Leena St Martin

Clinical Psychologist, Professional Leader Psychological Medicine, Auckland DHB, Auckland, NZ

Leena St Martin is a Clinical Psychologist and also the Professional Leader for Psychologists working in physical health settings at Auckland District Health Board (currently 35 psychologists). 

She completed her academic degrees at the University of Auckland in 1996. After six years working in community mental health, Leena was drawn to women's health and has been with Gynaecology Outpatients, ADHB since 2001 as well as spending three years at Fertility Associates Auckland. She has also been in private practice since 2001. Leena appreciates working with members of a multidisciplinary team who are committed and compassionate in their approach towards women with complex conditions such as pelvic and genital pain syndromes. Leena also works with gynaecological cancer and fertility difficulties and enjoys opportunities to share this knowledge with wide audiences and via publishing academic papers about her work.  

The Role of Psychology in Chronic Pelvic Pain

In this paper I describe a theoretical and practical model which was developed to enhance the experiences of both patients with chronic pelvic pain conditions, such as endometriosis, and the staff caring for their needs within the hospital inpatient setting. This approach evolved in response to the challenges raised by a small subgroup of women who often presented in crisis with severe pain and psychosocial stressors and who did not seem to benefit from the standard approach used by staff at the time. The aim has been to facilitate faster access to acute gynaecological and pain services when these are required, to shorten length of stay in hospital, and to encourage better use of outpatient coping mechanisms.