I was raised by a psychologist and social worker, and in my formative years I was determined to mark my difference by becoming anything other than a mental health professional. How wrong could I have been? Given where my career has eventuated, I am now truly appreciative of the clinical knowledge and compassionate worldview that I learned from my parents across the dining table.
I am formally trained as a clinical psychologist. My work has predominantly been split between promoting corporate wellbeing for New Zealand companies and communicating psychological evidence to the New Zealand public via modern and traditional media channels. A core belief of mine is that all people deserve and can live satisfying and meaningful lives when they are in a supportive environment and have access to effective psychological tools. I am well aware, however, that we are all born into varying circumstances. Some people will be brought up in a safe and loving family, others won’t. Some will receive satisfactory education, others won’t. Some will experience traumatic incidents, others won’t. However, despite our upbringings, we do all have the propensity to learn. Disseminating and translating scientific research into accessible knowledge bites is what drives my work. We can all play a role in supporting the mental health and wellbeing of our community.
As such, psychologists and scientists who have a natural gift for communicating their work to the general population have guided my work. Some of them are:
Dr Adam Grant
Adam Grant has been Wharton’s top-rated professor for 7 straight years. As an organisational psychologist, he is a leading expert on how we can find motivation and meaning, rethink assumptions, and live more generous and creative lives. He has been recognized as one of the world’s 10 most influential management thinkers and Fortune’s 40 Under 40.
Favourite book: Option B (co-authored with Sheryl Sandberg)
Dr Russ Harris
Dr Russ Harris is a medical doctor, psychotherapist, life coach, and consultant to the World Health Organisation. Of the nine books he has written, the best known is The Happiness Trap, which has sold over one million copies and been translated into thirty languages.
Favourite book: The Happiness Trap
Dr John Gottman and Dr Julie Schwartz Gottman have revolutionised the study of marriage. For nearly five decades, they have conducted research on all facets of relationships, including parenting issues. They have established The Gottman Institute, which is committed to an ongoing program of research that increases the understanding of relationships and adds to the development of interventions that have been carefully evaluated.
Jacqui is a clinical psychologist whose career has been anchored in corporate wellbeing, providing workplace wellbeing services to Kiwi businesses, including consultation with executive teams and boards, wellbeing programme design and training facilitation to small and large teams. She is the author of When the Wind Blew and hosts two #1 ranking podcasts, Mind Brew, where she interviews leading psychology experts, and What Matters Most, co-hosted with Antonia Prebble. She is the mental health advisor to global charity Movember and was awarded Wellingtonian of the Year 2021 for Education.
Sandberg, S., & Grant, A. (2017). Option B: Facing adversity, building resilience, and finding joy. Alfred A. Knopf, New York. ISBN 9781524732684
Harris, R. (2021). The happiness trap: Stop struggling, start living. (2ND ed.) Exisle Publishing, N.S.W. ISBN 9781922539199