Frequently asked questions
Is it confidential?
Counselling relationships are, for the most part, confidential. What you share with me will stay with me. There are two things you need to be aware of in this respect. The first is that all counsellors are required to engage with regular supervision. This process is carried out with a qualified and experienced professional (my current supervisor is psychoanalytic psychotherapist Matthew Harward), whose job it is to keep me accountable while supporting me to offer you the best possible service. Short of being subpoenaed by a court of law, the only time I would be obliged to breach confidentiality is if I consider that you pose a serious and imminent risk of harm to yourself or another person. Were such a situation to arise, I would endeavour to work alongside you to seek the necessary support.
How many sessions will I need?
This is a difficult question to answer as it depends upon many individual factors, including how you present to counselling and what you hope to get from counselling. Many people commit, as a starting point, to a series of four to six sessions at weekly intervals, checking in throughout to determine progress. Some people make do with three or four sessions, while others find a great deal of value from engaging with regular, longer-term counselling. However you choose to approach counselling, my intention is neither to foreshorten the experience nor to prolong it unnecessarily.
What can I expect during the initial session?
Your first counselling session is an opportunity for you to meet with me, to address any questions you might have about the process of counselling, and for both of us to determine whether we can embark on a productive therapeutic relationship. This is also an opportunity for us to talk about what brings you to counselling, to gain clarity on what you hope to get from counselling, and to consider how we might best approach the process of counselling. Towards the end of this initial session we will have a discussion about moving forward, booking in additional sessions as necessary.
Where can I find information about other counsellors in the Wellington region?
There are a few great websites where you can search for counsellors in the Wellington region. The first is the official website of the New Zealand Association of Counsellors.
The second is Talking Works - which includes a reputable Counselling Directory.
The third is the New Zealand Christian Counsellor Association - specifically their Member Directory.
Other organisations with websites offering relevant information about accessing counselling services include the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand, the Compass Primary Health Organisation, and Depression.org.
I can't afford the full cost of counselling. How can I access reputable counselling support?
I endeavour to make this counselling service accessible. My standard fee can be found on the FEES/INFO page of this website.
There are a number of community organisations around the Wellington region offering free or low-cost counselling. These include the Wellington Women's Health Collective, Parent Help, Catholic Social Services, and Wesley Community Action. Te Awakairangi Health Network regularly releases a comprehensive listing of Counselling and Support Services in the Hutt Valley and Wellington, last updated in July 2016.
The Talking Works website mentioned earlier also contains information about possible funding sources. These include the disability allowance through Work and Income, ACC for those who have experienced sexual violence or physical injury, and Victim Support for people affected by homicide.