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What you can expect

Everyone is different so the first 1–3 sessions will focus on understanding, in depth, what you are having difficulty with and putting it together in a way that makes sense to you and informs our treatment together. You wouldn't expect a mechanic to start fixing your car without finding out exactly what's wrong with it! It would use up a lot of your precious time and cost a lot of money!

Treatment will be tailored to your needs, however, you can expect us to start a session with a check-in as to how your week has progressed, checking on the tasks I gave you from last week and then continuing with our treatment plan. Normally treatment lasts between 6-12 sessions and involves you learning and practising tools to help you manage your difficulties.

Therapies I am skilled in

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)


A skills-based behavioural therapy that works on the idea that it is normal for our thoughts to bring us difficult statements such as “I am useless” and for us to have unpleasant feelings from time to time. ACT teaches skills that allows us to make room for these experiences when they show up and to focus on doing what we want to be doing.

Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT)


This is a structured therapy that is effective in helping individuals regulate their emotions and reduce self-harming behaviour.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)


Similar to ACT, CBT is skills based but works on the idea that difficult feelings are brought about by irrational thinking. CBT teaches skills for reducing the irrational thinking enough to be able to focus on doing what is important to you.


$220 (GST inclusive) per 50 minutes.

Examples of the issues I deal with:


  • Behavioural difficulties

  • Sleep difficulties

  • Anxieties

  • Sadness

Young People:

  • School stress

  • Eating issues

  • Low self-esteem

  • Perfectionism

  • Anxiety

  • Depression

  • Self-harm


  • Parenting difficulties

  • Low mood

  • Anxiety

  • Poor self-concept

Therapy Session
Group – Forward ACTion

Forward ACTion Group

An adolescent skills group by Julia Sawyer & Julia Chrisp

How to be who you want even when your brain says otherwise

  • Have you ever really wanted to do something but your mind has told you it is far too hard or scary?

  • Or, been so full of emotion that you’ve behaved in ways that you haven’t wanted to?

  • What about, keep trying to make yourself happy but you just can’t manage it?


  • In this group, we will teach you ways to take the power out of your thoughts and feelings so that you can get on with what you want to do.


  • If this sounds like you, get in touch about our weekly skills group that teaches young people the principles of ACT based tools to manage their thoughts and feelings.


$220 (GST inclusive) per group session or $1200 for six when paid in advance.

Frequently asked questions:

Will I have to talk about my feelings or past?

No. You can choose how much or little you talk about things. The focus is on learning ways to manage – not talking about the past.

Why would I go to a group when I could have individual sessions?

Everyone finds groups daunting but one of the best things about being in a group is that you find out that everyone (including the facilitators) has negative thoughts just like you! Most group members don’t want to come but 73% said they enjoyed coming by the end!

Does it work?

Yes! Each week, members rate how they feel in different areas of their lives and when we compare those ratings before they start and after they end - there is a real difference! (Statistically significant at .05 level) 

Do I have to go to all six sessions?

The group is set up as six interlocking sessions so you will miss out on some information if you miss one but, if that is going to happen, please let one of us know and we will contact you and try to catch you up.

What if I don’t like the group?

I don’t know anyone who is jumping at the chance to join a group but, usually, by the third group they are pretty comfortable. Please talk to us if you feel this way.


How do I get in?

Please email Julia Sawyer or call 021 494 909. Either Julia Sawyer, Julia Chrisp or Lucy Reynolds will give you a ring to register you and answer any questions you might have.

Forward ACTion



Forward Action is run in blocks on Thursdays from 5.15pm – 6.45pm. Please get in touch for details of the next block


13–18 year-olds with anxiety, sadness or angry thoughts and feelings that are causing problems

Based on:

ACT, evolutionary psychology and brain-based therapy each with a solid evidence base for the successful treatment of mental health issues.

"Thank you for the Forward ACTion course. It made such a huge difference to our daughter and her journey back to health at the end of the year. She has used the tools and talked about them with me throughout the summer. We are very grateful for what you have added to our daughter's life"  – Mother of an 18-year-old

"My daughter was surprised by how much she enjoyed the group sessions with you as she was initially quite reluctant to go along. I think the group sessions were really useful, not only because she learned some skills for "managing her caveman"  - as she described it to me, but also because she saw that other people struggle with things too" - Mother of a 14-year-old



I have practised as a Consultant Clinical Psychologist within the public mental health system for a number of years and, as such, have supervised other clinical psychologists, psychologists, nurse practitioners, social workers and intern psychologists.


Although my current modality is ACT, I practiced CBT for 10 years and am an accredited DBT practitioner. I was part of a DBT consult group for approximately 8 years and have years of experience running a DBT group.


For the past 5 years, I have been involved in readiness assessments for both hormone therapy and various surgeries for transgender individuals.



$220 (GST inclusive) per 50 minutes.

Hormone Readiness Assessments


For the past ten years, I have been conducting readiness assessments for those who are at different stages of transition. I complete assessments for children through to adults for both hormone blockers and sex hormones.


When you come to see me you can expect for me to spend at least two sessions hearing about your journey. I will also speak with someone who is close to you (preferably who has a long history with you) and to any professionals involved in your mental health care. I will then write a report that remains your property for use as you see fit.

Please be aware that a readiness assessment may have different recommendations such as progression through to hormones, further mental health support or time spent socially transitioning.



$1040 (GST inclusive) per assessment.



I am available to develop and run one-off psychological seminars (or a series of events) depending upon your needs. Examples of potential topics include:


  • Parenting Young Children

  • Parenting Adolescents

  • Enhancing Emotional Resilience in your Children

  • Managing Self-harm                 


Please contact me to discuss potential ideas.

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