What is counselling and therapy?

Counselling and therapy offers a safe place with qualified professionals for people to open up about problems that are preventing you from experiencing peace in your life.

It’s reassuring to learn that both give you a safe place where you can explore and express your thoughts and feelings with support and without judgement. You can expect a supportive, understanding, empathetic and encouraging relationship with your Counsellor.

When there’s a gap between how your life feels and what you would actually desire for your life, counselling can offer an opportunity to become aware of how you live life, how you want to live life, and how to bring them closer together. Counselling tends to be a shorter process, which looks at the present, is problem focused and deals more with day-to-day issues.

Psychotherapy tends to be a longer process and often explores the client’s core self, how and why things have become this way, which usually includes reflecting on our personal history. Psychotherapy can help us to become newly conscious of the patterns of how we think, feel and act. Psychotherapy also often uses the relationship between the client and the therapist as a valuable resource to reflect on wider relationship patterns.

What you can expect:

In the beginning you may like to know what is a typical process. Here is what you can expect:

  • An initial discussion about your needs and circumstances
  • You will be matched with a counsellor or therapist suitable for your needs
  • A discussion around our fees and any potential funding you can access through relevant government agencies
  • An appointment time will be made – Counselling rooms are at Napier Family Centre. Weekly or fortnightly sessions are usual
  • We will contact you prior to your appointment as a friendly reminder
  • Your confidentiality is assured (subject to any issues around your safety or someone else’s safety, what this means will be discussed in your first appointment)
  • You can expect to see a qualified professional who is a member of an appropriate professional body or working towards this. One example is the New Zealand Association of Counsellors but there are others and you can ask your counsellor about their affiliation and qualifications
  • You can expect your counsellor to talk through your expectations about the sessions
  • In the first session you may be deciding whether they are the person you want to work with. This is natural as counselling is a very personal business. If not, you can expect them to try and help you find someone more appropriate
  • You can expect to feel a bit nervous! After all you are talking about very personal things with someone you don’t know. Counselling can be both a challenging and rewarding experience. We will do our best to make it as safe and comfortable as possible. Once you’ve got over any initial nerves, it can actually be easier to talk to someone you don’t know, because they aren’t involved in your life. They can see your life objectively and may be able to make conclusions about your relationships and behaviors – They will keep all information confidential – They will let you talk about anything and everything that is worrying you, no matter how small or unimportant you think it may seem
  • As change takes time, you can expect to come for a number of sessions depending on the issues. Your counsellor will discuss this with you.

“Our mission is to provide services that help families along life’s journey. Our values of integrity, teamwork, innovation and compassion guide our actions and decisions.”