Here are answers to some frequently asked questions. If you cannot find the answer you are looking for feel free to ask us using our contact form and we will respond shortly.
How do I book an appointment?
Go to the contact us page – you can either phone, email, text or fill in the online form and we will get back to you shortly and arrange an appointment time that suits you.
When I ring you, what will happen?
When you call our main number you will get a recorded message asking you to select the extension number for who you would like to speak to. When we are in client sessions we are unable to answer the phone so you will usually get through to voicemail – please leave a message with your contact details and a preferred time to call. All messages are treated as confidential. When we phone back we will check that it is convenient to speak. If not we can call back later. If someone else answers the phone we will not leave a message with them, we will try again later.
How often do sessions occur?
Sessions usually occur weekly, although sometimes more frequent or less frequent sessions are more appropriate (see answer to next question).
How long are counselling or psychotherapy sessions?
Individual counselling or psychotherapy sessions are usually 50 minutes long.
Couple counselling sessions are usually 60 minutes long.
Sometimes due to practicalities different durations can be negotiated in advance. For example, 60 minutes can go quite fast during couple counselling sessions and a 90 minute or 2 hour session can feel more useful.
Sometimes people travel from out of town and find a longer but less frequent session to be more practical.
What are your fees?
Please visit the Costs page for up-to-date pricing.
How do I pay?
Payment is usually made at the end of the session unless prior arrangements have been agreed. We have Eftpos available.
Do I still need to pay if I cancel my appointment?
We have a cancellation policy which requires full payment if less than 24 hours notice is given. We try to be flexible for genuine emergencies but we do need to protect our time as well.
Do I need a referral from my GP?
No. You can book an appointment directly with us and no referral is necessary.
How many sessions will I need?
This is understandably a common question and the answer varies widely for each person. Whilst some people will get the clarity that they need after only a few sessions, most people will have ongoing therapy that continues for as long as needed. We do not restrict the number of sessions for anybody; we work in an open ended style and we are available for you until you get to a place where you feel able to manage by yourself.
What is the difference between counselling and psychotherapy?
This is a rather complex question and worth asking each therapist directly what their personal view is as definitions will vary between clinicians. Generally speaking, at Auckland City Therapy we use the term counselling to describe short term therapy with a focus on a specific situation that is causing distress and exploring ways in which that situation can be more effectively managed. Psychotherapy, on the other hand, will help you to understand how the experiences in your life have shaped you into who you are, and then look at what aspects of your character you may wish to improve. In other words, counselling will tend to focus outwards and psychotherapy will tend to focus inwards (problem outside of me vs problem inside of me). At Auckland City Therapy we will usually apply a blend of both approaches according to your specific needs.
For a more detailed explanation see: Counselling vs psychotherapy. Which should you choose?
Is everything I tell you confidential?
Yes, everything you tell your therapist is treated as strictly confidential. The only exception to this is if there is a threat to someone’s safety; either your own or somebody else’s.
Do I need to prepare before my first session?
No. During the first session your therapist will ask questions in order to understand what has prompted you to seek counselling or psychotherapy at this time. You do not need to do any special preparation for this.
We want couple therapy – will you see us together or separately?
In couple therapy most of the work is done with you both together. Sometimes it can be helpful to have one or two sessions separately but the majority of the work is usually done together.
I would like individual therapy first and then maybe bring my partner along later so we can work on some relationship issues. Is this ok?
This can work. However, there are some considerations that are useful to discuss at the beginning of therapy. The two main concerns are: how information that was discussed in the individual therapy will be treated when the couple therapy commences, and how your partner will feel about joining a therapy that is already established.
Sometimes this scenario this can work well with one therapist and sometimes it is more appropriate to do the individual therapy with one therapist and then begin the couple therapy with a new therapist that you both have an equal alliance to.
We want to separate amicably for the sake of our children. Can you help us with this?
Yes. Couple therapy is not just about staying together; it can also be about separating well. When there are children involved their well-being is paramount and couple therapy can help you both work through the separation process whilst keeping the impact on your children at a minimum.
Do you offer out of hours appointments?
Our first appointment of the day is at 7:00am Monday – Friday. We no longer offer evening or weekend appointments.
Do you work with children?
We do not work with children but if you contact us we may be able to offer a referral to a therapist in your area who does.
I am on a benefit – can I get help with payments?
WINZ may be able to contribute towards the cost of payments. Your case officer or local WINZ office will be able to give you a form which your GP and your therapist will sign and you then return it to WINZ to process.
Do you offer Family Court counselling?
We do not offer Family Court counselling. If you want counselling through the Family Court you need to contact them and they will put you in touch with one of their counsellors.
See their website https://www.justice.govt.nz/family-justice
I don’t live in Auckland – do you offer therapy via Skype?
Yes we do. See our Skype therapy page.
I am nervous about making an appointment – can you tell me what to expect?
Most people are a little nervous about making an appointment. Please feel free to call either of us and have a chat on the phone beforehand and we can answer any questions or concerns you might have. You may also find this page helpful – Your first counselling or psychotherapy session