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Mara Elwood BA, B Ed., MA Ed.,
MA CAT Hons., AThR

Certified Mindful Self-Compassion Teacher

Certified in MARI

Mara Headshot Website-5.jpg

Mara is a Registered Creative Arts Therapist, Mindfulness and Meditation teacher and creative. Mara is a member of Australia, New Zealand and Asia Creative Arts Therapist Association (ANZACATA).   

During her studies at Whitecliffe for her Masters of Arts in Creative Arts Therapy (Clinical), Mara engaged with clients in groups and individually. She studied Focusing Oriented Arts Therapy (FOAT), Nature-Based Expressive Arts Therapy, and has her Level 2 training in Stand Tray and Symbol Work.  Mara loves to work with Mandalas and is certified in the Mandala Assessment and Research Instrument (MARI). Mara's Master's dissertation was focussed on living with chronic pain and working in the health care profession. Mara looks forward to using her learning from her own journey with chronic pain to guide her when working with clients who are experiencing this challenge.


Mara also holds a Master of Arts degree in teaching and has taught a wide variety of ages. She is a prolifically creative person and brings this energy to the way she engages with people. She believes that everyone is inherently creative. Her practice has focussed mainly on Adults and Youth clients and Mara enjoys the unique challenges each client brings to the therapy space.

Mara is certified to teach Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) and offers regular classes and workshops in MSC and Mindfulness and Meditation. Mara also gives talks, and offers workshops to teachers, and health care professionals, or one-to-one coaching in meditation, mindfulness, and compassion. She believes that presenting mindfulness, meditation, and compassion training in a secular way, may enhance their availability and reach in the world.

Mara has studied Vipassana and Transcendental Meditation, and received training in MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction), Non-violent Communication (with Marshal Rosenberg), and Trauma Sensitive Mindfulness. Mara has also completed training in MSC for teens and Activity-based Mindfulness for Children.  She regularly attends 10-day residential mediation retreats in New Zealand and abroad, committed to continuing her growth in Mindfulness and Meditation.

Mara immigrated to New Zealand from Canada in 2014 with her partner and two children.  Has lived on Waiheke, in Auckland and currently lives and works in Island Bay, Wellington.

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