Because your support makes a difference!


Empowering rangatahi to unleash their potential through activity-based therapy

"Therapy has helped me to have more freedom in life becuause I have learn't how to use my values."
- Amos

Encounter Therapy uses Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) combined with our activities to challenge thought patterns while creating new ways of thinking to change the direction of a young persons life towards living from their true value. Working with youth aged 11-16 years, Encounter Therapy supports young people towards getting on a better track in life and empowering them with the skills to stay on track towards their potential.

We offer 1-on-1 therapy sessions and group therapy courses. Therapy sessions are activity based, using the learning process of dirt bike riding, surfing and other means as a tool to engage young people.

Encounter Therapy focuses on:

  1. Understanding the individual's needs to tailor effective outcomes for each person.
  2. Strengthening the young person's holistic well-being guided by Te Whare Tapa Whā Māori health model.
  3. Empowering young people to make their own life-changing choices through challenging their thought patterns and teaching them new ways of thinking.


1-on-1 therapy 2 hours $300 per session - recommended to complete eight sessions, one per week, snacks provided.

Eight weeks of group therapy 4 hour sessions $3000 per person - 4-6 participants per group, lunch provided.

For more info please email us on or phone us on 07 218 2113.

Therapy sessions are held at Pongakawa in the WPOB using a qualified therapist and activity instructors.

If you are interested in referring a young person to our services please complete the client referral form below and we will be in contact.

“You’ve helped me change paths and follow the right lines instead of making the wrong decisions and eventually falling off track.” 
- Te Wahira Gardiner

We believe every person has the potential to live life wide open when they have a sense of belonging and believe in their true value! Getting on Youth Encounter's Arotika ki te Kaupapa track (click here to learn more about this). Encounter therapy offers an exciting and exhilarating journey that is twofold – to see their potential unleashed through the activity and in life as they get on track.

Encounter Therapy changes our young people’s mindsets to empower them to get on track so that they can create for themselves the best track forward in life and the tools to stay on that track. Not only will we teach them how to safely ride a dirt bike or navigate the surfing waves, most importantly we will teach them the life techniques that will empower them to take a better track forward!

Encounter Therapy is developed for ‘at risk’ youth – often found struggling with behavioural and social issues, being practical in nature and failing academically by virtue of their circumstances. Through safely facilitating therapy through a thrilling activity, feedback has shown many positive impacts and successful outcomes.

"Youth Encounter always goes the extra mile. There is a focus on both group and one-on-one work and the staff have a great ability to relate the motorbike skills to those that we need to learn in life e.g. self-control. Youth Encounter has the ability to work with Youth Justice Clients who often come for complex backgrounds. It’s through the staff’s enthusiasm, ability to relate to Youth, ability to actively listen, support and be a consistent figure in the young persons life that makes the difference. It is easy to give up on youth that don’t always show their manners, can be unreliable and maybe don’t want to be in the programme to begin with. But it doesn’t take long for Youth Encounter’s staff to find something to connect with these youth over, provide them with a level of trust, be a reliable positive role model, have fun and much more. A young person is often looking for a consistent role model in their life that is going to be reliable and that’s what Youth Encounter can and does offer. I would fully recommend their programme."
- Jordyn Crawford, Youth Justice Social Worker

“I have seen first hand and continue to see teenagers on a journey to becoming responsible leaders from what would otherwise have been a journey towards criminal offending and self-harm. I have also seen plenty of ‘good kids’ benefit from Mary’s training.  They grow in confidence, make friends, learn motor cross skills and learn leadership skills which stands them in good stead to be leaders in their communities.”
- Duncan Jeffery | Senior Constable | Tauranga Police



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