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WellART wellington art therapists

We are a group of art therapists practising in diverse work settings and connecting regularly for professional support and sharing.
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The Wellington Art Therapists Collective:



Wellington based Arts Therapists once a month, usually on a Friday evening


all practising and training Arts Therapists, local or visiting
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members by providing a professional forum to share current practice


members to host a meeting, share their work, provide a group workshop or a guest speaker


information about Art Therapy through our idea-sharing blog


the support of ANZATA through its professional membership and their financial assistance

What is Art Therapy?

Art Therapy is a mental health profession that uses the creative process of making art to improve and enhance the physical, mental and emotional well-being of people of all ages.

Art Therapy is founded on the belief that the creative process involved in artistic self-expression helps people to achieve insight and develop self awareness that in turn can alleviate stress, improve interpersonal skills, regulate emotion, manage behaviour and resolve conflicts or problems. 
Mary Brownlow  art therapist wellington

Mary Brownlow    

Member of the NZ Association of Counsellors (MNZAC)
Member Australia New Zealand Art Therapy Association 
Member Creative Therapies Association of Aotearoa, New Zealand

I have experience as Case Manager/Therapist/Group Facilitator in the areas of Palliative Care Hospice Services, Adult & Child Cancer, Child Mental Health DHB CAMS, Family Separation, Suicide Survivor Support, Youth Health, Eating Disorder Services, Child Care & Protection & Foster Care. I have delivered Team Building Workshops for Professionals, (Mental Health, School Counsellors, Social Services, Corporate & Not for Profit Organisations.) I see clients individually and act as Clinical Supervisor through my private clinical practice. I am an accredited trainer for IDT Foundation Courses. 

Currently Working At: Parent Help, 173-175  Victoria Street, Wellington where I provide therapy for parents, carers, children and whanau in my role as a child therapist and parent educator/family therapist. Private Practice in Houghton Bay, Meditation Workshops;

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read full Profile
sarah nightingale art therapist wellington

Sarah Nightingale  

Member Australia New Zealand Art Therapy Association (MANZATA)
ACC Registered Counsellor

I work with young people who suffer from anxiety, worry, loss, have experienced trauma or who struggle to control their anger. Using art as a counselling medium can be very helpful for people who feel unable to talk much about their experience. It is also an effective way of gaining insight into thoughts, feelings and experiences that lie at the heart of unhappiness. I have particular experience working with young people with special needs, particularly those on the Autism Spectrum. Before I trained as an Art Therapist, I worked in education and educational psychology. I am also experienced in running art-based support groups to build confidence and resilience.

Currently Working at:  Primary Schools, Evolve Youth Service, Kimi Ora Special School, DyslexiART Workshops, Private Practice in Island Bay 

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see website
Ffyona Matthews art therapist wellington

Ffyona Matthews 

Member Australia New Zealand Art Therapy Association (MANZATA)

I have been a professionally registered Art Therapist for 17 years. My areas of speciality are
■  challenging behaviours including children and young people who sexually harm
■  trauma and abuse issues
■  depression and anxiety
■  issues with serious or chronic ill health
I am experienced in working with children, teenagers, families, adults and groups. I am trained and practised in family therapy, IDT, playroom skills, and sand tray work and have experience running wellness and mindfulness groups, grief groups, psychoeducational groups and children's groups promoting resilience and support for being dyslexic. I am also an experienced supervisor for other practitioners.

Currently Working at: I work full-time at WellStop helping children and young people and their families. I supervise Art Therapy students during their clinical placements. 

Contact Details:  arrow dark blue-870email Ffyona
irena stenner art therapist wellington

Irena Stenner  

Member NZ Association of Counsellors (MNZAC)
ACC Registered

I have been a practicing art therapist for over two decades. I am also an accredited Interactive Drawing Therapy teacher and have trained in general counselling modalities. I have a lifelong interest in helping people access their own inner wisdom through creativity. I work with individuals and facilitate groups with a special interest in work places. 

Currently Working at: Central Region Eating Disorder Services, MASH Trust, Private Practice, Supervision Group for Counsellors

Contact Details: Irena is not currently taking new clients.
Mary-Grace Williams  art therapist wellington

Mary-Grace Williams 

Trainee Arts Therapist

I am a trainee Arts Therapist at Whitecliffe college. My undergraduate study was in theatre, film and design through Victoria and Massey Universities. Before undertaking my current study, I had been using the arts in youth work and chaplaincy roles for over 10 years. My experience includes working in college and university chaplaincy, residential young adult communities in NZ and UK, youth development for Palmerston North City Council, theatre in education in the UK, and teaching arts in Thailand to refugee children. This year whilst studying, I have run sessions for special needs adolescents and seniors. I am based in Lower Hutt and will be looking to share my learning on local placements in the second half of 2016.
Serena Stace art therapist wellington

Serena Stace

Member New Zealand Association of Counsellors (MNZAC)
Professional Member Australia New Zealand Arts Therapy Association 

Serena has a Masters degree in Art Therapy (including counselling training) from La Trobe University in Melbourne Australia. Prior to her masters, Serena worked for five years as a paediatric oncology nurse. Serena has extensive experience in using counselling and art therapy with children, young people and families/whanau experiencing grief, loss, change and trauma, including family break-up, bereavement (including families bereaved through suicide). Serena also works with clients with autism and Asperger’s syndrome. Serena works in partnership with clients to help them have hope and move forwards during tough times.

Contact Details:  arrow dark blue-870email Serena or  arrow dark blue-870see website
Anja Striepke art therapist wellington

Anja Striepke

HeART and Soul Therapies 
Provisional Member New Zealand Association of Counsellors (ProvMNZAC)
Trainee Member Australia New Zealand Arts Therapy Association (ANZATA)

I am an art therapist trained in Germany, and a Gestalt therapy practitioner. Currently I am doing my Masters in Arts Therapy (Clinical). I am passionate about all matters of the soul, and offer both therapy modalities in private practice. Creative expression and drawing on the wisdom stored in the body are marvelous tools to gain access to ourselves. When these are experienced within a safe and nurturing therapeutic relationship, healing occurs naturally. In the last four years I have worked at the Women’s Centre in Christchurch and held numerous workshops on art therapy and mindfulness. I have a special interest working with adults and children with depression, anxiety, in life transitions, burn-out/fatigue, history of abuse or trauma, attachment issues, relationships, personal development and spiritual crisis.
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Currently Working at: my private practice HeART and Soul Therapies 

Contact Details: M. 021 0227 2013
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Pat Hay

BSc, MEd, Dip Psych, MAAT, AThR
Provisional Member New Zealand Association of Counsellors (ProvMNZAC)
Professional Member of ANZATA Australia and New Zealand Arts Therapy Association (ANZATA)

Pat is a Registered Arts Therapist, graduating from Auckland’s Whitecliffe College of Art and Design Masters of Arts Therapy programme. As part of her clinical placement at Te Omanga hospice, she supported terminally-ill patients and also supported children, adolescents and adults with grief and loss. Pat has also initiated therapeutic community arts projects for migrants and recently-arrived refugees, following experience working for Red Cross Refugee Services. A particular interest is incorporating mindfulness into her arts therapy practice. She has extensive experience as an educator (adults and children), frequently in multicultural settings, overseas and in New Zealand. 

Currently Working at: residential care homes offering art therapy for the elderly, Te Whare Ahuru, a secure mental health unit at Lower Hutt Hospital, and offers individual art therapy at Moera Community House.