DR BARBARA RYSENBRY
Registered Clinical Psychologist
BA, BSc (Hons), DClinPsy, MNZCCP
Barbara has loved positive psychology as an empowering and effective approach since the start of her career as a clinical psychologist. Recently back from Australia, in addition to her clinical psychology work, she brings a decade of experience in individual coaching of executives around stress management, self-care and wellbeing (for themselves and their teams), plus wide-ranging facilitation experience in workplace mental health.
Barbara commenced her career in clinical psychology after previous roles in design and communication, completing degrees in biochemistry and music, and parenting four children. Beginning her psychology training at the University of Auckland in the early 2000s, she came across the then relatively new field of Positive Psychology. She was immediately drawn to what has become a cornerstone of her practice and her life. In particular, Barbara finds positive psychology empowering and effective as a non-pathologising, strengths-based approach, which supports people to utilise and develop their strengths to manage life difficulties and thrive across the lifespan.
Barbara spent the last 11 years working in private practice in the Sydney CBD, returning to Auckland in August 2021. In her Sydney practice, Barbara had the privilege of working with people across a wide range of ages, cultures, life situations and mental health difficulties where she was also able to see first-hand the impact of both positive and challenging workplaces on people’s wellbeing. Coaching and supervision of leaders in organisations, large and small, around their wellbeing, and that of their teams, was another aspect of her role. She also worked with the renowned Black Dog Institute facilitating workshops on building mental health, wellbeing and resilience across many different sizes and types of workplaces.
Barbara is a trained mindfulness teacher having completed training with the UK-based organisation Breathworks. She is able to use this evidence-based practice to provide compassionate and effective strategies to help people manage stress and/or live with chronic pain and health conditions. Barbara also has a strong interest in the neuroscience associated with psychological resilience and wellbeing, which is emerging from studies on mindfulness.
In joining Umbrella, Barbara says, “I’m very excited to be able to continue my work in a much more preventative role, particularly in helping to play a part in reducing stigma about mental health and in providing tools and knowledge to promote and create mentally healthy and flourishing workplaces.”
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