For Health Professionals

Looking to refer a patient, attend one of our seminars or apply for a job with us? You’re in the right place.

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Referring a Patient

Referrals to Ashburn may be made for inpatient or community-based therapy, and is generally arranged through a health professional, often a general practitioner, counsellor, psychotherapist, psychologist or psychiatrist. Urgent referrals can be made by telephone, while other referrals can be via letter, fax, email, or this website. Access to our services differs depending on how a prospective patient is funding their treatment.

Within our supportive therapeutic community, Ashburn Clinic offers proven programmes for the successful treatment of a range of challenges, including: addiction, anxiety, depression, eating disorders, life crises, PTSD, personal & relationship issues, and sexual trauma.

  • Incoming patients must be 17 years old or older.
  • We can help those that might benefit from treatment in a therapeutic community setting.

Inpatient care involves residing in the our main residential unit where there is 24-hour nursing care. Accommodation and meals are included in this service.

Day-patient care is for those who reside in the Dunedin community and attend the therapeutic programme during the week. Lunches are provided.

Outpatient care is for those who attend appointments with a specialist clinical team member (usually a psychiatrist). We provide outpatient clinics in Dunedin, Cromwell, and Invercargill.

Private Payment
Referrals are made to the Medical Director. In usual circumstances admission to inpatient services will be available promptly, although it is important that admissions are appropriately organised, and preferably take place during normal working hours.

Ministry of Health
Ashburn has a contract with the Ministry of Health (MoH) to provide treatment for patients with serious and/or complex psychiatric illness who have not responded to or require treatment not available in their local DHB.

The individual needs to have been assessed by a mental health service within a District Health Board. If treatment at Ashburn is deemed appropriate by the individual’s treatment team, they make a referral to one of five regional co-ordinators throughout the country depending on the location of the DHB. If the referral is appropriate the regional co-ordinator places them on a waiting list. Patients are admitted when a place becomes available on a rotational basis. The exception to this process is the referral of ‘impaired professionals’ (usually health professionals) who cannot be appropriately treated in their local area due to confidentiality and privacy reasons. These patients may be admitted immediately, following discussion with Ashburn and the Ministry of Health.

Accident Compensation Corporation
The ACC Sensitive Claims Unit may, under some circumstances, fund intensive residential treatment at Ashburn for people with accepted sexual abuse claims. We need to emphasise that ACC view this option as being reserved for people who are suffering from very complex responses to their sexual abuse trauma and who have exhausted other community-based treatment options. The approval process is external to Ashburn and is initiated through the patient’s ACC Case Manager and the Sensitive Claims Unit. The patient must have an accepted sensitive claim and go through a process of assessment with ACC before a decision can be made regarding funding. The details of this process should be available from the patient’s ACC Case Manager or through the ACC website. If the application is successful, ACC will contact Ashburn and, once the referral is accepted, arrangements are made for admission.

Inpatient Unit
This unit is located within the main hospital building and provides 24-hour nursing care for up to 28 people. There is a kitchen and small dining area, as well as a number of living spaces for patient use (including a patient library with internet access). WiFi is also available. There is also a patient-operated canteen where people can purchase a range of items. The whole hospital campus shares a dining room in the main hospital building. Lunch and dinner are shared meals for the whole community. Each patient has their own bedroom with bed, built in wardrobe and drawers. There is a family/whānau lounge where patients can meet with family and friends in privacy.

Alexander House 
Alexander House is a self-care 17-bed accommodation facility (sited adjacent to and separate from the main hospital building) available to those attending the therapeutic programme. It offers further opportunities for patients to work towards greater independence as they move towards their discharge back into their own community. Most patients transition there from the inpatient ward, although direct admission to Alexander House is also available if appropriate. The House is not staffed, with patients working together to support each other, although they do have access to the on-call psychiatrist if needed after hours. House meetings are held regularly and attend to such things as allocation of practical household tasks as well as issues that come up around living and working together. It offers a comfortable and homely environment, with two pleasant living areas and a well-equipped kitchen providing space for relaxing or sharing meals together.

Ashburn Clinic is certified by the Ministry of Health to provide residential health and disability services under the Health & Disability Services (Safety) Act 2001. Our kitchen services programme is registered as a Custom Food Control Plan with MPI and verified as meeting the requirements of HACCP and the Food Act 2014.

Ashburn Clinic was previously certified by the ACC Workplace Safety Management Practices programme (tertiary level) which align with the requirements of the Health & Safety at Work Act 2015.

Ashburn Clinic is a member of the Community of Communities, a quality network of Therapeutic Communities affiliated with the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ Research Unit in the UK. Community of Communities brings together therapeutic communities from around the world in a systematic quality improvement process that incorporates international standards, peer-review, sharing of ideas and joint discussion.

Training, Seminars & Events

Ashburn Clinic offers seminars and courses for health professionals. Our upcoming events are listed here, and further details on the types of training we offer can be found below.

Luncheon Seminar

Monday, 9th August 2021
12.00 pm-1:30 pm

Personality Characteristics of Elite Extreme Athletes and Psychopathic Offenders – Leadership and Decision-Making Under Stress

Dr M Erik Monasterio

Learn More

Extreme risk-taking sportspeople, such as elite mountaineers and BASE jumpers, frequently engage in sports associated with considerable risk of serious morbidity and mortality. Read more

Erik is originally from Bolivia, and has been working and living in New Zealand for the past 25 years. He is a consultant in forensic psychiatry and has been the Clinical Director and Director of Area Mental Health Services with the Canterbury Regional Forensic Psychiatric Service, and senior clinical lecturer with the Christchurch School of Clinical Medicine.


Advanced Theory of Psychotherapy

Starts Tuesday, 6th July 2021
7.00 pm-8:30 pm

#212 Abnormal Psychology

Applications for this 10-week block are now open.

For details on each session, and how to register, click the button below.

Learn More

The Advanced Theory of Psychotherapy Modules is a series of four education modules which makes up a complete course over two years. Each module has 10 seminars, held on Tuesday evenings from 7.00 pm to 8.30 pm, at Ashburn Clinic. The course is not offered as a practising qualification, but is found to be valuable for mental health professionals and those considering psychotherapy as a career.  

Seminars are presented by experienced, practising therapists - psychotherapists, psychologists or psychiatrists.  

Read the ATPM Handbook for further information. 

Module 212: Abnormal Psychology - seminar schedule

Registrations for the current block have now closed.

Additional Information

  • Monthly Seminars
  • Psychotherapy Seminars & Workshops
  • Training Placements
  • Join our mailing list!

Ashburn presents a free luncheon seminar each month between February and November, which has a particular focus for mental health professionals.

The seminar runs between 12.30 pm and 1.30 pm (usually on the second Monday of the month), and there is an opportunity to catch up with professional colleagues over a light lunch from midday.

RSVPs are essential, and limited parking is available on-site - we encourage car-pooling where possible. Join our mailing list to ensure you never miss another seminar!

There is no charge for the luncheon or presentation. The Board of Trustees has undertaken to provide these events as part of its educative function as a charitable trust for many years. This event is supported by research funds from the James Hume Bequest.   

Psychotherapy Seminars
Ashburn offers a series of four psychotherapy seminar modules over two years, which form an advanced course in the theory of psychotherapy. Each module has a specific theme and consists of 10 evening seminars. A course essay is submitted to complete the module. The four modules are:

  1. Stages of Human Development

  2. Models of Psychotherapeutic Practice

  3. Selected Theorists

  4. Abnormal Psychology

Established in 1994 to provide formal teaching in psychotherapeutic theory to Ashburn Clinic staff, it was opened up to members of the community and mental health services in response to a growing demand for psychotherapy teaching. Seminars are presented by practising therapists, psychologists and psychiatrists, and include information from a variety of theoretical schools. 

On application, participants may complete individual modules or the full programme. While the course is not offered as a practising qualification, it forms a sound basis for those who wish to pursue such qualifications or add an additional knowledge base to their existing professional qualifications or practice. Those who achieve certificates of completion in all four modules are able to apply for a further assessment to achieve a certificate of completion of the advanced course.  

For further information refer to the Ashburn ATPMS Handbook.

Supervision Workshops
Ashburn hosts clinical supervision seminars for psychotherapists working in the community. These take place once or twice a year, and generally run over a weekend.

Psychotherapy Placements
When available, Ashburn offers a place in a full-time three-year training position in psychotherapy to a selected applicant. The selected trainee is an employee of Ashburn during their period of training. Trainees who successfully complete the training programme are awarded a certificate of completion of the Psychotherapy Training Programme and a certificate of completion of the Advanced Theory of Psychotherapy Modular Series, which is a required component of the traineeship. NB: this position is not presently available.

Nursing/Medical Training Placements
If you are seeking a placement for nursing or medical training, please contact the Ashburn Clinic Medical Director.

Never miss another of our popular luncheon seminars, or the chance to further your psychotherapy training, by joining our mailing list. You can choose what updates we send you, including notifications of any new positions that become available.

Sign up here

Careers at Ashburn Clinic

Browse our current vacancies below. If your specialty is not listed at this time, please feel encouraged to send our team an expression of your interest.

  • Medical/Clinical Director
  • Registered/Enrolled Nurses
  • Expressions of Interest

A unique and rare opportunity is available at Ashburn Clinic - we are seeking a Medical/Clinical Director to lead the senior leadership team which oversees all aspects of the organisation.

About Ashburn Clinic:    
Ashburn Clinic is a not-for-profit rehabilitation clinic and therapeutic community in Dunedin. We work in partnership with people with mental health and addiction difficulties to improve their well-being and quality of life. Established in 1882, Ashburn provides public and privately-funded inpatient services to people from all over New Zealand, as well as outpatient services in Otago/Southland. 

Located in a beautiful setting on the outskirts of Dunedin, Ashburn Clinic has established a physical and social environment where support and self-discovery thrive.

About the position:
The Medical/Clinical Director is employed by the Ashburn Hall Charitable Trust as the Chief Executive of Ashburn Clinic, acting as the employer of approximately 80 medical, nursing, allied health, administrative and casual staff. 

Working collaboratively with the leadership team, consisting of the Director of Nursing and Allied Health, Quality Director, and Director of Strategy and Operations, the Medical/Clinical Director ensures clinical services are delivered to the highest standard and the organisation’s business objectives are delivered.

 The holder of the position is the:

  • Chief Executive of Ashburn Clinic
  • Manager and Leader of the Ashburn Clinic Leadership Team
  • Director of Clinical Services.

Key portfolios of the position include oversight of clinical services, human and environmental resource management, and business activities. 

About the successful candidate:
The Medical/Clinical Director contributes to the promotion, growth and maintenance of the therapeutic community culture at Ashburn Clinic. We are looking for someone who shares similar values to the organisation and has an interest in psychotherapeutic models of practice. They will have a clinical background in a related field such as psychiatry, psychology, psychotherapy, nursing or allied health.

They will have considerable knowledge and experience, and will have demonstrated a high standard of clinical work within their discipline of mental health. They will have senior leadership experience, particularly in strategic planning and service development, team leadership and performance management, clinical direction and supervision. 

Additional experience in financial, operational and human resource management would add strength to an application.

About the process:
We believe this is an excellent leadership position working in a complex, challenging but incredibly rewarding environment. This is a forward-focused role with a uniquely large scope, working in a highly collaborative culture. Click here to view the position description.

For a confidential discussion on the position, please contact John Adams through Ashburn Clinic, on 03-2607230. 

To apply, please send us your cover letter and resume to

We are seeking Registered and Enrolled Nurses to work in our Therapeutic Community.  While it is preferred that you have some mental health experience, we would support the right candidates to gain experience in this work. 

Ashburn Clinic is a residential facility with an emphasis on working psychotherapeutically in groups with people who have a range of mental health and addiction problems. We use a team nursing approach and offer the successful candidate opportunities to grow their experience of working in dynamic group settings.

You would be working with a multi-disciplinary team so you need to have good interpersonal communication skills, a positive attitude and a willingness to learn.

You would be required to cover a variety of shifts including days, weekends, and some nights. Roles are permanent part-time; FTE is negotiable, although preferably you will be working a minimum of 0.6 FTE.  There are also dedicated night shifts available.

If you are interested, please send your CV and covering letter, addressed to the Director of Nursing & Allied Health, to

Are you a registered medical professional seeking a new opportunity? Please send us a copy of your CV and a covering note to let us know the kind of position you're looking for to

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