How to Find a Therapist in New Zealand

two women sitting beside table and talking

By: Ashley Cairns

Trying to find a therapist in New Zealand can often be a difficult task. Navigating the process can seem like a daunting, endless stream of waitlists and disappointment. Knowing where to look can make all the difference between finding a therapist and not. TalkingWorks and A Change for Better, as well as many other directories, can help link you with professionals in your area and online. Talking to others either from non-profits, your doctor, or even a friend can help link you with a counsellor taking referrals.

Here are our recommendations for finding a therapist in New Zealand:


A Change for Better

Here at A Change for Better, we not only provide therapy, but we help to connect you with quality, vetted professionals with immediate availability in your area. We believe that education and information are the cornerstones of wellness. So not only will you be able to read therapists’ profiles, but you’ll be able to see how they approach mental health by viewing their articles and other resources. We want you to feel comfortable in your counselling experience and understand to put trust in a professional is not something that is taken lightly. Our professionals are skilled, vetted, and available to book now. Check out our Professional Directory here for more information or to book in with one of our professionals.



TalkingWorks is a professional directory of available therapists all across New Zealand. They ensure that only qualified professionals are listed on their site by checking their licensure with their respective boards. Currently, they are the largest professional directory for therapists in New Zealand.

Google Search for Therapists in Your Area

Knowing how to search Google for therapists in your area can open the doors to professionals available that you may not find on TalkingWorks. Try searching terms like “therapists in my area”. “counsellors Christchurch”. “therapists Auckland”. Many times, smaller named professionals taking new referrals can be found this way. Not everyone is on the larger directories. 

Speaking with Local Mental Health Non-profits

Just because you don’t meet the criteria for the counselling centres you do know about, doesn’t mean they can’t be helpful. Call up your local Salvation Army, Grief Centre, etc and ask if they know of any therapists taking referrals. Many times, those professionals who have been working in the field for a significant amount of time will have connections to other professionals who may have an opening.

Check the ACC Website

Qualify for support through ACC? They have a directory on their website dedicated to all professionals available through ACC. This can often be one of those frustrating services to navigate. Check this website regularly for new professionals in your area. There is a nationwide shortage of therapists willing to work with ACC due to the disparity in pay versus what the work entails. Therapists who do work with sexual trauma survivors often have additional training and supervision that are not covered by the reimbursement costs. As a result, many have given up the additional workload, putting real pressure and strain on the system.

Gumboot Friday Counsellors

Gumboot Friday Counsellors

I Am Hope, also known as Gumboot Friday is a registered charity here in New Zealand. They help connect under 25’s with a therapist for a minimum of 2 sessions. In cases of real need, the therapist is able to request an additional 2 sessions for the individual. Gumboot Friday counsellors are located all over New Zealand.

They have their own directory of approved therapists and actively vet their qualifications for quality. This is a great funding stream that professionals are signing up for in droves. Gumboot pride itself on its more ethical take on payments to professionals. As far as I am aware, it is the only funding stream in New Zealand currently that pays a professional their full rate. Keep an eye out for this charity in the years to come. Donate to Gumboot Friday or Donate a Calf to Gumboot Friday to help keep this wonderful service going.

Find a Therapist by Asking a Friend

It can be hard to admit we need help for ourselves, let alone let anyone else in. But asking a friend could help you to find a therapist in New Zealand. Most therapists take referrals from word-of-mouth sources. This makes your friends very valuable allies in this journey. Approach a friend or two who you’ve known to have accessed mental health support. They may be able to refer you to their therapist, or another they’ve heard about. Depression is the silent killer because it tricks us into believing we cannot talk about our struggles. We most certainly can and should be talking about mental health.

complimenting others -find a therapist in New Zealand


Finding therapy in New Zealand can be a difficult experience. Finding the right therapist can oftentimes be a matter of looking around at places like I Am Hope/ Gumboot Friday, A Change for Better, or TalkingWorks. We hope that our tips above will help you clear a pathway to your counselling experience.

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