A counsellor is a person you can talk to if you are facing emotional stress or challenges in your life, such as depression, anxiety, financial stress, domestic violence or a relationship breakdown.
Counselling is a confidential* partnership with a qualified counsellor to help you learn how to cope with emotional stress and find ways to overcome difficulties. You are an active participant in the counselling process at every stage. Depending on your needs counselling may be short or long term.
You don’t need any special qualifications or training to be a counsellor in Australia, although most do have qualifications and training. It is a good idea to check that any counsellor you want to see is registered with a professional body like the Australian Counselling Association.
* Confidentiality is limited when there are risks to the safety of the client or others.
There are many reasons to see a counsellor, including if you are struggling with:
- adjusting to living with a disability
- depression and anxiety
- grief, loss and anger
- intimacy and sexuality concerns
- self-esteem and bullying
- family and relationship conflict
- social isolation
- fatigue and pain
If you have an NDIS plan you can discuss your needs for counselling due to your neuromuscular condition in your planning meeting. The National Disability Insurance Agency may fund counselling in your NDIS plan.
You may also be able to talk to your GP about a mental health plan and whether seeing a counsellor is something that could be included in a plan.
Your state or territory neuromuscular organisation may be able to provide information on a counsellor or you could ask your GP for a recommendation. You can also view the Australian Counselling Association website to find a counsellor in your area.
Where to find more information
There are a number of organisations that provide counselling support over the phone and online. To find out more see their details below.
- Headspace, 1800 650 890
Free online and telephone service that supports young people aged between 12 and 25 and their families going through a tough time.
This federal government website contains links to crisis support and includes a section on mental health crisis services in each State and Territory.
- Kids Helpline, 1800 55 1800
Kids Helpline is Australia’s only free, private and confidential 24/7 phone and online counselling service for young people aged 5 to 25.
- Lifeline, 13 11 14
Lifeline is a national charity providing all Australians experiencing a personal crisis with access to 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention services.
- Relationships Australia, 1300 364 277
Relationships Australia is a leading provider of relationship support services for individuals, families and communities. We are a community-based, not-for-profit Australian organisation with no religious affiliations. We offer services around the country that include counselling, family dispute resolution (mediation) and a range of family and community support and education programs. Many existing Relationships Australia services are used by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. However, specialist services have been established in some places around the country.
- Aboriginal Counselling Services, 0410 539 905
Aboriginal Counselling is 100% Aboriginal owned business that provides therapeutic counselling for families, individuals and communities within New South Wales. Aboriginal Counselling is not a crisis service and cannot always respond to immediate risk of harm. If you or someone else is at immediate risk of harm please call ‘000’.