Amy Munsterman, MA
I have been working as a psychotherapist for over 25 years and it is a career that keeps me curious and compassionate. I am originally from the United States and have been living in NZ since 2008. I am a mother of two young adult daughters and a golden retriever named Florence, who often accompanies me at work. I have been married for as long as I've been in this career. When I'm not at work I enjoy gardening, cooking, reading, nature, walking my dog in the bush, collecting cool ceramics and spending time with my friends and family. I appreciate good design and am always on the hunt for mid-century furniture.I love a good laugh and am a firm believer in the healing power of humour.
I am a fully registered psychotherapist with the Psychotherapists Board of Aotearoa New Zealand (PBANZ), which means that I hold an approved qualification, meet the professional competencies defined by the Board and am required to maintain ongoing professional development to ensure my competency to practice. PBANZ enacts the legislation of the Health Practitioner's Competence Assurance Act (HPCAA 2003) which is in place to protect the public by ensuring the competency of health professionals.
I offer individual Psychotherapy & Counselling services to adults 18 & over. I have completed advanced training in Eye-Movement Desensitisation Reprocessing (EMDR), which is an evidenced-based approach for the treatment of trauma-related difficulties, including PTSD and C-PTSD (developmental trauma).
I have been working as a psychotherapist & counsellor since finishing my Masters in Counselling Psychology (US) in 1997. Following graduate school, I worked for two years as a psychotherapist with individuals struggling with substance abuse and mental health difficulties. This experience exposed me to a population of clientele who challenged me, taught me and moved me. Their struggles were like nothing I had seen before and certainly not anything I learned about at university. It was a humbling experience that opened my eyes to the complexity of human beings and motivated me to try to understand our behaviour even more.
I also worked for 10 years at a community mental health centre with adults who experienced severe mental illness. This too was a rich and challenging experience, but one that taught me compassion, patience and persistence. Since living in New Zealand I worked five years for a primary health organization that supports individuals with mild to moderate mental health issues and I have also done some locum work for Victoria University's Student Counselling Services. I have been working in private practice since January 2012 and in October 2013, I set up my current office, working four days per week.
Although much of my work has been in a clinical setting, I approach psychotherapy & counselling from a holistic perspective, considering the psychological, cultural, spiritual, emotional and physical health of the individuals I see. My goal is to help people improve their overall well-being and I believe each person brings his/her unique experiences to the room, which requires me to be flexible in how I work.
I draw on a range of therapeutic approaches which aim to identify the sensations, thoughts, feelings, & behaviours that are impacting a person's functioning so we can figure out the most effective way to shift the "problem(s)" and make change happen. I tend to think about how the identified problem or "symptom" may serve a function that the client isn't explicitly aware of and through exploring this we often discover the "necessity" of the symptom that may protect the client from some other suffering. I am particularly interested in how our memories shape our sense of self and how we see the world and believe that unprocessed memories are often what keep people stuck.
My approach is a non-pathologising one that serves to fully understand how the client's mind makes sense of their experiences and to create a "coherent narrative". I also consider the cultural, environmental, familial, socioeconomic, and social factors that may play a role in one's difficulties.
I see a range of concerns in my practice that may include: anxiety, including social anxiety, panic disorder, or chronic worry, complex trauma & PTSD, ADHD, depression, grief, life transitions, relationship difficulties, attachment issues, anger, self-destructive behaviour, including addictions, self-harm, & suicidal ideation, sexual orientation & identity concerns, as well as workplace issues including bullying, harassment or questions related to career choice. I consider myself an open-minded person who embraces differences in culture, lifestyle and sexuality, and gender-expression. I work primarily with adults 18 & over and have quite a lot of experience working with young adults in particular.
I do not believe a "one size fits all approach" works for clients so I tend to draw on a range of therapeutic models, including EMDR, Cohernece Therapy, Internal Family Systems, & Schema Therapy, which integrates attachment theory, psychodynamic theory, cognitive-behavioural and experiential approaches. I am also informed by Compassion-focussed Therapy and Acceptance & Commitment Therapy, which incorporate mindfulness & acceptance practices, helping individuals live according to their values.
Please fill in the form below to get in touch. I will venture to respond to you within 24 hours. My office is located in the beautiful Botanic Gardens in Wellington. I am also available via Doxy, which is a Telehealth platform so I can see you no matter where you are. My fee for a 1-hour session is $160 (including GST). I also have capacity to offer longer/intensive EMDR sessions (a different fee applies). I have an Eftpos machine available and payment is due at the time of the session.
Cancellation policy: I require 24-hours cancellation notice and any appointments cancelled outside of this time-frame will incur a full fee if I am unable to fill the spot. Thank you.
Kelburn, Wellington 6012
(in weatherboard building near the Met Service). Please have a seat in the foyer when you arrive.
Tel: 027 479 4993