top of page

DEIRDRE REID MAAT, Registered Member with ANZACATA, ACC Registered


About myself and my work

After many years working as a primary school teacher, I decided it was time to change career and follow my passion for creativity and healing. I graduated from the Whitecliffe College of Arts and Design in 2022 with a Masters in Arts Therapy.

Teaching in a Steiner School gave me many valuable insights into how to support the potential of each individual to thrive. It also gave me rich experiences working with families, in conflict resolution and communicating with people from varied backgrounds and cultures. Prior to this I spent 4 years travelling and living overseas.

I enjoy the diversity of working with adults, rangatahi and tamariki and have worked as an Arts Therapist at Hutt Valley High School, Bishop Viard and Family Works. I also work at HVSash in Lower Hutt as an ACC contract counsellor working with sexual abuse (see details below if you would like to engage in this capacity), and Skylight (a social services agency).

I live in the Belmont Hills with my partner and our two beloved cats. I love travelling and adventures in far-away places, meditating, qigong, walking in nature, creative expression of any form and dwelling in our garden.


021 129 0701



$100 for a 1-hour session

If you would like to apply for ACC funded sessions, you can register with HVSash who are my supplier and follow a process that might include some time on a waiting list.

Contact details are:   04 566 5517


37 Pretoria Street, Lower Hutt

About Arts Therapy

Arts therapy is a form of counselling that uses creative expression to improve and inform physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing. No art skills are needed.

“Creativity as a force of nature permeating all things is not the domain of the talented few, rather the truly universal pulse advancing life everywhere”. Shaun McNiff.

Arts therapy practices provide an opportunity to give shape and form to experiences, to hold and express emotions and to expand and deepen personal understanding and meaning. By using creative expression to awaken the healing power of imagination, and restore the vital circulation of energy and well-being, distress can be transformed, and new perspectives found.

“Difficult experiences not only provide the fuel for creative expression, but lead to new dimensions of discovery and change”. Shaun McNiff.


Arts therapy can be used to support people to:

  • Process and contain difficult emotions and traumatic experiences by non-verbally accessing implicit memories that are stored in the body

  • Cultivate emotional resilience and greater agency (the power to act) in life

  • Develop, strengthen, and integrate a sense of self/identity

  • Release excess energy and tension & improve body awareness

  • Learn self-soothing strategies to reduce stress and anxiety

  • Structure meaning and form a deeper understanding of one’s own life narrative

  • Allow the patterns in feelings, behaviour and thought to become visible and tangible

  • Access inherent creative capacities and artistic intelligence

  • Process and manage grief


About my approach to Arts Therapy

I work in a client-centered way, and will respond to what arises in the moment from what a client brings and wants to work on. I view the client as the expert in their life and am guided by their wisdom and personal preferences.  I may offer prompts and suggestions as a starting point and to help anchor the client in a place where they can express what they want to explore. I am also comfortable talking instead if that is the preference.

The architecture of a session may involve some introductory talking, following by a warm-up activity, then the main arts-based exercise. Usually, a session ends with some harvesting of what was experienced, with possible linkages made to what was discussed at the start of the session and/or the client’s goals.

I also like to work with mindfulness-based practices that assist clients to access their body-based, somatic wisdom. I hold a holistic view of the world that recognises both seen and unseen dimensions of being.

To book a session or ask for further information, contact Deirdre on 021 129 0701 or at



“My experience with Deirdre has been fantastic! At the start, I didn’t actually know what Arts Therapy was, but Deirdre guided me through the use of clay, beautiful pastels, and crayons, to work through the thoughts and emotions that have made my life difficult.

Somehow, she always knows which medium to use, and her empathy and understanding of where I am on at any given day has really helped me feel safe and heard. I now have a better understanding of myself, a greater sense of peace and the tools to stay strong and emotionally healthy for the years ahead.”


“Deirdre is an amazing therapist who has supported me to deal with trauma and deep-seated issues of many years. She has an amazing holistic skill set, that promotes deep healing on every level. A life changing experience. She is a wonderful healer and therapist who puts you at ease and makes you feel heard. “


“I have worked with Deirdre on a number of occasions. Every time I have found her to work intuitively with great compassion and awareness. She created a safe environment which allowed me to go fully into the process, knowing that I was being held by a skilled and knowledgeable practitioner. I would highly recommend Deirdre.”


“I entered therapy with Deirdre not knowing what to expect. All I can say is it changed my life for the better. I didn’t realise the depth of my trauma, but after working with Deirdre I feel at peace and am the best version of myself. I can’t thank her enough”.

bottom of page