Lotus and Fern

Psychological Services for Children and Adolescents

The name ‘Lotus and Fern’ was inspired by the two flowers that represent the founder’s cultural identity – Egypt and Aoteoroa. A lotus bud blooms into a beautiful flower, but only after spending a period of time immersed in muddy water. The fronds of a fern (or its leaves) are symbolic of strength and power. Taken together, the lotus and fern have been used to reflect the founder’s view that:

“Hardships are an inevitable part of life. At times, we may feel stuck in ‘muddy water’, but with the right support and tools, we can find the inner strength and power to cultivate something really beautiful”.

Verena founded Lotus and Fern after spending the last few years working with incarcerated adults. While carrying out countless assessment and treatment sessions in this context, one of the things that really stood out to her was how many clients reminisced about the ways that their lives may have been different had they been given the opportunity to learn about themselves and develop more adaptive ways of coping with their challenges as children.

While it is certainly still possible and advantageous for adults to learn more about themselves and practice new ways of coping, these clients often reflected on the opportunities lost, the relationships affected and how much harder it is to engage in this process after decades of seeing themselves or others in an unhelpful light and long histories of turning to maladaptive strategies in an attempt to cope with life’s challenges.

This is what this work is about.

Verena aims to provide as many young people as possible with the support they need to develop the self-confidence, resilience and coping skills to live fulfilling lives sooner rather than later. This is a lifelong investment because learning these skills now will help children and adolescents grow into adults who know themselves, value their worth and cope adaptively with their difficulties. And in turn, adults who truly know and value the worth of others, and possess the capacity to support those around them.

Why Lotus and Fern?

As a client at Lotus and Fern, you can expect a compassionate and collaborative service that is creatively delivered to appeal to young people’s unique interests and needs.


Your feelings will be heard and validated.


We will work together to find ways of helping you live your best life.


It won’t always be easy, but we will think outside the box to make it worthwhile.

Dr. Verena Boshra

BSc (Hons), DClinPsych, MNZPsS

Dr. Verena Boshra is a registered Clinical Psychologist with the New Zealand Psychologists Board and a member of the New Zealand Psychological Society (NZPsS), Institute of Clinical Psychology (ICP) and the Institute of Educational and Developmental Psychology (IEDP).

In addition to her doctoral-level training and subsequent work experiences in the assessment and treatment of a range of emotional, behavioural, cognitive and learning difficulties, she has also completed further specialised training focussed on working with children and adolescents. Regardless of what young people are struggling with, Verena prioritises the therapeutic relationship and draws on a range of clinical approaches (e.g. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Play Therapy and Narrative Therapy) in order to tailor her services to their unique needs, strengths, interests, stages of development and learning styles.

Verena views young people as whole and inherently capable beings who are deserving of the same level of respect, understanding and co-operation that would ideally be afforded to any adult. As a mother herself, she believes that rather than aiming for compliance, a focus on supporting children’s social-emotional development in an intentional, respectful and collaborative manner is the key to raising healthy, independent and secure young people.

“As a caregiver, I think the ultimate gift you can give a young person is absolutely free, but invaluable. It is the gift of a high-quality, respectful connection. This is truly the gift that never stops giving because as we grow up, it is this very connection that can help us feel safe to be our authentic selves, warts and all. It is this very connection that can see us actively driving our own life paths, armed with a healthy sense of control over our lives. And it is this very connection that can help us channel the internal motivation we need to work towards our own potential.”

Verena is passionate about using creative techniques to help young people gain a better understanding of their difficulties, find more adaptive ways of expressing their feelings and develop a ‘tool-kit’ for living more fulfilling lives. As children and adolescents’ lives are often heavily influenced by their home and school environments, Verena also enjoys working alongside caregivers from these contexts (e.g. parents, teachers) in order to affect more meaningful and lasting change.

Contact Lotus and Fern

Thinking about seeing a Psychologist can naturally bring up many questions. Verena offers a personalised service that is respectfully tailored to support your unique needs and goals. Request a complimentary 10-minute phone consultation so that you can get an initial feel of her service, ask any questions you have and use that information to make an informed decision for your family.

Phone: 027 568 8733
Email: verena@lotusandfern.co.nz

Consulting Offices

Albany: 233 Dairy Flat Highway.
Browns Bay: Browns Bay Medical Centre, 13-15 Bute Road.

8 + 10 =