Frequently Asked Questions

We are happy to answer your questions – contact us to schedule your FREE 15 minute consultation now.

We are located 1 minute off of SH2 in Whakamarama, Western Bay of Plenty just past Te Puna.  Our easy to find office is set on a beautiful life-style block that offers lots of outside green space, fruiting trees, bird life and peaceful privacy.

We know it’s hard to schedule appointments during work and school hours.  That’s why Aroha Counselling Services offers after hours and weekend appointments to work around your schedule. We are open Monday to Thursday, with early hours and late evenings available on certain days. We also offer some Saturday appointments throughout the month.

My formal qualifications include:

  • Bachelors of Arts
  • Masters of Science
  • Postgraduate Diploma (Counselling and Guidance)
  • Doctoral Research

A sample of the Professional Development Courses I have attended include:

Therapy Techniques for Children with Anxiety
Child Matters Child Safety Course (5 day certificate)
Supporting Children with Eating Disorders
Self-harming and suicide ideation assessment
Nutrition and Mental Health
Emotional Focussed Therapy Techniques (EFT)
Solution-focused brief intervention therapy
Drawing Therapy Techniques
Therapeutic expression through creative play

You will receive a reminder 24 hours ahead of your appointment.  If needed, you can cancel or reschedule appointments up to 24 hours in advance, but if you need to cancel with less than 24 hours notice, or fail to attend you will be charged a $100 cancellation fee.  

We here at Aroha Counselling Services know that cost is a significant factor in getting the right help for you or your child.  To help, we offer significant discounts for Term Time Counselling Support (5 or 10 session packages) that can reduce the financial burden. 

Also available are “Safe and Sound Protocol Listening Therapy” Packages that offer significant discounts for multiple sessions in conjunction with other therapies offered by the Developmental Learning Centre.  Please ask if these might be right for you or your child’s situation.

Finally, we also accept WINZ and I Am HOPE (Gumboot Friday) funding.

For a list of free services, please see the “Where can I get Emergency Help” FAQ

Increasing communication between members of the family is one of the most important skills that we work with clients on.

We always encourage (and can help facilitate) effective and healthy communication between our clients and the important people in their lives.

Counselling is a unique opportunity to discuss thoughts, actions and worries with someone in a safe and confidential place.  This is important for both adults and children.

Talking with a counsellor is different from confiding in a parent, friend or loved one for the following reasons: 

  • The client does not have to worry about what the counsellor thinks or feels about what has been said.  Complete non-judgment is an essential part of the process.
  • There is no outside relationship between counsellor and client.  This means the client does not need to consider about how their conversation might affect their home, school, work or friendships. 
  • What is said in the therapy room, stays in the therapy room.  Confidentiality is assured.
  • The client has the entire session free to talk about themselves, without needing to make polite conversation or focus on anyone else.
  • The client does not need to worry about the counsellor’s feelings or needs
  • The entire therapeutic process is uniquely tailored to the emotional needs of each client

The first session actually starts before we officially meet!  

After connecting and setting an appointment time, we will send you two important documents to fill out and return prior to your first appointment – an intake questionnaire and a consent and confidentiality agreement.

During our first session together, the only goal is to make you or your child feel comfortable, safe and informed.  It is a time to get to know each other a little bit – this is usually done by asking gentle questions, listening to whatever is on your mind, playing with the games and toys in the office or a combination of all three.

At the end of the session, you should have a beginning idea of what counselling may be able to achieve for your particular situation.  We always recommend a minimum of two sessions to determine if counselling and the counsellor are the right fit for you.

One of the core ideas that make counselling so effective is confidentiality.  Any person (child or adult) needs to feel that they can say whatever they need or want to without it being repeated to someone else. 

With children, we realise that their stories, ideas and happenings are not always based in the logical, real world. Children can be fantastical and very inventive.  However, this is still their perception of events…which can impact the behaviour that the adults around them experience.  It is within this perspective that the child and counsellor do the work of understanding how they can start to feel better.

Therefore, it is usually not helpful to disclose what a child has said to the parent or guardian.  However, there are three situations in which things that are discussed in therapy may be shared (breaking of confidentiality).  These are:

First, if the child is being hurt, such as physical or sexual abuse, I am obligated to report this appropriately.  

Second, there are often times that a child wishes to communicate something to their caregiver that has arisen in the therapy session, but wants some assistance in doing so.  In this case, we would have a session between the appropriate parties and talk over what the child/client would like to discuss and allow time for good communication. 

Finally, as part of the counselling profession counsellors see a clinical counselling supervisor or mentor who can offer guidance and advice.  Our counsellor may ask a client if they can discuss their situations with their mentor, keeping the client’s confidentiality.  As counsellors, they are also bound to keep the client’s confidentiality as well.

If you are experiencing a mental health crisis or emergency, please do not contact Aroha Counselling or wait for a response.  
Please seek emergency assistance right away.

Depression and Anxiety

·       Emergency Services: 111

·       Lifeline:    0800 543 354 (available 24/7) or (09) 522 2999

·       Suicide Crisis Helpline: 0508 828 865 (available 24/7)

·       Depression Helpline: 0800 111 757  (available 24/7) or free text 4202

·       Samaritans:  0800 726 666 (24/7)

·       Mental Health Foundation Service: (09) 623 4812 or

·       Need to Talk?: Call or text 1737 (Free call or text)

·       Anxiety New Zealand: 0800 269 4389 (0800 anxiety)

·       Seniorline: 0800 725 463   

·       Age Concern: 0800 652 105

·       Supporting Families In Mental Illness: 0800 732 825


·       Alcohol Drug Helpline:  0800 787 797 (also text 8691 free) 

·       Gambling Helpline:  0800 654 655

·       Quit Line: 0800 778 778 (smoking cessation) 

·       Alcoholics Anonymous: 0800 229 6757 

·       Narcotics Anonymous: 0800 628 632

Youth and Children

·       Youthline: 0800 376 633 (24/7) or text 234 (8am-12am) or email:

·       Kidsline: 0800 543 754 (24/7)

·       Whatsup: 0800 942 8787 (12pm to 11pm M-F and 3pm to 11pm Sat/Sun). Online chat (7pm to 10pm every day) at

· web chat or video and social media space 

·  free text 5626

·       Oranga Tamariki:  0508 326 459

LGBTQIA+ Support

·       Rainbow Youth: (09) 376 4155 

·       Outline: 0800 688 5463 

·       Waikato Queer Youth (WaQuY): (07) 839 9039



·       Intersex Awareness NZ (ITANZ):

Maori Support

·      Tu Wahine Trust: 09 838 8700 or Maori women and children living in West Auckland who have been effected by sexual violence and family violence

·      Puawaitahi: (09) 307 2860 or after hours 09 379 7440 free service for young people under 19 who have experienced sexual violence in Auckland

·      Korowai Tumanako: Kaupapa Maori Survivor and Harmful Sexual Behaviour Support

·      Te Puna Oranga Kaupapa Māori Crisis Service: 0800 222 042 or email


· a website hub providing parents, family, whānau and friends with access to information, tools and support to help a young person who is struggling

·      Parent Help: 0800 568 856 or

·      Family Services Helpline: 0800 211 211 community based health and social support services in your area

·      Skylight: 0800 299 100 (for support through trauma, loss and grief; 9am-5pm weekdays)

Domestic Violence

·      Hey Bro Helpline: 0800 439 276 supporting men to be free from violence  

·      Are you OK?: 0800 456 450 Family Violence Helpline

·      Elder Abuse Response Service: 0800 32 668 65

·      Safe to Talk: 0800 044 334, free text 4334, webchat at

·      Shine: 0508 744 633

·      Women’s Refuge Crisis: 0800 733 843 (0800 REFUGE)

·      Shakti Crisis Line: 0800 742 584 or (for migrant or refugee women living with family violence) 

· A comprehensive online directory of support services throughout NZ 

Sexual Assault and Abuse

·       Rape Crisis – 0800 88 33 00 (for support after rape or sexual assault)

·       0800 227 233 (08002B SAFE): if you have experienced sexual assault

· online data base for harmful sexual behaviours

·       HELP: (09) 623 1700 (24/7)

·       HELP: (Females-Auckland) 09 623 1296 OR Wellington 04 801 6655

·       Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse: 03 377 6747 or www. 

·       Male Survivors Aotearoa:

·       Male Survivors:  Waikato 07 858 4112

·       Male Survivors: Otago 021 106 4598

·       The Male Room: Nelson 03 548 0403

·       The Canterbury Men’s Centre: 03 377 6747

·       Netsafe: Online harassment and safety

·       ‘Safe to Talk’ National Sexual Harm Helpline: 0800-044-334 or text 4334 (24/7) Live web chat

·       Victim Support: 0800 842 846

·       ACC Sensitive Claims:

·       Rape Crisis: 0800 88 33 00

·       Sexual Abuse Help Foundation: Auckland 09 623 1700 and Wellington 04 801 6655


·       Tautoko Mai Sexual Harm Support: 0800 227 233

·       Road Forward Trust (male survivors): Wellington 021 118 1043

·       Better Blokes Auckland: 09 990 2553

·       Mosaic – Tiaki tangata – peer support for male sexual abuse survivors: 0800 94 22 94

We are here for you

Not sure if counselling is right for you or your child’s situation?
Contact us to schedule a FREE 15 minute consultation to talk it over. We are always happy to help.