Renée Barker

Arts Therapist


I found I could say things with colour and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way – things I had no words for.
– Georgia O’Keeffe


Areas of Special Interest

  • depression
  • anxiety
  • obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • identity formation and change
  • young people’s issues
  • attachment
  • separation anxiety
  • family systems
  • new motherhood
  • building emotional resiliency
  • trauma
  • self-harm
  • suicide


Counselling/Therapy Services

Arts therapy uses creativity to explore our life stories in ways that promote personal growth and change in our lives. Whether you recognise what is troubling you or not, I can help you identify and process issues and feelings that arise during our sessions together. My approach is gentle, non-judgmental, supportive and professional.

By engaging with an active and sensory process using art materials you can learn new things about yourself and/or view the past with a different lens. During a session we might use paint, pastel, movement, clay, collage, writing or sand tray during therapy. I will never interpret what you create. All personal expressions are welcome and treated with the utmost respect.

It’s important to know that you don’t have to be ‘good at art’ to engage with arts therapy. Everyone is creative and arts therapy focuses on what you learn about yourself in the process of making art, not the end product.

One of my specialties is working with children and adolescents (5+). Building trust between the child and myself is paramount to the therapeutic process. I am completely child-led and will always work at the pace that they determine.


Counselling/Therapy Approach

I use elements of the below theoretical frameworks in combination with Arts Therapy dependent on client needs:

  • Narrative Therapy
  • Attachment-based Therapy
  • Family Systems
  • Play Therapy
  • Mindfulness-based Therapy
  • Trauma-informed Therapy
  • Sand Play Therapy


Background and Experience

In 2020 I started my own private arts therapy practice. Alongside this work I currently contract for Oranga Tamariki and facilitate arts therapy groups for youth through Creative Collaborative. My past therapeutic experience includes working as an arts therapist at Family Action with people that have experienced abuse, family and sexual violence, as well as working as a therapist in various schools on the North Shore. Before qualifying as an arts therapist I worked as a secondary school Art and Art History teacher and was a copywriter for an online arts magazine.



Q Registrations and Memberships

- Registered Clinical Arts Therapist
- Professional Member of the Australian, NZ and Asian Creative Arts Therapies Association (ANZACATA)

Q Qualifications

- Master of Arts in Clinical Arts Therapy (First Class Honours)
- Post-Graduate Diploma in Education (Secondary) - Art, Photography, Art History
- Bachelor of Fine Arts

Q Appointments

- Tuesday and Thursday

Q Fees

- Youth (11+) and Adults: 55 minutes $130
- Caregiver Consultation: 75 minutes $150
- Age 5-10 yrs: 45 minute session $120
- The first session is undertaken with the caregiver only when working with children.
- You may be eligible for WINZ counselling support (disability allowance) and I am happy to assist you with this process.
- fees can be paid by bank transfer