Press release: Robert Street Clinic

 1st April, 2015


Auckland’s Robert Street Clinic is playing a role in changing the way children and families receive therapy in New Zealand.

Both Peter Slater and Emma Turner have joined the Ellerslie clinic after recently arriving from the UK and bring a wealth of experience as well as world-leading training in working with children, adolescents, parents and families.

Peter and Emma are colleagues who both trained at the world-renowned Tavistock Clinic in London from where they are fully trained in Mentalisation Based Treatments (MBT) – a relatively recent approach to therapy which centres on developing the ability to focus and reflect on mental states such as intentions, emotions and interactions and which has been shown to be particularly effective among young people with emerging personality disorders and patients with Borderline Personality Disorder. Peter also lectured at the Tavistock Clinic and was a visiting lecturer at the Anna Freud Centre and University College London.

Peter’s main reason for emigrating from the UK is to become a senior lecturer at AUT where he is developing and delivering the country’s only training programme for child and adolescent psychotherapists and says he values the opportunity to make a real difference in New Zealand.

“Child psychology is really valued here but they really sorely miss the training opportunities – from what I gather there is a dearth of child psychologists in the country so to have the opportunity to train more will be very much welcomed,” Peter said.

“I think that, without wanting to blow our own trumpet, both Emma and I can make a difference. I think we’ve been fortunate to gain access to this training in MBT at the Tavistock Clinic so we can bring an awful lot of new thinking and experience. The robustness of our training and our experience really sets us apart from child psychotherapists who’ve trained here.”

Peter works psychoanalytically with children and young people over a range of issues including depression, bereavement, separation anxiety, general anxiety, aggression, personality disorders, learning difficulties, eating disorders, self-harming, abuse, neglect and deprivation.

Emma’s interest in child psychotherapy grew from her work as an occupational therapist in perinatal psychiatry working with mothers and their infants and the development of key observational skills.

She sees children and young people with a range of presenting difficulties such as depression, anxiety, loss, anger, behavioural and relational difficulties as well as seeing infants and young children with prolonged difficulties in sleeping, feeding, regulating their emotions and those with separation issues.
Emma also has specialist experience working with mothers who are experiencing post-natal depression and has a particular interest and expertise in working with infants and children who are under five years of age, together with their parents.

She said she was also interested in continuing her research into the service development and differing models of practice in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services.

“Working as a Child Psychotherapist in New Zealand is both an opportunity to gain experience of models of practice within a different cultural context and to bring my experience and expertise as a clinician to working practices here.”

Peter said he was looking forward to being part of the Robert Street Clinic team.

“Before I arrived from the UK I did a search of practises in Auckland and Robert Street Clinic jumped out. The more I read about the ethos of the clinic and the biographies of the clinicians who work there, the more I became really impressed – it seems like a really professional clinic where there might be a niche for working with children and families and we really thought it would be great to be part of the team.”

For more information on Peter and Emma’s work or to find out more about the Robert Street Clinic’s range of child, adolescent and family therapy call 09 973 5950 or email the clinic via their website