Talking Mats

We have two Accredited Talking Mats® trainers now so we are offering this training with our colleagues from TalkLink. Talking Mats originated in Scotland and has been used now around the world to enable people to give their views.

Please email courses@talklink.org.nz if you would like to register for one of the dates below or enquire about us running a course in your area or for your organisation.

Could Talking Mats help you?

Talking Mats® has the potential for use with a wide range of people. It is a visual framework, which helps people think about issues and provides them with a way of expressing their views more easily e.g. how they feel about their activities, their skills, where they live, the care they receive, what their views are about topics that might be difficult to discuss e.g. their mental well-being, their safety, decisions about their future. Professionals using Talking Mats have included Occupational Therapists, Dieticians, Doctors, Nurses, Advocacy Workers, Service Planners, Social Workers, Speech-Language Therapists, Lawyers, Care Workers, Teachers, Rehabilitation Assistants, Researchers, Psychologists.

Talking Mats is a reflective listening tool that can help anybody have a conversation on a specific topic, but has been often used with people of all ages and abilities (children, young people and adults, and those with speech, language, communication and learning difficulties arising from a wide range of causes e.g. intellectual disability, stroke, dementia, neurological difficulties, mental health issues etc).

Course Format

This one-day Foundation Training Course delivered by Talking Mats Accredited Trainers, combines hands-on experience of Talking Mats with role-play, discussion and reflection of the use of the tool in a variety of real-life situations. The morning will provide background information, experience opportunities to use Talking Mats, useful models to think about communication and complexity of language. There will also be film footage of a range of people with communication difficulties using Talking Mats. The afternoon will focus on using Talking Mats in real life situations and planning how to develop its use in participants’ own work environment.

Each participant will receive a resource as part of the course (three sets of option cards) and will also have access to purchasing further sets at a much-reduced price. Participants select a resource most suited for their client group to accompany their training from the sets below.

Advanced and specialist packs (Keeping Safe, Eating and Drinking and Advanced Care) are not provided as one of the choices included in the Foundation Training Course fee.

Comments from a couple of the participants on the Talking Mats Foundation Course recently delivered in November in Wellington.

The framework is so simple yet so revealing. I will use the mats to test our campaign designs with young people and ideas of how the community can support them

Learned: the power of such a conversation in discovering in a short time so much about our client.


Dates now out for the first half of next year.

See more course information

  • Auckland, Thursday 21st February, 2019
    TalkLink Trust, Building 51, Entry 3, Unitec, Carrington Road, Mount Albert
    Paid parking is available on the Unitec Campus, or free parking on surrounding streets.
  • New Plymouth, Tuesday 12th March, 2019
    FULL
  • Rotorua. Tuesday 19th March, 2019
    Totara Room, Rotorua Youth Centre
  • Christchurch, Tuesday 7th May, 2019
    St Barnabas Church, Fendalton
  • Dunedin, Tuesday 2nd April, 2019 Date change – Dunedin now Tuesday 14 May 2019
    venue tbc
  • Wellington, Tuesday 18th June, 2019
    ASB Sports Centre
  • Auckland, Monday 8th July, 2019
    TalkLink Trust, Building 51, Entry 3, Unitec, Carrington Road, Mount Albert
    Paid parking is available on the Unitec Campus, or free parking on surrounding streets.

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