Is counselling for me?

Redhill Community CentreNews

Redhill Community Centre’s counsellor answers some common questions about counselling.

What is counselling? What’s the difference between life coaching and counselling?

Counselling is a gift to yourself where you have the space, support and opportunity to look at aspects or issues in your life that are causing you concern or worry. It is nondirective person-centred support from a counsellor where you chose how to address your own outcomes.

In life coaching, the coach has a specific area of expertise and skills and a formula to reach the chosen goal. It is usually more directive in approach.

Is counselling suitable for everyone? Or do you have to have a really serious issue in your life before you seek counselling? How do I know if I need counselling?

Counselling is available for everyone and any age. Your issue may be serious or more of a personal growth type of issue. Usually if you are experiencing unhappiness, sadness or can’t seem to manage your emotional side of life, you can be supported to find ways to cope better and gain more capacity to find joy in life.

What are some common situations that people seek counselling for? 

People seek counselling for grief, depression, family relationships, self-esteem or personal growth and many other issues. Sometimes it’s to gain support in difficulties in the work situation or managing to be able to navigate government services or agencies. Or it can be health-related issues where they want some support in talking with other family members or to medical professionals.

What normally happens in the first counselling session? Will I (the client) have to do all the talking? Will I have to lie on a couch?

Usually people like to get to know the counsellor. If they think they can feel comfortable and trust the counsellor, then they will feel safer and find that it is easier talk about their concerns. Like most conversations, talking is a two-way process, but this time is yours to use to get the best outcome possible for your needs.

No, you will not need to lie on a couch! Most people prefer sitting, as it is more natural for them to talk that way.

What I want to talk about is very private. Will it remain confidential?

Counselling is a confidential service and counsellors are fully trained and often have years of experience. They have your best interest at heart and will work towards supporting you and, if necessary, refer you on if the situation requires that.

I’m worried about someone I care about and I think they would benefit from counselling, but I am afraid of what they might say if I suggest it. How can I get them to go to counselling? 

This is often a difficult area. Usually I would suggest coming and meeting the counsellor beforehand yourself, to gain some support and knowledge about counselling and the counsellor. You can then offer to go with them to the first session or the beginning part of the session. If they and the counsellor agree then it may be OK for you to stay during the counselling appointment, with the goal being for them to manage by themselves after that.

Sometimes getting them to talk to their GP helps them to get reassurance that counselling may be beneficial for them. Or talking on the phone to places like Time to Talk 1737 , may help with them gain confidence in speaking about their concerns, and then they could try a counsellor.


Redhill Community Centre offers fully-funded counselling. To make a booking, contact the centre office on Ph 09 297 2040 or email us. (Please note that this counselling service is available when Auckland is at Covid-19 alert level 2 or below.)