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Counsellor Profiles

Skylight Counsellors are supported by the Clinical Services Team Leader.

Shona McNeil
Counsellor (Kāpiti and Porirua)
Registered with NZAC

Shona’s background is in arts and mental health, and she works with children, adults and families. As well as being a counsellor, she runs a creative wellbeing centre in Kāpiti. Shona draws on her Celtic background and holistic models of health including Te Whare Tapa Whā. She uses elements of CBT and solution focused therapy, using a person-centred approach to build connection and walk alongside people on their road to wellbeing.

Sarah Markham
Counsellor (Auckland)
Professional Member NZAC

Sarah is a Skylight Counsellor in Auckland. She has experience working alongside children, young people, families and adults. She supports clients to move forward with a new found confidence and awareness. She uses a client lead counselling approach incorporating narrative therapy, CBT and play therapy.

Kate Scott
Counselling Psychologist (Christchurch)
Professional member NZ Psychologists Board

Kate is a Registered Psychologist and Play Therapist working with young children, teens and adults. She works with grief and loss, trauma, anxiety, stress and depression, difficulties around gender expression, poor self-esteem, self-efficacy and motivation. She also works with children experiencing social, emotional and cognitive challenges at school. Her therapy style person-centered and uses tools and techniques from Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Solution Focused and Narrative Therapy. Kate's style is influenced by attachment theory and an eco-systemic paradigm, facilitating client’s self-exploration, growth and healing through a therapeutic alliance characterized by warmth, congruence, and non-judgemental acceptance of their reality.

Louise Rolfe
Counsellor (Wellington and Hutt Valley)
Registered with NZAC

Louise has a Bachelor of Counselling and has worked in Kapiti with women of all ages, experiencing a wide range of issues. She has also worked with parents experiencing a broad range of parenting issues and feels passionate about supporting families – she has five children of her own and has first-hand experience of the challenges of being a parent. Louise uses a client centred approach and incorporates elements of Narrative, Solution Focussed and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy as well as other approaches – depending on the needs of the client. She aims to support clients to draw on their own strengths, enabling them to identify their own solutions.

Jackie Calder
Counsellor (Wellington)
Registered with NZAC

Jackie has a Diploma in Counselling and has worked as a Counsellor for over 15 years. Using a person centred approach Jackie works with adults, youth and children. A particular area of specialty for Jackie is working with children who have experienced trauma, loss, grief, anxiety and other issues that children may struggle with. Jackie uses sandtray therapy, drawing and play therapy in her work.

Suzana Sagadin 
Counsellor (Wellington)
Registered with NZAC

Suzana has worked with children/teens, families and adults. She uses a solution-focused, person centered approach, and uses play therapy. Suzana works with clients who have experienced trauma, grief, family breakdown and mental health issues. She is also interested in a neuro-scientific approach to counselling, specifically in self-healing methods. She understands the challenges for culturally diverse clients, based on gender and sexuality, as well as ethnicity. Suzana is passionate about providing a safe and non-judgmental space, where clients can draw on their own strengths and build their own solutions.

Sarah Wright
Counsellor (Wellington, Porirua)
Registered with NZAC

Sarah is experienced in counselling young people and their families. In particular she has worked with teenagers and university students and has provided support to the bereaved and the dying. Sarah has a gentle, non-judgemental, and person-centred approach. This gives her clients the space to develop a real person to person connection. Sarah works together with her clients to arrive at new ways of being and/or to make sense and meaning in their world. Sarah has a Masters in Counselling from Massey University.

Karen Hutchinson
Counsellor (Thames region)
Professional Member NZAC

Karen is a Narrative Therapist who trained at Unitec Auckland, gaining a Post Graduate Diploma in Counselling. Karen has experience in working with children, young people, individuals and couples. She specialises in identity and relationship restoration, grief and loss, and family harm intervention and recovery. Karen has a sound understanding of mental health issues for children and adults having previously worked as a mental health worker for 15 years. Karen is a mother of 4 children, two of whom are now adults.

Megan Bezuidenhout
Counsellor (Wellington)
Registered with NZAC

Megan has a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Psychology. She has a breadth of experience providing trauma counselling, child-centred play therapy and critical incident stress debriefing to clients from diverse backgrounds, who have experienced significant trauma in their lives. She understands the importance and power of mental wellbeing and focuses on a person-centred approach in her counselling.  Megan advocates for a holistic wellness approach, appreciating that each person's journey is deeply personal, guiding them to reconnect to their inner aliveness. In her counselling she focuses on areas such as of gaining self-esteem & confidence, overcoming grief and loss, and transitioning through life stages. 

Laura Hurtado-Roberts, PhD
Counsellor (Wellington, Hutt Valley, Porirua)
Registered with NZAC

Laura has a Graduate Diploma in Counselling. She is also a practitioner in developmental movement therapy [Extra Lesson™] which gives an approach to neuro-development in children and adolescents. She has experience working with parents, children and young people. She has worked as a counsellor with women of all ages experiencing loss and grief, trauma, abuse, anxiety, depression, transitioning through life stages. She has provided support to people who are dying and to those who are bereaved. She uses a person-centred approach, warmth, non-judgmental acceptance and deep listening in order to create a sacred and safe space with the client. At the same time, she uses art, movement, body awareness and mindfulness as a way to strengthen the client’s personal needs, in their journey toward assertiveness and self-discovery. Laura speaks several languages and has experience of working with people from widely varying cultural backgrounds and helps the client with healing and transformation. Her PhD in social sciences supports her understanding, that clients are individuals connected with society, culture and context.

Maria Cash
Counsellor (Wellington)
Provisional Member Registered with NZAC (previously full member of ACA, level 4)

Maria has a Diploma in Applied Counselling from NZ. She also has a Masters in Counselling from Australia, where she worked in a Family Relationship Centre and other centres. Maria is experienced in working with individuals and couples on a wide range of issues, e.g. depression, anxiety, anger, grief, trauma, and relationship issues (including abuse and separation). She is gentle and supportive as her clients explore their issues with her and move towards healing. She draws from a variety of counselling approaches and has an interest in neuroscience. Maria also speaks German.

Shanti Brown
Arts therapist (Porirua, Wellington)
Professional member of ANZACATA and Provisional Member of NZAC 

Shanti is an arts therapist currently working with children, teenagers and young adults. Shanti is passionate about providing a non-judgemental space for people to navigate the ups and downs that life brings. She incorporates art, mindfulness, and talking therapy to provide a holistic approach to wellbeing. (Please note - participants do not need any prior art-making experience). Shanti has a Masters of Arts in Arts Therapy (Clinical) from Whitecliffe College.

Fiona Ryland
Counsellor (Wellington)
Provisional member NZAC

Fiona has a Diploma in Counselling and has worked as a Counsellor for more than seven years. Five of these years were spent working with Tangata Te Whenua in Porirua. Fiona also works with Pasifika using the Fale fono model, and other cultures. Fiona has trained in working with trauma, male sexual abuse and anger management. She uses Transactional Analysis, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Constructive Narrative Therapy in her person-centred approach. Fiona, who has five children and seven grandchildren, works with children and teenagers. Other areas Fiona specialises in include grief and loss, depression, and domestic violence. Fiona is also a trained Budget Advisor.

Skylight Counselling is confidential, unless there is a serious risk of danger to the client and/or others.

Resources Available at Skylight

Skylight is here to help you through difficult times. We can assist you in a variety of ways with information appropriate for your situation. You are welcome to visit us and receive free information and a support pack from our resource centre and borrow books from the specialist library. We also facilitate Professional Development training and offer Counselling support services for children, young people, family/whānau and individuals who are experiencing tough times.

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