Good with people, I have found a calling finding work in creative and supportive spaces interfacing with people's disturbance and suffering towards some kind of amelioration, increased self understanding and agency.
Able to hold space for those living with traumatic disturbance and mental health issues, I have skills and experience working with Tangata Whaiora in creative or therapeutic environments and peer support roles (Vincents Arts Workshop, Te Whare o Matairangi/Ward 27), employing art as a tool for personal process and healing.
“In my place of work, I see many people work with tangata whaiora utilising art as a tool for engagement, hope, recovery and health. In comparison, Nik’s work with tangata whaiora is unmatched. The care, passion and love that he delivers through his art not only creates engagement, hope, recovery and health but a sense of humanity that can be lost a lot of the time when working with tangata whaiora.”
Former mental health staff member at Te Whare o Matarangi, Sara Tamati.
Coming from a background in personal trauma amidst unresolved intergenerational traumatic experience in my whanau and broader society, I am familiar with mental health issues intersecting addiction, alcoholism, depression, anxiety, personality disorders, schizophrenia, suicide, sexual abuse, anger and violence, bullying, divorce and broken families, among others.
Over some decades in pursuit of self healing and transformation I have explored the following modalities and models (non chronological, but starting from age 13 roughly): Individual and family counselling in a hospital context, talk therapy, CBT, DBT, ACT, narrative therapy, bioenergetics, play therapy, positive affirmations (New Thought, Louise Hay), sigils, chaos magic, naturopathy, dietary alterations (vegetarianism, veganism, wheatgrass treatment, raw food diet, juicing, fasting, ayurvedic diet, anti-candida diet, FODMAP), colonic therapy & coffee enemas, Bach Flower remedies, homeopathics, gem elixirs, gong baths, dietary supplements (royal jelly, bee pollen, B vitamins, C, E, A, D, zinc, iodine, quercetin, GABA, multivitamins, fish Oil, spirulina, 5-HTP, biochemical salts, natural herbs for healing allergies, asthma & fungal conditions, herbal therapy, ginseng, Chinese herbs, cbd tinctures and medicinal products), hypnotherapy, rebirthing, primal scream therapy, crystal healing, energy healing (laying-on-of-hands, aura & chakra healing, esoteric healing), prayer as therapy, Christian mysticism, Sufism, Baha’i, Daoism, Advaita Vedanta, Jungian psychology & alchemy, attachment theory, object relations, art therapy, psychotropic drugs, psychedelics, psychic & medium readings, other divinatory systems and methods (the Yijing, tarot, palm reading), yoga (both as a therapeutic modality and spiritual practice. Various forms, primarily viniyoga after Desikachar and Krishnamacharya), meditation (vipassana, anapanasati/mindfulness) acupuncture & TCM, osteopathy, chiropractic therapy, craniosacral therapy, Alexander technique, biofeedback, family constellation therapy, AA, mens groups.
I have a Bachelor of Visual Arts (AUT, Auckland 2002) and a Masters of Fine Art (Massey University, Wellington, 2017).
I have also taken papers towards a Certificate in Counselling (UCOL, 2006), Bachelor of Arts - Psychology (Massey University, Palmerston North, 2008), Bachelor of Counselling (Weltech 2010), Postgraduate Diploma in Creative Arts Therapy (Whitecliffe College of Arts, 2021)
Hello, I am Xiao, a recent master's graduate in Psychology. My experiences have equipped me with the ability to approach people's unique stories with empathy and an open mind. I have learned that by fostering genuine connections and actively listening, we can not only support others but also help them in their personal growth and well-being.
Institutionalised twice as a teenager, I have since had decades of experience supporting people from varied backgrounds to address challenges with substance abuse and accompanying mental health issues. I have a deep passion for talk therapy, the experience of relationship it can provide, and the potential that such a relationship can have to alter our sense of ourselves and others. I believe that regardless of our personal history, we each have great potential for change, and that a large part of this change can come about through the process of learning to become curious about ourselves.