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Benita values the practitioner/scientist/scholar professional model, and strives to engage a career that nurtures each of these components. She is an experienced clinician, supervisor, and manager. Her work has spanned both private and public sectors, and a variety of health, mental health, and professional education arenas. She holds qualifications as a clinical psychologist (NZ, AUS, USA), Adlerian therapist, professional supervisor, clinical nurse specialist in child and adolescent mental health (USA), and nurse practitioner with prescribing authority (USA). Her academic and clinical teaching experience spans both psychology and nursing, with contributions to counselling and social work.
Clinical populations that Benita has served have spanned the range of life stages, with a special focus on children, youth, and families for behavioural, cognitive, neuropsychological, relational, and affective conditions. Abuse, trauma, affective conditions, comorbid health and mental health conditions, and personality-based difficulties across the age-span have been additional areas of focus in Benita’s work. Multicultural sensitivity has been a part of her practice, in effectively serving a variety of ethnic groups, refugees and immigrants, multigenerational families, religious groups, socioeconomic backgrounds, rural, and urban settings.
Supervision and management in clinical settings is another area in which Benita has enjoyed serving. Mentoring other professionals for effective multidisciplinary team work within organisations and for community collaboration has been a goal for her in each setting that she has worked, with systems assessment and analysis underpinning successful advances. This has resulted in such shared achievements as building a large private practice making services available to rural areas; constructing effective collaborations between health and mental health services, and between institutional and community services; constructing and aligning systems of care available; sourcing funding for new needed services and staff; making available continuing education and training for professional staff.
In addition to maintaining continuing education for increasing her own competencies, Benita has participated in providing training and education for other professionals. This has included providing training and upskilling for professional colleagues, community and conference presentations, and university teaching. Classroom, clinic, distance learning, and on-line teaching have been modes employed with both nurses and psychologists in training. Facilitating adult mid-career learners in gaining qualifications that they desire is especially interesting, allowing a gratifying use of the mix of career skills for Benita
Research that Benita has supervised has generally been applied in nature. Her own research interests are also in areas of application, and include systems assessment, effective clinical delivery, and positive social change for those that mental health providers serve.
Benita values the practitioner/scientist/scholar professional model, and nurtures each of these components in her career. She is an experienced clinician, supervisor, manager, and teacher, practicing in a variety of health, mental health, and professional education arenas.
In educational settings, Benita has employed classroom, clinic, distance learning, and on-line teaching modes. Facilitating adult mid-career learners has been a special interest, allowing her gratifying use of a mix of career skills.
Benita’s research interests are in areas of application, and include systems assessment, effective clinical delivery, and positive social change for those that mental health providers serve.