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The 2023/24 Committee
Nurina Katta - Student Representative
There’s room for more on the committee, come and join us:
Richard Straight (Committee Member)
Graduating from the Canterbury University in 1997 with the Post Grad Diploma in Applied Psychology, Richard worked for 5 years in a consulting firm completing psychometrics for recruitment and job satisfaction / work-life balance and employee mental health screens before moving to the UK for 5 years. Returning to NZ Richard took up a position with the CDHB where he worked at Hillmorton Hospital, Outpatients Specialist Mental Health Services ID population (7 years) and working with the forensic ID population (3 years). In 2015 Richard started working for Explore Specialist Advice Services as a supervising psychologist where he works 3 days a week and 2 days in private practice.
Richard’s private practice includes, but not limited to, ACC-BSS, anxiety / depression and working with companies on issues such as employee wellness / back to work programmes and employee conflict resolution. Richard also runs the Psychologists Collective rooms in Christchurch which Psychologists can use on their journey into private practice.
Richard joined the NZPS Canterbury Branch committee at its rebirth in 2015 and is focused on assisting Canterbury Psychologists and Students of Psychology to connect, share skills and resources and have opportunities for professional development and peer support.
Meredith Blampied (Committee Member)
After a career working in education policy and provision and on background of a Master of Science degree in psychology, Meredith started clinical psychology training in 2010, graduating in 2013. Meredith initially joined the NZPsS as a student during her Master’s thesis and again during clinical training. She continued with the NZPsS as a Full Member as she enjoys the diversity and connection with psychologists from all different areas and scopes of practice. She joined the NZPsS Canterbury Committee in 2015 and has served on this committee ever since, with a break while she worked in Australia. Meredith’s research interests include investigating the role of nutrition in mental health, exploring feedback-informed treatment and best-evidence practice for anxiety disorders, particularly obsessive-compulsive disorder. Meredith has also worked on a number of research project in the areas of earthquake anxiety, child development and learning, social psychology, group therapy and relationship counselling. Meredith has had experience working with adults experiencing a range of mental health issues including anxiety disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder, depression, substance abuse and dependence, adjustment, sex and intimacy issues and general life stress. She is currently completing her PhD in mental health and nutrition, runs her own private practice specialising in telehealth and is a consultant on various research project.
Nishal Pinto (Committee Member)
Nishal started his psychology career teaching undergraduate and post graduate and developed a special interest in psychology practice. Nishal pursued MPhil in Clinical Psychology in 2015 and has been in full practice ever since. Nishal has a special interest in neuropsychology, adolescent mental health and psycho-oncology. As part of his MPhil thesis, he explored the psychological needs, interpersonal needs and unfinished business among terminally ill cancer patients during the End-of-Life Care, which strengthened his interest in psycho-oncology. Nishal has worked in diverse domains such as adult psychiatry, child and adolescent psychiatry, addiction medicine, community mental health, psychiatric and neurological rehabilitation. Nishal is experienced in dealing with culturally diverse population and holds a clinical psychology scope of practice in New Zealand and India. Nishal is a full member of NZPsS.
Nurina Maria Katta (Student Representative)
PhD Student at Te Puna Toiora, Mental Health and Nutrition Research lab (University of Canterbury)
Qualifications: Postgraduate Diploma of Science in Psychology (Distinction), Certificate of Outstanding Academic Achievement (University of Canterbury); Bachelor of Science (University of Brussels)
Research interest/experience: Nurina is passionate about the effects that nutrition has on the brain and is currently completing her PhD at Te Puna Toiora, the Mental Health and Nutrition Research lab at the University of Canterbury. As part of her PhD, she investigated the impact of a vitamin and mineral supplement on stress in students. In her most recent research, she looks at the effects of the same supplement on 5-10-year-old children who struggle with on emotion dysregulation and irritability. In the past, Nurina worked with children and adults who have a variety of neurodevelopmental mental health issues, primarily Autism, and assisted on a research project researching language development in children with developmental disabilities.