Art Therapist

I am a Clinical Arts Therapist (MAAT, Clinical) and a registered member of ANZACATA (Australian, New Zealand and Asian Creative Arts Therapies Association).

I can help adolescents and adults with the emotional impact of:

  • Trauma, PTSD

  • anxiety

  • depression

  • chronic health conditions

  • life limiting illness

  • grief and loss.

My background

Prior to moving to Tauranga I worked as part of a multi-disciplinary team in a hospice setting for 6 years. There I found a passion for working alongside people struggling to live with dignity as the physical, emotional and spiritual aspects of their lives were challenged. My private practice has built on this experience, especially with traumatised clients.  Long term trauma can result in chronic health conditions and helping people find some symptom relief as anxiety, depression and feelings of hopelessness decrease is a key part of my work.


Clients can access funding to see me through:

  • ACC (sensitive claims) registered

  • WINZ


  • I Am Hope - free support for school aged young people


Art Therapy –not just for hippies and “alternative” types!

Resilience and increased wellbeing is the broad goal of art therapy – more and more the importance of good mental health is on the agenda in New Zealand. Without it life can be difficult. Unattended stress or anxiety leading to depression and more serious difficulties stop us from living full healthy lives both physically and mentally. That’s why I’m so excited to be at Health Quarters where the relationship between mind and body is not questioned, and there is real commitment to offering change in both areas with a variety of approaches.


What is it?

Art Therapy is a clinical practice that sits alongside more traditional forms of emotional and psychological support, such as psychotherapy and counselling. It’s pretty new in New Zealand - postgraduate training has been offered since the 1990s. However our GP Emma Stanley will back me up when I say art therapy has been a well accepted practice within the NHS (National Health Service) in the UK for a long time!  It is evidence based and well researched.


Why would I try it?

A lot of difficulties or blocks are hard to talk about and often people don’t have the words to say what is troubling them. Over thinking things and getting trapped in circular thinking can get in the way of breakthrough and lead to being stalled or stuck. In art therapy a clinically trained practitioner works with you to engage in a creative process that can have amazing unexpected results, unlocking old ways of thinking to create change.

Still don’t know what to expect?

Yes – it’s hard to describe because it is so different  for each client. We work out the pathway together. It is experiential work – and this is what promotes the change – often we feel the change before talking about it. It happens by being engaged with a new kind of expression that the art therapist can help you feel comfortable with in order to gain insight.


How does it work? Do I have to be good at art? 

Amazingly you do not have to be good at art to get benefit from this. It is not an art class and I am not an art teacher. I have worked with men, women, and young people from all walks of life – academics to gang members – there is no “type” for this approach to emotional wellbeing.


Bring me your questions. Like my colleagues at Health Quarters I know from experience how the body benefits from improving mental health and I’d love to tell you more about that in person.  I offer a free 15 minute consultation so you can meet me and get a better understanding of the work and what it might offer you.


Contact Jennie

HQ Downtown - 67 Willow Street, Tauranga 3110                                                                                           we@healthquarters.co.nz  Te Puna - 17b Minden Road, 3172