Psychological Services

Assessments of behavioural, emotional or developmental difficulties.




Assessments of behavioural, emotional or developmental difficulties usually involve the following steps:


  1. For children, a first appointment of 1 ½ hours helps to get an understanding of what the child and families needs are. Parents and children are usually seen together, but are sometimes seen for part of the assessment by themselves.

  2. For adults, 1 hour is usually enough time to get an understanding of a persons main concerns and their needs and goals.

  3. At the end of the session I will talk about what I have learned and discuss options for going forward.  This may include types of therapy and number of sessions.  Sometimes more assessment, such as psychometric testing or psychiatric consultation, is recommended.

Examples of assessments include:


  • ​Assessment of experiences such as anger, depression, anxiety, loss, grief, traumatic and various behavioural and emotional difficulties in both children and adults.

  • Diagnostic Assessment of:

    • Autism spectrum disorder for people of all ages.

    • Learning difficulties contributing emotional and behavioural issues.

    • Intellectual disability.

  • Supporting people with Autism/ Asperger’s in the workplace or education settings.

  • Neuropsychological Assessment of learning and development difficulties.



Neuropsychological Assessment

Does your child have more trouble planning, organizing or remembering things than most kids their age? Is your child always forgetting homework or never seems to be organised enough to gets things in on time, does unsafe things without thinking it through, rushes through homework without checking it or has trouble accepting negative feedback and overreacting to little injustices. Do they avoid the world by spending his or her life in front of a screen.  These maybe signs that he or she has executive functioning difficulties and is struggling to cope with demands these place on him or her.

Annetta can undertake an assessment with the aim of understanding and provide a plan to support children who are struggling with this brain based problem.

What is a neuropsychological assessment?

A neuropsychological assessment helps assess your child’s thinking, behaviour and problem-solving skills. It helps to get a sense of your child’s abilities. It consists of a series of assessments and observations. A neuropsychologist will look at the results and compare them to other children who are the same age. The assessment is used to determine the best learning environment for your child.

A neuropsychological assessment is important for several reasons:

  • It shows your child’s thinking abilities at the moment.

  • It may be needed to get extra services for your child.

  • It can be repeated in the future to show changes that have happened over time.


The assessment usually takes half a day for preschoolers and a full day for school-aged children. There are different assessments for preschool children and school-aged children. As a parent or main caregiver, you will also be interviewed and will fill out questionnaires about your child.  Assessment may also involve talking to your child’s teacher and asking them to complete questionnaires.

You can tell your child that this assessment is like a day at school. For example, your child will be asked to answer questions, do activities on paper, solve puzzles and work on the computer. Many children enjoy the experience.

Once the neuropsychologist has interpreted the results, she can identify your child’s strengths, future challenges, and strategies that might help them.

Child Therapist
Psychologist's Office


It can be scary talking about your private life with someone you don’t know. Clinical Psychologists provide a confidential service and will always talk to you about that this means when we first meet. 


A good psychologist will let you talk at a pace that is comfortable for you and regularly check in with you so that you can get the most out therapy.


Annetta is able to offer a range of other therapeutic options including solution focused brief therapy, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), behavioural therapy, mindfulness and dialectical behaviour therapy. 


Annetta largely works from a strengths based approach. This focuses on solutions rather than problems and assumes that people are generally resourceful and resilient when faced with difficult situations. 


It is client-led and focuses on uncovering the strengths people bring to a problem or crisis and helps them to use these to manage current difficulties.

The number of sessions people need depends on a number of factors.  Annetta will discuss with you your goals alongside an estimated number of sessions required and a process for reviewing progress.  


It is difficult to be specific about time frames for treatment, particularly for people with cognitive difficulties who often require more time and different ways of presenting information, to support understanding.


Training & Support services

Agencies, Organisations & The Court

The Courts and Legal Issues

Examples of services offered:

  • Expert witness evidence where there is an autism (ASD) or other neurodevelopmental/ intellectual disability (ID).

  • Diagnostic assessment of ASD and other neurological issues that impact on learning, emotion and behaviour of people before the court.

  • Support to plan for parole hearing and post release plans where a person has an ASD or other neurodevelopmental disorder.

  • Support to vulnerable witnesses and the courts.

  • Capacity to consent and PPPR assessments.

Agencies & Organisations


Examples of services offered:

  • High and complex needs assessment and intervention

  • Debriefing of critical and serious incidents for service users, carer support and management teams.

  • Consultation and advice to service providers on a range of issues

  • Investigations

    • Annetta is experienced at interviewing service users who have made allegations towards others and/or are suspected of being victims of abuse.

  • Service reviews

    • Assessments of services struggling to support a person who has challenging behaviour.

    • Annetta is experienced in assessing for signs of abusive or risky staff and or organisational practices

  • Service design and development

    • Able to provide advice on designing and developing service options for people with complex behaviour.

  • Training and support to reduce risk of assaults on staff & improve staff understanding & engagement with service users

    • Annetta has a range of training and support packages designed to be easily understood and implemented by support workers and their managers in residential and independent supported living services.

    • Trainings can be matched up to and/or developed for your organisations particular needs.  Annetta will talk to you about what training would be suit your needs.

Examples of trainings available:

  • Why Does Behaviour get out of Hand?

  • Understanding the Brain and Behaviour in People with Complex Needs

  • Understanding Intellectual Disability and Support Strategies

  • Understanding Borderline Personality Disorder in People with an Intellectual Disability

  • The Road to Recovery: Supporting Children With Intellectual and Developmental Disability Who Have Experienced Trauma

  • Risk Assessment

    • Including assessment of risk associated with risk taking behaviours, criminal offending and or sexually inappropriate behaviour

Support Group

Professional/Clinical Supervision

Annetta is a highly experienced supervisor who is able to support both psychologists and non psychologists working with people with autism and intellectual disability.

Website of the NZ College of Clinical Psychologists
New Zealand Psychologists Board