Mel Rigby

New Plymouth

Tomatis ® Practitioner Level 1

My name is Melanie Rigby and I am a mum to three school-age children and live in Taranaki on a small farm with my husband and children. I qualified with a Bachelor of Social Work from Massey University in 1994 and have over 20 years of experience in social work in New Zealand and abroad, working with children and families, in health, education, and adult mental health.

I strongly value the social work perspective in looking for the big picture view, building on existing strengths and seeing people as part of a system or family, not solely in isolation or as problems.

Since becoming a Mum, I have personally navigated the development and challenges of raising healthy, functional, unique children who have not always found the easy or common roads in life. I continue my professional development in areas of child and adult anxiety, emotional intelligence, bullying, giftedness and learning disabilities because these are topics close to my heart for my family, and because they are so prevalent in modern society.

Why I work with Tomatis®

I know from professional and personal experience the fear and worry parents have when their children aren’t meeting expected goals, or are struggling with many of the issues that face children. I know the feeling of not knowing where support is, or how to access it, or understanding systems that we can easily get lost and forgotten in, or just don’t seem to fit in at all. I believe that parents want their children to be their best selves, be happy and enjoy life and that children deserve this.

I also believe that sometimes in all these journey adults can feel lost and worried about their own management, communication, self-care and ability to cope with the environment they are in and that Tomatis® can help adults, in different ways, on the same journey.
I have learned that help sometimes comes in unexpected, alternative ways, and often families are not actually in isolation in seeking help or solutions that work for all children, and the systems they are in can appreciate and support many interventions. This can then turn around relationships that may have felt strained or non-existent initially, thus compounding positive change and effects for families.

I became Tomatis® practitioner in 2018 and have first been focusing on my family and have seen the results that give me confidence in offering this to families in the Taranaki region. I would love Tomatis® to help the many children and families who face day to day challenges with anxiety, confidence, learning needs, communication, interpersonal skills, social skills, coordination, and the many other benefits of Tomatis®.


I came to Tomatis® in 2017 from word of mouth from other parents who had experienced significant changes in their children’s interest and abilities in school, learning, and self-confidence. I started my son (aged 8yrs old at the time) who was really struggling emotionally and academically at school and within himself. His first listening test described to me exactly what I was seeing and explained some of the why. After only one block of Tomatis®, we saw a calmer, more focused approach from him and this was reflected in his coordination, self-esteem and achieving learning goals. Follow up listening tests and Tomatis® only improved on these changes and this was evident in his ability to fit in, resiliency and education success.

I then gave my second son, (who is very different to the first), Tomatis® to work on similar issues but from a different spectrum, and have seen him improve with self-regulation, communication, executive functioning, and social anxiety. After just one round of Tomatis® I was eager to continue the work with my children, but also for my husband & I. I believe that Tomatis® can help the whole family, as often patterns of behaviour, learning and communication difficulties and anxiety are family challenges and can be inherited, shared, reinforced and repeated.

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