Val McCullough

021 221 7671

Background and Experience
I have worked with Youthline Manukau as a face to face counsellor for the past 7 years.
My prior work experience has been in the health field as an enrolled nurse, registered nurse, and in quality improvement for over 30 years. More recently I have been involved in clinical governance work and remain in this area on a part time basis.
Things that feed my soul are coming home to my cat, spending time with family and friends, travelling, fishing, movies and sipping on a flat white.

Counselling & Therapy Services
Do you want to gain a greater understanding of why you feel, think and behave in the way you do? Do you want to make better choices in how you live your life?

If anything in the following list prevents you from achieving these things and you would like an empathic, listening ear to share with, I would love to walk beside you and work together with you towards developing insight and skills to manage these.

  • Feeling stuck in an area of life
  • Unable to cope
  • Relationship issues with others and yourself
  • Abuse and trauma
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Communication skills
  • Stress
  • Grief and loss
  • Anger
  • Low self esteem
  • Difficulty in setting boundaries
  • Lack of self-compassion
  • Anxiety
  • Personal development
  • Self-caring


  • Master of Counselling (Second Class Honours) (University of Auckland)
  • Bachelor of Health Science (Nursing) (Manukau Institute of Technology)

Professional Membership

  • Provisional Member Registered with New Zealand Association of Counsellors (NZAC)
  • New Zealand Nurses Association

Counselling/Therapy Approach

My approach is eclectic and includes person centred, strengths based, and cognitive behavioural therapies. These allow me to utilise a varied toolkit of approaches and strategies to best meet your needs and expectations. These approaches are supported with sand tray, art therapy and symbol work, when appropriate. It is my hope and belief that clients find this versatility powerful in supporting positive change.

Area of Special Interest

  • Adoption – I have a special interest in the effects of adoption, especially closed adoption, on all members of the adoption triad, being the adopted child, birth parent/s and adoptive parent/s and extended families.All members of the adoption triad experience their own unique feelings related to adoption. These may include feelings of loss and grief, confusion, bewilderment, loss of control, shame, inferiority, aloneness, unanswered questions, worries about intimacy, anger, and other emotions. If your wellbeing has been adversely affected by adoption, talk to me about it.
  • Post Abortion – Whilst many women who have abortions don’t experience negative feelings, there are a significant number who do. Both of these responses to having an abortion are normal. Negative feelings can include depression, anger, grief, guilt, shame, spiritual injury.
    If you are enduring distress or negative feelings post abortion it is important to identify and unpack your feelings to understand what happened and why and what was most significant for you. Sometimes these feelings don’t surface till years later.Distress after an abortion can often be associated to other unresolved painful events in your life that have been triggered, that need to be explored. These could include previous losses, traumas and painful experiences.Men and other family members may also experience emotional or spiritual distress related to their partners or family member’s abortion.If your wellbeing is being adversely affected by abortion I’d love to journey with you to find healing and peace.
  • The Effects of Childhood Emotional Neglect in Adults – Emotional Neglect can take many forms, from a parent having unrealistically high expectations or not listening attentively, to invalidating a child’s emotional experiences to the point that he or she begins to feel self-doubt. When a parent is not emotionally attuned to a child, there is no mirror held up, no positive reflection being shared with the child. Developing a positive sense of self, then, becomes more challenging for a child.

Symptoms of Emotional Neglect that show up in adults may include but are not limited to:

  • “Numbing out” or being cut off from one’s feelings
  • Feeling like there is something missing, but not being sure what it is
  • Feeling hollow inside
  • Being easily overwhelmed or discouraged
  • Low self-esteem
  • Perfectionism
  • Pronounced sensitivity to rejection
  • Lack of clarity regarding others’ expectations and your own expectations for yourself

While having these symptoms doesn’t necessarily mean you are emotionally neglected, if you identify with more than one symptom, it may be worthwhile talking to someone about the possibility.

Clients find me warm and encouraging and enjoy my capacity to help them build on their qualities and skills to move forward. I have always been interested in people and their stories, and will enjoy hearing your story.

If you would like to tell me your story and explore any areas that may be adversely affecting your life you can be assured you will be listened to empathically and supported in developing and understanding what is happening for you. I will assist you to discover how past patterns influence the present and how these new insights can create freedom to explore choices around change.

If you would like me to work with you then contact me to make a time to meet.