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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

M. 021 037 5362 
arrowemail enquiry

Practice Locations

Lower Hutt

Online counselling available.


Appointments available after hours and on Saturdays.


5-18 years: $85 per session
19+ years: $100 per session

Sliding scale is available for those on low income. Please contact me to discuss this further or whether you qualify for a WINZ subsidy.

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.