A New Zealand psychologist says there's been a marked increase in the number of patients seeking help following the airing of controversial sexual abuse documentary Leaving Neverland.

The two-part documentary aired in New Zealand on Sunday and Monday, in which Wade Robson and James Safechuck detailed their alleged experiences being sexually abused by Michael Jackson as children.

Clinical psychologist, Barry Kirker told Newstalk ZB's Mike Hosking that the doco could have "triggered" people into seeking help.

He said he and others in the profession had "definitely noticed more people calling to make appointments on Monday and Tuesday" after each part of the documentary had aired on TVNZ 1.


"You've obviously got people who have put it to the side or in the back of their mind and the documentary's sort of triggered them to start thinking about it again, and maybe making a decision to do something about it," he told Hosking.

Speaking on the extent of the grooming detailed in Leaving Neverland, Kirker confirmed that it is a common occurence.

"You certainly do see it. The relationship [children] have with the person, especially if they trust them - they have very confused and mixed feelings. On one hand it's someone they trust and respect and admire, and on the other it's someone who's hurting them."

And with regard to the difference between abuse happening with someone like Michael Jackson as opposed to someone here in New Zealand, Kirker said it all amounts to the same thing.

"What you're talking about is power," he said.

Obviously Jackson had power in his fame, money and status, but there's also "the power of say a father or an uncle or a grandfather and a child".

"There are similarities in terms of the power that enables a person to get away with it and create the confusion for the child."

However, Kirker said New Zealand was "one of the best places in the world" to get help thanks to survivors being able to get help through ACC.

"[ACC] can support people through their recovery, they can get funded counselling, without having to worry about the cost. There's a lot of experts in New Zealand who can help them recover."