1.  Getting a Counselling Appointment

To organise a counselling appointment you will first need to contact the Centre.  The Coordinator will complete a referral form and inform you of how our Counselling service operates.  The referral will then be forwarded to the most appropriate Counsellor who will then contact you to make an appointment that suits.

Our Counselling service is in high demand and there may be some delay before you are able to see a counsellor.  We endeavour to have clients seen within a week.

2.  First Visit

On your first Counselling visit please allow additional time to complete paperwork and to read through the Centre's Counselling Code of Practice on Confientiality and Data Protection.

3.  The Counselling Rooms

The Upper Hutt Women's Centre has 3 counselling rooms available.  If you have children, if possible, please make arrangements for their care during your session.  Often children are a distraction and you will not get the full value of your session.  If you are unable to secure childcare arrangement please bear in mind that the Centre does not offer childcare facilities.

4.  Support People

If you have asked someone to contact you at the Centre, please let the coordinator know.  Without this information the confidentiality policy of the Centre does not allow us to confirm that you are at the Centre.

5.  Cancellations

Beause of the high demands for the counselling service you must make every effort to come to your appointments.  Our Counsellors do not live locally and travel to the centre to see clients by appointment.  If you are ever unable to make an appointment please give as much notice as possible.

6.  Counselling Fees

$25.00 per session

If you are a community services card holder you may be eligible for assistance through WINZ to assist covering your counselling costs.

7.  Concerns with Our Counselling Service

If you have any queries, concerns or complaints, please discuss these with your Counsellor or the Centre Coordinator.

The Centre has a comprehensive complaints policy and procedure.  If you would like to know more about this process, please ask the coordinator.

8.  Confidentiality & Data Protection

The Upper Hutt Women's Centre will not pass on personal information about a client (including information on attendance) to anyone outside the Service subject to the following exceptions.

  1. Where the counsellor has the permission of the client to disclose the information or data.
  2. Where a counsellor would be liable to civil or criminal court procedure if the information was not disclosed.
  3. Where a counsellor believes the client is at risk to themselves or others.

In any of these circumstances, the counsellor will encourage the client themselves to pass on information to the relevant person/agency.  If there is no indication that this has happened, and if the crisis or danger is sufficiently acute, the counsellor or adviser may pass on the information directly.

Consent to disclose information will be sought from the client, if at all possible.

It is usual practice for counsellors to keep records on clients and their sessions.  Counselling notes record background information and the issues raised and worked on in the sessions.  These will vary in lengthe and detail.  Points of concern are also noted.  All notes are kept safely under lock and key and remain at the Upper Hutt Women's Centre.

Access to Notes - Under the Privacy Act 1993, clients have a right of access to all notes kept on them.  If those notes contain references to other individuals, these may only be made available to the client if a third party's anonymity is protected.  It will be important not just to show the notes to the client, but for the counsellor to talk to them about what their file contains and why.

If a client wishes to see their file, they should ask their counsellor giving at least two weeks notice.  A photocopy of your notes can be made by the counsellor upon the completion of a release form.  All copies need to be signed and dates by both the client and the counsellor.

Security - All notes and records are kept securely locked with the Upper Hutt Women's Centre.  All notes and additional information will be kept for a minium of 10 years.  After this time a clients file and notes will be destroyed by shredding.

Code of Ethics - The counsellors adhere to the NZAC Code of Ethics and Practise.  NZAC is the professional body for counselling psychotherapy in New Zealand.  If you would like to view a copy of the NZAC Code of Ethics, as the centre coordinator or it can be viewed on the NZAC website.