Paul Muir

paul-muirPaul Muir MA (Hons), Dip Jour, CQSW, MANZASW, MNZAC, AMINZ (FDR), SWRB

Tena koutou

Ko Hokonui te maunga

Ko Mataura te awa

Ko Murihiku te whenua engari ko Otautahi taku kainga inaianei

Ko ngati Muir me ko ngati O’Connor nga hapu

No Airana me Koterana aku tupuna

Noreira tena koutou katoa

A mainlander, Paul has over 35 years experience in community and social service organisations. His background includes youth work, social work, family work and supervision of social service staff. He has also worked as a consultant for many years providing support and advice to management and staff.

Paul works primarily in the areas of counselling, supervision and mediation. He is

  • an accredited relationship counsellor and specialist report writer for the Family Court
  • an approved Family Dispute Resolution (FDR) Provider with AMINZ. He also has a contract with FairWay for the provision of family dispute resolution mediation services
  • an ACC approved counsellor in respect of sensitive claims and physical injury trauma related treatment
  • an experienced family therapist
  • trained to work with post-traumatic stress disorder
  • a trained debriefer in respect of critical incident stress management
  • skilled in the areas of supervision, coaching, facilitation and consultancy


Paul has worked with individuals, couples and families for many years. He is able to work with a broad range of issues including

  • relationship difficulties
  • communication problems
  • parenting skills
  • coping with death and dying
  • self-esteem, confidence and assertiveness
  • custody and access (care & contact)
  • child protection and domestic violence problems
  • addressing sexual, emotional and physical abuse
  • management of stress, anxiety and depression
  • violence and anger management
  • coping with traumatic events
  • conflict resolution
  • workplace relations, organisational change, employment and redundancy

Supervision and Coaching

Paul offers supervision to social service staff and other professionals who require a forum for confidential support in their work. This can be provided on an individual, peer or team basis.

Paul supports business managers, providing the opportunity to address personal growth and development issues using mentoring and life coaching techniques. Paul is experienced in using solution-focused methods that make a positive difference. He also provides consultancy and reporting advice to businesses and social service managers

Paul will work with you to establish the best way to provide the support you want. Many clients have called on his expertise when they are ‘stuck’ with a problem or when things are stressful and ‘time out’ is required to review what is happening. Many want a neutral environment where they can explore issues and come up with ideas for positive change, both at a personal and organisational level. Paul will negotiate a deal to suit your needs. Sessions can be a ‘one off’ arrangement through to regularly contracted sessions on an ongoing basis

Paul is an experienced facilitator and enjoys working with staff groups wanting to develop healthy, functioning teams.

Tony Morrison is a significant influence on Paul’s approach to supervision, especially in relation to clinical and child protection supervision. This includes teamwork and team building methods and his work on Staff Supervision in Social Care (2005). Other influences include Don Fergus, in particular the Rhombus model, Dr Michael Carroll and Dr Daphne Hewson. I am currently interested in the work of Peter Hawkins and Robin Shohet especially the ‘Seven Eyed Model’ and its application to supervision in both individual and group work


Paul is experienced in working with conflict and finding creative solutions to problems. He has worked in family dispute resolution processes, primarily with Family Court clients, for 20 years.

He has also had experience in the resolution of employment related matters, including personality conflicts, role demarcations, and disputes over business goals and direction

He is influenced by the work of Roger Fisher & William Jury, Dudley Weeks and John Haynes.

Paul is familiar with the April 2014 family justice legislative reforms, in particular the Family Dispute Resolution (FDR) mediation processes and procedures. Paul is also contracted as a Provider of FDR services with FairWay

Special Interests

Paul has the following areas of special interest

Family Work. Paul was a Member of the Christchurch Family Therapy Interest Group from 1985-1995. He draws inspiration from Narrative therapy training with Michael White, David Epston & Johnella Bird. He is also familiar with a range of other approaches and models, such as Solution Focused Brief Therapy and Imago Techniques, which he would use depending on the presenting issues of the clients and/or family

Relationship Building.  In addition to the training in narrative therapy with White, Epston & Bird noted above Paul uses a range of counselling approaches including Person Centred, Solution Focused Brief Therapy (de Shazer & Berg), Imago techniques (Hendrix & LaKelly-Hunt) and the work of John Gottman. Influences on couple work include Carter & Walters, Saunders & Robinson, Paul Gibney and Dan Wile

Abuse Treatment and Recovery. Paul works with abuse and trauma survivors. He has a contract with ACC to work with victims of sexual abuse and physical injury. Paul is Co Director of Optimum Solutions Ltd which was approved in October 2014 to supply services for abuse victims –  He has had extensive training in this field from the likes of Dr Christine Courtois, Mike Lew, Dr James Chu, Daniel Siegel, John Briere, Constance Dalenberg, Bruce Perry and Karlen Lyons-Ruth. Paul uses a range of treatment modalities including the Cognitive Behavioural ideas of Leah Giarratano and NLP techniques

Violence Prevention. Paul is trained in anger management techniques (McMasters & Meager) and has worked with others over many years on strategies in managing and preventing family violence including training with Jacquelyn Campbell and Shari Barkin

Stress Management. Paul trained in Critical Incident Stress Management, including debriefing techniques, with Melbourne based psychologist Rob Gordon. Paul has also had training in PTSD treatment (Giarratano & James)