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What is counselling?

In brief, counselling is a collaborative process in which to share, uncover resources and wisdom, learn and grow. Counselling takes place in a therapeutic relationship between the person needing support and a trained counsellor who has developed skills and knowledge to do this work.

Why should I talk to a counsellor?

  • Counselling can improve many mental health symptoms and impacts of life challenges, trauma, and relationship difficulties.
  • Counselling can support you with the skills, resources and insight to address some of the things you might be struggling with.

When should I see a counsellor?

As a guide it’s a good time to get support when what you are experiencing causes distress and interferes with some part of life, particularly when:

  • Thinking about or coping with the issue takes up at least an hour each day
  • The issue causes embarrassment or makes you want to avoid others
  • The issue has caused your quality of life to decrease
  • The issue has negatively impacted uni, work, or relationships
  • You’ve made changes in your life or developed habits to cope with the issue
  • Or simply when you feel it is time to talk to someone about the issue

Remember it’s your choice whether you see a counsellor or not. There are many ways of healing and getting your mental health back on track. See here for All Right? Te Waioratanga and All Right? Ways to Wellbeing for more ideas.



What to should I expect from my first counselling session?

You’ll be given some information about how long you might be able to access counselling, note taking, limited confidentiality and how we work. You are encouraged to ask questions about any of this.


Somewhere in the first session we will hopefully establish what your goals for counselling are. We might ask: What are you hoping to get out of our time together?


You might talk a bit about what brought you to counselling. You are in control of how much you choose to share. And you can always let the counsellor know if you don’t want to answer a particular question.


In the first session we will start to see a way forward for you and the struggles you are experiencing. You might go away with some information, referrals, resources, ideas or things to try.


Throughout the counselling process we encourage you to ask questions, let us know when something is not working for you or tell us if you are not getting what you need from the work.