"Haaweatea is a very talented and skilled facilitator. She see's below the surface of people's words and asks pivotal questions...  She skillfully illuminates the truth and from this, I saw women able to let down their guard and practice

being true to themselves"

~ Tiffany Higgins, Co-founder Shifting Gears Experience

“Haaweas presence and authenticity are two of her strongest qualities followed by her

incredible knowledge and experience

working with people on trauma and transformation”

~ Elizabeth Hawkins Robinson, Executive Director ONEFreedom



My name is Haaweatea Holly Bryson (Hāwea) and I look forward to supporting and witnessing you on your journey! I specialize in trauma, transition and transformation. This includes early childhood or adult trauma, existential crisis, family and relationship counseling. We can work together online or in-person. 


I have been fascinated by humans, what we both say, and do not say (but our energy conveys it anyway) since I was small. My personal journey through near-death experiences, significant injuries and illness, and my own spiritual reckoning, shaped my commitment to guiding people through our own power to heal ourselves, to embrace our connection and our uniqueness, and our call towards greater alignment and authenticity.


My māori name Haaweatea means 'to hold space and cut to the essence (with the breath, and the white feather)' - a signal of my ancestors on my maternal side (Kai Tahu and Waitaha are my iwi). I'm also Australian, with Irish, Scottish, English, Viking seafarers.

I look forward to us diving in.

Formal introduction

Haaweatea Holly Bryson, MA

Therapist and Trainer


Haaweatea specializes in trauma, transition and transformation as a Transpersonal Psychotherapist (MA), Wilderness Therapist (MA), Maaori Healing practitioner, Relationship Counsellor, Rites of Passage and Quest guide. 


Her fifteen years in the field has been across: non-profits, prisons, wilderness therapy programs, psychiatric hospitals, addiction centers, indigenous communities, family adventure therapy, street-side work, and private practice.

One of her key foundations is in nature-based or wilderness therapy, experiential facilitation, and adventure therapy. A highlight for her was coordinating 'Bush Circle' for at-risk young people at Weave Youth Family Community, which was casually named "Australia's most successful Indigenous program" in The Australian paper (2014) and selected as a highlighted case-study for Nature-Based Therapy across 14 Countries for the decade ahead at The World Parks Congress (2014- 2024).


She brings a somatic approach to trauma, and to institutions; previously bringing mindfulness, meditation, dance and yoga into prisons with incarcerated women and adolescents.


She is a founding member and lead facilitator of Rooted Within: renewal and recovery for veterans. Re-integration nature retreats for female combat veterans since 2011. 

Haaweatea is passionate about the ressurgance of Rites of Passage and has consulted and supported organizations, and communities in these efforts across Australia, Aotearoa (NZ), China, The US, and Hawai'i since 2010. She co-leads a global training and network in Ceremony & Rites of Passage.

Formal training

Masters in Transpersonal Counseling Psychology and Wilderness Therapy (2009), Naropa University, Colorado.

Bachelor in Science Psychology (2005),  The University of Otago, Aotearoa/ New Zealand

with initial two years Bachelor of Psychology Honors, (2003, 2004), Sydney University, Australia.

Wilderness First Responder: (2006 - 2020): Currently via Base Medical. 

Guide Training in Rites of Passage, Council, and Vision Fast (2013): The School of Lost Borders, California


The Nine Levels of (Vision) Quest; (2015): Malcolm Ringwalt, Australia.

Traditional Maori Healing Practitioner; (2011-2020): with The Maori Healers. Additionally with Wikitoria Oman.

Treatment of Complex Trauma and Trauma Informed Care (2013): via Adults Surviving Childhood Trauma (ASCA).

Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST), (2014): Living Works.

Marumali Culturally Specific Trauma Care for Aboriginal People (2014): SEWB Aboriginal Mental Health and Research Council.

Alcohol and Other Drug Issues, Culturally Appropriate Training for Work with Aboriginal People. (2012). NADA National Alcohol and other Drugs Association.

Dialectical Behavioural Therapy Training (DBT) (2014): Tatra Training.

Narrative Therapy Training (2014). Weave Youth Family Community.

School for Sacred Storytelling (2019, 2020): Speak the Spark.

Smart Recovery Group Therapy Facilitator Training (2012): SMART Recovery.

Path of Freedom Training, Mindfulness, Personal Development and Integrated Leadership for Incarcerated People (2011): Prison Dharma Network

Certified Kundalini Yoga, Meditation, and Conscious Pregnancy Teacher (2007) (2013): Kundalini Research Institute.

Certified SoulSweatTM Dance Instructor (2010) SoulSweatTM, and Dance to be Free (2018) bringing dance into prisons.

Shambhala Mindfulness Training Level 1 (2007): The Shambhala Institute.

SandPlay Therapy (2009): The Rocky Mountain Survivor Center.

Gestalt Therapy Semester 1 (2008): The Gestalt Institute of the Rockies.