General Questions

What is counselling? Is counselling right for me?

Counselling is an effective way to get help with the issues you may be facing in your life. You can get help with stress, anxiety, depression, relationships, work, self-esteem, and many other life challenges and adjustments. Like starting your journey into motherhood or fatherhood. Read more

What’s coaching? Is coaching right for me?

Coaching is a useful tool that aims to help you broaden your awareness of your unique potential and limitations to maximise your resources towards your goal. Your dream. Your desired outcomes. To make your life better. And find your purpose and meaning.

What can you expect while working with me?

  • Discover your potential
  • Uncover hidden tastes and talents
  • Improve existing relationships and refine your social skills
  • Take your performance and productivity remarkably higher
  • Feel equipped to make better decisions
  • Find success and achieve results
  • Deal with transition and uncertainty

Read more

How is counselling different from talking to my friends or family?

With Counselling, you can explore, in a safe and confidential way, the various aspects of your life and feelings by speaking freely and openly in a way that is rarely possible with friends, family, and work colleagues. Feelings that are often hidden or repressed, such as fear, anxiety, mourning, pain and humiliation, can become very intense and disruptive to your wellbeing if there’s not an opportunity to work them constructively. Read more

What are the common myths about counselling?

Seeking counselling is a sign of weakness. Actually, it takes a lot of courage to explore personal feelings and painful experiences. When you decide to start counselling you're taking the first step in improving your life.

A counsellor will not understand what I am going through because he/she is not going through it. In reality, counsellors are fully trained to be sensitive, empathetic, and respectful of individual differences, including gender, race/ethnicity, religion, age, sexual orientation, and socio-economic status.

The counsellor will tell me how to "fix" my issues. In fact, counselling is not a quick 'pill' for what you're going through. The counsellor will help you see the situation more clearly, possibly through a different pair of lens. And, allowing you to make new and healthier choices, implement new changes faster, and reduce the instability you may have in your life. The emphasis is placed on your internal resources and assets, and the natural ability to grow that exists in every person. Even you.

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I’m right now in a crisis/another person may be in danger. What should I do?

If you are in a life-threatening situation, do NOT use this site or my personal contacts. In Australia, call the 24-hr National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 13 11 14. Or Kids Helpline at 1800 55 1800, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call 000 (Emergency Services) if life is in danger.

I heard you meditate. Do you use any app?

I’ve been meditating for the past 12 years, even before apps! Luckily, we've them now to make meditation simple. There's a few available like Headspace, Smiling Mind or Insight Timer.

Have you just started?

  1. Integrate: Make meditation part of your daily habits, like eating or drinking
  2. Be Realistic: 5 to 10 minutes/day and build on from that
  3. Commit: To see results, you have to do it

About Hugo 

What’s your qualification?

I have advanced academic training in Psychology, Counselling, Coaching and Community Development.

  • Degree in Psychology (Lusofona University, Portugal)
  • Post Degree in Counselling (Autonoma University, Portugal)
  • Certificate in Life Coaching (Open Colleges, Australia)
  • Master in Community Development (Murdoch University, Australia)
  • Mindfulness for Wellbeing and Peak Performance (Monash University/Future Learn, Australia)

Also, I'm a member of the following organisations:

To maintain a high level of professionalism, I'm engaged in regular professional development, professional counselling and supervision.

What’s your experience?

Over the last 16 years, I have been fortunate enough to acquire a diversified personal and professional background, having lived, practised, taught and researched in four culturally and linguistically diverse continents.

From Portugal, where I am originally from, all the way to Mozambique, Timor-Leste, and Australia, I have had a firsthand opportunity of knowing and experiencing true diversity, effectively engaging with people of all ages and cultures, and of successfully overcoming educational and community challenges, both in urban and in the most remote environments.

I’ve also had the privilege of helping countless individuals – in Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia – to address their doubts and challenges and to feel empowered to make clearer personal and professional decisions, and also to smoothly execute them. Indeed, having the experience of working in four culturally and linguistically diverse countries has allowed me to see that no one really has it all figured out.

Read more

What do you specialise in?

My special therapeutic interests and professional experience include:

  • Depression & Anxiety
  • Marriage & Relationships
  • Managing Change/Transition
  • Parenting
  • Self Esteem
  • Self-Awareness
  • Life Coaching
  • Career Coaching
  • Peak Performance
  • Stress Management
  • Spiritual Development & Life Purpose
  • Cultural Diversity
  • Chronic & Terminal Illness
  • Ageing and Life Review

Can you speak any other languages?

Yes, I can to provide counselling and coaching in English and Portuguese. Read more

Privacy Questions

How is my privacy protected?

Your privacy and safety are always my first consideration. I go to great lengths to ensure that you and your data are always kept safe and confidential.

Is what I say in a session kept confidential?

I will keep all you say confidential, except in exceptional circumstances. Under my professional responsibilities, I may disclosure information when:

  • you're considering of seriously harming yourself
  • you're being seriously hurt by someone else
  • there is a legal requirement to do so

Where possible, I will work with you honestly, letting you know if my concerns reach a stage where I need to involve other services.

As my client, if you have any questions or concerns regarding confidentiality, I am entirely open to discussing these with you.


How often will I meet with you?

We will work out a meeting schedule that fits your possibilities. Most clients begin by meeting on a weekly basis, sometimes changing to longer intervals (fortnightly, monthly, or bi-monthly) when positive change has begun.

How long is each session?

The sessions are of 50 minutes duration. I offer you an initial 15 minutes session, free of charge, so you can decide whether counselling or coaching are right for you. Book here

How can book an appointment?

To make a booking you can contact me by email. Alternatively, use the Book a Free Session form. So that you can decide whether counselling or coaching are right for you.

What happens during the free session?

We introduce ourselves, and I listen to what brings you to me, your background, and personal history. You only share what's comfortable for you. A free initial session is the best way to see if you can benefit from counselling or coaching with me. It's like 'having a quick coffee' with you before we decide to go or not for a bigger walk.

I need to cancel the appointment. What do I need to do?

If you can't make your appointment, that's totally fine, just make sure you send me an email and give me 24-hour notice.

Can I claim a rebate from Medicare when doing coaching and counselling with you?

Medicare only covers the services of a Clinical or Registered Psychologist who provides support to an individual. Coaching or counselling by a professional counsellor are not covered by Medicare.

Does my GP need to refer me for an appointment?

You do not need a referral to access my counselling or coaching service. Book a Free Session Today!

Are your services inclusive?

I am dedicated to accepting diversity and rejecting all forms of discrimination in the provision of my counselling and coaching services. I welcome all people regardless of ethnicity, lifestyle choice, faith, ethics, sexual orientation and gender identity.

I can't travel to your office because of illness or disability.

I can consult in your home when illness/disability or carer responsibilities make travel difficult. Please get in touch so we can discuss the details.

Technical Questions

What computer, another device and Internet connection do I need for an online session?

You can use any computer or other device (tablet, mobile phone) capable of running a modern web browser, Skype or FaceTime.

You will also need a functioning external or integrated microphone and webcam for video sessions with me.