AIMA NZ was very excited to offer a full day of workshops prior to the AIMA conference on Friday 5th April from 9.00am-5.00pm.

These workshops provided a unique opportunity to work alongside subject experts and a small group of like-minded professionals covering the following compelling and relevant topics.

Click HERE to view the full program.

The day wasn carefully curated to integrate these two fascinating themes. Tickets included full catering with arrival tea and coffee at 9am, morning tea at 10:30am, lunch at 12:30pm and afternoon tea at 3.30pm. Workshops are not included in the conference registration and incur an additional fee.

The AIMA NZ Pre-Conference Workshops have been endorsed by The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners (RNZCGP) and have been approved for up to 6 CME credits for the General Practice Educational Programme (GPEP) and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) purposes.


Healing from Bullying and Narcissistic Abuse: a workshop for ourselves, our clients and our patients.

Facilitators: Dr. Robin Kelly – Medical Practitioner, Erica Steele – Business Mentor and Petrea King – Quest For Life via Skype.

New Zealand has a very high recorded incidence of workplace bullying. Meanwhile, Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (C-PTSD) is being increasingly recognised as the consequence of chronic and insidious bullying and narcissistic abuse.

There is now also a strong body of evidence showing that abuse and abandonment in childhood can result in a lifetime of poor emotional and physical health.

This interactive workshop helps us to identify times where we ourselves have been shamed and bullied – something many empathetic integrative practitioners will have experienced.  We will identify the traits of individuals, and institutions which have played a part in this bullying; and the apparent apathy of ‘onlookers’ that compounds the associated shame.

We also examine the behaviour of the bully, and the person with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), from a neuroscientific and sociological perspective. We will also discuss the somewhat confusing labels of Cluster B Personality, Anti-Social Personality Disorder (ASPD), Sociopath and Psychopath, and exactly where they fit into the full spectrum of human personality traits.

We discuss practical ways we can help clients and patients who are bullied and abused, either at work or in their relationships with narcissistic partners and family members.

As narcissists universally project shame onto their ‘victims’, the focus will be on nurturing self-compassion within ourselves, our clients and patients, while adopting an effective, practical, and common-sense approach to dealing with the actions of the perpetrators.

The Facilitators:

Dr. Robin Kelly (left) and Erica Steele (middle) have worked together on several high-profile cases of workplace bullying.

Robin has been a family doctor on Auckland’s North Shore since 1981. Since 1991, his home run practice has integrated Eastern and Western principles of health and consciousness focusing on chronic ill health. “The basis of my practice is deep listening with an open mind and heart. This, in turn, leads to a deeper understanding of a person’s life story, and how it relates to their health. Consultation times have to be longer, but drug prescriptions are considerably reduced.” Robin principally uses breathing techniques and gentle acupuncture as guides to achieving a sense of inner peace. He is a past president of the New Zealand Medical Acupuncture Society, and a founding member of the NZ MindBody Trust. In recent years, he has developed an interest in helping those suffering from Complex PTSD, often as a result of long-term bullying and narcissistic abuse in their personal or work lives. Robin is medical adviser to CultureSafe NZ Ltd., an independent organisation supporting the victims of workplace and cultural bullying.  He is the author of 3 books published internationally, two of which have won USA science awards.

Erica has worked for over 2 decades as a career coach/counsellor working in both Auckland and Wellington. She is also the author of The Mentoring Handbook – a guide for mentors, proteges, and organisations which has been used as a text and for training for national mentoring programs and workshops including for the medical profession and government. She has also worked with both individuals and teams affected by bullying in a wide variety of industries including engineering, retail, trades, SMEs, the arts, not for profits and elite sports.

Robin and Erica will be joined via live video by the world-renowned Petrea King (right), founder of the Quest for Life Foundation. Petrea has long been a passionate advocate for those suffering from complex PTSI. Petrea is a greatly admired and appreciated member of our AIMA community. Our aim is to coordinate a joint Australia/New Zealand initiative to raise awareness for this important issue which seriously affects the health of multiple generations here and overseas.


Healthy Nature Healthy People:  how to bring the healing power of nature to your practice.

Facilitators: Dr. Penny Caldicott – Integrative GP and President of AIMA, Helen Gillespie – Project Coordinator Healthy Nature Health People, Department of Conservation and Tony Varcoe – Director of Community Partnerships, Parks Victoria

People have long intuitively known the healing and rejuvenating power of spending time in the natural world, now science is proving that nature is essential to our health and wellbeing.

Join us to learn about ground-breaking programs that have been developed in New Zealand and Australia that are building individual and community healthy by facilitating people to interact with nature in a way meaningful to their health.  These programs are based on the premise that:

  • The wellbeing of all societies depends on healthy ecosystems
  • Parks nurture healthy ecosystems
  • Contact with nature is essential for improving emotional, physical and spiritual health and wellbeing
  • Parks are fundamental to economic growth and to vibrant healthy communities

Following our morning workshop, Healing from Bullying and Narcissistic Abuse, this workshop will give you practical insights into treating your patients with Vitamin Nature.  This workshop will:

  • Introduce you to the most recent research on the importance of nature to health
  • Give you practical strategies for developing and implementing ‘green prescriptions’ for your patients
  • Tell stories and case studies of how green prescriptions have been implemented.

The Facilitators:

Dr. Penny Caldicott

Penny is a general practitioner with over two decades experience. In 2003 she established Invitation to Health, a medical centre that integrates the best of evidence-based conventional and complementary medicine. “I have seen that patient care in our community is fragmented as doctors and therapists frequently work in isolation communicating only rarely with each other and, at times, with a mutual distrust of each other based on ignorance and fear. This situation can compromise patient care and is an added burden for the individual doctor/therapist who feels that they must somehow address their entire patient’s needs themselves. For these reasons, amongst many others, I became increasingly aware that we need to educate each other and create lines of communication between medical/health practitioners. We have been trained to work with a medical model based on chronic disease management, it is clearly time now to work towards a pre-emptive model of health care that aspires to both prevent chronic disease and accompany our patients back towards wellbeing.”

Penny has been a board member of a number of not-for-profit boards including the Central Coast Division of General Practice. She is passionate about supporting integrative doctors and therapists and is a clear and strong voice to guide the future agenda of Integrative Medicine in Australia and New Zealand.

Helen Gillespie

Helen coordinates Healthy Nature Healthy People for the Department of Conservation in NZ. Since 2015 she has worked with people in the health and wellbeing, recreation and environment sectors to introduce a connection to nature for good health and wellbeing. “I have often said that nature is the under-utilised health resource of today. At a primal level nature nurtures us. Nature settings can restore both the individual and community, it can deliver health benefits for young and old, able and less-able alike and it blends social interaction and culture. Evidence tells us that nature is good medicine. ”

Helen is also a board member on the West Coast District Health Board. She is passionate about health and wellbeing and nature settings.

Tony Varcoe

Tony is the Director, Community Partnerships at Parks Victoria.  Tony has more than 25 years of experience in park management including roles in policy, park planning, park operations, research and evaluation, and community engagement. With a background in education, recreation management, and nature conservation, Tony has both a professional and private passion in conserving our special natural and cultural places while connecting people and nature, for the benefit of both.


Click HERE to purchase your tickets. Spaces are very limited, so get in quick!