Before joining GHPS as a counsellor, Sara van Tonder was an entomologist for several years, working on the National Collection of Insects in the field of taxonomy and describing several new species of Bruchidae (insects).
After leaving the world of insects, she joined SA Breweries, (SAB/Miller) where she taught student brewers how to make beer.
While at the training department of SAB/Miller she became interested in psychology and started working towards qualifying as a therapist.
In 2003, she completed a M Th Clinical Pastoral Care degree through the University of Stellenbosch.
Sarah follows a narrative approach to therapy. She has chosen this approach because she believes it enables her to be both respectful and collaborative in the way she offers counselling and does community work. Also, within the South African context she believes it is important to listen to the stories of people’s lives against the background of a larger social, cultural and political context from which problems often arise.
Sara offers support at Hospice, listening to the stories of the nursing sisters during patient rounds, and helping them to collaboratively work out respectful practices between patients and nursing staff.
She is also co-owner of a printing business in Paarl.