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MHERC's workshops are delivered by specialists in their fields

Alan Fayter

Neuro-Semantic NLP Master Trainer ISNS, Coach IANLP, Fellow Member Trainer IANLP, Licensed Meta-Coach (ACMC)

Alan is a Master Trainer specialising in the Neuro-Semantic Self-Actualisation Trainings, based on self-actualisation psychology. He trained under the tutelage of psychologist Dr L. Michael Hall PhD, the developer of Neuro-Semantics. He has a Doctorate in Clinical Hypnotherapy (Distinction) and runs a private therapy and coaching practice in Christchurch. In 2015 Alan published his first book; "How To Chill Out", a book on stress management and communication techniques based on coaching and training he developed after the Christchurch earthquakes.

Catherine Gallagher

Registered Clinical Psychologist, MNZCCP, MA(Hons)

Catherine has worked in both public and private work settings, primarily focused on child and family issues. Currently she has a small private practice and is also the clinical practice manager at START.

Denise Huisman

MSW(App), BAPsych, RSW

Denise currently works with Christchurch Resettlement Services with valuable experience working with migrant background people. A registered Social Worker for 13 years with CRS, she has recently taken up the role of their Health Promotion Team Leader. Her focus is on education and programmes which encourage the recovery and maintenance of their client’s wellbeing.


Di Sargent

Masters of Hlth Sci., PG Dip. Addiction, PG Dip. Social Work, PG Dip. Management, B.A. Psych

Di is passionate about working with people to support hauora/wellbeing and health, and also teaching and mentoring people for their professional development and growth. She has been working in the mental health and addictions sector for 27 years as a social worker/counsellor. Di was the clinical manager of Stepping Stone Trust (mental health NGO) for 13 years and is in her sixth year at the Bridge addiction service in Christchurch. Di loves learning and is qualified with a Masters of Mental Health, Post Graduate Diploma in Addiction, Post Graduate Diploma in Social Work, Post Graduate Diploma in Management and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology.

Dr Annette Beautrais


Annette is New Zealand's most experienced suicidologist, an academic who has been studying suicide research and prevention, and teaching about suicide prevention, for the past 27 years. She has worked in New Zealand and internationally, has published extensively and has won international awards for her research. Annette is Adjunct Professor at the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, and Suicide Prevention Coordinator at the South Canterbury DHB. In addition, she works as an educator and consultant to a range of organisations, and runs training programmes in suicide prevention throughout the country. Annette has worked with the World Health Organisation and served on the board of the International Association for Suicide Prevention.

Dr Annie Southern

PhD HSc, MA, GradDipLT, Cert HE

Dr Annie Southern was educated at Oxford University and has a PhD in Health Science from the University of Canterbury. She is a researcher and writer and is well published, with her work spanning both journalism/publishing and mental health fields. Annie uses her lived experience of neurodiversity, multiplicity and alternative states of reality as part of her work and is a Peer Support trainer and a professional member of the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation. She currently works as the Peer Practice Director at Stepping Stone Trust and is a Co-director of The Different Kind of Human Project (a neurodiversity peer community).

Dr Brian Deavoll


Brian is a Consultant Psychiatrist of Old Age with Te Whatu Ora - Waitaha (formerly CDHB). He is currently a consultant psychiatrist in the Older Person Mental Health Service, Te Whatu Ora - Waitaha working part-time in the Community Team based at The Princess Margaret Hospital and part-time in ward BG Burwood Hospital. He has a long history of service provision, leadership and involvement with training in the mental health sector in Christchurch.

Dr Chris Taua

PhD, RN, BN, MN(Distinction), PGC(MH), CAdTch, FNZCMHN

Chris is a registered nurse by profession with a background in mental health. She has over 25 years experience in health/disability sectors. Her education portfolio includes mental health, disability, ethics and boundaries, communication and de-escalation, collaborative note writing, and culturally safe practice. Her PhD explored the mental health inpatient experiences of people with intellectual disability and she continues to publish on this and other topics including cultural diversity/cultural safety. She is currently Director and primary Consultant for ‘Pumahara Consultants, Personal and Professional Development Specialists’ and holds an Honorary Senior Lecturer role with The University of Queensland as well as other teaching roles with Universities around New Zealand and Australia.

Dr Olive Webb

ONZM, FNZPsS, PhD, DipClinPsych, DipHSM(dist)

Olive has over 40 years’ experience working as a clinical psychologist in the area of Intellectual Disability, Autism Spectrum Disorder and related areas. She has published widely in these specialist fields, focusing on sexual education, challenging and offending behaviour by people who have intellectual disabilities, adults and children with high and complex needs, and various aspects of the healthcare of people who have intellectual disabilities. Olive was made an Officer of the NZ Order of Merit in 2008 for Services to Intellectual Disability.

Dr Valerie McGinn


Valerie is a Clinical Neuropsychologist specialising in the diagnosis and treatment of FASD. She works in a multidisciplinary team in private practice in Auckland, as well as developing services and support for people with FASD and their families. A provider of FASD evidence to NZ Courts so that the effects of the neurodisability can be understood and taken into consideration, she also advises on the care and management of children and young people with FASD in Oranga Tamariki care and in the Criminal Justice system. Dr McGinn is a founding and current board member of FASD-CAN (Care Action Network).

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