We offer a confidential counselling service for all women (up to 10 sessions). Our counsellors are all professionally trained volunteer counsellors (NMIT or elsewhere) to help you address a wide range of life issues.
The service is low-cost and very much dependent on a conversation you have with the counsellor and your personal circumstances.
Please don't hesitate to contact our social workers for an initial assessment.
After that, there can sometimes be a waitlist, because there is a high demand for this service.
Phone or video counselling are available with recent covid restrictions.
Our current volunteer counsellors are: Liz Putaura, Ashlyn Hornsby, Sarah Miratana, Sally Scott, Karen Paice, and Cath Clarke.
Our counselling coordinators are Cath Clarke & Ashlyn Hornsby (IT).
Cath Clarke: Counselling Coordinator Bachelor of Counselling
My name is Cath Clarke, I joined the Nelson Women’s Centre in 2020. I hold a Bachelor of Counselling degree and I am a Provisional Member registered with the New Zealand Association of Counsellors. I am passionate about working alongside women to navigate through their difficulties. I have a caring, calm nature and place trust in a collaborative relationship within counselling. I believe counselling brings about positive change, creating growth in one’s life. The approaches I use are a person-centred approach, solution-focused therapy, and cognitive behavioural therapy. I work alongside the client to assist the client to bring about change, to reach their desired goals, and to help a client to challenge negative thinking, also bringing mindfulness techniques into practice to improve client wellbeing.
Ashlyn Hornsby: Temporary Counselling Coordinator (IT support) Senior Student Counsellor
(She/They) Kia Ora. In my counselling practice I aim to provide clients with a safe space to build a collaborative relationship where we can work together to explore the challenges of life. I have a passion for identifying and increasing client strengths with a respectful and caring approach to the process.
My previous experience lies in drug harm reduction and education coordinating a volunteer initiative at outdoor music events. I am studying toward a Bachelor of Counselling at NMIT. My passions lie in harm reduction, sexuality, gender identity, and consent culture.
Elizabeth Putaura: Bachelor of Counselling
My name is Elizabeth Putaura. I was born in Rarotonga and raised in Nelson. After a 13-year career in hospitality, I decided to study full time at the Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology to acquire my degree in Bachelor of Counselling, from where I graduated in 2021. I have been working individually with clients as well as co-facilitating group sessions called Positive Psychology and Wellbeing.
I consider myself trustworthy, transparent, friendly, approachable. My personal and professional philosophy sits more alongside with Solution Focused Brief Therapy. I prefer this model to highlight the client’s previous accolades and strengths and focus on the future potentials and reframe issues. I hope to explore empowerment and potential with clients and bring awareness to the individuals’ value.
Sally Scott: Senior Student Counsellor
I emigrated from South Africa and am married with adult children. I have lived experience with mental health, disability and parenting challenges, autism, and neurodiversity. I have a degree in psychology and am currently studying toward a Bachelor of Counselling. I have volunteered at NWC since 2021 and am now a student counsellor.
I have experience working with all kinds of people, including immigrants, refugee background, tertiary students and the neurodiverse. Being a mature woman, I bring not only academic training but also many years of life experience to my counselling practice. Clients tell me I am compassionate, approachable, friendly, empathetic, and trustworthy. I can offer you a safe, calm, welcoming, respectful counselling space, where together we can explore and understand your challenges and enable growth and change.
Karen Paice: Senior Student Counsellor
Mauri Ora! After spending most of my adult life working in hospitality and education, travelling in Aotearoa and overseas, and raising my two sons, I decided it was time to find a new direction as I neared 50. My love of people and sadness for those who are struggling with many challenges as they negotiate their way in a sometimes-inhospitable society have been my main motivations to study counselling. I am currently completing my third year of a Bachelor of Counselling at NMIT and have been with the Nelson Women's Centre since March 2022.
My work is strengths focused and client led, with its main objective being to provide a secure space that enables client to re-discover meaning and happiness in their lives. I aim to encourage clients to appreciate their own capabilities so they can realise their true potential and thrive as they move forward in life.
Sarah Miratana: Senior Student Counsellor
Kia Ora, I’m Sarah, a student counsellor here at the Nelson women’s centre. I am currently in my second year studying the Bachelor of Counselling degree at NMIT. As well as being a student, I am a full-time parent to two school aged boys. I have recently moved back to Whakatu after living in Te Ika-a-Māui (the North Island) for the past 19 years. Reconnecting with my culture is something that is important to me, not only for my own taha wairua (spiritual health) and personal well-being, but also so I can better support our Māori and bi-cultural communities here in Whakatu. I like to use a combination of CBT, mindfulness therapy, and Māori health models in the counselling room, but I am not limited to just these modalities. I try to create an individual approach for each client in counselling, collaboratively working together to find what works for you.
Jen Stewart: Senior Student Counsellor (currently on leave in 2022)
I believe that the goal of therapy is to help you connect to your own inner compass, in whatever way you see that – as a relationship with your wisest self, with your intuition and inner strengths, or with a spiritual/wairua dimension. In my practice I draw on mindfulness meditation, self-compassion, visualisation, art, and body-based activities that allow us to explore your inner and outer worlds in a creative, trauma-safe, and intuitive way. Every client is unique, and we’ll discover what is most helpful for you as we investigate your concerns together.
I enjoy working with people from all walks of life. I moved to Nelson from New York state in 2011 and am a mother of one, an avid reader of the neuroscience that underpins transformational change in therapy, and a student at NMIT in the Bachelor of Counselling degree.