Mamaku Arts Therapy and Counselling

Ka mate he tētē, Ka tupu he tētē.

As the fronds of the tree fern drop away, young leaves take their place.

After decay comes growth

My way of working

Arts Therapy is a form of Psychotherapy. My practice and therapeutic style follows in the humanistic tradition of person-centred therapy which honours you as the ‘expert’ in your own experiences. My intention as an Arts Therapist/Counsellor is to create a space where aspects of your life and emotional experiencing can be attended to gently and in a supportive way. This is often, but not always, through a creative lens and metaphor. Generally our time together starts with traditional ‘talk’ therapy until confidence and trust are established. I will encourage and work alongside you to find and explore ways to express yourself at your own pace. Authentic and supportive relationship is at the core of my work, alongside a belief that approaching ourselves and others with curiosity and compassion leads to deeper understanding and growth.

Mamaku Arts Therapy and Counselling

Mamaku Arts Therapy and counselling is dedicated to providing a respectful, compassionate and confidential arts therapy/counselling service that empowers children, adolescents, individual adults, couples and families to

  • Develop creative solutions to the challenges they face
  • Enhance personal effectiveness and resilience
  • Restore and sustain more satisfying relationships
  • Achieve well-being and balance in the mental, emotional, social, spiritual and physical aspects of their lives.

Arts Therapy practise is based on understanding of human development and draws on a range of psychological theories and approaches. Arts therapists are trained in providing counselling and verbal therapy alongside arts therapy.

There is an emphasis on drawing on a balance of ‘top down’ and ‘bottom-up’ therapeutic approaches. A creative element is often, but not always, included in sessions. Arts therapist may use visual art making (painting, drawing, collage, sculpture, printmaking) writing, poetry, dance/movement, music and drama as part of their therapeutic practise. The emphasis is on the therapeutic process and artistic skill is not required.

Some of the therapeutic approaches that Arts Therapists may draw on are ACT, CBT, DBT, mindfulness-based, gestalt, person-centred, existential, somatic/ polyvagal/ Hakomi, positive psychology, narrative therapy, internal and external family systems, solution focussed, sand and play therapy, strengths based and attachment theory.

Why is the Mamaku significant?

The Mamaku is the New Zealand ‘black fern’. The new fronds of the Mamaku fern form a koru shape and are seen to symbolise new life and new beginnings, mirroring the plant’s capacity to regenerate and renew life. In its natural environment the Mamaku fern is key in regenerating and replenishing the native bush, returning essential nutrients to the soil, and laying foundations for new growth. The umbrella like canopy helps retain precious moisture and provides protection for the emerging new growth below.

Creating artwork allows your mind to be in a safe place while it contemplates the tougher issues you are dealing with.

One can use the tools of brush, paint, pastels, crayons etc to expose and even for a short time colour those issues in a different light.

George Millar

Kia mōhio mai koe

What do you need to know


-Self funded-private

-WINZ-Click here for the link to the WINZ forms

-‘Gumboot Friday’-2 Fully funded counselling/Arts Therapy sessions for 5-24 year olds. Click here for a link to I am hope

-Through your General practitioner (TPC-Taranaki Primary Connections)

-ACC-sensitive claims

-Clearhead-Some businesses pay through this platform. Click here for a link to Clearhead.

-Aoake te Rā- Suicide bereavement counselling. Four fully funded sessions. Click here for a link to Aoake te Rā

-Victim Support

-Benestar- An EAP provider. Your workplace may be a member.


-Long or short term options available for children, adolescents and adults. 

-Whether you would like one or two sessions to work through a pressing issue or a long term therapy approach I will work with you  to meet your needs.

-I am experienced in different modalities. The arts therapy/counselling will be tailored to meet your needs and we will discuss in the first session what your needs may be.

-Sessions $120 per 60 minute session. With GST this becomes $138


-You will be treated in a respectful and non-judgemental manner.

-Everything we talk about is treated as strictly confidential. The only exception to this is if there is a threat to someone’s safety (either your own or somebody else’s). We will discuss this together.

-You have the right to terminate the agreement at any time.

-Consent forms will be discussed and signed on the first session.

-The consent forms below can be viewed on line if you would like to read them prior to our first appointment

Fees agreement

Consent form

Telehealth consent form

Referral information


Payment can be made when booking the appointment. This will confirm and hold your appointment space. Internet banking details will be sent via an emailed invoice when the first appointment is made.

Payment can be made directly via

  • Stripe from the invoice
  • Internet banking
  • or by cash.

If an external funding provider is providing the funding, it must be confirmed prior to the commencement of the first session

  • If you need to cancel an appointment, please text or email as soon as you can.
  • Late cancellation-Less than 24-hour notice prior to appointment will be charged NZD 40
  • Missed appointments –Missed booked appointments, without communication, will be charged NZD 110 (plus GST)
  • Late payment fee on invoices 10%


“On a one-on-one basis I could dabble in a variety of mediums of my choice while surprisingly discussing random thoughts that come to mind about coping with the challenges cancer and the various responses and attitudes toward family and friends.”

— A 50 year old female client living with cancer

 “I’ve come away with a with a broader perception & understanding of subjects we’ve discussed and I’ve found this very empowering. Our discussions have helped reduce my stress level. Deborah understands the complexities of what I’m facing & allows me to express myself at my own pace.”

— A 20 year old male client

It has offered gentle, tactile & verbal support that leaves you feeling safer because it touches you psychologically and emotionally and physically in the various ways its presented. YOU choose what you want to discuss or do. The choice is always yours. It’s amazing how your choices somehow release and make this journey we’re on that much the easier.”

— A 70 year old female client

“The sessions allowed me an openness to address aspects of my life, telling my story without judgement. The environment was always friendly and unthreatening. Deborah was always approachable, allowing my thoughts and expressions to naturally flow in whatever direction they took me.”

— A 36 year old male client


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