An unqualified counsellor has been slammed by the Mental Health Commissioner over the way she dealt with a boy's threats to stab his mother.
Commissioner Kevin Allan said during a counselling session, the 8-year-old boy said he wanted to hurt his mother.
The counsellor responded by asking him what he would use to do it and made a comment about using some nearby scissors.
The counsellor restrained the boy and he ended up being pushed into a chair. The counsellor said she was trying to teach the boy emphathy.
Police ended up being called.
Mr Allan was critical of the counsellor's decision to probe the boy in relation to the threat and her failure to de-escalate the situation.
Mr Allan said the counsellor's comments to the boy were inappropriate and aggravated the situation.
Mr Allan was critical of the counsellor's decision to probe the boy in relation to his assertion that he wanted to stab his mother and, in particular, her failure to take steps to de-escalate the situation. Mr Allan considered the counsellor's comments to the boy were inappropriate and aggravated the situation.
The counsellor told Mr Allan her training to counsel children was having children of her own.
The counsellor has been asked to apologise to the boy and his mother, and undertake training in de-escalation if she wishes to resume practise.
The counselling profession is not regulated by law and Mr Allan has also written to the Ministry of Health with his concerns about this.