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I’m a Solution Focused specialist counsellor committed to improving mental health outcomes for men (18+) across New Zealand.

Areas of specialisation include: anxiety issues (especially social anxiety), depression, trauma, relationship issues, life transitions and men’s mental health.

Tim Robinson - Counsellor

MCouns (Distinction). MSc Psych. PGDipHealSc (Health Behaviour Change), Provisional Member Registered with NZAC

Christchurch, New Zealand

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Areas of Specialisation

Men’s Mental Health


As men we face a number of challenges as we negotiate our way through the world. Any range of issues from loss of identity, relationship issues, financial struggles, anxiety, depression, loneliness, grief, trauma, loss of hope and drive, loss of meaning and fears of being perceived as “weak” or not good enough if we don’t match up to some imagined ideal. Often these standards were not freely chosen but more an overall definition of what a man “should” be set out by society, often a long time ago.


This seems particularly true for men here in New Zealand where traditional masculine norms are still quite well ingrained in our culture. The reality is there are many different ways we can express our masculinity and it can be different for each person for a range of reasons. Rather than being a “right” way to do it, it’s more a case of finding what works best for you and then proudly and confidently being that in the world. That’s what I’m here to help you to do. No matter what struggles you happen to be facing right now, I’m here to help you be authentically yourself, show your unique talents and abilities to the world and do that with confidence and full belief in yourself. The better we believe in our ability to face the worlds challenges, the better equipped we are to handle them.

 It can be difficult to admit we are struggling and it can be difficult to reach out to even our closest friends for help, especially in our lowest moments. Solution Focused Brief Therapy provides a safe space to hear your concerns, develop new ideas and create new understanding by working together to find a way forward. My desire is to provide a platform where men can see themselves at their best, showcase their individual talents, support other men to do the same, improve their relationships and overall live happy, worthwhile, fulfilling and meaningful lives. If this sounds like something you are wanting, get in touch. Also be sure to check out my Men’s Mental Health Blog for more detailed information on various topics: Men's Mental Health Blog | Tim Robinson ( or you may find this blog more specifically helpful: Focusing on Mental Health is a Sign of Strength (


Social Anxiety/ Anxiety


As someone who was diagnosed with social anxiety at the age of 17, I know personally what it feels like to go through it and what it takes to manage it so you can live the life you want. Social anxiety can be incredibly debilitating and given that we are social by nature, the influence of it can filter into almost every area of someone’s life. It might be a fear of standing up for your needs and wants, a fear of authority, trouble ringing up people on the phone, eating in public or signing your name while being watched.

You might avoid large gatherings or tasks that involve lots of people, even though they might be tasks you need to complete in order to get to where you want to go in life. When in social situations you might feel flushed, flustered, have a racing heart, feel tense across your neck and shoulders or even your whole body. You might have sweaty palms or a shaky voice. Typically, social anxiety involves fearing others negative judgements.


Through counselling I can help you learn to calm yourself, believe in yourself and reconnect with your strengths and resources so that social anxiety is no longer getting in the way of you reaching your hopes and dreams. Instead of being a feature of daily life, it will start to fade into the background so it no longer impacts your future. I also work with generalised anxiety, worry and rumination and sleep issues. Here is a short blog I wrote on anxiety: 10 Ways to Manage Anxiety Successfully (


The Midlife Crisis and Life Transitions

Somewhere between 35 and 45 (although this isn’t a static number) many of us will go through what is commonly known as a “midlife crisis”. This often results in a heavy depression, anxiety and a loss of a direction so profound many of us have never experienced anything like it anywhere else in the life cycle. You might feel lost, depressed and unsure of your future. You may not know what you want anymore and activities that used to fill you with joy might seem mundane and bland. You might feel as if you don’t know who you are anymore and find it hard to even envision a future beyond how things used to be. These primary questions might come up for you: Who am I really? And What has my life meant up until now? Who am I apart from my roles and responsibilities? It’s a crisis of identity. I wrote a blog about the midlife crisis here: The Midlife Crisis and the Role of Responsibility (

However, it doesn’t have to be a midlife crisis that causes some of these symptoms or the increased reflection on self. It can be any life transition, it’s just that a “midlife crisis” seems to be one that is particularly profound and many go through it. The transition might be that you are moving from high school to the workplace, university to your first job, you’ve moved to a new city, you’re about to have your first child, your children have left home and you don’t know what your purpose is anymore or that you’re approaching retirement and you’re unsure what your later years will look like.


It might be an unexpected health diagnosis or the sudden loss of someone you love. It might be the unexpected loss of your career or the break-up of a long term marriage. Whatever it is I can help you reconnect with your values, reconnect with yourself and gain a sense of direction and purpose. Life will start to become clearer and easier to as you gain a sense of purpose, enthusiasm and direction in your life once more. Here is a blog I wrote on life transitions: Negotiating Life Transitions (




Grief can be one of the harder emotions to process as so often it involves losing somebody close to us, someone who has had a meaningful impact on our lives. We are left in disbelief, frustrated or numb and we feel as if a hole has been left in our lives that can never be filled. It can be hard to even begin to think of a way forward. We can’t imagine how life could ever be filled with joy, happiness and peace again or worse still, we feel guilty about feeling happy, as if that somehow dishonours our loved one’s legacy. Life can feel as if it has stopped moving forward and feels as if it may never move forward again.


 However, grief is not limited to someone passing away. We can also experience symptoms of grief at the loss of a job, a friendship, a relationship or the loss of a pet to name a few. While these emotions feel big at first and it feels as if you can’t go on, in time, and with some help the pain will lessen. In some sense grief never goes away, we will always remember our loved one for example, but counselling will help you to build your life around the grief so while it still may be there in some form, you will start to build a life around the grief so the impact on your day to day life becomes less. I’ll help you to process your grief and see life just as it is but with increased hope and optimism for the future. You’ll start to see that life can still go on in a positive way even though the situation that caused the grief will never be forgotten. While this blog is not specifically about grief it does talk about self-care and avoiding burnout which may be useful: The Importance of Self-Care in Avoiding Burnout (



Relationship issues/ Interpersonal Conflict


I provide therapy for individuals. However, I have worked on relationship issues with several of my clients. Given that many of the issues I see in relationships come down to communication I have helped several men change how they relate to their partners and got them to a stage where clear, honest and transparent communication is the norm. As they put their best foot forward in their relationship it generally encourages their partners to see the best in them and start doing the same. Often the entire relationship dynamic changes as a result.


Interestingly, when we change in a positive and respectful way, our partners can’t help respond to this and the relationship as a complete unit starts to change as a result. Be honest, most of us just want to be heard, understood and appreciated but sometimes as men we don’t communicate that very well.

As I’m sure you know issues don’t just exist in the domain of romantic relationships. We can also experience conflict with friends, family members, coworkers, our boss or acquaintances. I’ll help you to communicate better to resolve issues and give your relationship (whoever that may be with) the best chance of succeeding.


Trauma (excluding sexual trauma)


While there are tools for managing the symptoms of trauma such as flashbacks, anxiety and panic attacks that I can provide, I have found rather than the traumatic event itself causing the issue, it is more about how the client views themselves in relation to the trauma that is important.


One of the benefits of Solution Focused Brief Therapy is that it doesn’t involve going through detail by detail of painful memories in order to see improvement. Often, we get stuck in old patterns of thinking about ourselves in relation to the trauma as a result of the traumatic experience. We may have come away perceiving ourselves as weak or that it was our fault or that we are powerless or out of control. We might feel as if we will never get our personal power and sense of agency back.


Once we learn to view ourselves differently; as a survivor, as someone who showed strength to get through that traumatic event we start to view ourselves differently which impacts our symptoms and impacts our sense of self.  I’m here to help you get your life back so that trauma no longer impacts your daily life and you can look forward to a future where the symptoms of trauma no longer get in the way.

Men's Mental Health Blog

As I've mentioned I have a particular interest in men's mental health. As a result, I write blogs on topics I think might be especially useful for men when negotiating their health and mental wellbeing. I add to this regularly when I have the time and feel inspired (usually by a client) to write something on a particular topic. Take a look and see what you think. I'd also be happy to hear of topics you would like me to cover: Men's Mental Health Blog | Tim Robinson (

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Qualifications and Registration

  • Master of Counselling with Distinction (University of Canterbury)

  • Postgraduate Diploma in Health Sciences with Merit: Endorsement: Health Behaviour Change (University of Canterbury)

  • Master of Science with Merit: Psychology (University of Canterbury)

  • Bachelor of Arts with Honors: Psychology (University of Canterbury)

  • Bachelor of Arts: Psychology (University of Canterbury)

  • Provisional Member Registered with The New Zealand Association of Counsellors (

About Me

Academic and Vocational Background

I have worked as a counsellor for over seven years and have studied and worked in the health sector for 18 years, I have master's  research experience in counselling and psychology using qualitative and quantitative research methods. I also have  a postgraduate diploma in health science where I specialised in Health Behaviour Change. My passion for research and continued learning means I like to keep up to date with the latest research and I'm often consuming literature on psychology, counselling and health as they are areas I have a strong interest in. My commitment to continued learning and my constant striving to keep honing my skills in Solution Focused Brief Therapy allow me to give my absolute best to my clients and that is something I'm very proud of.


 Due to my personal experience of social anxiety and my strong interest in anxiety issues, I initially worked as a volunteer for Anxiety Support (now MHAPS) providing Peer Support to those experiencing anxiety disorders. I later worked as a Support Worker for four years helping clients in the community with their daily living and overall wellbeing in their own homes. I worked at The Canterbury Men's Centre as a Counsellor  for five years before deciding to go into full-time private practice where I felt I could see more clients, be more flexible with my times and devote more time to learning and developing my Solution Focused Brief Therapy expertise which ultimately benefits my clients. I have a thorough understanding of Psychology, Health and Counselling through my academic pursuits and continue to increase my knowledge in these areas.  I find that the knowledge gained from my academic pursuits combined with the practical knowledge I've gained as a counsellor and in other areas of t the health sector combine to create a formidable source of knowledge, insight and skill when doing therapy with my clients. It's for that reason I can't wait to work with you and help you to improve your life.

Academic Research

I have completed Master's research in both Psychology and Counselling. In Psychology I focused on stress and calming techniques, while in Counselling I focused on masculine norms in New Zealand and how they impact counselling engagement for men.

You can view my research here: Traditional masculinity and counselling: a study of traditional masculine norms in New Zealand and their influence on men’s engagement in individual counselling services. (

Personal Attributes

As a person genuineness, trustworthiness and integrity are important qualities for me, and qualities I appreciate and respect in others. I have a lot of empathy for those who are struggling as I too have had my own struggles, so I’ve been in the client’s seat. I know how hard it is to make that first call to a counsellor, how difficult this can be particularly as a male, and the determination and stubbornness it takes to stay on your counselling journey when things get tough.

 I’m not a big, bold personality but I’m certainly inquisitive, thoughtful and try to do my best by everybody. These qualities are a strength for me in my counselling work where I show a respectful interest in others and take a lot of pleasure in seeing them succeed. Counselling in my opinion, is far more about listening and understanding than it is about pushing forward my own ideas, and while I do have knowledge in different areas of health, psychology and counselling I’m more interested in your own unique skills and talents and how they can propel you forward in your life. We are all unique and we all have unique skills and gifts. I see the purpose of counselling as brining these gifts and talents forward so they can be used and enjoyed in your life.

This is why Solution Focused Brief Therapy was a great fit for me, my personality and the way I choose to view the world and life in general. The focus is on the client and their knowledge. I view clients as capable and as experts on their lives rather than viewing them as being the summation of their problems or viewing them through their diagnosis. I view clients as another fellow human being first, with the problem that brought them into therapy only being a small portion of their life. It certainly doesn’t define the entirety of who they are or limit them in their possibilities.

I know for me I’d far rather be viewed as capable, full of possibility, potential, strengths, encouraged and believed in, than defined by a diagnosis or problem. We are all just people doing our best to navigate the world (including me) and I don’t see why counselling should be any different in its focus. I’m a human first, counsellor second and this comes through in the modality I choose to practice with (SFBT), my personality and the way I work in general.


Personal interests 

On a personal level I have an interest in the outdoors, fishing, cooking, music and travel.

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Counselling Training and Style


What can I expect from Counselling?

Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) is quite different from other types of talk therapy. Instead of focusing on the problem that brought you to therapy, all the difficulties that causes and all the details involved with the problem, SFBT approaches counselling from a different direction. Concerns are still listened to and validated, but the focus of the session is on what you want from counselling, the details of what achieving that outcome will have on your life, and a description of the resources you have to achieve it.

It has been said that rather than problem solving it’s about solution building. SFBT is an evidenced based approach, often achieves outcomes in fewer sessions than other types of therapy, and clients usually report they feel good after a session which is not always the outcome of more problem focused approaches.


SFBT is a questions-based approach where the counsellor or therapist is collaborative with the client rather than being “the expert”. This is because as SFBT therapists we believe the client is the expert on their own lives. The purpose of our questions is to inspire, build hope, create insight and ultimately empower the client to achieve their desired outcome. This can result in the client seeing themselves differently and believing in themselves more, so while the circumstances of their lives might not change their belief in their ability to overcome them will. Often, this has a flow on effect to all areas of the client’s life. As a client sees themselves and their ability to overcome challenges differently, their life changes.


So, expect to be asked some challenging and thought-provoking questions in a respectful and thoughtful way, but also expect to see your view on the possibilities of what you could achieve in your life open up in ways you probably never thought possible. I encourage you to give it a go and see what you think! It’s a dynamic and wonderful way to both practice counselling (from my perspective) and experience counselling (from the client’s perspective).

Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (University of Canterbury)

Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) is a therapeutic approach that was developed by Steve de Shazer, Insoo Kim Berg, and their colleagues in the 1980’s. SFBT is an evidence-based approach that is effective at helping clients from any background and with various presenting problems. SFBT is a radical approach to helping clients that asks clients to focus their attention on the future they would like to design and create rather than continuing to focus on other problem-related concerns.


This language-based approach encourages clinicians to view each client as resourceful and competent, while they co-construct (work with) their clients to move forward into the life they would like to live. SFBT professionals ask detail-oriented questions that get clients thinking in new and more adaptive ways. After engaging in change-oriented conversations many clients report feeling warmly understood and empowered to use their agency and autonomy to make necessary changes in their lives that are in line with their desired outcome for therapy. This respectful and collaborative approach doesn’t further traumatize clients or require them to wade through heartache and pain. Instead, SFBT helps clients expand their vision of who they are and what they are capable of accomplishing. (Home - Solution Focused Universe ( I wrote a blog about what Solution Focused Brief Therapy is and how I think it helps from my perspective here: What is Solution Focused Brief Therapy and How will it help me? (

Motivational Interviewing (University of Canterbury)

“MI is a collaborative, goal-oriented style of communication with particular attention to the language of change. It is designed to strengthen personal motivation for and commitment to a specific goal by eliciting and exploring the person’s own reasons for change within an atmosphere of acceptance and compassion.”  (Miller & Rollnick, 2013, p. 29) (Understanding Motivational Interviewing | Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT))

I also utilise aspects of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Person-Centered Therapy alongside the above mentioned modalities. I like counselling to be a collaborative process where we work together on your strengths and desired outcomes for the future. 

Cost and Therapy Offered


FREE 30 min first session. I want to be sure my skills match what you are looking for. A free 30 minute session allows both of us time to decide if we can work well together. Also, if you are new to counselling taking the first step can be a daunting process so this gives you a chance to understand how I work without committing to therapy. 


If at the end of 30mins you decide I am not the best "fit" or I feel another service may be better suited, I respect that and there will be no charge. The ultimate goal is to find the help you are looking for and this does not always happen first time.


Counselling sessions cost $150.00 per session and sessions are 45-50mins long.

There is funding available from Work and Income to the value of $70.00 if you meet the criteria. 

Sessions are offered online or by phone only


Online sessions are provided through a secure platform called Zoom: One platform to connect | Zoom

Have a look at my blog post: 5 Reasons Online Therapy is a Good Option (

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"People may spend their whole lives climbing the ladder of success only to find, once they reach the top, that the ladder is leaning against the wrong wall".

Thomas Merton
Trappist Monk

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Contact Tim

Are you ready to take a step forward? Get in touch, I look forward to hearing from you!

The first 30 minutes is FREE!

Sessions are delivered by phone or online only.

Thanks for getting in touch!



"I know I will have mental health problems all my life, but talking to you has really helped me. When I talk to somebody like you I see everything in perspective"

Matthew, Christchurch


"Tim provided a professional and respectful environment for me and was able to adapt to my requirements. I found my sessions with Tim to be hugely beneficial to my circumstances and offered me perspective and equipped me with strategies that I can apply to multiple areas of my life, as and when required."

Joseph, Christchurch


"My previous experience with therapy had left me feeling like I had been through the wringer. However the process Tim led me through (to better understand issues that were impacting my wellbeing) were challenging but also very instructive and ultimately rewarding. Tims style is a wonderful balance of supportive and challenging as he worked through and helped me understand the issues I had and how to deal with them" 


Phil, Wellington 


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