psychologist, Allison has experience in working with adults who have been affected by depression, anxiety, stress, trauma, and relationship difficulties. Allison believes in person-centred care while drawing on a range of therapies to inform her psychological practice and meet the needs of those she works with.

Prior to joining Fresh Minds Allison worked for the national telehealth service in mental health and addictions as well as a domestic violence support agency.

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Joanna MacFarlane

Clinical Psychologist

“Fear, anxiety, stress and panic, all these are basic evolutionary expression of the human brain. They are part of normal human condition - Abhijit Naskar”

Joanna is a clinical psychologist who works with adults, from young to old. She is passionate about older adults’ mental health and has experienced working with depression and suicidality, anxiety, difficulties with adjustment, grief and stress.

Joanna tailors her psychological approach to each individual and likes to work as a team with her clients to bring about an improvement to their mental wellbeing. She is trained in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.

Joanna aims to provide a supportive and practical experience for each individual she works with.

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Laura Barkwill

Clinical Services Manager and Clinical Psychologist

“I truly believe that everyone has their own skills and strengths. Sometimes it's just having someone who can walk alongside and help you to recognise them. ”

Laura is a clinical psychologist who has worked extensively with families, adolescents and pregnant women. She is particularly passionate about service leadership, mentoring, coaching and walking alongside young people and adults.

Laura's special areas of interest are youth and family issues as well as helping people who may be self harming or working through personality difficulties.  In addition Laura has worked extensively with people experiencing anxiety and depression.

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Jane McClean

Mental Health Occupational Therapist

“Breathe and let be - Jon Kabat-Zinn ”

Jane is a mental health occupational therapist with experience working with people of varied ages from a diverse range of cultural backgrounds.

With a compassionate and non-judgmental approach, she enjoys working alongside clients to improve their emotional well-being, drawing on acceptance and commitment therapy principles, cognitive-behaviour therapy, sensory modulation, and self-compassion. It takes courage to seek support, and Jane aims to make the therapeutic experience welcoming and gentle for clients.

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Paul Gregory

Clinical Psychologist

“Sometimes in life we can fall into holes we can't climb out of by ourselves.”

Paul is a Senior Psychologist with over 15 years’ experience working in Mental Health services in NZ and the UK.  

He works with clients experiencing a wide range of issues including depression, anxiety, and relationship difficulties. He has specialist expertise in therapy with individuals experiencing substance and alcohol abuse problems.  Paul has also worked in Corporate Advisory Services for a major international consulting firm.

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Dr Balveer Sikh


“To exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly. – Henri Bergson”

Balveer is a psychologist experienced in working with adults who experience both mild and extreme mental health challenges.

He specialises in mindfulness based psychological interventions and uses a variety of approaches to help people overcome stress, anxiety, mood disorders, psychological trauma and dis-associative and personality disorders.

Balveer speaks Hindi, Punjabi and English. 

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Sandra Davies

Mental Health Nurse Specialist/Therapist

“Without change there would be no butterflies.”

Sandra loves working with people in the community and spent many years as a community mental health nurse in the UK and New Zealand. 

Sandra is a trained cognitive behavioral therapist (CBT) who also specialises in ACT, mindfulness, DBT and distress tolerance.

Sandra loves spending time with her two puppies and going for long walks as well as listening to music.

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Gabi Fifield

Child and Family Psychologist

“What is the most important thing in the world? It is people, it is people, it is people.”

Gabi primarily works with children and youth (infancy to aged 21) with a variety of challenges.  She is accredited in Standard Trip P Parenting Programme and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).

Gabi has previous experience implementing a bed-wetting behaviour programme for children and adolescents.

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Deanna Sanders


“You cant stop the waves but you can learn to surf. Jon Kabbat-Zinn”

Deanna is a experience Health Psychologist who is skilled at working with those managing physical health issues and how they impact on psychological wellbeing. 

Deanna works with people to help manage depression, anxiety and stress management using a combination of therapy techniques such as CBT, ACT and mindfulness.  Deanna is trained in the Triple P parenting programme and enjoys working with parents and families.

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Samantha Urgert


“You can't stop the waves, but you can learn to surf. Jon Kabat-Zinn”

Samantha's passion is to empower individuals of all ages with the resources and tools they need to walk towards their goals and improve their wellbeing. She provides an environment and therapy that is relaxed, client lead and based on a shared understanding of reaching the goals that are most meaningful to an individual.

Samantha is skilled at working with anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress, and suicidality. She also enjoys helping young people with behavioural challenges.

Using a range of psychological approaches including cognitive behavioural therapy and mindfulness Samantha can tailor therapy to suit individual needs.




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Dr Sheryl Metheney

Clinical Psychologist

“People are more resilient than they realise; it’s my job to help people come to this realisation and to help them become stronger and more confident in their own abilities.”

Sherryl loves working with children, youth and adults and uses a variety of solution focused therapies to help people move forward.

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Seema Woollaston

Senior Mental Health Practitioner/Registered Social Worker

“Imperfections are not inadequacies; they are reminders that we're all in this together. - Brene Brown.”

Seema is passionate about wellbeing, and supporting and empowering people to engage fully in life. Originally from Fiji, Seema has worked in the field of mental health for 20 years, 

Using Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Acceptance & Commitment Therapy and a number of other approaches Seema aims to work with the whole person within their cultural context and is experienced in helping adults, as well as with young people and their families.

Seema values a good work/ life balance and outside of work enjoys time with her family and two cats, playing netball and writing.

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Wayne Blackburn

Clinical Psychologist

“Everything can be taken but one thing: the last of human freedom - to choose one's response in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way (Victor Frankl).”

Wayne is passionate about mental wellness and will work with you collaboratively to assist with coping, change and growth. 

With a supportive and friendly manner Wayne has worked with a diverse range of people all facing unique challenges in their lives.

Wayne draws on: cognitive behavioural; acceptance and commitment; dialectical behaviour therapy; brief intervention and humanistic-experiential theory models as well as research to guide his practice so clients get the therapy most appropriate for their situation and specific challenge.

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fresh minds by ProCare.

Fresh Minds is a social enterprise that provides mind, mood and wellbeing services. We believe that everyone has the right to live well and as an organisation and team, this is at the heart of everything we do. Fresh Minds is brought to you by ProCare which is New Zealand’s largest network of general practice teams, helping over 800,000 kiwis live healthier, happier lives.

Over the past 15 years, we have supported thousands of people by providing tools and techniques that help people to connect their dots in relation to how they think, feel and act in their lives. This deep experience has enabled us to develop a range of programmes, backed by clinical expertise and empathy, which allow people to access the support they need, face life’s challenges and to live well.

Fresh Minds, as a ProCare service, is supported by comprehensive clinical governance, expertise and rigorous systems to ensure our support is of the highest quality. Our clinical expertise is matched by our focus on delivering a healthcare experience with empathy and humanity.

With a focus on equity of outcomes and access, we strive to ensure those in our community with the greatest need are able to receive the help they require, with funded pathways for Māori and Pacific people. Our team receive dedicated cultural advice and guidance to ensure that the support they provide is culturally safe and responsive.

Fresh Minds sits alongside ProCare health and partners to deliver innovative programmes and services that cater to at-risk communities, youth and family wellbeing.


Tawharanui Marine Reserve
36.3739°S, 174.7920°E

ProCare Partnerships

HomeCare Medical

the National Telehealth Service

Te Tumu Waiora

an innovative Mental Health and Addictions support programme in Primary Care

Ready, Steady, Quit

the largest smoking cessation service in New Zealand

Enhanced School Based Services

in 12 schools in the Auckland District Health Board area

The Positive Parenting Programme

to help parents adopt effective strategies

To find out more about the work we are doing in this space, please visit the ProCare website.


Ko e fiemalie ‘a e ‘atamaí, ‘oku ne paotoloaki ‘a e mo’ui kakato.

fresh minds nz - ProCare and Tū Ora Compass partnership.

ProCare Health Ltd and Tū Ora Compass Health, two leading providers of primary mental health services nationally signed a partnership in August 2019 to align their respective mental health services into a single operating model - Fresh Minds New Zealand - in order to enable a stronger primary mental health service for communities across Aotearoa.

The aim of the aligned national service offering is to ensure our communities have ready access to high value, reliable and quality primary mental health and wellbeing services as and when they need it.

We are working to align services over the next 12 - 18 months, please check back here for updates.


Tawharanui Marine Reserve
36.3739°S, 174.7920°E

Find out more

Tū Ora Compass

leading primary care in Wellington, Porirua, Kapiti and Wairapara since 1995.


piki empowers and supports young adults towards better health and wellbeing

Te Tumu Waiora

mental health and addictions support in general practice


To find out more about the work we are doing in this space, please visit the ProCare website.


Ko e fiemalie ‘a e ‘atamaí, ‘oku ne paotoloaki ‘a e mo’ui kakato.

Tawharanui Marine Reserve
36.3739°S, 174.7920°E


working with fresh minds.

We believe every New Zealander has the right to live well. We are leaders in the field of delivering mind health and wellness services in the primary care sector. In the face of a changing New Zealand, we are innovating how care is provided to people of all ages and stages of life. We believe in delivering our services with humanity and compassion.

career opportunities.

We're always on the lookout for individuals to help us achieve our vision. As part of our team, you will have the opportunity to work with skilled colleagues on a range of new and innovative programs. We are committed to offering leadership and career development pathways to our clinicians, actively supporting professional development.

If you would like to discuss a career opportunity at Fresh Minds, please contact us through the site.