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Counsellors concerned about lack of specialist services

Counsellors concerned about lack of specialist services for families in need

The New Zealand Association of Counsellors (NZAC) wants specialist couples and family counselling services established to replace Relationships Aotearoa.

NZAC president, Robyn McGill, said many NZAC members worked for Relationships Aotearoa, providing professional couples and families counselling expertise.

“We feel very deeply for the clients who relied heavily on these support services,” she said.

“Our concern is to ensure that satisfactory alternative arrangements are in place around the country for the many thousands of families requiring this kind of support.

“Our preference is to have specialist services established to replace Relationships Aotearoa.”

Ms McGill said families and relationship counselling is best provided by specialist counsellors who are experienced at addressing and supporting what are often stressful and tense marital and couples relationships in which violence can be a factor.

“We are also concerned that the providers who have been selected to replace Relationships Aotearoa may already be at capacity, and adding many thousands of more clients to their books may be unsustainable.”

NZAC is urging the government to review the new arrangements after 12 months to assess their workability and the satisfaction levels of families seeking this kind of support.

She said NZAC is happy to work with government to explore longer-term alternatives that reflect the specialist nature of these counselling requirements.

ENDS

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