Frequently Asked Questions
Thank you for booking with the Wellness Support Team. We are here to support you. Individuals and whānau of all backgrounds will be warmly welcomed and treated with respect.
What is therapy?
Therapy involves talking to a trained professional about challenges you may be experiencing. Our therapists are skilled at embedding skills, strategies and helpful activities that can enhance your day to day function, support your challenges, and help with your well-being.
Are these therapy sessions free?
Therapy sessions with the Wellness Support Team are funded for Local Doctors/Whitecross/Bettr enrolled patients, so there is no charge to you. The price of therapy privately can range from $150-$250 per session.
However, please be aware that while sessions are free, not attending your session impacts other people waiting for the service who could otherwise be seen earlier. If you know in advance that you will be unable to attend your appointment, we encourage you to cancel as soon as possible so we can support other people waiting for an appointment.
My doctor mentioned “CBT”, what does that mean?
CBT stands for “Cognitive Behavioural Therapy”, which is a type of therapy. CBT has been shown to be very effective for a wide range of problems in research, and usually involves changing your thoughts, beliefs and behaviour to feel better. CBT is not the only approach available as our team uses different types of therapy depending on their background and training. If you have a preference for a particular type of therapy, please discuss this with our coordinators who may be able to assign you to a suitable therapist.
How much time do I need to commit?
Generally most people will have up to 6 funded sessions of therapy, which are usually around 45-50 minutes long, but please allow up to 60 minutes. Your initial appointment may be slightly longer. How often you attend sessions can be discussed with your therapist, but may also depend on their availability.
Do I have to come to the appointment in person?
We encourage everyone to attend at least the first session in person. If it may be difficult for you to attend, please contact our coordinators to discuss options such as video consults.
What should I expect during the first appointment?
For your first appointment, your therapist will go over our privacy and confidentiality policy, along with other important information. The therapist will then ask questions to understand what your concerns are and how a problem has affected you, and about your life to give the problem some context.
Are these sessions confidential?
During your initial appointment, your therapist will discuss our privacy and confidentiality policy, and who has access to your information. A short summary will be available on your patient record. Other information will be made confidential and only accessed by our Wellness Support Team. Unless you or someone else is unsafe, your information and the contents of your discussions will not be shared. Your therapist will go over this with you the beginning of the first session, and you can ask questions along the way.
What if I would like to change my therapist?
We understand that people may not always “click” with their therapist and it is important you have a therapist you feel comfortable with. Please contact the coordinators to discuss options if you would like to change your therapist.
Can I bring a support person/whānau?
A support person(s) of your choice may accompany you, as long as it is safe and it does not affect other people’s rights. The content of therapy sessions are not appropriate or suitable for children. We highly recommend arranging childcare, where possible, as we do not have staff members who able to supervise your children while you attend a session.
What if I need an interpreter for the session?
Not a problem. Please let our coordinator team know and we can request a professional interpreter to attend the session.
What if I’m feeling psychologically unsafe before I have my first appointment?
Please know that we are trying our best to see you as soon as possible, and the wait time is due to the demand for our service. If you are having thoughts of harming yourself, please contact your local Crisis Team or call emergency services (111) if you are in imminent danger. See the Crisis Team numbers listed below.
If you are distressed but not unsafe, please see your GP who can support you until your appointment, and may be able to connect you with other services available at the clinic or in the community.
Crisis team numbers:
Small Steps (www.smallsteps.org.nz) – a New Zealand-based self-help website with free tools for coping with low mood, worry and stress
Just a Thought (www.justathought.co.nz) – a New Zealand-based self-help website with free online Cognitive Behavioural Therapy courses for a range of different symptoms
Groov by Mentemia (App Store/Google Play) – a New Zealand-based self-help app supporting you with skills to boost daily wellbeing
1737 Need to Talk – A brief support helpline available 24 hours, 7 days a week with trained counsellors available. Just call or text 1737.
Find other helplines visit the MentalHealth.org website