Mt Eden Counselling and Psychotherapy

About us

Mt Eden Counselling and Psychotherapy began in 1994 by Anya Godwin and her husband Sirr Christoffersen, offering counselling from their private practice, to the central Auckland community.

Anya Godwin has a Diploma in Psychosynthesis Counselling (1993-95) and Postgraduate Creative Art Therapy (AUT 2000-2002) and has been a member of New Zealand Association of Counsellors since 1993. She has worked with children in various ways for over 40 years. Training in counselling and therapy was a natural extension of many years of making music, art and craft and offering relaxation to groups for children both in her voluntary and professional work.

Through expressive holistic approaches as well as more structured and skill based counselling, Anya draws on over 25 years’ experience as a practitioner. Anya has been working as a Child Focused Counsellor since 2003. She offers this service to children and families experiencing behavioural or trauma issues as well as offering one-on-one parenting consultations. She is wholeheartedly committed to counselling children using a combination of cognitive and creative therapies.

Professional and Confidential

Child Focused Counselling has developed over the past 25 years as people have become more aware of professionals offering ways to support them and their children, whether it is healing trauma and abuse, or facing issues in everyday life.

Children's needs are at the forefront of counselling and the emphasis is on developing an understanding of the current behaviours and concerns to generate compassion and kindness and return to a happier home.

We understand that for many people, deciding to come to a counsellor or therapist, especially for the first time, is a carefully considered step and is placing a great deal of trust in the person they see. Confidentiality and respect are therefore key parts of counselling and psychotherapy and we will discuss this with you in the first session.

What you can expect

For the first session parents and care givers are asked to come along by themselves so we can hear their concerns. This gives an opportunity to see what counselling is appropriate for the situation. During this first session, a plan will be discussed that may include contact with other people in the child's life, and how the communication between everybody involved will work.

Following this consultation children attend either on their own, together with a parent or in any other suitable configuration of the family that best suits the circumstances of the child. The children and adolescents are offered an age-appropriate variety of toys, games, and crafts to use during the sessions. They may be encouraged to talk and draw, write stories, poems or songs that describe their experiences.

Through dialogue and expression children feel heard and valued knowing their concerns are being taken seriously. As each child is unique, and their developmental needs differ, children are offered strategies that are most appropriate for them. These may be a combination of creative ways of healing, and/or more cognitive and practical strategies.  Basic neuroscience is also introduced to increase self-esteem. Caregivers and parents, as well as the children are encouraged to learn age-appropriate brain science to recognise how the brain governs our behaviour and choices. It offers hope to disidentify from their struggle with the difficult behaviours, and opens the way for compassionate change.

Physical environment

Our counselling room is a warm, cosy, sunny room within a small separate building with French doors opening out to our garden. There are plenty of toys and art materials for everyone to see and comfortable chairs and blankets for those winter sessions, or for relaxation exercises.

Unfortunately, we do not have a waiting room at present. There is usually plenty of street parking.


You'll find a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere here at Mt Eden Counselling & Psychotherapy. Our counselling room is inviting to children when it is all set up with toys and craft activities.

We make attempts to offer kindly professional connections with children and adults alike with a warm and friendly atmosphere