Understanding NDIS counselling

Posted: December 2, 2022
Last updated: November 21, 2023
Table of Contents

Understanding NDIS counselling

What is NDIS counselling?

NDIS counselling is a therapeutic service delivered by accredited professionals, which can help you to look after your mental health and improve personal skills.

Counselling provides a safe space for you to:

  • Discuss things you feel are holding you back or causing emotional distress

  • explore options, develop strategies to overcome barriers and sort through conflict

  • process your experiences and create new perspectives.

Counselling is more than emotional support – it can also help you to build your capacity and gain skills such as coping skills and time management.

Counsellors are trained to listen, help you sort out your feelings, and develop strategies to help you overcome problems and work towards a happy, confident, and functioning you. They work at your pace and support you to come up with solutions that will work for you.

In this article we look at the situations where NDIS counselling might be beneficial, and how to get started.

What can NDIS counselling do for you?

Most people experience difficult and challenging times – life isn’t straightforward. Talking to your friends and family can be really helpful, but it’s not always possible, and sometimes you need someone independent and experienced. If you’re feeling upset, overwhelmed, confused, or unfulfilled, then counselling can assist you make sense of these feelings and thoughts and get you back on track.

Qualified counsellors know how to listen and support you as you work through problems. They help you decide on your own personal goals and develop ways to achieve them. With empathy and without judgment, an NDIS counsellor suggests opportunities, solutions, and new ways of thinking.

Benefits of NDIS counselling

Counselling is a flexible service that can fit to your needs. It can help you in many ways, including:

  • Relieving emotional distress

  • Dealing with problems and building resilience

  • Creating a safe and comfortable space to open up

  • Building skills such as communication, time management, coping, and social skills

  • Improving independence

  • Lifting self-esteem, confidence, and motivation

  • Setting direction to support you to move forward

  • Helping you understand yourself and others

  • Increasing clear thinking

  • Improving relationships

  • Guiding you to achieve your goals and reach your full potential

  • Finding answers and making decisions.


Who is counselling for?

Counselling can help with a range of issues, with some common ones listed below.


If sad, moody or low feelings persist for more than two weeks, it could be a sign that you have depression. Depression can affect people differently, causing you to feel irritable, lose interest in things you usually enjoy, lack energy, find it hard to concentrate, or change your sleeping patterns.

Anxiety and stress

If feelings of stress or worry don’t go away or don’t have a clear cause, it can be detrimental to your wellbeing and affect your daily life. If you are feeling anxious most of the time, or you’re not able to control your anxious thoughts, it might be time to seek help. Anxiety conditions affect 1 in 4 Australians, and they can be treated effectively.

Low self-esteem

Low self-esteem is persistently thinking negatively about yourself and not valuing yourself. You may blame yourself excessively, focus on negatives and ignore your strengths, think you don’t deserve positive experiences or think other people are better than you. This can affect your relationships and emotional wellbeing.

Difficulty with concentration and organising daily tasks

Problems with concentration and organisation can result from a range of psychosocial or mental health conditions, and they can affect daily living.


Strong relationships – not just romantic relationships – are essential for our mental health. But building and maintaining healthy relationships can take skill and effort, or they may be affected by events.

Grief and anger

Grief and anger are strong emotions that – while perfectly natural – can cause problems when they become persistent. Grief is an emotional response to a significant loss of any kind, and it is a process that affects everyone differently. Persistent anger can affect relationships or result in inappropriate behaviours, and it can also be a symptom of some mental health conditions.

Getting started with NDIS counselling

If you want to use your NDIS plan to pay for counselling, you need to have ‘Improved Daily Living’ in your plan, under the Capacity Building category.

Counselling works best when you can be completely open with your counsellor. You can bring up anything that’s concerning you, and if your counsellor isn’t the best person to help with a particular issue, they’ll be able to suggest other professionals for you to consider.

NDIS counselling and anxiety disorders

Anxiety is something that adversely affects many people at some stage throughout their life, for a range of reasons. It’s not at all uncommon in NDIS participants, because the challenges associated with having a disability – any type of disability – can take an emotional toll. While some emotional anxiety is a normal part of life, too much can affect our mental health, physical health, and ability to function day-to-day.

Emotional anxiety is usually caused by stress or traumatic experiences but lifestyle factors, such as poor sleep or diet, lack of exercise, and substance abuse, can contribute to anxiety. Emotional anxiety can be distressing, and if you’re experiencing anxiety regularly and it’s affecting your daily life, it’s time to get help.

Anxiety disorders are a group of mental health conditions involving excessive and persistent feelings of fear, worry, and apprehension. The major types are generalised anxiety disorder (most common), obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and social anxiety disorder (or social phobia). These are clinical anxiety disorders, and they are different from emotional anxiety.

NDIS counselling from a professional can help with both persistent emotional anxiety and anxiety disorders. A qualified counsellor can help you to understand what is happening to you and your body, the underlying cause of your anxiety, and any potential triggers. They will work with you on a plan to build your coping skills and manage your symptoms, in a way that works for you.

Counselling is usually very effective and, generally, a reduction in anxiety will be seen after only a few sessions, as participants gain a stronger sense of control over their emotions and become familiar with new tools and strategies for dealing with anxious feelings.

How does counselling fit into an NDIS plan?

It’s important to note that counselling is funded from a different part of the NDIS plan than recovery coaching and support coordination, which both come under Capacity Building – Support

 Coordination. This means that you may be able to access both coaching/support coordination AND

 counselling, and in fact, many people working with Goal Coach do choose to have both. The two services are complementary and can work well together, helping you to advance your goals and reduce barriers you may be facing – just in different ways.

Find out more about NDIS counselling with Goal Coach, or book a free 15-minute chat with one of our friendly coaches At Goal Coach, our counsellors create a safe space for you to unpack and clarify the things you feel are holding you back or causing emotional distress. We offer focused time for you to explore options, develop strategies to overcome barriers and sort through conflict. We will assist you to process your experiences

Find out more about NDIS counselling with Goal Coach, or book a free 15-minute chat with one of our friendly coaches At Goal Coach, our counsellors create a safe space for you to unpack and clarify the things you feel are holding you back or causing emotional distress. We offer focused time for you to explore options, develop strategies to overcome barriers and sort through conflict. We will assist you to process your experiences 

Make the most out of your NDIS plan today. Australia’s leading recovery coaches are here for you!

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