Athena Hemming 

MARCH 2020 These are strange times in deed  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 How did Clovis - 19 influence sessions with me?  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 meaning we hit the ground running when things start to return to full social contact. Of course though, energetically speaking, Skype or phone sessions usually don'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 counsellor. 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 yo have any questions. 

I qualified as a counselling psychologist 35 years ago, however my personal development and experience over the years means that my work is now more accurately described  by the title HEART AND MIND COACH.

Here are some recent testimonials.

"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 ❤"

"In the course of our couples counselling and also one on one counselling my wife and I not only resolved the situation, but also made some important discoveries about our own individual selves; what created the situation we had reached, the personal things that pushed our buttons, our personal needs and desires. Athena helped make sense of nonsensical decisions on my part, and the reasons behind the deterioration of my wife and my relationship, mostly a communication breakdown.We are so good now, and so happy, and so are just so so grateful to Athena. She was for a time the most important person in our lives and she saved us. " (Couple - 2 children)

"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." (28yr old man.)

"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." (Woman 30's)

"Things have been going great, my routines a still a bit off to say the least but my mentality is way better about things in my life.  I have been taking breaks when need be but so far I spend most of my week at uni happily being myself ...... 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 :)" (University student)

"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. " (Parent of teenagers.)

"I came to Athena because I could not loose weight. This was just the beginning of the journey. I did not realise this because I had not addressed other issues . She helped me understand them, and after a few sessions, I not only found the will power to focus on loosing kilos, I managed to be happy for the first time in years. As a public sector CEO my work can be stressful but Athena gave me the energy and inner calmness to do great. She always brought a different perspective and made me think deeper into my life, past and present. Thanks Athena." (Public sector CEO)

This site has the following pages:

  • This page - An introduction for you as a potential client
  • Get to know me - How I think, some articles I've written and other thoughts
  • My History - A bit about me and my past including my varied training
  • By calling my company Heart and Mind I am saying that my goal is to bring more love and more consciousness into living!

    Working together you will discover more about yourself and why you act in a certain way. You will become more aware of your feelings and where they come from, enabling you to manage them better. As a result there is a sense of freedom to be who you really are, or want to be.  You will live your life with more energy. You will be able to balance your feelings, health and purpose. 

    My clients, who range from students to executives, come to me for a variety of reasons: because they are sad or stressed or have reached a crisis in life. Whatever the reason you are looking to create change. Our sessions are often dynamic and at times I will challenge you to look at situations in a different light. By uniting our efforts, many of my clients have managed to find the real cause for their issues. They tell me they have conquered their weight, improved their relationships and are performing their best at theirwork or life. How wonderful is that?!? 

    How do I work?

    There are a variety of ways I work to increase awareness and understanding, including presenting new ideas and looking underneath the surface reactions.  Every session for me is an act of creativity. Although it’s scary I often don’t have a plan; with a client’s permission I let my intuition guide us ‘off piste’, into uncharted territory and come face to face with the unexpected! Sometimes it can feel  profound, sometimes simple. It is intriguing and interesting and, surprisingly enough, often results in a huge sense of relief. Together we become intrepid explorers into the aspects of your wonderful-big-self that are presently unnoticed, locked up, hidden out of view or misunderstood . If you have a “but what about….” (fear), I say “Good”, you are aware of it. Now let’s bring more love and consciousness to everything.

    What am I passionate about?

    If you were to ask me what I am passionate about in my life I would say without hesitation  “the earth” and then I’d quickly change that and say “love”! More love. More love in people’s lives and more love for our beautiful planet. I firmly believe these two things go together. We don’t have space or energy  to love the planet if we don’t love ourselves and each other. (well that’s not true for a few rare individuals who are crusading for change despite all odds)

    So every little step towards more love is exciting for me. Every INSIGHT means more consciousness, more choices, more understanding, more acceptance and eventually more love!

    What is an insight

    I’m using this word to mean an “aha” moment when I suddenly recognise or understand how something or someone is influencing my life.

    It might have been going on for a long time.

    “Oh! I’m just like my mother in that respect” – insight

    “Oh, I don’t want to be like my mother !” – and there is the judgement.

    Yes, an insight might be something I don’t particularly like realising because it implies I am not quite the person I thought I was. It is often a little uncomfortable initially. On the good side though I find insights expand my perception of what’s going on around me.  Insights definitely increase my appreciation of life.

    At the moment of an insight we step into the unknown  by adding something new to our self-knowledge  we EXPAND, ( get bigger, are literally enlightened on a certain  matter). Feeling love, feeling expanded and experiencing lightness-of-being are often described together. On the flip side feeling contracted, afraid or angry and closed-hearted are also often linked.

    The things that weigh us down or make us feel heavy hearted are many and varied including self-judgments, stress, frustration, illness and pain, relationship issues, worry and confusion (in any amount).

    How can I help?

    So here are some of the reasons you might want to come and see me and that I am used to being able to help people with.

    • You are feeling really upset or distressed about someone or something that has happened
    • You may suffer from anxiety, panic attacks or depression. Maybe you want to understand why you, in particular, are like this?  
    • You may be unhappy with how your relationship is going, with you partner, parents, work associates or children.
    • Maybe you are be being bullied or harassed.
    • You may feel stuck. Have an addiction.
    • You could have a habit of using weed or other drugs as a crutch
    • You might be aware of a past event or pain holding you back.
    • You may not be in a crisis but simply feel like something is missing, maybe life lacks overall purpose.

    The bigger picture

     If  that which is outside ourselves, (our society, and planet),  is a reflection of that which is inside ourselves, (internal state of being - emotional, mental and spiritual) ..... then...... We’re in a bit of a pickle, aren’t we? Lots of room for more healing. Lots of room for more love!


    Since I’ve come back to work I’ve noticed how much easier it is to see a counsellor, there are more of us and it is more generally acceptable for anyone to seek help. I’m working with some clients who have already made good changes throughout  their life and they trust that when they need it, they can just do a little fine tuning. I feel proud to be part of this movement in our culture towards an acceptance of personal growth, acceptance of seeking mental and emotional health. I feel proud to be part of a movement that actively strives for love and awareness, that strives to heal all wounds – physical, mental and emotional.

    How to work with me:


    I assume you are here because you want to be here. I too make a choice to spend this time with you because I want to. I make a commitment to serve you, to use my time, skills and experience to help you achieve your goals.
    I qualified as a counselling psychologist over 35 years ago. Now I call myself a HEART AND MIND COACH. You can ask me anything, or read more about my journey to this moment, but the most important thing is that I am a whole person with a resolution to relate in a real way. Sometimes you’ll see me laugh, cry, get confused, show anger and beat around the bush! By understanding and accepting myself I can support you doing the same. For me, with trust, this develops our relationship as a sincere friendship, something to value.
    If you have particular expectations of me let’s discuss them as we go along. I will do my best for you, to respect who you are, recognise all the different parts of you, care for you and give you space to grow. I give myself the same.
    The money you pay me helps me and my family live, work and enjoy being here in the Hutt Valley.
    With this in mind I look forward to a mutually rewarding relationship.


    Face to face Sessions - $90 for each hour.
    Phone Sessions - By arrangement.
    Overruns - Pro-rata if the session runs more than 15 mins over. This will be by arrangement at the time.
    No Shows - $45 if not advised before 8pm the day before the session.
    Emails and Txt messages - I normally don't charge extra for these provided they are not too frequent or lengthy. If I feel that they are replacing a normal session then I will charge $90/hour to respond. I will let you know before doing so.

    MY Working hours and holidays 

    I work from 11 am until 8:30; Monday to Thursday and Saturdays. (with meal breaks!).

    I do not work public holidays and I take a weeks break about every 3 months. This is so I stay fresh and happy! 

    I am unavailable over the Christmas break between the 21st Dec through to the 5th Jan.

    Contact me:


    Phone: 021 130 6973

    Home Office Address:

    75 Totara Park Road 

    Totara Park 

    Upper Hutt