Dr Katrina Jane Phillips

PhD, BCBA, PgDipAppPsych, MSc, PgDipSci, BSc (Hons)

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Senior Lecturer


Dr. Katrina Phillips is a Registered Psychologist and Board Certified Behaviour Analyst (BCBA). Over the last 10 years she has worked both as a clinician with people with intellectual disabilities and autism and in academia teaching and supervising students to become psychologists and BCBA. These dual roles are complementary and have ensured that her clinical practice is informed by current research and her teaching is complemented with practical examples. She received her clinical qualification through The University of Auckland in 2007. After working as a clinician with people with intellectual disabilities and autism, she returned to complete her PhD which investigated methods for assessing data quality. Her PhD was conferred in 2016. 

Research | Current

Katrina's general area of research is Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA), a science that provides interventions designed to change socially important behaviors. As a Board Certified Behaviour Analyst (BCBA) she has work with populations that do not learn well through traditional means (e.g., those with autism, intellectual disabilities, dementia, and brain injury) and is a strong advocate of the scientist-practitioner model. This model requires that clinicians' practice is informed by research and the outcome of innovative clinical practice contributes to research. She is interested in three specific areas of research: methodogoical research, teaching research and clincal utility research with people with disabilities. Despite these areas being rather divergent, they are linked by an emphasis on evidenced-based practice and the application of behavioral principles to change socially-significant behaviours. 

Teaching | Current

Over the last 10 years Katrina has taught and coordinated in a range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses in School of Psychology at The University of Auckland. The lectures have focused on applied behaviour analysis and its application to change socially important behaviours. She believes that her teaching, just like clinical work, should be informed by current research.  As such she had trialed the use of interteach methods and activities designed to aid interaction and help students apply the key concepts of the lecture. Activities have included graduated note fading, workbooks, response cards, and quizzes. She is always interested to hear students feedback.

Courses in which Katrina is part of the teaching team:

PSYCH 203 Learning and Behaviour
​PSYCH 300 Special Topic: Applied Psychology
​PSYCH 306 Research Methods in Psychology
​PSYCH 309 Learning
​PSYCH 310 Introduction to Clinical Psychology
​PSYCH 750 A & B: Applied Behaviour Analysis: Methods
PSYCH 751 A & B: Applied Behaviour Analysis: Behaviour Modification
PSYCH 754 Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities​
​PSYCH 741 ABA: Behaviour Measurement
​PSYCH 757 Advanced Applied Behaviour Analysis

Postgraduate supervision

Katrina provides supervision for students completing their postgraduate diploma in applied psychology (PGDipAppPsych) at The University of Auckland. The supervision requires both onsite and university based supervision of assessment, intervention, data collection and all the skills required to become a Board Certified Behaviour Analyst and Registered Psychologist in New Zealand. Although the majority of students’ placements have been conducted with organisations supporting adults and children in intellectual disabilities, other supervision placements have included dementia units, adolescent drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers, adult brain injury services, and organisations supporting adolescents with conduct disorder.

Katrina has also supervised postgraduate research students who wish to investigate the application of behavioural principles to socially significant behaviours. Topics have included assessment of the effectiveness of PRN medication, social media and internet safety, life skill training for people with intellectual disabilities and autism, communication interventions, and assessment of challenging behaviour.

The aim of supervision is to provide students with assistance on research questions, methodology,  ethics applications, and data analysis. Supervision focuses on ensuring students obtain the required research and clinical skills, including, but are not limited to, interpersonal interactions, behavioural assessments and intervention, data collection, manuscript preparation, and ethical behaviour.


Registered Psychologist (90-03256)

Board Certified Behaviour Analyst (1-07-3897)

Areas of expertise

Applied Behaviour Analysis

Intellectual Disabilities

Autisim Spectrum Disorder

Measurement & Calibration

Evidence Based Practice

Clinical Utility

Committees/Professional groups/Services

New Zealand Association of Behaviour Analysis

New Zealand Continuing Education Coordinator 

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Furlonger, B. E., Chung, J., Ostojic, M., Busacca, M., Moore, D. W., Anderson, A. A., ... D’Souza L (2020). Ways in which school psychologists can identify suitable apps for supporting the self-management of asthma by students. The Educational and Developmental Psychologist, online first10.1017/edp.2020.3
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/51555
  • Gibney, C., Phillips, K. J., Arnold-Saritepe, A., & Taylor, S. A. (2020). An evaluation of the effects of response interruption redirection and matched stimulation on vocal stereotypy. Behavioral Interventions, 114-130. 10.1002/bin.1700
  • Taylor, S., Purdy, S. C., Jackson, B., Phillip, K., & Virues-Ortega, J. (2019). Evaluation of a Home-Based Behavioral Treatment Model for Children With Tube Dependency. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 44 (6), 656-668. 10.1093/jpepsy/jsz014
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/48314
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Sarah Leadley, Suzanne Purdy, Bianca Jackson
  • Furlonger, B., Ostojic, M., Chung, J., Philips, K., Busacca, M., Moore, D., & Anderson, A. (2019). A Framework to Assist School Psychologists and Counsellors in Recommending Quality Apps for Supporting Diabetes Self-Management: An Illustrative Assessment Using Content Analysis. JOURNAL OF PSYCHOLOGISTS AND COUNSELLORS IN SCHOOLS, 29 (1), 82-97. 10.1017/jgc.2018.15
  • Taylor, S. A., Phillips, K. J., & Gertzog, M. G. (2018). Use of synthesized analysis and informed treatment to promote school reintegration. BEHAVIORAL INTERVENTIONS, 33 (4), 364-379. 10.1002/bin.1640
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Sarah Leadley
  • Virues-Ortega, J., Arnold, A., Hird, C., & Phillips, K. J. (2017). The TEACCH program for people with autism: Elements, outcomes, and comparison with competing models. In J. L. Matson (Ed.) Handbook of treatments for autism spectrum disorder (pp. 427-436). Switzerland: Springer.
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/51441
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Angela Arnold-Saritepe
  • Phillips, K. J., Mudford, O. C., Zeleny, J. R., & Elliffe, D. (2014). Using calibration and interobserver agreement algorithms to assess the accuracy and precision of data from electronic and pen-and-paper continuous recording methods. Behavioral Interventions, 29 (4), 315-330. 10.1002/bin.1395
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Douglas Elliffe
  • Sharp, R. A., Phillips, K. J., & Mudford, O. C. (2012). Comparisons of interventions for rumination maintained by automatic reinforcement. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 6 (3), 1107-1112. 10.1016/j.rasd.2012.03.002


Contact details

Primary office location

SCIENCE CENTRE 301 - Bldg 301
Level 3, Room 308A
New Zealand

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