Counselling

Are you or a loved one struggling with anxiety, depression, lack of purpose/motivation, an excess or a lack of emotion, anger management, grief, trauma, major life transitions, relationship issues, stress or burnout?

Counselling can support you to find emotional agility and live a full and meaningful life in line with your core values and improve your connection with yourself, significant others and with the world you live in. The counselling I provide is warm, friendly, accepting, non-judgemental and acknowledges our common human experience of struggling and growing.

Emotional Agility is the ability to be with your emotions with curiousity, compassion, and …the courage to take values-connected steps.”

Susan David from Emotional Agility

In counselling it is important that you find the right Counsellor for you so please give me a call on 0458231968 to discuss your needs and preferences before you book in. Every session is 100% confidential (unless there is a concern for safety) and you are in the drivers seat so you get to take each session where it suits you. I appreciate all feedback to tailor each session to you and your needs/preferences.

I offer counselling for your Self and/or for your Loved Ones

The type of counselling I offer is holistic, solution-focused and trauma-informed. 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 and 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.

The below prayer summarises ACT and my approach in a nutshell:

(Great Mystery) grant me the SERENITY to accept the things I cannot change;

COURAGE to change the things I can; and WISDOM to know the difference.”

Reinhold Niebuhr

Safe & Healing Space at
Deep Heart Wisdom Studio

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 session will be small changes that you will experiment with and practice daily to retrain your brain to feel differently and to find new ways of being between counselling sessions.

Particular areas of counselling that I am focussing on and continuing to grow in are:

  1. 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 Emotion Focus Therapy)
  2. Navigating important life transitions: (becoming a parent, becoming an empty nester, changing jobs/careers, perimenopause, menopause, midlife crisis).
  3. Supporting Parents to support children/teens with anxiety / other emotion issues: I am trained in No Scaredy Cats, Cool Kids Anxiety Program (& Chilled Teen Program) and the ProACTive treatment program for young people and children with anxiety and can use these programs in 1:1 counselling/coaching.
  4. Supporting Parents to improve their relationship with their child/teen: communication, parenting, conflict resolution, navigating a child/teen’s need for connection and independence.

Please contact me, Sara, on 0458231968 or saraphillipsnsw@gmail.com to book in for a free 15 minute phone consultation for further information.


In my experience Counselling with mindfulness brings about effective and deep change.

“What does it mean to hold space for someone else? It means that we are willing to walk alongside another person in whatever journey they’re on without judging them, making them feel inadequate, trying to fix them, or trying to impact the outcome.

Heather Plett

Counselling sessions can be conducted in person at my office, or by zoom or over the phone. I am very comfortable with counselling over the phone /zoom or in person as I have used these modalities since 2015.  Book now or call me on 0458231968 for a chat about how counselling can boost your resilience, relationships and well-being. Evening and early morning appointments are available and your first appointment is guaranteed within the first 4 weeks of booking.

Entrance and Outlook from Deep Heart Wisdom Studio (plenty of fresh air, nature and bird song!)

Testimonials:

My session with Sara was an absolute delight. In the space of one hour we had found simple strategies to set boundaries around what is most important to me. What had seemed daunting and impossible before, suddenly became clear and do-able after speaking to Sara. I think the best part of the session was Sara’s presence and skill as a listener. I felt like she really ‘got’ me, and the tools and techniques she taught me are well suited to my life. So uplifting and nurturing! Thanks Sara’. – Geordie, mum of two”I have been feeling and traveling so much lighter, free-er, kinder and gentler since our last session which is such a relief and respite from where I’ve been lately. The hugest insight to me was that I actually have to put what I know into practice if I want to be that future version of myself….it is no longer negotiable if I take a moment to fill my cup or not if I truly want to shine and thrive…..which I do.” Michelle Mum of 4


Benefits of Counselling:

Counselling is a process of talking about and working through your personal problems with a counsellor. The counsellor helps you to address your problems in a positive way by helping you to clarify the issues, explore options, develop strategies and increase self-awareness. For some people, just the process of telling their story to a counsellor, and being listened to, is helpful.

https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/ConditionsAndTreatments/counsellors

Find creative and realistic solutions to any issue affecting your:

  • parenting
  • relationships, 
  • career,
  • work-life balance
  • health & well-being
  • emotional mood / regulation

Cultivate more Mindfulness, Joy & Connection in your life


Counselling will inspire and motivate you to:

  • get the best possible outcome for you & your family as you make effective changes
  • cultivate the healthy habits and patterns you would like in your life
  • shift into a more positive growth mindset as you become more of your authentic self
  • bring the values and meaning that is important to you into your life and your relationships
  • grow your self-confidence to feel the fear and have the courage to do what is important to you
  • nurture yourself so you can nurture your loved ones
  • find more joy in life and appreciate the present moment
  • practice mindfulness skills to handle difficult emotions
  • connect and communicate with your loved ones in a way that makes life more meaningful.

What is the process/journey of counselling?

Research shows that the first 6 sessions of counselling can be where you make the most positive change to your life and subsequent sessions can support you to maintain those positive changes. I recommend you book several weekly sessions when you begin counselling, you can then move to fortnightly and then monthly appointments as you and I feel into what suits you best. If you are like me then you might dip into counselling for a particular issue, take a break and then dive back into counselling/coaching as other issues arise in your life (And let’s face it life is fairly consistent at bringing up issues for us to face!!). Other research indicates that if you have experienced trauma, particularly in your childhood then it can take 20-40 sessions to have made sustained improvements to your emotional well-being, sense of safety and relationships.

Research indicates that you will make more progress if you have longer and closer together counselling sessions, particularly with couples counselling, and particularly at the beginning of the process. It is recommended that you book weekly sessions of 90 minutes for your first few appointments. OR you may like to try booking longer half day couples counselling retreats of 3-4 hours where we can cover more ground and implement more strategies AND it can be easier to make the time in your busy schedules.


Testimonials:

“I was so deeply glad to have had the session last week to give me some balance and heartfulness to carry me through. Thank you for sharing your amazing insights and skills with me ” Jehni Mum of 2

“I have found the coaching sessions with Sara very helpful and insightful Sara has given me several strategies that have helped me move towards my goals which I would not have implemented without her guidance. Sara is passionate about coaching and it clearly shows in each and every session she conducts. She has an ability to capture the essence of what needs to happen even if I get stuck and she is able to get me on track. I highly recommend Sara to anyone looking for direction in their professional or personal life. Thank you Sara!”Local Business Owner

Phone and Zoom Counselling Sessions are available from the comfort of your own home/garden.

‘Sara was an excellent coach who helped provide me with the tools to effectively parent my sons. She coached me to actualize my parental skills and to maintain self-care.…I would highly recommend Sara to both friends and family’Mum of two,, via skype, Qatar

I picked up some great stuff from you & have been putting lots into practice…. I keep going back to my doodle sheet to remember things & even sat down w Z yesterday to create & brainstorm a Fun Family Things/Outings/to do jobs list. She loved it! I bought one of those journals – cheers for recommending it. Am looking forward to the hours I’ll spend with it! Writing up my goal & vision will be the first thing I do.I’m really slowing everything down & trying to be mindful to ‘live in the moment’. Think I’ve been living in overdrive for so long. It’s been lovely to give myself permission to ‘just be’ & I’m feeling so much happier for it already. I cannot thank you enough Sara, you have been a real inspiration!’ B (Mum to 3 children)


More information on Counselling (from PACFA): here


I am a member of the Australian Counselling Association (ACA) & Psychotherapy & Counselling Federation of Australia (PACFA).  I am guided by the ACA & PACFA Code Of Ethics.

PACFA Reg. Provisional No. 27532.


Testimonials:

‘Thanks Sara for your awesome Skype coaching session today. It was great to be able to talk through the issues my daughter is having at school and I am so thankful that we have created a list of achievable actions I can take to help her work through this phase of her life. Thanks again Cilla xx’ Cilla Mum of 2  Perth via skype

“My baby was 11 months old and I was feeling restless and stuck in a mediocre mindframe so I contacted Sara. I knew there was something more I needed to be doing… but what?After my session with Sara, I had a clear vision of where I wanted to be in 1-2 years. I had a list of tasks and actions to break the overall dream down into manageable, bite sized pieces. Small steps that didn’t freak me out at the enormity, but that were achievable.Its two weeks later and I have the beginning of a new business and have an event in the pipeline. I may not be at the end point to my overall vision, but I am one step closer to it and feeling happy and fulfilled in my life now.I could not have got to this point without Sara’s gentle guidance and steering me toward the path I needed to follow.Thank you Sara.” Clare Mum of 1

Difference between seeing a psychologist & counsellor: Each counsellor & psychologist works uniquely and so it is important to find the person you connect with and experience trust and rapport with. I use the same evidence-based programs ACT & CBT as many psychologists / social workers. To see a psychologist/social worker and to receive the medicare rebate for up to 10 sessions per year you need a mental health care plan (Available through your GP). In most instances you will still need to pay a significant gap fee. To see a Counsellor you don’t need a mental health care plan, you can have as many sessions as you like and the fee is often smaller to the gap fee.

Referrals: Having worked at Headspace and Interrelate I won’t hesitate to refer you on to the appropriate services if I feel an integrated approach is necessary or if I feel you need more comprehensive medical services. I refer on to specialist services if you are experiencing domestic and family violence, addictions or severe mental health issues.

Counselling sessions can be conducted in person at my office, or by zoom or over the phone. I am very comfortable with counselling over the phone /zoom or in person as I have used these modalities since 2015.  Book now or call me on 0458231968 for a chat about how counselling can boost your resilience, relationships and well-being. Evening and early morning appointments are available and your first appointment is guaranteed within the first 2 weeks of booking.

I am an EAP provider for CONVERGE, I have applied to be an NDIS provider.

Private Health Funds: I am a private health fund provider for GU Health, Doctors Health Fund, BUPA (and I am awaiting to hear back from Police Health, Emergency Services Health, Phoenix Health Fund and St Lukes Health) – please check with your private health fund if you are covered for counselling. You may also be able to claim back counselling/coaching in your tax return as professional development – please check with your accountant.

From little things big things grow…
What seeds of change can you plant today?