Listening therapy

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  It takes two to speak the truth: one to speak, the other
to listen.

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Welcome to Joya

Tomatis based Listening Training is a profoundly effective form of therapy for children and adults with Autism, Aspergers Syndrome and related disorders. Based close to the heart of sunny Nelson, the Joya Centre is the first residential facility in New Zealand to offer this unique and transformative alternative to mainstream treatment.

Good listening skills provide us with the tools to change our perspective on life and become more competent and focused. Listening not only helps us to understand and accept ourselves better but also 'teaches' us how to to have an open ear for the needs and wishes of those around us. Besides the bonus of this more psychologically-oriented benefit of the method, Listening has been hugely effective across a wide variety of applications. For more than 60 years, this method has helped thousands of people: those with concentration, memorisation and learning problems; those who - like Yehudi Menuhin, Pavarotti and Sting - want to boost their creative skills as a musician or performer; those who feel depleted through illness or surgery; people who have had a stroke; as well as those who simply want to improve their hearing or energy levels.

"Alfred Tomatis opened me up to language. Before Tomatis, I could not complete any of my sentences. It was he who helped give continuity to my thoughts, and it was he who gave me the power to synthesize and understand what I was thinking." Gerard Depardieu

Paulina Aarts

Joya was founded by Paulina Aarts, a Dutch psychotherapist and educator, who moved to New Zealand in September 2000. In the Netherlands, Paulina combined working as a journalist with a private practice as a psychotherapist. She investigated issues that were close to her heart: psychology, education and environmental and political activism.

Paulina’s media background added an extra dimension when targeting both professionals and the general public during a nationwide child abuse awareness programme. Thus working within and outside of the framework of institutionalised health care, she developed a taste for subtle, non-medical ways of healing the past. The work of Alfred Tomatis falls into that category.

In 1996, Paulina undertook introductory training in the Tomatis method in the Paris centre, in the process of researching a documentary. She became enthused and chose to have some first-hand experience. Noticing the profound effect the method had on herself and her children she decided that the time was ripe for a major change in direction and lifestyle. She left journalism altogether. Before emigrating and moving to Nelson, she finalised her training in London and Sydney.

Joya was set up to continue her work as a therapist and to provide an outlet for Listening Training in one of the most attractive and inspirational places in New Zealand.

What else does Joya have to offer?

Although our primary focus is on Listening Training, Joya also offers a variety of courses and workshops; individual psychotherapy; art therapy and braingym classes, dietary advice and massage. All our services are available on either a residential or outpatient basis at our beautiful Nelson premises, where we aim to provide a supportive environment for those who want to energise and optimise their lives, and those of their children

Find out more

For more detailed information on what Joya has to offer, please browse through the links at left and/or come to one of our Open Days. Generally they are on a monthly basis and are advertised in the Nelson papers. These events are free, but please do contact us in advance to reserve a seat.


The Sri Yantra

The Sri Yantra depicted in the Joya logo is considered a powerful and auspicious geometrical symbol, representing what is said to be the primordial sound Aum. Like all yantras the Sri Yantra is an abstract representation of the creative forces in the cosmos, the 'dance' between the dynamic and static energies. It is meant to offer us a glimpse into the hidden order that lies beneath our own private perception of reality. At Joya we use the Sri Yantra as a logo because we work with similar principles, based upon the belief that there is an inherent balance in life, whether or not we can perceive or appreciate this directly.
Sri Yantra

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