Some­one to talk to and give ad­vice

Auckland City Harbour News - - News - By Janie Smith

When it comes to deal­ing with life’s dif­fi­cul­ties, Rochelle Carr knows the value of coun­selling.

The Grafton wo­man and her daugh­ter have both sought help from Home and Fam­ily Coun­selling in Mt Eden.

“I walk out feel­ing like: ‘Yeah, I can han­dle it’. It’s re­ally pos­i­tive,” she says.

Ms Carr came to the ser­vice four years ago af­ter a do­mes­tic vi­o­lence in­ci­dent forced her to take out a pro­tec­tion or­der against her for­mer part­ner.

The ser­vice was of­fered to her by po­lice af­ter the in­ci­dent and she de­cided to go along for a 10-ses­sion pro­gramme.

It was so ben­e­fi­cial, she de­cided to keep go­ing.

“I wanted to have a more all-round look at my­self. It re­ally was good.”

When her daugh­ter Maia, 9, started hav­ing trou­ble deal­ing with her friends, she took her along to Home and Fam­ily as well.

“I wasn’t at that stage able to give her 100 per­cent help. I knew it was go­ing to make a huge dif­fer­ence to her self­es­teem.”

Maia says the first time she went, her coun­sel­lor got her to do paint­ings and later on she wrote sto­ries as well.

“The strate­gies helped me to deal with my friends. I knew I had other friends to play with.”

Ms Carr says al­though Maia’s sit­u­a­tion didn’t change im­me­di­ately, she learned new strate­gies for deal­ing with her peers.

Both ben­e­fited from be­ing able to talk to some­one pro­fes­sional and im­par­tial about what they were go­ing through.

“It gives a re­ally fresh per­spec­tive and helps me think up dif­fer­ent ways to look at things. It taps into more re­sources in me. Ev­ery­thing feels more pos­i­tive,” says Ms Carr.

She en­cour­ages other peo­ple go­ing through dif­fi­cult times to use the ser­vice.

“It doesn’t have to be that bad for peo­ple to ac­cess it. It’s not an am­bu­lance at the bot­tom of the cliff, it’s the ropes that sup­port you as you climb down the cliff.

“It’s sup­port you know you can fall back on.”

Home and Fam­ily Coun­selling is cel­e­brat­ing Coun­selling Aware­ness Week, which be­gins on Mon­day and runs un­til June 15.

Di­rec­tor Mary Gray says the or­gan­i­sa­tion is keen to pro­mote coun­selling as a way to keep peo­ple from end­ing up in des­per­ate sit­u­a­tions.

“Peo­ple re­act to trauma, stress and grief in many ways. Some lash out, some bot­tle it up and end up in de­pres­sion or sui­cide. Many re­la­tion­ships are ru­ined be­cause peo­ple haven’t coped.”

Home and Fam­ily Coun­selling is hold­ing an open day at its Mt Eden branch, 344 Mt Eden Rd, on June 11, from 1.30pm to 6pm.

There will also be an open day at the North­cote branch, 2A Seav­iew Ave, from noon to 2.30pm on June 12. No ap­point­ments are nec­es­sary.

Photo: JA­SON OXENHAM

Help­ing hand: Rochelle Carr and her daugh­ter Maia Carr Heke, 9, have both ben­e­fited from Home and Fam­ily Coun­selling.

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