heart icons in Burnett Foundation Aotearoa branding

Free Counselling

Kaiāwhina kore utu

We offer free and confidential short-term counselling, helping to equip you to deal with life's challenges.

If you're seeking support in relation to your mental health and wellbeing, consider our group or individual counselling services. These are generally offered online but in some locations face-to-face services are available.

This service is available to:

  • People living with HIV 
  • People affected by HIV (e.g. partners, whānau and friends)
  • Men who have sex with men
  • Trans and gender diverse people who have sex with men

What can I talk to counsellors about?

Every person's situation is different. These are some of the types of things our clients work through with us:

  • Managing a new HIV diagnosis
  • Living with HIV (eg: the impact of stigma)
  • Ageing with HIV
  • Supporting a significant other/whānau with HIV
  • Sexual and gender identity
  • Sexual behaviour including sexual dysfunction and sex addiction
  • Self-esteem and self-care
  • Relationship issues
  • Grief and loss
  • Substance use and harm minimisation (Please note we are not specialists in substance use and harm minimisation)


To book an appointment for an initial phone chat with one of our counsellors, complete the form below.

Meet our Counsellors:

Mark Mcgoram

Mark McGoram (he/him) - Auckland, Nelson

I have been counselling at Burnett Foundation Aotearoa since 2019, working with clients from the LGBTQI community and people living with HIV, dealing with issues of identity, coming out, isolation, shame and stigma.

I am a gay man who has been out and proud for over 25 years. I have a strong belief that everyone can have a sense of their own personal identity, regardless of their sexuality, where they can embrace their unique life pathway without judgement. I feel strongly connected to a humanistic approach to counselling where the therapeutic relationship is client-centred, where he can sit alongside the client and be present.

It is vital for me to create an environment of trust, openness and mutual respect that promotes and encourages success and a positive outcome in the lives of my clients. I try to utilise my existing life skills and further enhance my abilities and passion with total genuineness, unconditional positive regard and empathy for my clients.

I offer virtual counselling New Zealand wide and in person counselling across the Auckland and Nelson-Tasman regions.

Andrew Pang (he/him) - Wellington

I love working alongside people on their journey towards a more meaningful and fulfilling life. I have been a practicing counsellor since 2014 working with young adults and adults in a variety of settings over the years, including community organisations, prison, high school, and university.

I identify as a Chinese New Zealander (second generation), hetero-demisexual, ethical non-monogamist, cisgendered male, and go by he/him pronouns. I grew up on the Kapiti Coast and have been living in Te Whanganui-a-Tara (Wellington) for many years now.

I work with a broad range of issues; however, I have particular interest in working with people around:

  • Self-esteem
  • Sexual identity (LGBTQIA+ friendly)
  • Cultural identity
  • Relationships and intimacy (monogamous and polyamorous/non-monogamous)
  • Men’s work

In my spare time I enjoy boardgames, fantasy and science fiction books, psychology and personal development audiobooks and podcasts, and organising events.

Victoria Riddiford (she/her) - Christchurch

It has been a privilege to have worked as a counsellor for Burnett Foundation Aotearoa in Christchurch for the past 14 years. During this time, I have gained a deep understanding of the unique needs of the communities we support; being people living with HIV and men who have sex with men.

I create a warm and non-judgmental space for individuals and couples to explore how they feel and get to the heart of what is needed. Helping clients get clear on what is right for them, live more authentically and in doing so, develop a deeper sense of connection with self and others.

I bring a calm presence that invites others to share whatever is challenging them in their lives, whether it be: shame, stigma, grief, relationship issues or sexual identity.

I am a registered counsellor and professional member of NZ Association of Intuitive and Pascha Therapists.

John Wickham Nelson

John Wickham (he/him) - Ruapehu-Taihape Region

I have been delivering counselling services for Burnett Foundation Aotearoa since 2011 and was originally based at the Āwhina Centre in Wellington. I am a gay male counsellor and live with my partner on a small lifestyle block.

My aim is assisting clients to address and resolve issues which are creating confusion and troubles in their life and relationships. At the heart of my work is enabling men to live a more wholesome sense of wellbeing so they may enjoy their precious human life with dignity, integrity and respect.

I am registered with NZAC, an accredited ACC Counsellor (Sensitive Claims), BWRT Practitioner & Family Mediator. My counselling approach is client centred and led (Narrative) as well as utilising Rational Emotive Behavioural Therapy (REBT) and BWRT (Brainworking Recursive Therapy). I work part-time with a Whanganui Based Trauma agency and maintain a private practice in the Ruapehu and Taihape region”.

Sara Rose Barnes (she/her) Ngāti Rangi - Christchurch

Kia ora I'm Sara, a dedicated counsellor with expertise in addiction counselling, mental health, and relationship work.

My specialization lies in sexuality and identity, and I hold a profound passion for supporting the LGBTQ+ community. As a proud member of the rainbow community myself, I bring a unique perspective to my practice. Committed to providing culturally inclusive services, I strive to create a safe and affirming space for individuals seeking support and empowerment on their personal journeys.

Sara offers both virtual counselling and in person counselling, some sessions are available on evenings and weekends also.

Dr Stella Maris Orzuza (she/her)

Kia ora koutou katoa, I'm Stella. In 2023, I connected with The Burnett Foundation seeking financial support for a client, and I was impressed by their thoroughness and compassion. I'm thrilled to now be a part of their team.

As a trained psychologist with multiple qualifications up to PhD level, I relocated from Argentina to Aotearoa and became a registered counsellor. My approach to therapy is holistic, integrating various clinically proven methods such as psychoanalysis, DBT, Mindfulness, trauma-informed, art and play therapy, as well as indigenous models. In our sessions, we'll explore what resonates with you, paving the way forward.

My extensive experience spans across adult mental health, community care, and education settings. I'm particularly dedicated to supporting clients from the Queer and Rainbow community.

Sessions are available in both Spanish and English. I look forward to working with you.

    No results available