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Esther Saldanha

Esther Saldanha

Counsellor, Child Therapist & Family Therapist

Lodestar Counselling
My experience with people in a range of settings such as schools, youth groups, hospital, hospice, prisons and non-governmental organisations has helped me bring acceptance, understanding, compassion and a non-judgemental approach to my practice.
Esther Saldanha counsellor lower hutt and online

Contact Esther

Note: I have no availability in Wellington and am only seeing new clients in Lower Hutt.
M. 021 037 5362 
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Practice Locations

Level 1
Zephyr House
82 Willis Street
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Level 2, Room 8
Winslow House
217 High Street
Lower Hutt
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Online counselling available.


Appointments available after hours and on Saturdays.


$95 (5 to 17 years)
$110 for 18+ years
Negotiable according to circumstance.

Payment Options

Cash, cheque or internet banking. 

Client Types

Children, adolescents, adults, families, groups.


Areas of Special Interest

Grief due to death of a loved one, physical illness, separation or divorce. Coping with anxiety and depression. Managing anger and other difficult emotions. Building self-esteem. Behavioural issues, abuse, self-harm.


Counselling/Therapy Services

Clients tell me they appreciate my informal approach. People are at ease with me, nothing shocks me, you won’t be judged. I want you to leave counselling feeling enabled and empowered to believe in yourself and achieve your goals. You will get a better understanding of yourself and your situation, unpick complex issues, gain coping skills and practical strategies to manage your life better. I love helping people come up with their own solutions, so they can carry on without me!

Children & Teens:
I have a good rapport with children, they feel at ease with me and love to come to counselling. I can make their sessions fun and effective. I help them to understand what’s happening and why they’re reacting to the situation that is causing them difficulty. I teach them practical coping skills for managing the things they can’t change. I ensure that parents knows what’s happening in the counselling room, and also help parents with things they can do at home to help their child. A happier child is a happier parent.

I am registered with the "I am Hope Fund" and can offer free counselling to school age children


Counselling/Therapy Approach

I use a variety of approaches according to the client’s age, needs and personality. Some of the approaches I use are narrative therapy, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and psycho-education. These enable people to be empowered with effective coping skills. I also use non-verbal approaches such as Interactive Drawing Therapy, Sand Play Therapy and play techniques. These methods are non-confrontational, do not require any artistic talent and people find these helpful to work through issues at a deeper level.


Registrations and Professional Memberships

  • Member of the NZ Association of Counsellors (MNZAC)
  • ACC Registered Counsellor


  • Masters in Counselling
  • Post-Graduate Diploma in Guidance and Counselling
  • Certificate in Interactive Drawing Therapy
  • Clinical Pastoral Education
  • Certificate in PATH – Planning Alternate Tomorrows with Hope
  • Trained Pastoral Leader
  • Bachelor of Science

Background and Experience

I came to New Zealand in 2003 and loved it so much I became a citizen! My upbringing was very cosmopolitan, I have travelled a lot and lived in many different countries. This experience with many cultures means I am comfortable working with people from all sorts of backgrounds.

My experience in the helping professions, includes: hospital and hospice Chaplaincy, facilitating grief programmes in prisons, counsellor in a drug treatment unit, counselling at a High School, facilitating youth groups, and most recently as a child and family counsellor for those with complex needs.

My experience with people in this broad range of settings has helped me bring acceptance, understanding, compassion and a non-judgemental approach to my private practice.