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Sara Parsons

Counsellor,  Psychotherapist, Supervisor

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Counselling and Psychotherapy Services

Sara works with couples, adults and adolescents, for both short and long-term therapy. Sara is a Certified Transactional Analyst, counsellor and psychotherapist. She helps individuals and couples find solutions to problems by using various counselling and Transactional Analysis approaches. She provides psychotherapy for people who have longterm issues that affect their self esteem and day to day living.
People come to see her for a wide range of issues including:
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • addiction
  • life changes and life purpose
  • grief and loss
  • couples work
  • sexual abuse (ACC registered)
  • self esteem

What Happens in a Transactional Analysis Session with Sara?

Having a goal:  she will ask you to describe what you have come to see her about. She may say to you “how do you want to be when the counselling/therapy is all finished? Once you know how you want to be at the end of the counselling then she will help you set some small steps towards reaching that goal. She will support you to take these steps.

Enquiry and reflection:  during counselling she will help you to notice, accept and express any feelings or thoughts that are related to what you have come to see her about.

Tools to practice:  Sara will suggest strategies for you to take away from the session to practice such as mind/body awareness techniques and cognitive behavioural techniques. She finds that practising with a tool helps people to achieve the goal.

The Benefits of Counseling and Psychotherapy

As we grow up we are “socialized” by our parents, extended family, teachers and friends. Socialization helps us to learn helpful ways of being with others. For example, we learn to share, to have manners, to study and practice so that we can get proficient at what we do.

The socialization process can also be unhelpful. For example, we might learn to inhibit our creativity. Normal feelings, such as anger, love, fear, confidence can get repressed, as can our desires to be close to others and to have fun. When this happens, we grow up with a way of being in the world that does not fully express our true selves. Rather we express who we have come to believe others want us to be.

Psychotherapy (and counselling) can undo some of these less helpful effects of socialization. Psychotherapy is a journey into our unconscious; that part of ourselves that is hidden from both ourselves and others.

Nonetheless, the unconscious is present; it shows itself in our dream images, in our awake impulses and gestures, and slips of the tongue. It is there in our beliefs and expectations that underlie our relationships with others.

As your psychotherapist I will provide a relationship in which the unconscious can manifest and be welcomed.  You will be encouraged to be present with all of who you are when you are in the therapeutic space. To do this I may draw on meditative and gestalt approaches. From time to time I may suggest gestalt action methods to help bring psychological material into the present. I may also use diagrams from Transactional Analysis to develop and integrate your understanding of what we are doing.
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Culture and Spirituality

Sara is comfortable and experienced working with people from different cultural and spiritual backgrounds. Sara embraces a spiritual approach based on many years of training and practice in meditation.


Safety and Support

Sara offers a service that is confidential and professional. She creates professional safety where people feel supported to relax and reflect on their experience. Sara uses the Code of Ethics of the NZ Association of Counsellors (NZAC) and the NZ Association of Psychotherapists (NZAP). She has regular supervision for her work and is committed to ongoing professional development.

Learn to Meditate

meditation course wellington
Meditation is ancient practice that is proving to be very useful in these contemporary times. Many people are finding that by learning a few simple meditative procedures they feel calmer and more hopeful and meet challenges in their life with more creativity and energy.
Counselling people over the years has shown me that many people feel better and recover from symptoms of depression, anxiety and other forms of stress and distress as a result of particular mind/body awareness approaches that I use with clients. If it suits you, in psychotherapy sessions I will use meditation and meditative approaches as one of the ways I work with you as a psychotherapist.

In 1982 I was introduced to meditation by Ken and Elizabeth Mellor, founders of The Awakening Network. The meditations that I have learned since then, under their guidance, have formed the essence of these mind/body awareness strategies. I meditate regularly myself and within a meditation network in the Wellington region. I am not affiliated with any religion. The practices that I use come from Vedic, Buddhist and other spiritual traditions.

Clinical Supervision

In working as a clinical supervisor I aim to form a learning alliance between myself and my supervisee.  My overall goal is to provide support and challenge so that my supervisee can provide, safe, ethical, and effective counselling to his or her clients.  Expanding my supervisee’s awareness of counter-transference and transference are part of this goal. 
I expect myself to:
  • oversee my supervisee’s caseload.
  • identify and track my supervisee’s concerns about clients
  • explore alternative intervention
  • enhance my supervisee’s understanding of the material
  • affirm my supervisee’s competence
  • suggest relevant reading
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Supervision Model

I use a model called “The Seven-Eyed Supervisor”.  There are seven domains in this model.  Each domain is an aspect of relational experience that is present in the therapeutic and in the supervisory space.  Attending to the domains as they arise in each session keeps the supervision process relational.
The Seven-Eyed Model of Supervision
  1. the client's life and experience
  2. the interventions and techniques
  3. the process and relationship between client and counsellor
  4. the internal experience of the counsellor
  5. the here-and-now relationship and process between counsellor and supervisor
  6. the internal experience of the supervisor
  7. the Supra-systems in which some or all of the 3 people are involved
Adapted from Hawkins and Shohet (2007).Supervision in the Helping Professions. Open University Press.
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Staying Relational

Attending to what is going on for each of us right now is the primary goal, in my opinion, for counselling and psychotherapy.  This focus is what I aim for in my work as a supervisor.


Therapeutic Models

My primary training both as a counsellor and a psychotherapist is in Transactional Analysis.  Therefore, I bring many of these frameworks into my work as a supervisor.  For example, the Drama Triangle is very useful in helping the counsellor unpack “game transactions” with her clients. Transactional Analysis is a body of theory containing several models that simplify things for beginning counsellors.  An example of this is the notion using goals when counselling clients and goal centered communication when counselling couples.

Personal Qualities

I value transparency, authenticity, respect, curiosity, humour, and integrity in my work with others.  I look for a sense of the extraordinary (the beauty) within the ordinary qualities of life. These are the qualities that I bring to my work as a supervisor.
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Professional Facts About Sara

sara parsons 2012


Sara has been in private practice as a counsellor and psychotherapist since 1991.

She has also had employment as a counsellor and therapist with a residential treatment centre for addictions, Wellington Hospital Sexual Health Services, and at a Hutt Valley and Wellington Secondary School.

For many years previously, she worked as a teacher both of children and adults, and also ran a children’s bookshop for some years.

Qualifications and training

Sara trained in 1989 as a counsellor at the Heretaunga Campus of the Central Institute of Technology. She trained as a psychotherapist in 1997 at the Wellington Institute of Transactional Analysis.
  • Bachelor of Arts
  • Certificate in Teaching
  • Certificate in Counselling
  • Certified Transactional Analyst

Memberships and Registrations

  • Registered Psychotherapist (PBANZ)
  • Member NZ Association of Psychotherapists (MNZAP)
  • Member NZ Association of Counsellors (MNZAC)
  • Family Court registered counsellor

Locations, Contact Details and Fees

sara parsons wellington counselling room

Appointments are held at:

  • Level 8, Prime Property House, 2 Woodward Street, Wellington    arrowview map

  • Boulcott, Lower Hutt


To make an appointment:

M. 027 857 3021

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Cost of counselling appointments:

  • A fee will be disclosed upon making an appointment. The fee is GST inclusive.

  • Some clients will be eligible for a number of fully funded session through: the Employee Assistance Programme (EAP), The Family Court, and Primary Health Organisations.

  • To change an appointment please provide a minimum of 48 hours notice. There is a charge of the full fee if less than a full 24 hours notice is given.
sara parsons counsellor and psychotherapist wellington