Esther Saldanha

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.


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 for Adults

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!


Counselling for 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 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.


About Me

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.



Q Registrations and Memberships

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

Q Qualifications

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

Q Location

Russell Keown House
Level 3, Suite No. 1
1 Knights Road, Lower Hutt

Online counselling available.

Q Appointments

Monday to Friday. 8am to 4pm.

Q Fees

- $115 (inclusive of GST).
- Negotiable according to circumstance.
- I am registered with the "I am Hope Fund" and can offer free counselling to school age children
- ACC Registered

Q Payment Options

Cash or internet banking.