Specialising in family psychology

Focussing on resilience and practical solutions

Down Arrow
How I Can Help

How I Can Help

If you are looking for a therapist in Christchurch, I may be able to help. I work with individuals, children, families & groups to develop strategies to deal with issues such as:

  • Anxiety
  • Attachment
  • Behaviour
  • Trauma
  • Depression
  • Bereavement & grief
  • Conflict resolution
  • Stress management
  • Emotional well-being, resilience & growth
  • Diversity, equity & inclusivity

Free consultation

I offer a free 30-minute initial consultation by phone so that we can discuss how I can help. See below for more information about this.

Why Choose Therapy

Why Choose Therapy?

People come to therapy for many different reasons. Here in Christchurch, the earthquakes since the 4th of September 2010 have highlighted the need for psychological well-being.

You may have a child or children experiencing difficulty with issues such as behaviour, sleep, anxiety, grief, trauma, etc. I work with children and families to develop coping strategies so that families can manage effectively.

Alternatively, you may want to come to therapy to strengthen your skills at managing troublesome situations and symptoms that interfere with important parts of your life. You may want to understand yourself better, take charge of your life, or change life or relationship patterns that are not working well. You also may want to come for support during a difficult time or life transition.

My Practice and Approach

My Practice & Approach

You may be looking for help around a specific issue. The issues I work with my clients on include family and relationship issues, attachment, behaviour, trauma, anxiety, depression, bereavement and grief, stress management, conflict resolution, emotional well-being, resilience and growth. We focus on your strengths and on developing the positives when working together.

When we begin, we will work together to set some goals by discussing what you hope to achieve by coming to therapy: how would you know that therapy worked? What key concerns would need to be addressed and what changes would you need to see? This discussion will help us clarify your purpose in coming, and how we should work toward your goal.

Issues do not exist in isolation. I use an ecological approach to explore what is going on and develop strategies to address the situation. This means that during our appointments, we will work together to understand what is happening for you within a larger context—this includes exploring your own experiences, your relationships and the social context within which you live and work. Using this interconnected, collaborative and relational approach we will establish a base that will be helpful and meaningful for you.

Simi Desor, Registered Psychologist

About Me

I am registered with the New Zealand Psychologists Board—you can verify this at their website's register. Being registered means I am accountable to the Board and that I hold a current practising certificate.

When I work with individuals, children, families and groups, I believe in being attentive to how the surrounding world and culture can affect us. I believe an ecological approach gives a deeper understanding of many of the issues that arise in our lives.

My areas of interest include: resilience, parenting skills, bereavement & grief, trauma, health psychology, diversity, equity and inclusivity.

I have earned my qualifications in Child and Family Psychology from the University of Canterbury. While studying for these qualifications, I have had work experience placements with the Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB) in Pediatrics, at the Ministry of Education, and at Child, Youth and Family. Following this, I worked for CDHB Child Health in the Department of Pediatrics at Christchurch Hospital, at Beacon House, and at Montreal House.

Prior to this I gained a Graduate Diploma in Teaching and Learning and worked as a teacher for a short period. I came to New Zealand from Canada, and have a Bachelor’s degree and a Post Baccalaureate from Simon Fraser University. At Simon Fraser University I also worked as a researcher, and helped develop and teach some Humanities courses. I also volunteered at the local high schools, working with young people.

Fees and Policies

Fees & Policies

Free initial consultation

It is important to me to make sure that I am the right person for you to see, so I offer a free initial 30-minute phone consultation. We can discuss what is happening for you and make sure that you feel comfortable with me. I will also be able to determine whether my skills and experience are appropriate for you. There is no obligation for you to continue seeing me after this free consultation.

Please call me so we can arrange a time to have a confidential discussion about your needs. . Please leave a message if I am unable to answer the phone when you call. My voicemail is confidential—I am the only person who listens to it. In your message, please tell me when it is best for me to call you back.


My standard fees are:

Children & families $125 per hour
Adults & couples $140 per hour
Home and school visits $160 per hour
Small groups $350 per hour
Assessments Costs to be discussed

Payment is due at the end of each session—I can be paid by cash or cheque.

Ethical Responsibilities

You can be assured that I will respect your privacy and will treat everything we discuss confidentially. I will obtain your informed consent before we start working together. As a registered psychologist, I am also expected to follow the Code of Ethics adopted by members of the New Zealand Psychological Society, members of the NZ College of Clinical Psychologists, and the New Zealand Psychologists Board. The code is based around these principles:

  1. Respect for the dignity of persons and peoples
  2. Responsible caring
  3. Integrity in relationships
  4. Social justice and responsibility to society

Cancellation Policy

Because I prepare for appointments and set aside time for them, I do have to charge you the full session fee if you miss an appointment without giving me at least 24 hours’ notice. If you are late for an appointment, we will meet for the remaining appointment time and you will be required to pay the full session fee.

Location and Contact Details

Location & Contact Details

I work in Christchurch. I can offer home and school visits for clients.

Phone:   (confidential voicemail)

Please leave a message if I am unable to answer the phone when you call. My voicemail is confidential—I am the only person who listens to it. In your message, please tell me when it is best for me to call you back.

Also, please note that I offer a free 30-minute initial consultation by phone—see above for more information about this.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why choose a psychologist?

There are some standards of practice that distinguish licensed from unlicensed therapists. Part of the licensing procedure for psychologists involves additional supervised practice hours and multiple exams related to ethics and competency to ensure that clients receive informed, evidence-based, high quality care. The New Zealand Psychologists Board is an organisation that strives to ensure consistent delivery of quality care.

How long will I need to continue seeing a psychologist?

The length of our work together will depend on many factors, such as what brings you to therapy, what experiences and strategies you have developed and how effectively you are able to use them. We’ll determine this together early on, if possible. We will also regularly assess what is being achieved and what still needs to be accomplished. Often there is a natural conclusion to therapy when the client and therapist feel that the goals have been achieved and strategies are able to be maintained.