Dr Jan Dorothy Wilson

PhD, MA, PGDipGuid, PGDipEd, BA, MNZAC


Jan has worked as a counsellor since 1978.  She established the Counselling Service at Long Bay College, and worked there for ten years. She then joined the counselling team at AUT University, initially as a full-time counsellor for ten years, then continuing for three days a week as a counsellor, and as Team Leader for the counselling team.

For ten years she worked for two days each week as an academic supervisor, and a support person for postgraduate students in the Faculty of Health and Environmental Sciences at AUT University.

Since 2011 Jan has been a lecturer in the Counsellor Education Programme at the University of Auckland, within the Faculty of Education and Social Work, School of Counselling, Human Services and Social Work. She has taught across the programme, with a particular focus on teaching Research and Counselling, and on supervising students undertaking the Research Portfolio for the Master of Counselling degree. She is currently supervising 12 Masters students and 2 PhD students. 

She continues to be involved in the Lesbian Elders Village project, based in Auckland and working to provide appropriate support and care for older lesbians. Since the mid 1980s she has had a small counselling supervision practice, and also facilitated the NZAC Auckland Supervision training courses annually.

Research | Current

Jan's research interests include women and depression, sexuality, the wellbeing of older adults, and the ways that women participate in the creation of meaningfulness in their own lives. She has a particular interest in narrative inquiry as a research approach, and is interested in qualitative research generally. She has had some experience also in collection and analysis of quantitative data.

Jan was a founding member of the Interdisciplinary Trauma Research Unit at Auckland University of Technology (AUT), and served on their committee for 10 years.

Teaching | Current

My major teaching area is counsellor education, including counselling supervision, research and critical analysis for counsellors, women’s mental health, especially depression, sexuality, and the needs and strengths of older adults.

Postgraduate supervision

Jan is currently supervising two doctoral students, and twelve students completing Research Portfolios for the Master of Counselling degree.

Previously she has supervised a doctoral student whose topic was ‘The psychological adjustment of African migrant women living in New Zealand: A narrative study.’

She has been a secondary supervisor or advisor for the following completed doctoral theses:

  • Frerichs, G. (2007). Balancing recognition and disrespect: recovery as the process of identity formation: a New Zealand study of how services shape recovery from sexual abuse.
  • Mathias, L. (2009). The shaping of decision-making in the NZ public healthcare services.
  • Gilkinson, A. (2010). Implementing a narrative curriculum for undergraduate midwifery education.

Jan has been primary supervisor for seven Master of Health Science students since 2003, and secondary supervisor for a number of others. Since 2011, when she joined the counsellor education team at the University of Auckland she has supervised 25 Masters students completing Research Portfolios for the Master of Counselling degree.

She has a particular interest in the research which can be carried out by clinical practitioners drawing on their clinical experience and wisdom.

Committees/Professional groups/Services

  • Full professional member of the New Zealand Association of Counsellors (NZAC)
  • Editorial Board for the New Zealand Journal of Counselling
  • Auckland interviewing panel for membership of NZAC

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Gibson, K., Wilson, J., Le Grice, J., & Seymour, F. (2017). Resisting the silence: The impact of digital communication on young people’s talk about suicide. Youth & Society10.1177/0044118X17720986
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Kerry Gibson, Jade Le Grice, Frederick Seymour
  • Dey, N. A., & Wilson, J. D. (2016). Social Confidence Groups 2: Stories of students transitioning from positions of "shame and hiding" to "whole-hearted" living. New Zealand Journal of Counselling, 36 (2), 52-70. Related URL.
  • Dey, N. A., & Wilson, J. D. (2016). Social confidence groups 1: A counsellor's response to helping tertiary students overcome social anxiety-related difficulties. New Zealand Journal of Counselling, 36 (2), 35-51. Related URL.
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/34531
  • Wilson, J. D., One, A., Busch, R., Karon, S., & Curnow, M. (2011). Lesbians and aging: Where to from here?. Paper presented at 2nd Asia Pacific Outgames Human Rights Conference. Strength in diversity: Connect, collaborate, inspire, Wellington, New Zealand. 16 March - 18 March 2011.
  • Fraser, N., & Wilson, J. D. (2011). Students' stories of challenges and gains in learning cognitive therapy. New Zealand Journal of Counselling, 31 (2), 79-95.
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/11109
  • Wilson, J. D., & Charmley, R. (2010). Refreshing Supervision. Paper presented at NZAC (Auckland) Mini-Conference for Counsellors: Recent Research and Innovations in Practice, Auckland, New Zealand. 16 April - 16 April 2010.
  • Fraser, N., & Wilson, J. D. (2010). Self-case study as a catalyst for personal development in cognitive therapy training. The Cognitive Behaviour Therapist, 3, 107-116. 10.1017/S1754470X10000097
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/11040
  • Wilson, J. D., & Giddings, L. (2010). Counselling women whose lives have been seriously disrupted by depression: What professional counsellors can learn from New Zealand women’s stories of recovery. New Zealand Journal of Counselling, 30 (2), 23-39.
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/11110

Contact details

Primary office location

Level 5, Room 511
New Zealand