David Sander

Compass Counselling

Supporting people to find direction that is meaningful, and value driven.

Kia Ora my name is David Sander. On the East Coast of Aotearoa New Zealand is where my journey started and Taranaki has now become my home, and my mountain. Travelling to new places and understanding people has always been a passion of mine. I have lived in both South Korea and Japan where I worked, explored, and embraced the culture. Understanding and supporting the cultural needs of my clients is key to my practice.

Following these journeys, I decided to go down the path of becoming a counsellor. Having been in many roles where supporting people has been at the centre, training to be a counsellor was a natural next step. Since becoming a volunteer with Lifeline Aotearoa in 2011, I have had experience in high school, university, and corporate workspaces, supporting client’s mental wellbeing.

In terms of my education, I completed my Master in Counselling in 2018. From the thesis that I wrote as a part of this, I went on to publish an article for the New Zealand Journal of Counselling in 2020. It is important for me to support my clients in the therapeutic context, but also to contribute to the wider world that I am a part of.


My approach

At the heart of the way that I practice is the client, and I believe that this is client centred way of relating in of itself is a powerful tool. In addition to this I draw upon many tools to support my clients and their unique needs. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT), and Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) are some of the modalities that I like to draw upon when supporting clients to make meaningful change in their lives. As a part of professional membership with the New Zealand Association of Counsellors NZAC, I engage in regular professional development to make sure that my clients are receiving therapy that is evidence based and effective. I also see an external supervisor who oversees my practice, to ensure that I am practicing in an ethical and effective manner.


What I can support you with:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Grief
  • Life Transitions
  • Relationships
  • Cross Cultural Challenges
  • Challenges with Gender and/or Sexual Identity
  • School Challenges
  • Workplace Challenges
  • Existential Challenges
  • Faith and Meaning Making



Sander, D., & Wilson J. (2020). The weaving of the garment that I’m wearing: The spiritual lives of gay men in Aotearoa New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Counselling, 40(1), 45– 58. Read it here


Contacting me

I would encourage you to contact me using the email form, giving me your contact details, a brief description of what is going on, and what you would like out of the therapeutic process.

If I am able to support you I will contact you with the instructions for making our first online appointment and If I am unable to support you I will do my best to point you in the direction of someone who might be able to.

Do the difficult things while they are easy and do the great things while they are small. A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.
– Lao Tzu

Noho Ora Mai.


Q Registrations and Memberships

- Member of the NZ Association of Counsellors (MNZAC)

Q Qualifications

- Master of Counselling (First Class Honours)
- Post Graduate Diploma in Counselling Theory (Merit)
- Post Graduate Diploma in Arts (Psychology)
- Graduate Diploma in Arts (Psychology)

Q Fees

- $120 including gst per session.