Sarah Penwarden

Counsellor, PhD


Hope is a practice; it is something we do with others.
– Kaethe Weingarten


Areas of Special Interest

  • grief
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • stress
  • anger
  • relationship conflict
  • workplace issues


Counselling Services

I am an experienced counsellor based in West Auckland. I specialise in providing a comfortable space in which to talk about troubling thoughts, intense feelings or any other concerns.

Counselling is a space where through trust and care, a person can express thoughts, feelings and life experiences that are currently problematic. Through telling their stories, a person can gain a sense of clarity about who they are, and the strengths they have in navigating problems they are currently facing. Counselling can provide both a place in which to express feelings and be heard, and also an opportunity to grow in self-awareness and self-belief. In this sense, counselling can facilitate turning points for people wanting change in their lives.


Counselling Approach

Narrative therapy invites a person to make meaning of their life through stories. It is an approach where people gain a greater sense of the stories that are shaping their lives, and come to see themselves as able to “re-author” their own stories. I use a technique called “double-listening” which involves listening both to the aspects of a person’s life that are problematic and also listening for the person’s strategies in navigating their life. I also listen for their values that they can hold onto through the difficulties. I am also skilled in offering creative approaches to counselling, such as using drawing or writing as tools to express feelings, tell stories and gain some resolution.


Background and Experience

After gaining a Masters in Counselling in 2001, I worked for ten years as a school counsellor, and then began to work with adults. I gained a PhD in grief counselling in 2018. I have worked both with adolescents and adults facing a breadth of issues such as anxiety, depression, stress, relationship conflict, and anger. I have worked with men and women facing struggles in their mind, body and emotions, in their family/relationship lives, and also in their workplaces. I have also seen people from a variety of cultural backgrounds, identities, and sexualities. I am comfortable talking about spirituality and diverse faith practices. I am very comfortable working with Pasifika clients, and seek to offer a warm space in which to talk.



Q Registrations and Memberships

- Member of the NZ Association of Counsellors (MNZAC)

Q Qualifications

- PhD in grief counselling and poetry therapy
- Master of Counselling
- Postgraduate Certificate of Education
- Bachelor of Arts (Hons)

Q Appointments

Mondays 9am. - 6pm.
Fridays 9am. - 6pm.

Q Fees

- $120 per session
- You may be eligible for WINZ funding via the Disability Allowance.
- fees can be paid via online banking.