Talking Mats

New Talking Mats set – Aotearoa Rangatahi set

We were excited to launch a new set for our Aotearoa context in October 2021. This set is called the Aotearoa Rangatahi set and has been created by our team at Talking Trouble alongside artist, Carol Green. We have worked with our colleagues at Talking Mats in Scotland to ensure it is consistent with the other sets, and it will be available for purchase from DTLS

The Aotearoa Rangatahi set is based on the original Talking Mats Secondary: Young People from age 13 set however, the option cards reflect the social and cultural context of Aotearoa. The Aotearoa Rangatahi set provides a specially designed visual framework that can be used to enable rangatahi to reflect and express their views on three topics relating to their adolescence:• What I do / My activities – the young person’s experience of activities. • My support – rangatahi experience of the support available to them.• My wellbeing – the young person’s experience of wellbeing.

This Talking Mats set is just one in a series of sets that cover diverse topics and contexts. More information about Talking Mats is available here: Talking Mats Foundation Training enables practitioners to effectively implement the steps involved in carrying out a Talking Mat. Talking Mats Foundation Training is available in Aotearoa NZ: See more course information and book online

Talking Mats

We have three 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.

Check out this article we were interviewed for by Kelly Howard about Talking Mats in the NZ Psychology Association’s publiciation Psychology Aotearoa Talking Mats article Psych Aotearoa

Please fill in the form on the TalkLink website to register or email [email protected] to enquire about us running a course in your area or for your organisation.

Scroll down to see where the next courses are being held in NZ.

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

Online and in-person options are available in Aotearoa now. The in-person 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

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.


Upcoming Talking Mats Courses:

Please make sure you let [email protected] know if you’re interested in attending a course. We can set one up as soon as we have at least 8 people in an area interested. Let us know if you want one in your area or you want one specifically for your organisation. Talking Trouble and TalkLink Accreditated Trainers collaborate to deliver these courses.

Fee: $375 per person (including GST). Fee includes a Talking Mats symbol set of your choosing.

Morning tea provided. BYO lunch.

Courses need a minimum of 8 people to run.

This course is being run with all government guidelines in place. Physical distancing will be observed. Should the situation regarding events change, we will be in touch.

Upcoming Courses

Face to Face


  • Auckland – Thursday February 9th 2023, 9:30am – 4:30pm

    TalkLink Auckland, 13 Coyle Street, Sandringham

    Paid parking available onsite, free parking on the street


  • Waikato – Wed 8th March, 10am – 4:30pm 

    Venue TBC


  • Auckland – Friday May 5th, 9:30am – 4:30pm

    Venue TBC


  • Wellington – Date TBC May – please complete expression of interest form


  • Christchurch – Date TBC May – please complete expression of interest form



Online course dates – must attend all 3 dates within a course to be certified

    • Oneline course (all 3 dates)
      • Wed Feb 1st, 9:30am – 11:30am
      • Wed Feb 15th 9:30am – 11:30am
      • Wed March 15th 9:30am – 11:30am
    • Oneline course (all 3 dates)
      • Tuesday May 23rd 1pm – 3pm
      • Tuesday June 6th 1pm – 3pm
      • Tuesday June 27th 1pm – 3pm



    • Oneline course (all 3 dates)
      • Thursday August 31st 2:30pm – 4:30pm
      • Thursday Sept 14th 2:30pm – 4:30pm
      • Thursday Oct 12th 2:30pm – 4:30pm

Cancellations need to be made at least 5 days prior to the course, no refunds will be given if cancelled within this time. 

Please email [email protected] if you would like to enquire about running a course in your area.

See more course information and book online

Share this page