Amy Munsterman, Registered Psychotherapist
There is a mountain of psychological research that points to the therapeutic relationship as one of the key factors in promoting change, therefore finding a therapist who is a good "fit" is pretty important. So, in order to help you decide whether I might be a good match, I think it's important that you know a bit about me - not just my professional background and experience but about who I am, where I come from & what I do.
I am originally from Nebraska in the USA (it's right in the middle) where I lived most of my life until moving to Wellington in 2008 with my Kiwi husband and two children. In 2011, my "third child" joined our family in the form of a golden retriever who I sometimes bring to my practice - I'm a bit dog-obsessed. I'm also a very keen urban gardener who pulls weeds for fun. I run, indulge in dark chocolate, and love mid-century design, a good laugh and nice shoes.
On a more serious & meaningful note, I like to think that I am an open-minded, friendly, compassionate and accepting person. I have always been told that people know where they stand with me because I am honest and trustworthy. I value treating all people with respect and believe that each of us have our own unique histories, experiences, genetics, and temperaments that shape us into who we are. We all have struggles - being human is about experiencing emotions, thoughts and sensations that at times are unwanted, but I really believe that the more we try to control all of this, the worse off we are. We're all here trying to do our best with what we've got and hopefully, as your therapist I can help you develop the skills, perspective & mindset that will make your life richer and more meaningful to you based on your values.
I have been working as a psychotherapist & counsellor since finishing my Masters in Counselling Psychology in 1997. Following graduation, 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 in graduate school. 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. From there I 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. Please see the Services tab to learn more about how I might work with you.