Dr Karen Faisandier
Karen is trained as a clinical psychologist. She holds a doctorate in clinical psychology (her thesis was on attachment and sexual behaviour), and is specialised in addiction. She has worked in both a DHB setting as well as private practice. After observing links between anxiety, low mood, chronic stress, physical health symptoms, addiction, and diet and lifestyle, she became curious about studying the gut-brain-axis, as this has not traditionally been a focus of mental health treatment. She is passionate about finding practical and empowered solutions for the current mental health crisis at both an individual and societal level.
This service offers an evolutionary psychology philosophy with practical nutritional and lifestyle solutions, so as to empower and optimise holistic wellbeing.
Alongside running this practice, Karen aims to be a conduit for this integrated knowledge to a wider New Zealand audience, through social media platforms, her online writing, and work with the Ancestral Health Society of New Zealand.
Karen is registered with the New Zealand Psychologists Board (#90-05394) and is a member of the New Zealand College of Clinical Psychologists. She participates in ongoing training and remains current with research in effective treatments for various difficulties that humans experience. The main modality that informs her therapeutic philosophy is Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. However, she also draw on learning from her doctorate research and tools from other therapy models (such as compassion focused therapy, motivational enhancement therapy, cognitive behavioural therapy, and eye movement desensitisation reprocessing therapy) as determined by each individuals presenting issues.
Karen has a special interest in integrative approaches to psychological wellbeing which have a holistic and evolutionary health focus, and she is affiliated with the Australasian College of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine (ACNEM) and the Australasian Integrative Medicine Association, and she is a member of the International Society for Nutritional Psychiatry Research, and is an executive member of the Ancestral Health Society of New Zealand. She has completed Introductory modules 1 and 2 with ACNEM and participates in ongoing professional development in nutrition and mental health as well as integrative medicine.
Karen draws on an integrative philosophy to find psychonutritional and lifestyle solutions that can reduce psychological difficulties such as anxiety, insomnia, chronic stress, addiction, or low mood, and instead optimise individual wellbeing and vitality. This includes comprehensive assessment, blood labs fo specific nutritional issues related to anxiety and depression, and (when indicated) prescribing targeted nutraceuticals for mental health (e.g, zinc, B vitamins, magnesium), as well as using nutritional modifications to improve psychological functioning.
Karen provides practitioner-only vitamins and minerals which are of a high quality and available with a consultation only and can also advise on how to select appropriate products from other stockists. When indicated she may recommend including a nutrition expert or other health practitioner.