Intern pyschologist to share insights on post-Christchurch support

It was a ‘natural response’ for Postgraduate Diploma in Educational Psychology Practice student Areej Arif to travel to Christchurch after the 15 March attacks to offer support and psychological first aid to her Muslim community. Along with her colleagues, she has now been invited to share her experiences of providing that support at the annual New Zealand Psychologists Society (NZPsS) conference (28–30 August).

Areej Arif stands outside by a palm tree.

Areej and her fellow presenters are part of a group of registered psychologists and intern psychologists of Muslim faith, which has partnered with the Canterbury District Health Board to deliver psychoeducational workshops to those affected by the attacks. This work has been part of Areej’s internship placement under the Postgraduate Diploma.

She describes her internship as “a year full of practical learning experiences and opportunities for growth. I have experienced ups and downs, tears and smiles, all of which have contributed to building my character".

It has also offered opportunities for Areej to network with fellow psychologists and intern psychologists. “Importantly, I have been able to connect with other psychologists of Muslim faith. Before our group was formed, I only knew of one other," she says.

Find out more about postgraduate study in Educational Psychology at Victoria University of Wellington