ruth facilitator

Ruth Jillings Ph.D - Clinical Supervisor
Ruth Jillings oversees the clinical practice of all Hearts & Minds facilitators:
I am a Registered Psychologist and I have been involved with Hearts & Minds for nearly 20 years since I ran stress workshops for the House while completing my Ph.D. I have now been Clinical Supervisor for about 10 years and I love working with the facilitators and being part of making the Hearts & Minds groups the best they can be. I also run a small private practice in Takapuna helping people with stress, coping, resilience and assisting with mental health challenges. I am a "Shore girl" with older children and my greatest pleasures aside from my family and friends are reading and playing sport especially playing or coaching basketball.


Nicola Duncan

Nicola Duncan
I am a registered counsellor with NZAC and have a B.A (Hons) in Education and a Post-graduate Diploma in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, as well as a certificate in Supervision. Whilst I employ a number of modalities in my counselling practice, I find CBT to be particularly helpful for those experiencing depression, anxiety or low self-esteem. I have over 20 years experience working in the not-for-profit sector in a therapeutic capacity and as well as facilitating groups at Hearts & Minds I have a small private practice in Browns Bay.




Karen Venter
Karen Venter

I am a registered clinical psychologist (MA Clin.Psych, MSocSci, HED – School Guidance Counsellor) and I draw on a broad range of skills to find the “best fit” for my client’s needs. MyI have extensive experience working over a range of modalities including Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Depth Therapy, Jungian Psychology (Personality), Strengths Based Models, Stress Management, Careers Counselling, Mindfulness, and Compassion Focussed Therapy. In addition to running groups at Hearts & Minds, I have a small private practise in Totaravale and Milford.



Julie Walker

I am a registered Counsellor and I hold a BHSc in Psychology (First Class Hons), with a Post Grad Dip in Counselling. My key areas of therapeutic interest lie with those experiencing anxiety, stress, depression, or loss, and I have a particular interest in the helpfulness of group work for these concerns. The modalities I use for therapy are varied, and include CBT, narrative therapy, person-centred therapy, mindfulness, ACT and DBT. I believe very much that it is also the relationship that heals, and I offer an authentic, warm, and empathetic flavour to my work – I myself have journeyed through some real life challenges and this has added a greater depth to my work as a counsellor. I have a low cost private practice here at Hearts & Minds in Northcote and welcome your inquiry.



Limors photo jpg

Limor Fybish
I am a qualified and experienced art therapist and I hold a BA degree in social science, majoring in psychology, a Post Graduate Diploma in Art Therapy, and a Graduate Diploma in Health Science from AUT. Currently, I am completing my Masters Degree in Psychotherapy, while I continue to work with private clients in Northcote and East Auckland, or with groups through Hearts & Minds.
My areas of speciality are: fear and anxiety, trauma and loss, abuse, relationship issues, parental divorce, and difficulties relating to learning disabilities.




Sonia Lopez

Sonia Lopez
I am a qualified Narrative and Collaborative therapist and hold a Bachelor of Early Childhood Education and a Post Graduate Diploma in Counselling and am originally from Columbia, South America, where I worked.
I am committed to the empowerment of individuals, families, and couples and I do this by bringing forth the client's knowledge, skills and capacities as tools that can be used to invite transformation. In Columbia, my country of origin, I worked as an early childhood teacher. I now live permanently in New Zealand and enjoy spending time with my kiwi partner, my two young adult daughters, and my 7-year-old grandson. In my professional life as a counsellor and group facilitator, I have a passion for listening to the stories, concerns and successes of others and I believe that collaboration is key in the healing journey. Together we can explore possibilities to bring about change. I have a small private practise in the Waitakere region and also at Milford.



Sophie Buxton

Sophie is a highly qualified and registered music therapist (BMus, MMTher, RMT) who is passionate about the benefits of music therapy. Sophie has extensive experience working with adults and children. Sophie is delighted to now offer the programme in Northcote to individuals in recovery from Mental Health concerns.





Amy McDonald
Amy McDonald

I am a registered counsellor with NZAC and hold a post graduate diploma in counselling. I take a client centred and strength based approace and work with a range of modalities including Narrative Therapy, CBT, DBT tools, ACT and creative expression. I support clients to generate new possibilities, make decisions and enhance resilience, as well as exploring the thoughts and emotions that come with the ‘problems.’ I have a passion for working collaboratively with individuals and group participants so that they feel empowered by gaining clarity, a sense of purpose and meaning, and by developing new skills to navigate life.





Sally Clarkson

Sally Clarkson (RBA Facilitator)

Her bio is coming up soon







Julia Zhu
Julia Zhu

I graduated with a Masters Degree at the University of Auckland, and I am a registered counsellor. I work in a holistic, non-judgemental way and encourage people to find the courage, confidence and skills to maintain a healthier lifestyle, and a happier self.
I speak three languages: English, Mandarin and Cantonese, and I am originally from Southwest China. I have lived in Auckland for fourteen years with my family, and the last nine years I have supported adults through stress and distress as they have faced all manner of life challenges.




Mike Dawson
Mike Dawson

I am a strengths based Social Worker and my work has a focus on mental health and wellbeing. My values are grounded in equality and the recognition of all humanity.
Empathy, engagement, and resource building are all facets of my approach in supporting individuals through difficult seasons of their lives. I apply Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), Mindfulness, and Client Centred Therapy in my work.
I have a particular interest in grief, loss and life transitions.





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