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Consultant Clinical Psychologist, specialising in loss, grief, resilience and adaptation to adversity


Julie Zarifeh is a New Zealand trained, qualified and registered Consultant Clinical Psychologist.

Her early and mid-career were spent assessing and treating people presenting with mild-moderate mental health symptoms, primarily of depression and anxiety, before then specializing in the field of Psychiatric Consultation - Liaison at the CDHB.

Evidence based treatment models were used by Julie to develop individualised management plans for people adjusting to both acute and chronic physical health diagnoses, across many medical specialities.
She has also been a Research Fellow for the University of Otago, on clinical trials investigating non-cardiac chest pain, broken heart syndrome, and more recently, the psychological ramifications of the March 15 Christchurch terror attack on our local Muslim community. Julie has had several journal publications resulting from her adjunct academic career.

Julie’s professional life took a change in direction in 2017 when she suffered significant loss in her own life, the deaths of her husband and then eldest son, 2 weeks apart. Part of Julie’s personal recovery has included completing her fourth qualification, this time a Post Graduate Diploma in Positive Psychology. Her clinical interest is now also and in the areas of loss, grief, resilience and adaptation to adversity, through education, inspiration and exploring with clients the numerous strategies within the field of Positive Psychology. She walked the Camino de Santiago early in 2018 as one of her own coping with loss strategies, whilst featuring in a documentary ‘Camino Skies.’ She also cycled Sri Lanka, and ran the New York marathon that same year - fundraising for Variety.Org NZ, and the NZ Mental Health Foundation, respectively. She authored a book, ‘Grief on the Run,’ published March 2021- exploring the application of the NZ Mental Health Foundation’s 5 Ways to Wellbeing Model to significant adversity.

Julie’s current routine is working in private practise as a psychologist three days per week, and also providing services to National EAP services. She is a passionate traveller, and adventurer. She is often called upon to share her personal story and expertise at events and featured on radio interviews, magazine articles, and featured on Seven Sharp.

In her downtime Julie is a passionate tramper and cold water ‘dipper’ - having partook in the Sumner’s WET JULY challenge for the fourth year in a row, she is a proud new (young) grandmother, and dog + beach walker/lover.

Excellent speaker with a powerful story and messages that really resonated with our audience. The Treasury
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