“I cover all areas of counselling and see people for all different kinds of issues. These could be relationship issues, anxiety, grief, depression, trauma or loss. I’m also more than just a counsellor, being a registered drug and alcohol specialist and am able to assess and assist people; and I’m a registered mediator, helping in employment mediations and family mediations. I’m also a family dispute mediator for the Family Court.
I moved to New Zealand almost 20 years ago from the UK. My original degree was in biomedical sciences with a postgraduate in health education and promotion. Then when I was studying psychotherapy and counselling in London, I moved to New Zealand and I finished off my postgraduate in counselling at the University of Auckland.
I had originally wanted to use counselling as an additional skill within my health qualifications, to work with my patients and the community. When I started seeing one or two clients at the Howick Counselling Service practice group, my practice grew and grew, so I eventually gave up my role with the DHB to focus on it full time.
There are six of us based at Howick Counselling Services. We all have different specialities so we can better serve the community. We are based in Selwyn House on Selwyn Road, so we get beautiful views over the gulf to Waiheke and the Coromandel!
Having come from a small village in the UK, I love the village feel of Howick. I love that multiple generations of families live here, and that people who go away often return to be with their families and have grandparents present.
We often have clients coming back after many years. Most find me themselves via a self-referral or my Facebook page – @clairethompsoncounsellormediator, but others through their GP, lawyer or employer. The key part of what we do is that everything is confidential and everyone’s confidentiality is maintained. If I had to give one piece of advice it would be to live each day like it’s your last!”