About Jeff Saunders

Jeff Saunders - Professional Profile

  • I've been a couples, marriage and family counsellor and therapist for twenty five years, specializing in helping couples and individuals with a wide range of difficulties, especially with relationships and conflict management skills.

  • For the past six years I've been using EFT (Emotionally Focused Therapy) when working with couples-a well researched approach to couples therapy, with high rates of success. This is a very powerful experiential model in which couples gain insight into how they're interacting and become naturally motivated to make changes. Normally 10-20 sessions are necessary, often spread out out over several months. For more on how EFT works, visit the international website at http://www.iceeft.com/home.htm

  • My general counselling and psychotherapeutic training is extensive, so here is a brief summary. I completed a Masters in Guidance Counselling in the early 1990's after earlier training in Transactional Analysis and Gestalt. I have also received training in Person Centered Counselling, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and qualified in psychotherapy and hypnotism by becoming a Masterpractitioner in Neuro-linguistic Programming. I'm familiar with a number of other schools of therapy also, but mostly use the above modalities in my work. I have also trained counsellors in a number of counselling skills, such as couples and family therapy, Person Centered Counselling, and group counselling. My counselling and psychotherapy training followed fifteen years of teaching Social and Physical Sciences in high schools, where I began my counselling career as a high school counsellor.

  • I also offer supervision to colleagues, counsellor trainees, and from time to time, managers, health professionals and others.

  • Currently, as part of my private practice, I specialize in counselling couples and families who are struggling with relationship challenges. I first began this work in the late 1980s as a high school counsellor helping families, and have also taught many relationships courses since that time. These courses offer relationships help and advice in an educational setting.

  • In order to spend more time writing, I have now stopped lecturing at Vision College where I was involved in the training of counsellors in a number of disciplines. Whilst there I taught Marriage, Relationships and Family Systems, Personal & Professional Boundaries,Lifespan Human Development and Counselling Skills & Dynamics which teaches generic counselling skills for working with individuals, couples, families or groups.

  • I get to practice these skills myself in my own relationships and marriage. I'm married to Lucy and have a daughter in her late teens, and live up on the hills above Christchurch.

  • I offer relationships, couples, marriage and personal development courses to the public, and in 2012 will make some of these available on-line.

  • I offer supervision and mentoring to counsellors, trainee counsellors, group workers, managers, and health professionals.

  • I marked Massey University 'Couples and Family Counselling' masters papers for a time, and in 1992 completed a one year course specializing in working with couples and family systems. I receive ongoing training in Emotionally Focused Therapy.

  • I have been a member of the New Zealand Association of Counsellors since the early 1980s.

Jeff Saunders - Personal Profile

  • I live up in the hills above Christchurch where we enjoy lovely views over the city towards the Southern Alps and the sea.

  • I work and counsel couples in a suite underneath my home. It is quiet, secluded, private and perfect for supporting people to reflect on their life.

  • I enjoy life with my wife Lucy and step-daughter Zita. Lucy is a Pascha therapist, so psycho-babble is common talk in our household.

  • Nineteen year-old Zita is in her second year at university and over the years has given me opportunity to gain experience parenting in a step-family situation.

  • I enjoy walking and running in the hills, and on occasions swimming at the local pool.

  • I meditate twice daily most days, and find this an absolute necessity for my well-being. Living in quiet surroundings makes it very easy to meditate at almost any time.

  • I also head into secluded spots up the hill when I want to get away from it all and write, or create cartoons for my next book.