Case Study: Natalie

Natalie is a clinical psychologist recruited from the UK. This is what she had to say.

Job hunting from halfway around the world proved no barrier. After two years working in forensic mental health services in the UK, she says New Zealand sounded like an ideal change.

"I wanted to move away from the hectic London lifestyle but was not yet ready to move home to Ireland. I applied for the job in Wellington before moving and was pleasantly surprised at how easy the process was. I was interviewed over the phone, then it was relatively straightforward to obtain visas and to register as a clinical psychologist in New Zealand,"

Natalie says her favourite part of the job is working therapeutically with a complex group of people. "I love the diversity of the role. I work with individuals in prison and the community; I have the opportunity to complete assessments, provide interventions, work on research projects, and supervise others."

Empathy, understanding and analytical skills are vital, along with the ability to step back and make clear decisions about how best to help each individual. "Working therapeutically with offenders requires patience, tolerance and a willingness to work with the person at their level and their pace."

My employer welcomes psychologists with clinical or forensic backgrounds and provides excellent working conditions and a clear career structure. "It is a progressive organisation that respects its psychologists. There's a strong emphasis on rehabilitation and psychologists play a key role in this," says Natalie.

As for her new home: "New Zealand is an easy place to move to and a great place to live, especially if you enjoy the outdoors. It's every bit as beautiful as it is made out to be."

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