Dr Ruth Lawson-McConnell

Healing Attachments and Enhancing Mental Wellbeing

I am a Registered Clinical Counsellor (MNZAC) with over 30 years’ experience, having trained and worked as a children’s and family counsellor in Scotland. My PhD (Counselling Psychology) focused on counselling children in high conflict divorce situations. I have lived and worked in Canada where I trained with Dr Gordon Neufeld in his Attachment-based Developmental approach, becoming a Professional Associate of the Neufeld Institute. I moved to New Zealand in 2010 and worked as a Senior Lecturer in Counselling as well as in private practice.

I offer counselling, supervision, professional development training, online courses and retreats. My specialist areas are working with attachment traumas, parent consulting on behavioural and emotional issues in children/teens as well as training in neuropsychotherapy, supporting partners of sexual addicts as well as people who are trying to leave/have left high-control religious groups (cults and closed sects).

I am a warm, empathic, and non-judgmental counsellor, who is client-centred, focusing on establishing a strong and authentic connection, in order to help you reach your desired goals. When working with you, I am compassionate and curious to listen and learn how to best support you and your whanau, as well as acknowledging your own unique strengths and resources. In my holistic therapeutic approach, I consider various contexts including relational, psychological, developmental, environmental, cultural and spiritual. I am passionate about the importance of delivering high quality evidence-based treatments tailored individually to client’s needs. I was born and raised in the Amazon region of Brazil, to Scottish parents, so have experienced multiple cultures and migrations which add to my skill set as a counsellor.


Q What is Attachment focused counselling

Attachment focused counselling works on a deep relational level, exploring :
1) your early and past relationships which may have shaped how you behave and feel now;
2) your current relationships with the people who are important and intimately connected to you;
3) your relationship with yourself (including your self-confidence/self-esteem, relationship with your body and how you take care of yourself),
4) your relationship to Wairua/spirituality, God or a Higher Power (if this is relevant and important to you).

Q Registrations and Memberships

Member - New Zealand Association of Counsellors (NZAC)
Member - New Zealand Psychological Society (NZPS)
Professional Associate of the Neufeld Institute
Member - Association of Partners of Sex Addictions Trauma Specialists (APSATS - in training)
Member - International Positive Psychology Association IPPA

Q Qualifications

MA (Honours - Psychology and Social Anthropology)
PhD (Counselling Psychology)