Workshops and Counselling


The MDA and its branches offer workshops on a variety of topics. Recent workshops include lifting and handling safely for carers, sexuality relationships and disabilities as well as a workshop for parents with a child diagnosed with a neuromuscular condition. Look out for upcoming workshops on the coming events page of the website or in the MDA's quarterly "In Touch" magazine. You can also find out from your MDA branch or Fieldworker.

If you have suggestions for workshops you'd find useful, please let us know!


Counselling can help you deal with a number of problems; grief and loss, trauma, anxiety, depression, relationships, parenting, communication and adjusting to a new situation such as being diagnosed with a neuromuscular condition.

During a session the counsellor will help you to tell your story and develop responses that will work for you and encourage you to find answers of your own. You will get a non-judgmental, supportive professional. All counselling is confidential, what is said in the room stays in the room unless you agree otherwise and except in the rare situation where you may be a danger to yourself or others or where counsellors have a legal obligation to inform other counsellors.


The MDA NZ provides up to three free one hour confidential counselling sessions per year to MDA members. The aim is to help MDA members who have a neuromuscular condition, their carers and other whanau/family members by partnering with EAPworks to allow easy access to professional, accredited and experienced counsellors in alignment with the MDA's VISION "people living with a neuromuscular condition having unrestricted oppourtunitues to achieve their full potential" Click here for more information.

Some community-based agencies, for example Home and Family Counselling and Lifeline offer face-to-face counselling sessions and don't set fees for their services. Instead ask clients to make a donation, which they can afford. Many counsellors, however do charge a fee for their services but funding for this can be sourced through WINZ if you are receiving the Disability Allowance or are on a low income. However you are limited to a set amount of counselling sessions via this method.

The Family Court arranges free and confidential counselling for couples who are having problems with their relationship, or who are separating and need help reaching agreement on issues such as arrangements for the care of their children. Counselling is also available for parents and guardians of a child if they are unable to reach agreement on an important issue concerning the child. Family court will fund a maximum of six hours of counselling.

Telephone counselling is a professional service that enables callers to work through issues affecting their life, reaching decisions that are constructive and positive.  It may be in moment of crisis but need not be - there are times in everyone's life when even small problems can seem insurmountable and talking it through with someone can be of real help. Telephone counselling is not "problem solving" and it is not giving advice or advocating a particular course of action.  It is rather, about forming an empathic and non judgmental relationship in which the caller feels safe to talk about anything, often in a way that is not possible with family or friends.

Your MDA Fieldworker or the MDA National Office can help you with this service.