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Athena Hemming | Heart and Mind Coach

Heart-and-Mind-Coach-Upper Hutt
75 Totara Park Road
5018 Upper Hutt
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Counselling Upper Hutt - Hutt Valley

My name is Athena. You're welcome for counselling & relationship counselling in Upper Hutt.


Although I qualified as a psychologist 35 years ago, I now feel my work is more accurately described by the words "Heart and Mind Coach".


I've found that a sense of inner peace, of feeling comfortable in your own skin, is present when heart, mind, body and spirit are all aligned; on the same page and moving forwards together.


It is hard to say this stuff about yourself (isn't it?) but as well as bringing a wealth of personal experiece to each session, I bring compassion, intuition and a great sense of humour.


 MARCH 2020 
These are strange times indeed.
 And I got the impression we all thought 2020 was going to be a better year! But here we are.... forced to admit we are living in the unknown. As a result new things will rise to the surface and maybe old problems will disappear, or worse, become bigger. 
When people are put under stress very often they revert to automatic and unconscious behaviours and thoughts. These are excellent times to create deep and meaningful change. Happy and contented people don't feel motivated to face their fears or underlying assumptions and beliefs about how to live life. Yet these core beliefs  and held emotions colour every aspect of how we live life. 
In a nut shell now is a great time to change and evolve ourselves! To become happier,more loving, more understanding, more caring (of people and our planet), more relaxed.... To mature. 
Whatever you are grappling with at home, if you are stuck on how to make it easier or better, I might very well be able to help. One hour (a session) could enhance your communication skills, hone your personal goals, clarify how you run your relationships or help you find new a direction in life. (oh, it can take more than one session but that's up to you!)  



MAY 2020

 When we went into lockdown, level 4, most of my clients decided to wait until we could resume face-to-face counselling, but not all. I noticed that some people seemed comfortable chatting on the phone about their situation. We could discuss options, skills and belief patterns. Those clients saw change, and for some, it  meant that I got to know their circumstances so that we hit the ground running when things start to return to full social contact. Of course though, energetically speaking, a session by skype or phone doesn't feel quite so supportive for change and transformation.



While we were in Level 4 lock down Andy and I were completely involved with unpacking and settling into our new home here in Totara Park . By some miracle we managed to find, secure and then, 1 week before lockdown, move into this home. Some of you may know we bought some land in Akatarawa and were going to build (this was a dream of Andy's) . Then our builder went into liquidation and half a year later we decided to sell our beautiful land and look for a house. House hunting (and with 2 teenage young men) was a huge challenge.


So nothing turned out the way we thought it was going to but actually after 2 years it's a happy ending for us. 


During our time renting in Lower Hutt I feel as though I re-acquainted myself with running my own business as a counselor. During the 6 months before the lock down I was doing around 15 (no more than 20) sessions a week, working evenings and Saturdays mostly with couples. Many people come fortnightly after the first few weeks. I've been enjoying my work and remembering  how wonderful it is to be a small part of helping individuals achieve  their goals and feel happier.


I'm hoping that when we go into level 2, or even better, when the Clovid - 19 crisis is behind us, I will again have clients in my session room at home here, my sons will go back to cooking dinner at night (I'm often working 5-6pm) and we'll all be a little wiser.


 One of the beauties of working part-time is that I can be flexible, so please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or want more information.





"Athena is a special wise women who will reach into your heart and help gently put the pieces of the puzzle back together. She understands my journey and knows what to say to make sense of things I wouldn't have ever thought of that lay deep in my unconscious .

She really knows her stuff and you are never left at the end of the session with questions but more of a deeper understanding and huge weight lifted off your shoulders. Thank you for holding space for me and patiently allowing me to heal, to find myself again and the laughs too! You're a treasure"
"Athena has increased my quality of life in an immeasurable way. I cannot thank her enough for her patience, time and love she has given me over the past few months. I have begun a journey now that would not have been possible without her help getting me started. I can’t believe how much of a change I feel day to day in my life now."
"I came to Athena after struggling with anxiety for decades and believing that it was possible that anxiety was who I was and I just needed help with managing it. 

Athena has been the only person who has helped me discover the source of my anxiety and has helped me become mostly anxiety free. I didn't think I would ever find the peace I was looking for."



"I'm so thankful for Athena.I must thank you for helping me understand what it was that was kicking me around.

However if things do get too much once more, I know who to go to :)"



"Hi Athena thank you for the fantastic help you have given to our daughter. It is nice took see our little girl starting to reappear again......and Thank you from the bottom of our hearts". 




You are welcome to contact me with questions, to get to know me better, before deciding if I am the right person for you.



Statement concerning the coronavirus pandemic

 see above


$90 per session of 1 hour

Late cancellation and no-show fees apply.

Availability (Opening hours)

Monday 11am - 8:30pm
Tuesday 11am - 8:30pm
Wednesday 11am - 8:30pm
Thursday 11am - 8:30pm
Friday Closed
Saturday 9am - 5pm
Sunday Closed


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Read the interview with Athena Hemming below.


1. Where is your practice (office) located?
We're about to move to 75 Totara Park Rd. Upper Hutt.
Please note : Answers written in note form not proper English! 😊

2. What life events have been important to you?
So many. Lived in Africa till I was 7, emigrated to New Zealand when when I was 13, went to school in Nelson. Taught bush survival in Western Australia in my early 20s climbed the Matterhorn (Switzerland) in my mid-20s. Lived and worked in a Villa on Lago Maggiore in Italy running groups to develop individual's potentials. Lots of Stories. Work. Mango picking in the tropics of Australia. Met "The One" when I was 40. Had my children at 42 and 44. Had a beautiful garden and home grown veggies . Coming back to work over a year ago now.

3. Why did you become a counsellor / therapist?
The truth? I was born this way. It was a calling and a gift. I wasn't very popular and never felt as though I belonged. Always wanting to understand why I felt the way I did, or why other people behaved the way they did... I also felt as though the world was in a bit of trouble . Initially I studied psychology because I wanted to fix myself.

4. What do you like the most about being a counsellor/therapist?
I like feeling really connected to another person . I feel at home with honest emotions and understandings. I want to live my best life and support others doing the same thing - be that less painful, more aware, more loving, or fuller. I get excited about new Insights and the lightning up that happens in us all when we gain new understandings, acceptance forgiveness, motives and consciousness.

5. What is your most remarkable experience as a counsellor/therapist?
The moments that have made my hair stand on end are when I have listened to someone tell me realities that are outside our common understandings. For instance a young man who was agoraphobic because had been abducted by aliens or a woman who constantly consulted with spirit guides during our sessions. I love having my world expanded.



1. What was your most pleasant moment today/yesterday?
I went swimming in a cool clear New Zealand River with the dog, opening my eyes underwater and looking up at the Sunshine sparkling on the surface.

2. How do you see yourself in 5 years? And in 10 years?
Sitting in the sunshine under the clear blue sky. Welcoming a client with a cup of tea and a dog licking their knees if they allow it. Watching my boys leave home and come back again and leave again. Stretching and doing yoga on the living room carpet before I'm properly awake. Enjoying the weekends with my husband. Eating vegetarian and vegan food - making lots of delicious things together.

3. What are your hobbies? What do you do in your free time?
I garden and cook and walk and meditate and meet friends. We watch a bit of TV and we discuss the world. I want to continue to laugh outrageously at things that come out spontaneously at home with my boys or my husband.

4. What makes you happy?
At this age, apart from the normal comforts of life, I will have to say living my life as a whole person and giving myself permission to be anything I want to be in the moment. This is just as important as the constant knowledge that I am part of the whole shebang of life!

5. Do you have a partner and/or family?
I met Andy "the one" when I was 40. We had Ben when I was 42 and Nick when I was 44. Then my husband said that we must stop making babies while the going was good..

6. Have you ever had therapy / counselling yourself? What was your experience?
I have being involved in personal growth and therapy groups, had Masters and supervisors, for 15 continuous years of my life - then on and off after that. I'm no longer afraid that I will stop growing and I realised that I am not a fixed thing at all. I just have to stay loose and open and connected to my heart and life.

7. What other occupation would you have liked, if you hadn't become a counsellor / therapist?
I have done quite a few different jobs as pauses in my career including working on a fishing boat, being a dental assistant and kitchen hand duties in cafes. My preferred work is probably outside as a farm hand planting, harvesting, picking and pruning. I went mango picking when I was 40 in outback Australia with a backpack on my back. This was one of the highlights of my life!



1. Who inspires you?
Oh dear I can't answer this. I am not a reader. I have been an experiential learner in my life. Nature inspires me and I talk to my god regularly both to say thank you and seek advice!

2. Books you recommend?
The Tao Pooh (a real book)
Hope for the Flowers ( cartoon book about the personal growth journey has seen from the point of view of a caterpillar)

3. Your favourite film and why?
Oh I'm a Star Trek fan :-)

4. Your favourite quote?

5. What is your mission?
To try and bring love and acceptance to difficult situations. And to try and stay connected and open to life even when I find it extremely painful and I don't understand why.

6. What is your superpower?
My intuition and optimism

7. Top tip for happiness?
Take time every day to do nothing . In other words meditate or be still and breathe

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