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Our Global Associates

Through the Centre for Response-Based Practice-Interior Region, we work and collaborate with a wide variety of colleagues from all over the world. We would like to introduce you to those who are delivering online counselling services from a Response-Based perspective.

Bren Balcombe: Aotearoa/New Zealand

Kia ora..! greetings from the land of Aotearoa/New Zealand. The Island I reside is known by tangata whenua (people of the land) as “Te Ika a Māui” (the fish of Māui). This originates from the legend of Māui who pulled up the land on his fishing hook. English colonialists uninventively renamed this place the “North Island”. The tribal area we live in is called, “Te Matau a Māui” (the mouth of the fish) or Heretaunga (Here, ‘to tie’, taunga, ‘to come to rest’, i.e., the resting place of the canoe) and is the tribal lands of Ngāti Kahungunu. Despite these perfectly adequate place names Colonists re-named this area Hawkes Bay. The great geographical curve of Hawkes Bay is Māui fishing hook. The township we reside is Ahuriri (aka Napier). My ancestors settled in Aotearoa in 1871 and came from Norway, Scotland, and England. I am connected to this land by birth and whānau (family). I am cis-gendered hetero male in partnership with Kelly Forrest with whom together we have helped raise seven children.

My mahi (work) is counselling. I operate a private practice and have worked for many years in both Māori and Pākehā (non-Maori) led social services agencies as a counsellor and consultant. My beginnings in counselling originated from Vipassana meditation as taught by S. N. Goenka which I have studied and practiced since 1990. This interest in the mind/body experiential learning handed down from Siddhartha Gautama over 2500 years ago led to a desire to help others. Having traversed many personal difficulties in life, I felt this provided me with a richness of life experience and therefore in 1999, I began psychotherapy training. Initially, narrative therapy was influential to me and over time I have come to appreciate many ways of understanding. My tohu (qualification) is a Master’s degree in professional practice and my focus is Response-Based practice for counselling, EAP, and supervision. I am not a specialist in one area, but I do a lot of work in the area of sexualised violence, grief, oppression, and working with couples. Finally, I am director and co-founder of RBPAotearoa along with Donny Riki (Ngāpuhi & Ngāti Paoa) and my Hoa Rangatira (life partner) Kelly Forrest.

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Kelly Forrest: Aotearoa/New Zealand

Ka nunui te mihi aroha ki ōu Atua, me ōu whenua, ā, ōu tupuna hoki. Ka korero ahau i tēnei mihi i te reo māori tuatahi nō tēnei whenua, kei mua te reo pākeha tuarua. Ko tēnei te mihi ki te wāhi o tōku kainga. I nga wā o mua i tae mai ōku tūpuna kei te noho rātou ki te whatumanawa o Kahurānaki, te wāhi whangāia o Heretāunga i te taha ō Tukituki. I tae mai rātou nō uropi kei runga i ngā waka City of Auckland rāua ko Westland, a, he Pākeha ahau. Ko Kelly Forrest toku ingoa. E tipu ana ahau i Heretāunga, ēngari, kei Ahuriri e noho ana inaianei.

I greet you this way to tell you that from under the eye of the mountain Kahurānaki in the East of the North Island of Aotearoa, and alongside the Tukituki river is the land where I was born and that I call home. My ancestors are from Poland, England, Germany, Scotland, and the Shetland Islands. Some of these ancestors were brought to Aotearoa by two ships called “Westland” and “The City of Auckland” finding their way to the Hawke Bay. My name is Kelly Forrest. With my husband and children, I now reside in Ahuriri/Napier in Aotearoa.

I am a registered Psychotherapist and Certified Hakomi Therapist (CHT) with a particular focus of partnership, as required by the principles of Tiriti O Waitangi/the Treaty of Waitangi. In my therapeutic approach I weave together knowledges from Hakomi therapy and Response Based Practice which draw collectively on principles of awareness, mindfulness, non-violence, and dignity. I have been strongly moved by my training in kaupapa Māori approaches, for both their strength, and holistic appropriateness for working within an Aotearoa context. Alongside my private practice I have also worked within agencies that have strong kaupapa Māori frameworks. All these frameworks lend themselves to gathering an understanding of how we are consistently responding to the world & others and how we make choices to live.

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Dr. Tania Aguirre Solorio

Tania has 13 years of experience working with individuals and couples. Her area of concentration includes working for individuals who have experienced violence in any form. She also works with couples and the diverse challenges couples experience at different moments in their relationship and interactions within the relationship and the broader context.

At the core of Tania´s practice is the acknowledgment of people’s preexisting abilities for safety and dignity. She focuses on bringing forward people’s everyday responses to dilemmas and oppression. Her work is very influenced by antiracist and anticolonial theories and practices from the Global South.

Tania is also interested in exploring with people their experiences and practices of sexuality from a Response Based Practice approach which upholds dignity, responses, and safety.

Her academic research centers on the exploration of the body and bodily experiences as intentional ethical responses for safety and dignity. She has a private practice in México where she was born, raised and where she currently lives. Tania has a Master’s Degree in family therapy, is certified in Response-Based Practice, and has a Doctoral Degree in Women and Gender Studies.

Aotearoa/New Zealand

Donny Riki is a Māori healer of Ngāpuhi and Ngāti Paoa descent, currently living in Levin New Zealand. Donny carries the insights and authority of “taonga tuku iho” (spiritual inter-generational intelligence) which informs her clinical practice as a psychotherapist. She has long standing relationships with whenua (land) and the natural world which spans across generations, and shares this relevance to trauma recovery and response-based practice. Donny continues the crusade for cultural redress, equity and social justice in Aotearoa (New Zealand). She is a fierce warrior, a pioneer, an artist and a kick arse grandmother.

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Morgan MacCarl, M.C., RCC

Morgan’s area of experience and specialty is working with youth and adults who are struggling with experiences of grief and loss, separation/divorce, and violence.

Morgan’s approach to grief and loss recognizes that how we respond to loss, and our experience of grief, is very personal and highly influenced by our social systems and the responses of those around us.

When supporting individuals going through separation/divorce, and the youth experiencing their parents’ separation or divorce, her focus is on eliciting the many ways that her clients are responding to the situation and potential violence in a way that highlights their dignity, intelligence, and resourcefulness. Her approach with people who use violence is to help them recognize their ability to control their behaviours and build on this ability and responsibility in situations that they currently chose to act violently. Morgan also works with individuals struggling with anxiety and depression from a systems’ focused perspective.

Morgan grew up in North Vancouver and Kelowna. She then spent 18 years living on south Vancouver Island and just recently has moved back to the Okanagan to be closer to family. She is a Registered Clinical Counsellor (RCC) with a Master’s of Counselling from City University of Seattle (Langford Campus). She has 8 years of experience supporting adolescents, individual adults, and couples. She also has a Bachelor of Science degree focusing on conservation and ethno-ecology. This background in ecology, and appreciation of Indigenous knowledge and stewardship of ecological systems, provided her a foundation in systems theory once she shifted to counselling as a profession. She believes that our thoughts, actions, and behaviours cannot be taken out of context and when we understand them within the context of our historical and current environments, then we can clearly see the persistent signs of mental wellness and resistance to external challenges.

Working within a Response-Based and Systems-focus lens Morgan integrates her advanced training in mindfulness strategies, body-centred therapies, solutions-focused therapy, and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy to help her clients navigate particularly overwhelming responses to circumstances.

Morgan has a flexible schedule and is able to offer evening and weekend sessions. She is currently offering online and telephone sessions but will soon have in-person services in Kelowna and Vernon. Please send an email by clicking Send Email.

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