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Welcome to Teenage Toolbox! 

A gentle psychotherapeutic approach to address: 

Emotional Distress
Childhood Trauma 
Behaviour Disorders
Anxiety and Depression
Addiction & Substance Use

Suicidal Ideation
Coping Mechanisms
Fear and Overwhelm

Resilience and Self-Esteem
Disordered Eating and Self-Harm

NOTE: For Adult Therapy  click here


Teenage Toolbox was established in 2013 following Sue O'Callaghan's work in prisons, where she witnessed first-hand the devastating consequence of unaddressed trauma in young people's lives.


Frustrated with a mental health system that focussed on behaviour but didn't create change, Sue identified that destructive behaviour, unhealthy coping mechanisms and addiction are not the problem, but a means to survive the underlying pain, fear and overwhelm.  took all focus off behaviour and  identified that safe relationships and compassionate connectionCrippled by life experiences, Sue saw a transformation in lives came to understand the desperate measures individuals adopt quickly 's experience.


Sue behaviour change with offenders as a result of forming a compassionate connection, Sue . It was in prisons that two key concepts for her future work were conceptualised. The first was that trauma occurs in relationship and therefore can be healed relationship. The second was not to ask, Why the behaviour? but instead, Why the pain?

Concerned that New Zealand had among the highest rates of suicide worldwide, Sue began working with youth self-harm and addiction. It wasn't long before she saw the need for support - not only for teenagers and young twenties - but also parents and teachers who were desperate to see their children and students assisted through a mental health crisis. Over the past eight years, Teenage Toolbox has helped over a thousand individuals and trained hundreds of teachers and parents in schools.

Teenage Toolbox recognises we are not only living in a rapidly changing and uncertain world but also facing one of the largest pandemics to threaten our modern world - a mental health one. As rising numbers of our youth are dealing with fear, anxiety, depression, disordered eating, self-harm, insomnia, dysregulated emotions, behaviour diagnosis and addiction, mental health services are overwhelmed. 


Teenage Toolbox is a unique service that offers an integrative healing approach to mental health, shifting away from a model of pathologising behaviour and medicating symptoms.   

Teenage Toolbox offers:


1. A compassionate and holistic resource for parents and young adults (10 - 25) to mentor them through life-changing trauma-informed therapy, which addresses the root of all harmful behaviour and addiction.  

2. Early intervention and preventative trauma-informed education programmes for teacher training, universities, parents, and schools to affect the long-term mental health outcome through influencing policy and procedure.




"Teenage Toolbox was the first place we came where we saw immediate change. In contrast to the psychologist, counsellors, and support services, Sue took the focus off our son's behaviour and gave us useable tools that worked! We cannot imagine a child that wouldn't thrive with Sue. She has a remarkable skill working with teens, relating to their world and connecting with their unmet needs. We will be forever grateful for the transformation that took place in our family and the level of compassion shown".

Anonymous (Auckland)

"No one is ever a problem. We are all merely struggling to work through our pain, insecurity, and fear.

When individuals are heard, held, and empowered with strategies that heal - then we create lasting transformational growth!"  

Sue O'Callaghan

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