About Hester Van der Elst

Hester joined Peter in his clinic’s Taringa location to offer counselling services to the clinic’s large client base, among others. Hester and Peter agree that physical and emotional/mental health often go hand-in-hand, and as such recognised the natural fit of chiropractic and counselling for clients managing both acute and chronic physical conditions.

Read more about Hester’s counselling offerings at Taringa Health Centre.

Relevant Experience

Hester Ven der Elst Counsellor Brisbane

Over her 12 years’ support and counselling experience in South Africa and Australia, Hester worked with many people experiencing some form of psychological and/or emotional distress due to various adverse factors, diminishing their quality of life. These factors included loss, grief, capacity and life role changes, including illness or injury, relationship breakdowns, complex mental ill-health, and challenges with addiction.

Hester has specific experience in supporting medical doctors with sudden life altering injuries, addiction to pain medication, protracted medico-legal challenges, and crippling mental and emotional burnout, working from a trauma-informed, recovery-focused redemptive perspective.

Approach and Style

Among her specific skills, Hester cites a highly adaptive counselling style, enabling her to “meet her clients where they’re at”, due to her social work training and experience working with a wide variety of people from different cultures and walks of life. “I am thus able to relate and adapt to my client’s general frame of reference, as opposed to expecting my client to fit in with ‘how I work’. This helps establish rapport and a robust counsellor-client alliance quickly and effectively, so our work together can go ahead faster and more smoothly”.

Hester often employs the ACT* model for skills practice in psychological flexibility, due to its high adaptability to a client’s needs from and goals for counselling. Solutions-focused, strengths-based approaches and eco-systems theory from Social Work’s theory base, and developmental, psychodynamic and some post-modern approaches from Psychology and Counselling’s theory base, further inform Hester’s practice.

When not attending or preparing for counselling sessions, Hester parents two remarkable young people, spends quality time with her 2-yo nephew, and enjoys meaningful conversations with friends, Pilates and classical performing arts.

Hester’s wish for all her clients is this:

“May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.”
– Nelson Mandela

Qualifications and Associations

  • Bachelor of Arts (Psych & Eng Lit) – University of Pretoria, RSA, 1994
  • Bachelor of Arts (Honores) Psych – University of Pretoria, RSA, 1995
  • Master of Social Work Studies – University of Queensland, 2015
  • Member of the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW)
  • AASW Accredited Social Worker
  • Certified ACT* Therapist

Continued Professional Development

  • *Acceptance & Commitment Therapy – Certification – ACTMindfully
  • ACT and Mindfulness for Trauma – Advanced Certification – ACTMindfully
  • ACT for Depression & Anxiety – Advanced Certification – ACTMindfully
  • Perinatal Non-Directive Counselling V2– Australian Psychological Society Institute
  • QC9 Critical Components of Suicide Risk Assessment and Management (Level 1) – Qld Centre for Mental Health Learning
  • Mental Health First Aider (including Suicide Prevention) – MHFA Australia


Consultation is by appointment only at $120 per 1 hour session.

Make today the day you take positive action. Have a go.

Click here to book with Hester Van der Elst

Some after hours appointments may be negotiated.
Email to discuss: Hester@CausaSuiCounselling.com.au