MEd Psych., PGdipEdPsych, DipEd
Heather has an MEd Psych., PGdipEdPsych, and DipEd, as well as being an NZ trained primary teacher and Registered Educational Psychologist. She is an accredited facilitator of the Cool Kids and Chilled Anxiety programme (Macquarie University) and has a Certificate in Effective Practice in Gifted Education (NZ).
Heather has worked in education for over 35 years, both in NZ and overseas. She has a
comprehensive understanding of how children learn, and the environments that are more likely to result in success. She recognises the differences that can cause learning to be challenging for many children, and strongly advocates for a holistic approach to providing support and developing interventions.
Heather was a Resource Teacher of Learning and Behaviour (RTLB) on the North Shore for six years prior to going overseas. While working overseas she was responsible for identifying and supporting children with a range of needs including Autism, Dyslexia, Dyscalculia, Dyspraxia, Sensory Integration, and other processing disorders. She also worked extensively with gifted students, with
a focus on those who were underachieving and those with specific learning difficulties.
For the last four years Heather has worked as an Educational Psychologist in the private sector. She recognises the importance of a child’s emotional well being as an essential factor in successful learning. For this reason it is important for her to know a child’s strengths and she values input from parents as part of her assessment. Her ultimate goal is to help parents and teachers to provide the support and create an environment that enables a child to become an independent, motivated, successful learner.
Dip Tchg, PGDipSpecTchg, MA, MEdPsych, PGDipEdPsych, MNZPsS, MIEDP
Michele is a Registered Psychologist, Registered Teacher, trained RTLB and mother of four children. She specialises in working with children, young persons, families and educators to support learning, development, behaviour, social, emotional, sensory and physical needs. In addition, Michele is an accredited facilitator of the Cool Kids Anxiety Programmes:
- Cool Little Kids (3 – 6 years)
- Cool Kids (7 – 12 years)
- Chilled (13 – 17 years)
Michele offers comprehensive learning assessments, therapeutic support for children and young persons, guidance for caregivers and families, and professional development for schools. Her approach is informed by psychological principles, current research evidence and practitioner knowledge.
Michele draws on a wide range of assessment tools and clinical expertise to support clients to understand situations and build their capacity to respond with solutions. Michele is registered with the New Zealand Psychologist Board, holds the Health Practitioners Competency Assurance Act (2003) Educational Scope, and is a full member of the New Zealand Psychological Society (NZPsS) and the NZPsS Institute of Educational and Developmental Psychology.
Emrie De Vaal
Registered Educational Psychologist
Emrie is a New Zealand registered Educational Psychologist. She is a member of:
- NZ Psychological Society
• The Institute of Educational and Developmental Psychology (IEDP), within the society
• Gifted NZ.
• The NZ Gifted Children’s Association
Emrie has been in private practice as an educational psychologist for the last ten years and works with a broad range of children and families to assist with learning, behavioural and social needs. She helps to identify and provide support for children with learning disabilities such as dyslexia, dysgraphia, and dyscalculia, as well as those with ADHD, ASD, anxiety, and other difficulties. Emrie can also provide assessments for students who may need Special Assessment Conditions for exams (e.g. Reader, Writer, Computer use or Extra Time).
Emrie has a special interest in the needs of gifted individuals, particularly gifted students with specific learning difficulties i.e. twice exceptional students. She is a parent of 2 teenage boys, one of which has ADHD and therefore understands the family dynamics surrounding children with executive functioning difficulties.
MEdPsych PGdipEdPsych Educational Psychologist
Julia is a Registered Psychologist and teacher specialising in working with schools families and children.
She has considerable experience working as a Resource Teacher: Learning and Behaviour (RTLB).
She enjoys working with parents and schools to provide strategies and skills to manage and support children and young people as well as reducing family stress.
She is an accredited facilitator of the CoolKids programme working with Elaine West who introduced the programme to NZ. She is passionate about reducing anxiety in children; setting them up for success and finding ways to remove barriers in school settings.
She is also an Incredible Years facilitator and coach and has facilitated many programmes for teachers and parents (social emotional and strengths focus).
She can provide cognitive and educational assessments.
Elaine first registered as a psychologist in Australia. It was while she was working in a Child and Adolescent Mental Health unit there that she first encountered the Cool Kids programme and saw how effective it was for helping children and families who were experiencing high levels of anxiety. When she arrived in New Zealand in 2013, and realised that the Cool Kids programme was not well known there, she began to offer it through her practice.
As the success of the programme grew, so did interest among Elaine’s colleagues, and Heather and Julia undertook the training to become facilitators. Once accredited, together they offered Cool Kids groups, and also worked with individual families, with great success. Emrie and Michele then became interested, and the Cool Kids facilitator group expanded once more.
In early 2020 Elaine made the move back across the ditch and now lives in Bathurst, NSW. She is still involved with Capable Kids and Families in an advisory role, and takes great interest in the on-going development of the Cool Kids programme, with regular virtual meetings with Heather, Julia, Emrie and Michele.