Hi, my name is Nikki Johnston, I am 43 years old and married with two teenage sons. I hold a Masters Degree in Psychological Medicine, a Bachelors Degree in Psychology and a Certificate in Mental Health Issues.
Thus, academically, I am trained in the brain and behaviour, with an emphasis on mental health conditions and how they impact our functioning. In saying this, diagnosis and working with clients as a cluster of symptoms is not how I approach my interactions. I bring to my counselling a focus on the client as the expert on themselves with a range of knowledge, skills and strategies to bring about changes and facilitate their own healing.
I consider myself privileged to be able to sit with clients in their journey to improved well-being. My core belief is that with kindness, listening and support, people can discover who they are, what they are experiencing, and what they are capable of. When words are difficult to find, I offer artistic mediums (i.e., drawing, painting) to assist in the expression and exploration of emotion and self-discovery.
Over 20 years, I have worked alongside children, teenagers and adults in many different settings and circumstances. I have particular experience with anxiety, depression, trauma, anger and early childhood traumatic experience, including attachment difficulties. Sometimes, people come to counselling just to talk to someone who doesn't judge them, or to work out their thoughts in relation to life challenges. For me, there is no script and the client is the person best placed to determine what their needs are in counselling.
I have some training in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) which we can explore together and utilise if it is the right fit for you. ACT differs from other types of therapy in that rather than trying to distract and ignore difficult thoughts, it focuses instead on unhooking from them in order to make value-based actions towards the life you want. It is very much a collaborative approach and can be very successful in re-directing your focus into forward motion.
Counselling with me is available at Massage on Roydvale, 135 Roydvale Ave, on a Thursday between 10am and 8pm, and other days by arrangement (excluding Monday)
I am a member of The Psychological Society, hold current indemnity insurance, receive regular supervision, attend regular PD, and operate within the code of ethics for psychologists working in Aotearoa/NZ.