Sara Phillips

Counsellor / Coach

I aim to understand my journey and the next right step I need to take, and to support you in your journey and to find the next right step you need to take. I use the understanding of the Internal Family Systems (IFS) model (read more here) to support you to work with your parts and increase your ability to access your Self-energy of curiousity, compassion, connection, courage, calm, clarity, confidence and creativity.

The Four Basic Goals of IFS

1. Liberate parts from the roles they’ve been forced into, so they can be who they’re designed to be.

2. Restore trust in the Self and Self-Leadership.

3. Reharmonize the inner system.

4. Become more self-led in your interactions with the world.

No Bad Parts by Richard Schwartz

I feel called to support myself and others to explore and understand:

  • the inner and outer landscape on this journey of being human here on Earth,
  • how our human nature and the nature on earth are interconnected,
  • how we can move from the old survival dance of life to the sacred dance of life
  • how we can learn from and heal in nature to come home to our Wise Self (essence, soul, spirit) with the qualities of curiousity, compassion, courage, creativity, connection, calm, clarity and confidence.
  • How we can cultivate these ‘C’ qualities above within our Wise Self to heal ourselves, heal others and heal Earth.

the goal of life is to match your heartbeat with the beat of the Universe, to match your nature with nature.”

Joseph Campbell
Wise Woman Within Retreat February 2022

Innocently immersing yourself in nature, you will discover in time that nature reflects your soul…”

Bill Plotkin SoulCraft

Read more about my mission here


I worked as a Speech Pathologist for over 10 years in the Kimberlys WA and Tasmania and then as a primary school teacher and family support worker in Alice Springs.

From 2015-2018 I ran Mindful Parenting Mindful Coaching and I am experienced in working 1:1 with parents and in groups / workshops such as Bringing Up Great Kids, Positive Discipline, How to talk so your kids will listen, Raising Resilient Teens.

I am a Professional Certified Coach (over 500 hours coaching) with the International Coach Federation & I am a registered Counsellor with PACFA & ACA. I receive external supervision to support me to develop my skills and I am always comfortable in referring clients to the appropriate service as needed.

I completed my Master of Counselling at Monash in 2020 and as I studied I worked as a Youth Mental Health Clinician and Therapeutic Groups Facilitator at headspace Port Macquarie from January 2018-June 2020 and then as a Student Counsellor, Community Development Worker and Relationships Counsellor at Interrelate March 2020 until May 2021.

I have had training in mindfulness (since 2011), Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT) (since 2013), and since 2018 I have trained up in CBT, DBT, Cool Kids Anxiety Program, Gottman Couples Therapy and creative therapy courses as well as other modalities. When I was introduced to Internal Family Systems in 2021, when I started in private practice as a Counsellor, I resonated with it so strongly I have been reading and learning about it since!

I look forward to hearing from you and getting to know your story 🙂

Group hugs in my family aren’t so easy anymore!!

We long to discover the secrets and mysteries of our individual lives to find out unique way of belonging to this world….to recover the treasure we were born to bring to our communities….to experience our oneness with the Universe.”

Bill Plotkin- Soulcraft

Interest Areas for Counselling/Coaching:

Inclusive Counselling (people of all genders, identities, sexual orientations & all cultures are welcome)

  • Anxiety Management Strategies
  • Depression
  • Relationship Counselling
  • Rehabilitation Counselling (post concussion or other injury)
  • Parent Coaching
  • Key Life Transitions
  • Spirituality
  • Mindset coaching
  • Find Your Purpose
  • Eco-anxiety
  • Eco-therapy / Eco-counselling
  • Internal Family Systems Therapy
  • Acceptance & Commitment Therapy
  • Cognitive Behaviour Therapy
  • Mindfulness
  • Mind-Body connection (polyvagal theory)
  • Attachment Needs
  • Art Journalling
  • Holistic Healing
  • Transformational heart, body & soul healing
  • Women’s Circles
  • Nature Coaching
A favourite place to be and walking the labyrinth
on the beach is a favourite thing to do!!

In 2023 I’m Reading or Listening to:

In 2022 I’m Reading or Listening to:

  • Belonging: Remembering Ourselves Home by Toko-Pa Turner
  • Maybe you should talk to someone by Lori Gottlieb
  • The Lightmakers Manifesto by Karen Walrond
  • The ACT Workbook for Perfectionism by Jennifer Kemp
  • Stolen Focus by Johan Hari
  • Pause Purpose Play Podcast by Michaela Thomas
  • The Imperfects Podcast
  • Power: a womans guide to living and leading without apology by Kemi Nekvapil
  • The Sex Ed you never had by Chantelle Otten

In 2021 I was Reading or Listening to:

  • Soulcraft by Bill Plotkin
  • The Lasting Connection by Michaels Thomas
  • Becoming Safely Embodied by Deidre Fay
  • Emotional Agility by Susan David
  • The Art of Holding Space by Heather Plett
  • Discovering the Inner Mother by Bethany Webster
  • Eight Dates to keep your relationship happy, thriving & lasting by J & J Gottman
  • Radical Awakening by Dr Shefali Tsabary
  • Dare to Lead and Unlocking Us Podcast by Brene Brown
  • How to do the work by Nicole Le Pera
I love bushwalking with my partner Phil 🙂

Training in 2023:

  • IFS Online Circle
  • IFS group and Individual Supervision
  • SoulCraft Intensive Retreat with Animas
  • Internal Family Systems: A Step-by-Step Guide Through Clinical Applications of the IFS Model (Online Course) with Frank Anderson at PESI Australia
  • IFS Immersion: Integrating Internal Family Systems (IFS) Across Clinical Applications (Online Course) with IFS Experts at PESI Australia
  • Journal Your Wild Parts: with Nique Murch at Openground Australia
  • Intuitive Drawing of Parts with Ruth Calver
  • MHPN IFS Interest Group

Training in 2022:

  • Soul Quest with Nature Philosophy (August, 2022)
  • The Goddess & the White Horse Mythology Course with Jacqui Bushell
  • Wolf Song Mythology Course with Jacqui Bushell
  • Never Good Enough (Perfectionism) Webinar with Jennifer Kemp
  • Internal Family Systems (IFS) Model; Online Introduction (4 weeks, August 2022)
  • Case Study Discussion MHPN
  • Art Therapy in Adult Mental Health Webinar
  • Supporting Grieving Adults: Creative Therapy Interventions and Practical Strategies to Promote Healing Course (October 2022)
  • The Hero’s Journey: Narrative Therapy and Storytelling Strategies That Celebrate The Client’s Heroic Response (October 2022)

Training in 2021:

  • Compassion Focused Therapy
  • Discover Internal Family Systems
  • Mindful Self Compassion
  • Complex Trauma Workshop
  • First Aid Course
  • Couples Therapy Workshop

My Personal Favourite Daily Mindfulness Activities:

  • Stream of consciousness journalling
  • Journalling with my parts
  • 10 minute recorded meditation (my favourite right now are music & mantras with Deepak Chopra)
  • Shower affirmations
  • Art Journalling
  • Mindfulness Walk / Swim
  • Hug until relaxed
  • New Moon & Full Moon Labyrinth

I write about my mindfulness journey here: https://deepheartwisdom.com/2015/08/27/my-mindfulness-journey/

More Info on Counselling/Coaching:

The type of counselling and coaching I offer is holistic and solution-focused. It is a combination of evidence-based neuroscience and polyvagal theory intertwined with ancient wisdom from many philosophies/spiritual traditions across the world with the main focus being supporting you to access your own inner wisdom in your body, mind, heart & spirit.

When appropriate I like to use Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT), Mindfulness, NLP and attachment theory / abandonment wound healing (for the inner sense of shame, the internal dialogue of ‘I’m not good enough’). Please ask for more information on these methodologies and I welcome requests for particular forms of therapy if you already know what works for you.

I use a combination of ACT, mindfulness and CBT in my own life and I personally experienced depression and anxiety in my teens and early 20’s so I know what it is like to use CBT/ACT & mindfulness as part of recovery. A focus in each counselling / coaching session will be small changes that you will experiment with daily to retrain your brain to feel differently and to find new ways of being.

A favourite holiday snap when I could still get my arms around my kids!!

Particular interests I am continuing to grow and learn in:

  • Relationship Counselling: communication, conflict resolution, rebuilding or renegotiating your relationship, identifying core needs / feelings, (I am completing Gottman Method Couples Therapy Level 2 Clinical Training and Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT))
  • Navigating important life transitions: (becoming a parent, becoming an empty nester, changing jobs/careers, perimenopause, menopause, midlife crisis, grief).
  • Supporting Parents to improve their relationship with their child/teen: communication, parenting, conflict resolution, navigating a child/teen’s need for connection and independence.


Beach Mandala / Medicine Wheel

PACFA Reg. Provisional No. 27532.

I am a registered Mental Health Practitioner with the Healthy North Coast Directory: https://hnc.org.au/directory/sara-phillips/ and with Psychology Today: https://www.psychologytoday.com/au/counselling/deep-heart-wisdom-counselling-coaching-port-macquarie-nsw/871016