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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

Coping Mechanisms
Fear and Overwhelm

Resilience and Self-Esteem
Disordered Eating and Self-Harm


Searching for mental health support for teenagers or young adults can be a frightening place to be. 

Not only do we feel conflicted watching our children suffer, but getting the right help can be equally frustrating. Often what we witness in the system doesn't resonate with what we intuitively feel is right! 

As mental health services are stretched to the limit with waitlists at capacity, parents are becoming increasingly discouraged by an ever-increasing focus on the pathologising of their child's behaviour, and the medicating of their symptoms. They find little other support is available that offers a more holistic response.

I've been there - I understand!

As a mum of four young adults, and with over 35 years of experience working in prisons, schools, and private practice, I saw a desperate need to provide a more integrated and trauma-informed therapeutic service for both parents and teenagers.

Founded in 2013, Teenage Toolbox believes our young people are navigating basic survival through excessive stress and trauma, while also having to adapt to a rapidly changing and uncertain world. As a consequence, their nervous symptoms have become progressively dysregulated and parents are witnessing increased fear, anxiety, depression, disordered eating, self-harm, insomnia, dysregulated emotions, and addiction.


With this in mind we shift away from the concept of What’s wrong with your child? to a more gentle inquiry; What’s happened to your child? As a result, we have the depth of experience and measured results to be able to offer New Zealanders (and families worldwide) a unique facility that you won’t find elsewhere.


Our aim is not to address your child's disordered thoughts, feelings, and behaviours in isolation, but to discover the root of them through a trauma-informed lens. Once we understand what biopsychosocial influences are dysregulating your child's nervous system, we are able to not only provide strategies for them to learn self-regulating techniques, but also introduce client-centered somatic therapies that promote long-term sustainable mental health and healing.

Over the past ten years, Teenage Toolbox has helped thousands of teenagers through a personal struggle with mental health. We have also delivered strategies and tools for parents battling through a minefield of confusion, overwhelm, and conflict, and trained teachers in schools to become trauma-informed.


Teenage Toolbox offers:



    Compassionate and holistic 55-minute sessions, one-on-one, in person (or via Zoom for international clients).



    Early intervention and preventative trauma-informed talks for parents, teacher training, schools, universities, and organisations.


"Teenage Toolbox was the first place we came to where we saw an immediate change in our child. 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 remarkable skills 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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