Counselling and Relationship Therapy

Sophia Elise

About Me


My partner and I have five adult children between us. In my spare time I enjoy beach and bush walks, travelling, reading, movies, pub quizzes, art, dining out, going to shows (especially comedy ones) and sharing a wine with friends.  I have lived on the North Shore my whole life and enjoy being close to the beautiful beaches. I understand first hand how hard life can be because I have also experienced challenges and difficulties that have affected my relationships, health, children and family. 



I am a fully qualified Counsellor and Nurse, with a Post Graduate Diploma in Counselling, Master of Applied Practice and Diploma in Nursing. I also work as a supervisor to other professionals and have a Certificate in Professional Mentoring, Supervision and Workplace Coaching Skills.  I left school at 16 to attend University to train as a nurse. After graduation I worked in a variety of nursing roles and sectors for 18 years. I then formed a non-profit organisation which I managed for eight years. During this time I worked as a coach and business mentor and was a finalist and winner of a few business awards. I have always enjoyed working directly with people in the helping professions and after eight years in business I returned to University and trained as a Counsellor. After completing my counselling qualification I worked in a Community Clinic and local Secondary School, and  have now been working exclusively in private practice for many years. I'm passionate about learning, and am constantly reading and attending professional development seminars and courses to ensure that I deliver the best service to my clients. A significant part of my ongoing education has involved advanced, specialised  training as a relationship therapist. I attend a monthly peer group with an exclusive focus on relationship therapy, as well as regular individual supervision. I am a Registered full member of the New Zealand Association of Counsellors, provide Supervision for other counsellors and adhere to the NZAC Code of Ethics. 


Areas of Interest

As a counsellor and relationship therapist I enjoy working with a wide variety of people including adults, teenagers, families and couples. I have extensive experience and advanced training in relationship therapy. I work with a range of problems and have a particular interest in:-

- Anxiety and Stress

- Depression 

- Relationship issues for couples and individuals, including conflict, communication and infidelity

- Sexual difficulties

- Separation and child custody

- Parenting issues, including blended families and step parenting

- Narcissism and Narcissistic abuse

- Helping adolescents and teenagers decrease anxiety and increase their confidence and resiliency

- Neurobiology

- Supervision


- Masters in Applied Practice (First Class Honours)

- Post Graduate Diploma in Counselling  

- Certificate in Professional Mentoring, Supervision and Workplace Coaching Skills

- Gottman Method Couples Therapy Level 1

- The Developmental Model Level 1 (Relationship Therapy)

- The Developmental Model Level 2 (Relationship Therapy)

- Accredited Facilitator of My FRIENDS Youth and FRIENDS for Life Programs 

- Diploma in Nursing

- Research Thesis on how women are affected by romantic relationships with narcissistic males

- Full Member of the New Zealand Association of Counsellors (MNZAC)

Additional training courses 

- Solution Focused Brief Therapy (Compass)

- Response Based Therapy for Bullying and Violence (NZAC)

- Anxiety and Mindfulness (NICABM)

- Depression (NICABM)

- Anger (NICABM)

- Trauma (NICABM)

- Working with Core Beliefs of "Not Good Enough" (NICABM)

- Working with Couples (Couplework)

- Navigating Emotional and Sexual Intimacy with Couples (STNZ)

- How To Talk About Sex for Practitioners (Tanya Koens)

- Working with Sexual Desire Discrepency (Paula Dennan)

- Developmental Trauma and Sexuality (Sex Therapy New Zealand)

- Out of Control Sexual Behaviour (STNZ)

- Male Sexuality - implications for therapy with men, women and couples (Mind Body Institute)

- Sex Ed by Porn - helping young people (Maree Crabbe)

- Neurobiology and Early Life Stress (Compass)

- REPAIR Programme - Neurobiological interventions for Early Life Trauma (Compass)

- Working with Step-Families (Mike and Adele Cornish)

- EFT (tapping) (Robyn Shepherd)

- Understanding Enneagram Personalities

- Leadership through Mentoring (Re-new Mothers)

- Leading and Guiding a School through a Traumatic Incident (MOE)

- Preventing and Responding to Suicide (MOE)

- Managing Suicides in School (MOE)