ACC Sensitive Claims is ACC funded support following sexual abuse or assault.

Our Services

Woman’s Refuge

Sexual Harm Crisis
Family Violence
Support For Young People Youth Programmes

ACC sensitive claims

ACC Sensitive Claims is ACC funded support following sexual abuse or assault. You can have one-to-one sessions with an ACC approved therapist. If you like, your family and whanau can also access some sessions. Anyone, including visitors, who have experienced sexual violence in New Zealand can get support.

You don’t need to have reported the event to the Police to get our help and support and it doesn’t matter if it happened recently or a long time ago, there’s support available when you’re ready. All our therapists are experienced in giving you the right support, depending on your individual needs. They’re qualified with a range of skills, and can offer different types of support and treatment. Your confidentiality is very important to us, we will respect your privacy unless you or another’s safety is at risk.


ACC Sensitive Claim counselling is free. You can have one-to-one sessions with an ACC approved therapist and the number of sessions you receive depends on your needs.

Our Providers

Family action currently work with 30 internal and external ACC providers.
Below is a list of some of our providers:

Thegish Naidoo

Social Worker

Originally from South Africa where she practised as a social worker for 18 years, she has lived and practised as a qualified and registered Social Worker in New Zealand for a further 19 years. Apart from her graduate training in Social Work, she is also a child and adolescent mental health trained Social Worker, Professional Supervisor and a tutor.

Experienced in the field of mental health, trauma and abuse, supporting parenting, supporting adult wellbeing, complicated grief, advocacy, accessing resources amongst many other roles she has also worked in several roles outside of clinical roles and that include teaching and consultation.

“In my role at Family Action contracted Social Worker I look forward to supporting you towards wellbeing which includes helping you access resources, provide advocacy and act as advocate if necessary. My role is to ensure that social issues /barriers that impact on your journey to wellness are addressed and eliminated.”

Trisha Cassidy


Trisha is registered Psychotherapist (PBANZ), a full member of the New Zealand Psychological Society and a provisional Member of the New Zealand Association of Psychotherapists. Trisha holds a masters in Psychology (Hons) and BA in Psychology and is currently undertaking the Advanced Clinical Pathway in Psychotherapy.

Trisha specializes in domestic violence, relationship issues, gender and sexuality, grief and loss, and recovery from sexual abuse and trauma.

“The main focus of my work is psychodynamic psychotherapy, based on theories around attachment, human development and relationships (Self psychology and Object relations theory). I also work with adolescents and their families and have a great passion for family therapy. In brief therapy my focus is more on Mindfulness, CBT, DBT and various creative therapies”.

Leigh-Ann Pukeroa


Leigh-Ann Pukeroa is a Psychotherapist who has been working in the area of Family Violence, Abuse and Trauma for the past 5 years. Prior to this Leigh-Ann spent 10 years working in the addictions field and specialised in problem gambling. Leigh-Ann has worked with couples and teens and utilises a holistic approach with a focus on attachment and developmental work. She is also passionate about working with Maori and Pasifika clients and has an extensive experience working cross culturally.

Serena Walker

Counselling psychologist

Serena is a Counselling Psychologist, member of the New Zealand Psychological Society and the Chair of the Institute of Counselling Psychology. She is a registered ACC provider for both therapy and assessment under the sensitive claims service (ISSC). She is experienced in working with clients who have a history of sexual trauma and abuse and or are having issues with depression, anxiety, worry, post traumatic stress disorder, phobias, or relationship difficulties. She works with adults using a range of therapeutic modalities including Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Compassion-focused Therapy and Narrative Therapy.

Michelle Rush

Psychosynthesis Counsellor and Social Worker

Michelle has over 20 years experience in private practice and is also currently practicing part time for a district health board. She is also a member of the Aotearoa NZ Association of Social workers (ANZASW).

Working Closely with individuals, couples, and adolescents, Michelle provides a confidential service following the code of ethics of the New Zealand association of Counsellors and ANZASW. She has extensive experience in working with a wide range of emotional challenges including depression, anxiety, abuse, trauma and relationship difficulties and other general real life issues. Michelle has also worked extensively with Advance Care or “end of life” planning for terminal diagnosed or elderly patients. A passionate professional, she is focused on assisting clients to overcome their difficulties.

Verity Armstrong


Verity is a psychotherapist experienced in working with adults who are wanting to process either recent or childhood sexual abuse or assault. Verity has a Masters in Psychotherapy and worked previously as a social worker. She works in a relational way, supporting her clients to process traumatic memories to bring them relief from symptoms of anxiety, depression and PTSD, and to live more free and full lives.

Verity is also interested in areas of body image and relationship with food, as well as ways our sexuality develops during our lives. She works from rooms in Henderson and Mt. Eden.

Mariana Torkington

Arts Therapist

AThR, ANZATA, MNZAC, ACC Provider, Master of Arts Therapy (Clinical) Degree (Hons.)

Mariana is a registered arts therapist and a published author in the arts therapy field. Mariana is a full professional member of the Australia and New Zealand Arts Therapy Association (ANZATA) and the New Zealand Association of Counsellors (MNZAC). Mariana is also registered with ACC and works in trauma and abuse recovery with children and adults. Areas of special interest include family work, learning disabilities, Asperger’s and autism, anxiety, depression, life stages. Mariana is fluent in English, Spanish and Portuguese.

Jane Gabites

Counselling Psychologist

Jane is an ACC-approved Counselling Psychologist. Her aim is to compassionately walk with you through the struggles you are facing and help empower you in your healing journey. She works with clients in many areas including sexual abuse, trauma, anxiety, stress reduction and depression. Jane has extensive training and experience in these areas, to support clients into re-gaining their strength and reaching their full potential. She is approved to help clients with both the assessment and treatment process through ACC