Hannah Blakely

BA (Hons), MSc, PGDipClinPsych

Registered Clinical Psychologist

Hannah is a clinical psychologist with extensive experience in all aspects of the clinical psychology of adults and adolescents.  She works alongside clients and their families who are experiencing difficulties related to, health, anxiety, depression, stress, earthquake distress, trauma, chronic pain, relationships, sexuality, sexual abuse, fertility, endometriosis, adjustment to injury, and life role changes.

Hannah works with adults and adolescents using psychological strategies and skills from treatment modalities mentioned below to better cope with their daily functioning.  Her approach is centred on the overall well-being of the individual as well as the impact on partners and the wider family system.

Hannah most often utilises the treatment modalities Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Metacognitive Therapy and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) focusing on incorporating the interactions and processes of thoughts, feelings, behaviour.

She works well as part of team alongside medical specialists, nurses, midwives, physiotherapists and general practitioners.    

Specifically, Hannah’s background clinical training encompasses all aspects of general mental health, in particular, anxiety disorders, depression, post-natal depression, adjustment, loss and grief, pain, trauma, and sexuality as well as a specialist interest in physical health related issues as they impact upon daily functioning. She works to support individuals, couples and families regarding issues associated with their difficulties.

Hannah provides professional reflective practice supervision for clinical psychologists and other medical professional scopes as well as mentoring for psychology students.


What is the difference between a clinical psychologist, psychiatrist, psychotherapist, counsellor, or coach?


Clinical psychologists - To practice as a psychologist in New Zealand it is necessary to be registered by the Psychologists Board.  It takes a minimum of six years university training to become a clinical psychologist, the same amount of time as a medical degree.  A clinical psychologist may provide counselling and psychotherapy but will also draw from rigorous scientific research to ensure that treatments are effective and well matched to what the client needs and wants.  Clinical psychologists are more “active” than psychotherapists and counsellors.  Most specialise in one or more areas of clinical practice and develop high levels of specific expertise.

Clinical psychologists in New Zealand do not prescribe medication.  They have a good understanding of relevant medicines and will be able to identify when you should consult your doctor for medical help and be able to provide advice to your doctor on suitable medication.

Psychiatrists - A psychiatrist has studied medicine first, then gone on to specialise in mental illness.  Psychiatrists must be registered as medical practitioners.  They often prescribe medications. In practice, psychiatrists and clinical psychologists often work together.

Psychotherapists - In New Zealand, psychotherapy commonly refers to psychological therapies that are based on mostly psychodynamic theories of human behaviour and personality.  These theories emphasise the importance of unconscious mental processes, early childhood experiences, and the role of emotions in shaping behaviour.

Counsellors - Counselling, as a professional occupation, arose not from the clinic but from more social settings: it reflects the need for one person to seek out help or advice from another person. Counselling focuses on helping people resolve “normal” problems through talking rather than more complex problems that requires psychological strategies to best manage them. In New Zealand it has not traditionally been associated with qualifications in psychology, or with any particular form of training, although this is gradually changing.

Coaches - Some people advertise themselves as providers of coaching. Coaching, like counselling, is meant to help “healthy” clients. Instead of helping them solve problems, coaching focuses on helping persons utilise their abilities more effectively than they have previously and is often used in business settings with executives.  No license or official registration is needed to practice coaching.