Team

Our facilitators are diverse with experience and knowledge, but we are unified with our kind, honest and empathetic approach to addiction recovery/rehabilitation.

This is our team

Founder and director Seija Brogi
Founder & director

Seija Brogi

As founder/director of Ruby Retreat, my vision is to offer my knowledge and the wisdom of other wonderful practitioners, to those that would like to heal from addiction.

As founder/director of Ruby Retreat, my vision is to offer my knowledge and the wisdom of other wonderful practitioners, to those that would like to heal from addiction. Supporting participants to break the addictive cycle with tools and a deeper understanding of their addiction, their trauma, their needs, and ways to move forward to a more rewarding life.

My learning journey has included studying nutrition, herbalism, social services/human welfare and in 2024 I will begin a post-grad in mental health and addiction. However, I am mostly experienced in addiction, being in recovery myself for 13 years. During this time my experience has shown me how important it is to recover on all levels, this is why my studies have been so vast.

I have been dreaming of setting up retreats for addicts, like me, for years and I’m excited to get to this point. So whether it is nutritional, naturopathic, yogic or an addiction consult I will bring my all, including my humanness.

Reiki massage therapist and yoga instructor Nikki Fitzgerald
Yoga teacher & massage/reiki therapist

Nikki Fitzgerald

As an experienced yoga and reiki teacher, I love bringing breath and body awareness to my lessons to offer a point of connection to self.

As an experienced yoga and reiki teacher, I love bringing breath and body awareness to my lessons to offer a point of connection to self. I have recently studied trauma-informed yoga and I’m very interested in sharing what I have learnt to help facilitate the healing journey.

At Ruby Retreat I will offer trauma-informed yoga and reiki/massage treatments.

Compassionate communicator Irma Jager
Compassionate communicator

Irma Jager

I first became aware of Non-Violent Communication (NVC) in 2004 and have actively developed this new language through attending workshops, taking part in and leading practice groups.

I first became aware of Non-Violent Communication (NVC) in 2004 and have actively developed this new language through attending workshops, taking part in and leading practice groups. I have been facilitating NVC courses in the Nelson/Tasman area for five years and worked as a communication consultant in the business environment. I am a candidate for CNVC certification since the beginning of 2020. I get the opportunity to role-model authentic communication in a range of volunteer positions in community groups (e.g. as a volunteer fire fighter).

In my role as a health coach, I have supported people with eating addictions and thus supported on both a practical and emotional level. The magic of truly listening and giving empathy to people - as opposed to giving advice and wanting to ‘fix’ someone’s problem - is a profound experience for me.

I am passionate about empowering people about their lives and that is why I am excited to be involved in Ruby Retreat where I will be working both in groups and individual sessions.

Counsellor

Gillian Hall

As a counsellor, I’m committed to working alongside people of all ages in their journey of self-discovery.

As a counsellor, I’m committed to working alongside people of all ages in their journey of self-discovery. Grounded in the person-centred approach, I feel that feeling fully heard in a safe and nurturing space, and being accompanied in exploring oneself with curiosity and compassion, can lead towards greater insight and clarity in facing life’s obstacles and challenges.

I am passionate about empowering individuals to become their true authentic selves and at Ruby Retreat, I hope to do this, in group work and private sessions.

Mindfulness meditation teacher Francesco Brogi
Meditation teacher

Francesco Brogi

I have been exploring diverse contemplative practices including meditation since 2014 with a focus on Tibetan Buddhism.

I have been exploring diverse contemplative practices including meditation since 2014 with a focus on Tibetan Buddhism. This experiential learning has brought clarity and wellness to my life and addiction.

I am looking forward to sharing meditation at Ruby Retreat, working in groups, privately and in nature.

Art therapist Katy Hassall
Art psychotherapist

Katy Hassall

I am an art psychotherapist based in the Nelson/Tasman area. Art psychotherapy is a person-centred approach that allows a space for people to communicate, share and grow what may be difficult to express with words.

I am an art psychotherapist based in the Nelson/Tasman area. Art psychotherapy is a person-centred approach that allows a space for people to communicate, share and grow what may be difficult to express with words. Art materials are used in a confidential space to explore emotions, improve self-esteem, relieve stress, manage addictions, alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression, and cope with a physical illness or disability.

I am passionate about my work as an art psychotherapist and I commit to supporting and empowering young people and their whānau.

During the retreat, I will lead an art therapy group and will be available for further one-to-one sessions. I am looking forward to sharing mindfulness and meditation at Ruby Retreat, working in groups, privately and in nature.

Counsellor and breathworker Robin Woodfords
Counsellor, breathworker & family constellator

Robin Woodfords

My first training was in Counselling in my early 20’s. I loved working with people as they nutted out issues that were troubling them.

My first training was in Counselling in my early 20’s. I loved working with people as they nutted out issues that were troubling them. I went deeper into the process of working with people and explored various modalities of training in Psychotherapy. I came across Breathwork in the mid-’80s and found it to be both powerful and transformational.

I have worked with the Breath and the Mind ever since. I completed an initial Breathwork 6-month course in 1986. I have since studied the Breath and Breathwork techniques internationally and found out all I could about working with the Breath psychotherapeutically. I completed several years of intensive training in the USA and Europe. I have also done extensive training in Family Constellation work.

Breathwork is incorporated into my general practice as a key component of healing and exploration. There are many ways in which Breathwork may benefit my clients. Most important of all is that it opens them up to their deeper self and enables insights that are beyond the mental plane.

Breathwork cleans out the internal energy pipes, you might say, and leaves one a place of clarity and peace.

Mentor Donna Matson
Mentor

Donna Matson

Kia ora, my name is Donna I hale from the far north, my Iwi are Ngati Kuri, Te Rarawa and Ngati Whatua and have recently moved to Nelson.

Kia ora, my name is Donna I hale from the far north, my Iwi are Ngati Kuri, Te Rarawa and Ngati Whatua and have recently moved to Nelson. My work over the years has predominately been supporting those seeking recovery.

I look forward to meeting you on your journey to wellness. During the retreat, I will be working in a mentor/support role and helping to facilitate 12 step work.

Adventure therapist Anna Louise Li
Adventure therapist

Anna Louise Li

Kia ora koutou. As an occupational therapist using adventure therapy, I am passionate about supporting people to live a more meaningful life through connecting with nature, themselves and each other.

Kia ora koutou. As an occupational therapist using adventure therapy, I am passionate about supporting people to live a more meaningful life through connecting with nature, themselves and each other. Using strength and solution-focused approach in my mahi, I facilitate activities followed by guided reflection to support individuals to find their own answers and inner wisdom. I believe in the power of overcoming challenges in a safe social, emotional and physical environment to support our learning and healing. Mā te wā.
Acupuncturist Andrew Perzigian
Acupuncturist

Andrew Perzigian

I’m a practitioner of acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine in the Nelson - Tasman region. Before moving to New Zealand in 2019, I completed my studies and practiced in San Francisco.

I’m a practitioner of acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine in the Nelson - Tasman region. Before moving to New Zealand in 2019, I completed my studies and practiced in San Francisco. While in school, I fulfilled a portion of my clinic hours at an ear acupuncture clinic that was founded to provide free health care for San Francisco’s underserved homeless population. It was then that I first experienced and witnessed the profound effect ear acupuncture, and specifically, the NADA protocol, can have for those in recovery or currently suffering from addiction and trauma.

The NADA protocol is a prescribed acupuncture treatment where needles are placed in five points in each ear and participants sit quietly for 30 to 45 minutes.

A few years later, I volunteered for the Cover Project, an acupuncture and mindfulness-based initiative that provided ear acupuncture for incarcerated veterans of the US military who suffered from addiction and PTSD. This weekly stint in the San Francisco jail system was unbelievably heartening. At first, the guards seemed skeptical of our role at the jail and reminded me each week to “not get in the way”. After a couple of months, guards began opening up and explaining how profound the acupuncture has been for the wards of the jail that received the treatments. The inmates echoed the same sentiment. Eventually, guards started scheduling their break time to participate in the acupuncture sessions alongside the inmates. This was a first for the jail, a setting where guards and inmates participated in activities alongside each other.

Although most of my time as an acupuncturist has been spent in private practice, it is my experience in the ear clinic and later, the Cover Project, that has been among the most inspirational and rewarding of my career.

At the Ruby Retreat, I will offer the NADA protocol to treat participants in a group setting. Anyone who is shy of needles or prefers not to get ear acupuncture is welcome to join if only for a quiet space to reflect or meditate.

Professional care in both the private and group therapy sessions.

Whakapā mai

We would love to hear from you