Counselling services we offer you at AUT University

We offer free face-to-face and online counselling for all AUT students.

What is counselling?

Counselling is a process of privately talking through anything that is concerning you. Counsellors will listen to you sensitively and without judgement, and will try and see things from your point of view. We provide a practical and solution-focused counselling approach to student concerns.

What may I talk about?

  • Any concerns about your studies
  • Loss and grief
  • Coping with stress
  • Relationships
  • Concerns about sexuality
  • Anger, anxiety or depression
  • Motivation
  • Conflict
  • Alcohol or drug issues
  • Changes and worries
  • Feeling suicidal or at risk of harm
  • Domestic violence
  • Harassment or bullying

Make an appointment to see a counsellor

  • Counselling appointments are 1 hour long
  • We have a Duty Counsellor available for same day or urgent appointments
  • Counselling interns are available at our City Campus

Phone us on:

City Campus: +64 9 921 9992
North Shore Campus: +64 9 921 9998
South Campus: +64 9 921 9992

Visit us:
Come to reception at the Health, Counselling and Wellbeing centres

Online counselling (Email-counselling)

Online counselling lets you use the internet to raise anything that is concerning you.

If you are interested in online counselling, you must read over the online counselling application. This is very important information. It describes how online counselling works and contains important information about your privacy and safeguards. This document forms the basis of your informed consent. You can then register to start online counselling.

To learn more about online counselling and to register

Our counsellors

Kevin-2012Kevin Baker - Head of Counselling                           

NZRGON, Dip Psychotherapy, M Health Prac. (Psychotherapy), PG Cert (Clinical Supervision), PBANZ

The role of Head of Counselling is to lead and support the work of the counselling team. The key requirements of the team are our focus on student support, health and wellbeing, and the quality of our services across the student experience.

Counselling is a dynamic and therapeutic activity that supports people to look after and improve their health holistically. My background is in health promotion with strong interests in sexual health and mental health. My training was as a General and Obstetric Nurse, and I also graduated from the AUT psychotherapy programme. In the last 10 years I have worked in clinical services management within community agencies.

I am a Registered Psychotherapist. My theoretical approach to counselling is holistic and multimodal. I draw on counselling and psychotherapeutic methods from psychodynamic, narrative, cognitive-behavioural, crisis management, solution-focused and brief therapies. I enjoy working with men and women, and with personal and developmental concerns across the lifespan.

Sabrina-AfuSabrina Afu - Duty Counsellor

BSocPrac, Postgraduate Diploma Professional Supervision (Merit), Member MNZAC

My role is to be responsive to students or staff needing urgent counselling or mental health support, and to respond to staff working with these students. I provide same day appointments, urgent assessment, brief intervention, and in some instances short-term therapy. An assessment will gauge how best to meet the needs of students or staff seeking counselling services. If required I can make a referral to appropriate community services or liaise with academic and student services to ensure the best support is put in place. I work in closely with the Student Advisor - Mental Health, to provide support for students/staff experiencing mental health concerns.

I believe the counselling relationship is a collaborative one which brings forth the client’s resourcefulness, strengths and possibilities for dealing with whatever difficulty he/she is experiencing. My professional areas of interest are grief/loss, trauma, decision-making, assertiveness and depression/anxiety.

Placid Briggs 14Placid Te Aoerere Briggs (Ngaiterangi Te Arawa, Ngai Tahu) - Counsellor (Maori)

B.Ap.SocSci (Couns.), Dip SocPrac (Couns.), PG Dip (Prof. Supervision), MNZAC

Tena koutou katoa
E mihi nui ki a koutou.

My counselling is a combination of my Maori cultural upbringing and western methodologies. As a counsellor I take an holistic approach, by integrating counselling models, a range of strategies can be offered, solutions explored and best outcomes achieved. My goal as a counsellor is to engage, listen without judgement and support you in the changes you wish to make. I enjoy working with diverse cultures and ethnicities. I have a strong advocacy and social work background. I work at both the City Campus (Monday and Tuesday) and North Shore Campus (Wednesday and Thursday).

Nau mai haere mai,
Kia ora koutou                                     

Audrey-HutchesonAudrey Hutcheson - Counsellor

Grad Dip Psychotherapy, B.SocSci.(Couns), Grad Cert Supervision, ACC registered, MNZAC

My counselling approach focuses on establishing a welcoming safe place where people are listened to and supported.  I work in partnership with people to identify strengths and needs, and planning towards achievable goals. I am affirming of everyone’s uniqueness and I enjoy working with diverse cultures and identities. I work from the holistic Te Whare Tapa Wha model and draw on strengths based, cognitive behavioural, expressive, and psychodynamic therapies. My background includes working with trauma, sexual abuse, relationships, identity development, sexuality, and mental health difficulties.

Sharon-LeeSharon Lee – Counsellor, North Shore  

BA, Ethics & Women’s Studies Cert., Member New Zealand Association of Counsellors (MNZAC)

I appreciate the opportunity to assist clients to address their concerns and challenges. It is important to me to do this with respect and to achieve the desired outcome in a brief and solution focused manner. My practice and experience of many years is informed by narrative and systemic therapies. The counselling process offers an opportunity to reflect in confidence and to discover fresh responses and pragmatic options to troublesome areas of relationship, study, work and life. I am based on the North Shore Campus.

amandaAmanda Lees – Counsellor

MA (Hons), MEd (Hons) Counselling, MNZAC

Recent developments in brain imaging and science give us exciting new information about how our brain-mind-body-spirit functions. My counselling work is influenced by this information, has a humanistic and client-centred approach, and uses an eclectic set of techniques to facilitate change. I like assisting people to resolve difficult experiences, whether these stem from recent or old situations. As a counsellor I endeavour to attend to your needs, explore your situation, assist you in managing emotions, help develop strategies to cope with your circumstances, and be cognisant of the pace that works for you. I work well with issues about the ‘self' and identity, self-worth, loss and grief, disruptive emotions, neglect and abuse, relationships, transitions, cultural adjustment, spirituality, and personal change.

seemaSeema Woollaston - Counsellor, South Campus

MSW (Applied), PGDip Cognitive Therapy, PGCert HSc (Child & Adolescent Mental Health)
Member Aotearoa NZ Assn Social Workers (MANZASW), Registered Social Worker

I am the counsellor based at the South Campus. I initially trained as a social worker and specialised in mental health, having now worked in this field for many years. Prior to this I worked in child protection services. My approaches to working with clients utilise a systemic framework, within which I use a variety of models, including cognitive, solution-focused and narrative therapies.  My particular areas of interest are working with migrants, the interface of cultural and clinical issues, and child, adolescent and family work. I currently work in a child and adolescent mental health service when not at AUT.

Last updated: 23-Jun-2014 1.27pm

The information on this page was correct at time of publication. For a comprehensive overview of AUT qualifications, please refer to the Academic Calendar.