Depression counselling south Auckland


Trauma is an emotional response to a distressing event resulting in an overwhelming stress that exceeds our ability to cope with the emotions involved.

Causes of trauma include bullying, an accident, verbal, physical or sexual abuse, a natural disaster, being the victim of a criminal act or witnessing violence or an horrific event especially in childhood. These traumas can leave you with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Trauma can also be the result of an ongoing situation such as a serious illness, living in a bad situation where you feel you have no escape, the breakup of a significant relationship which can affect both adults and children, or the death of a cherished person.

Often straight after the trauma occurs there is shock and denial. Longer term effects include flashbacks, mood swings, relationship difficulties, general unwellness and ultimately anxiety and depression and even suicidal feelings.

The right treatment and support, and learning self-help strategies can help you recover from a recent trauma or events that may have happened years ago.


There are times when each and every one of us feels down, particularly when we are experiencing difficulties in relationships, we have financial stresses, a friend leaves or we experience a death. These low mood periods usually pass however sometimes they don’t go away and we stop enjoying what we used to.

Stress can build up in our lives and overwhelm our ability to cope. Maybe you have lost someone you love, had a baby, or been stressed and too busy for too long. Ongoing stress like coping on a low income, facing rising debt, or feeling lonely and isolated can lead to depression.

If you’ve been feeling down more often than not over the past two weeks or more, and you’ve stopped enjoying things that used to be fun, you might be experiencing depression.

Check the symptoms below – if you tick three or more it is likely you may be experiencing depression

  • Finding it hard to feel interested in things
  • Wanting to avoid friends and everyday activities
  • Difficulty concentrating or decision-making
  • Either losing interest in eating, or over-eating
  • Losing weight when you are not dieting, or gaining weight
  • Having disturbed sleep or, alternatively, wanting to sleep all the time
  • Thinking about, or planning, suicide
  • Having unpleasant negative thoughts, such as feeling guilty or that you are unworthy
  • Pain and/or headaches that don’t seem to have a physical cause

People sometimes get depressed for no obvious reason – the heavy feelings just seem to come out of the blue. Some families seem more vulnerable to becoming depressed after relatively mild stress. No matter how you become depressed, the effects can be debilitating and will affect all aspects of your life and relationships if left untreated.

Rather than feeling lethargic, unmotivated, and hopeless talk to your friends and/or family or us at Journeys Counselling about what is troubling you.

Depression counselling south Auckland

Depression counselling south Auckland


After a loss we all go through the pain of grief. Grief affects us emotionally, physically, mentally, how we behave, and how much we want to be with other people.

While grief is expected when we lose someone close to us, we experience grief in connection with a variety of losses throughout life. It may be because of unemployment, ill health, the end of an important friendship or relationship, the realisation that a goal will not be reached, the loss of a beloved pet, or any number of other life events.

It is important to recognise when grief becomes something more. When we become ‘stuck’ in our grief it can lead to depression and desperation affecting everyday life. Warning signs include being unable to focus on little else but the loss, thoughts of guilt or self-blame associated with the loss, the belief you did something wrong and could have prevented the loss, feeling as if life isn’t worth living, feeling you have lost your purpose in life, or feeling life will never be pleasurable again.

Accepting the reality of loss and experiencing the pain, often takes a grieving person a lot longer than those around them expect. It is important to seek the support you need from those of us who can help you cope with your grief, and shelter you from those who cannot help.


Self-esteem is shaped by your thoughts, relationships and experiences. It is your overall opinion of yourself – how you see your abilities and limitations.

Low self-esteem is not valuing yourself as a worthwhile and valuable person. Many of us have the feeling we haven’t been ‘good enough’ in a specific situation but the person with low self-esteem is caught up in an endless round of comparisons with others (in which you come off second-best), lack confidence and the belief you have the ability to do better.

A person with low-esteem often feels rejected and misunderstood, and angry with themselves for not having the confidence to speak out or give their opinion. If you receive mostly negative feedback and are often criticized, teased or devalued by others, you’re more likely to struggle with poor self-esteem.

Your own thoughts have perhaps the biggest impact on self-esteem — and these thoughts are within your control. If you tend to focus on your weaknesses or flaws, you can learn to reframe negative thoughts and focus instead on your positive qualities.

At Journey’s Counselling we can help you understand how your low self-esteem arose and work with you to change your current beliefs about yourself. This will help you to transform your self-image and confidence in yourself and take control of your life.

Self Esteem south Auckland
Self Esteem south Auckland


Those who suffer from panic attacks know that they can be one of the scariest experiences. Panic attacks can be triggered by recent stress. They are an extreme form of anxiety, and occur at unexpected times often leaving the person afraid of venturing into public spaces in case of another attack. The symptoms are intense, physical, and terrifying. People having a panic attack often feel they are having a heart attack, a stroke, losing their mind, or even dying.

Typical physical symptoms are:

  • Palpitations, pounding heart
  • Sweating
  • Trembling and shaking
  • Sensation of shortness of breath or smothering
  • Feeling of choking
  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Nausea or abdominal pain
  • Feeling dizzy, unsteady, light-headed, or faint
  • Feelings of unreality, or being detached from yourself
  • Fear of losing control or going crazy
  • Fear of dying
  • Parathesia (numbness or tingling sensations)
  • Chills or hot flushes

We at Journeys Counselling can offer support in understanding the situations or emotions that are feared, so they can be faced without harm thus decreasing anxiety. We can also look at the underlying issues that may be causing the attacks. Good treatment can not only resolve attacks, but can give a greater sense of wellbeing, understanding and increased life control.


Life transitions can be very challenging. Often they are not planned for, and may be thrust upon us. Over the course of a lifetime we can expect to experience a significant amount of change. Some examples of life changes are marriages, births, new jobs, relationship breakups, moving house, children leaving home and retirement. Many of these changes may cause significant stress. For those who are finding it difficult coping with life transitions you may find it helpful to talk to us at Journey’s Counselling so we can help you through these periods of adjustment.

Life transition counselling south Auckland

Self Esteem south Auckland


Boundaries are essential for healthy relationships, and healthy lives. Setting up and sustaining boundaries is a skill, which many of us struggle with. Boundaries are new concepts and can be very challenging. Having healthy boundaries essentially means knowing and understanding what our limits are. They cannot be set if we are unsure of where we stand, so identifying our physical, emotional, mental and spiritual limits can help us to understand tolerance and acceptance of what may cause distress and stress.

Boundaries are the defining lines around personal and professional relationships. They include boundaries around body autonomy, the level of intimacy you share, the kinds of relationships you remain in and what is psychological, physically or emotionally safe. Different people have different boundaries. Boundaries can change in relation to experience and the level of trust. People who respect the boundaries of others may find boundaries within the relationship change over time.

Boundary guilt is a name for the emotional storm associated with setting and or changing a boundary. It usually occurs when there is a conflict between two values you hold e.g. psychological safety and keeping others happy. It is normal to experience boundary guilt even when you know you have made the right decision about the boundary you have set. Feelings associated with this kind of guilt may include shame about your need for the boundary; fear of other people’s responses; sadness about what has been lost by setting the boundary; and anger towards others or yourself for the discomfort you feel.

Over time the difficult feelings lessen and in time may be gone completely. Some boundaries may remain uncomfortable because the other person does not respect them and challenges or manipulates to get their desired result in the relationship. It can feel awkward or very uncomfortable to hold your boundary even when it is the best way of taking care of yourself.