Meet Your Therapist

Etai Gilad, DHypPsych (UK). 

Hi, I’m Etai

And I’m your local counsellor in Raglan. My primary intention as a therapist is to create a lasting positive change in a person’s life and empower them to continue on their path to a happy, free, healthy life. Each session is different and tailored to meet the client’s own needs. As a brief therapist and solution-focused hypnotherapist, I specialise in helping people to create positive change. This includes lifting depression, reducing anxiety, overcoming trauma or addressing any other issue that will have a positive impact on the client’s life.

My Approach & Philosophy

My approach is to avoid psychological jargon, complex theories or digging into the past. Instead, we focus on achieving the goals of the client. Together we explore possibilities and find resources. Anything (even seemingly negative) can be used as a leverage for positive change. I see the session as a learning process in which the client and myself are both learning and teaching. We draw on the client’s own life experience and resources (conscious and unconscious) as a ready source of strength. An important outcome is that the client develops tools and resources that they can use independently in future times of need.

This approach applied to both, face-to-face meeting or on online therapy

Who is Etai?

I was born and raised in Israel. After my (not so heroic) compulsory army service I studied to be a sound engineer then worked as a sound technician in a recording studio and on stage for bands and live performances.

And then I had a life changing journey.

My life took a turn in my early 30’s when I journeyed with two friends from Israel across Australia on a bicycle.

The 12,000km across the Australian desert was a pivotal point, a life-changing experience. Riding a bike in the hot sun, sleeping in a tiny tent in the middle of nowhere surrounded by red dirt and gum trees, carrying all our food and water on us. Meeting the land and getting to know her people. The explorer and freedom-seeker in me was ignited. There was no turning back.

Since then I have travelled and lived in many parts of the world from the far east to Europe, from the Himalayan mountains of Nepal to Lake Atitlan in Guatemala and the beaches of Mexico.

 So where am I now?

Nowadays I live in Raglan, New Zealand with my lovely partner Therese. We love our veggie garden, the awesome community and the open sea view.

I have picked up kitesurfing and really hope to master it (if the wind permits).

So, how and why did I become a therapist?

Press the Read more button below if you’re interested to find out.

Read more

My Story

 How do we really create change in our life?

This is the question that has led me to where I am today. 

I was introduced to different forms of therapy and self-development as early as my teens. I grew up in Israel and my older brother ran new-age workshops about relationships, using a breathing technique called rebirthing. Since he was my older brother I joined many workshops as a participant and as an assistant. It was sometime in the mid-80’s when the New Age movement was at its peak and these ideas seemed new and exciting.  Learning a new lingo, meeting like-minded people. We could attribute everything in our lives to this new theory. The focus was on the process with a promise that if we “clean” our past “birth trauma” life will be so much better… but was it? 

Now, I didn’t have any serious emotional or psychological issues (at least not that I know of) but from a young age self-confidence was not one of my strongest traits. Especially around romantic relationships. I underwent countless sessions and workshops and had so many “insights” and amazing experiences. I did have some benefits. But honestly in the way I felt, in my real life outside of the therapy sessions or workshops, in the way I was engaging in life, I didn’t notice that much change.
And not only myself, I saw people coming to workshop after workshop session after session, “working on it” and “trying to embody it”. But if it was working, why did they have to come back for more and more? 

I became curious about the process of change.

What really creates change?

Why do some people get the benefits and move on with their life while some just keep on coming for more?
When people told me about this new workshop or technique or therapy that was SO AMAZING I asked them, “What change have you noticed in your life since then?” In most cases, I got a surprised, confused look, “Nothing, I’m still integrating it…”

And this was common not only in the New Age system, it is the same (if not worse) in mainstream psychology. I know people that have a longer relationship with their psychotherapist than with a partner.

In many cases, all that digging into the past and revisiting old wounds and traumas made things even worse, leading to depression and dependency on the therapist. More than once I have worked with people who sound like a therapy manual or self-help book.

In addition to this, people in times of need often receive a cocktail of drugs which help very little and entail horrible side effects. This has an effect of convincing them that they are sick and helpless and there is nothing that they can do. Powerful pharmaceutical companies are encouraging over-prescription of medications.
All-in-all I found this system intolerable. There must be a better way!

Life changing journey

My life took a turn in my early 30’s when I journeyed with two friends from Israel across Australia on a bicycle. This 12,000km across the Australian desert was a pivotal point in my life, an experience that truly changed my life. I decided not to go back to Israel but to continue my travels. Since then I’ve travelled and lived in many parts of the world from the far east to Europe from the Himalayan mountains of Nepal to Lake Atitlan in Guatemala and the beaches of Mexico. Fascinated by learning about different traditions and, more than that, what unites us as humans beyond origin, race or culture.

The wounded healer

2006 was a difficult year for me, with a painful end to a relationship and professional dissatisfaction. I used to work as a sound engineer for bands and nightclubs. It was a job that I loved for many years but it lost its charm and fun. I felt stuck and I needed a new direction.
Then I stumbled upon a website which offered hypnosis MP3’s for download for various issues. I didn’t know much about hypnosis, just the stereotypical images from stage performances, TV and movies. Not very promising, yet intriguing. I downloaded my first MP3 and listened to it. After 20 minutes I got up and to my surprise, I felt really different. A pain I had carried for months was gone. And it stayed that way. My curiosity was sparked. What really happened here? How come not only the way I thought but also my emotional view had changed? I then began to learn more about hypnosis and later signed up for the full diploma course of Psychotherapy and Hypnotherapy with the Uncommon-Knowledge school in Brighton, UK.

Learning from the best

I was fortunate that my training was evidence-based. You see, the science of psychology has progressed throughout the years. We have new approaches such as positive psychology, solution-focused therapy and the Human Givens. New findings from real-time brain scans and neuroplasticity allow us to have a better understanding of the principles that help to create change. (Interestingly this new knowledge sits very well with age-old wisdom from ancient traditions).
It is recognised that the person who comes for a session is the real expert of their life. It is important to meet you as a person and not as a theory or a model, to empower you so the change happens outside of the therapy room in your life in a way that works best for you.

Here’s the thing,

many problems that people experience are like being lost in a foreign city. What do I mean? Let’s say you’re travelling in a foreign city, trying to get somewhere, but lose your way. You’re probably not going to stop someone and ask them to show you all the ways you went wrong, all the wrong turns and dead ends. Sure, it will give you a lot of information but it’s not very helpful. What you’re probably going to ask is, “How do I get there?”. You’ll want signposts and landmarks that allow you to find your way by yourself next time.

My Values & Beliefs

We are not broken and needing to be ‘fixed’.

If a piece of wood going down a stream gets stuck behind a rock, it is not broken, it just needs a tuin the right direction. 

Therapy is a learning experience.

Yes, I have my knowledge and expertise. But at the end of the day, you are the real expert in your life.  We both have the opportunity to learn something new.

Therapy is a means to an end.

The changes need to happen in your life. Once the goal(s) have been achieved, the therapy ends.

Education & Experience

Etai Gilad, DHypPsych (UK).

I trained and received my diploma in Psychotherapy and Hypnotherapy counselling from the Uncommon-Knowledge centre in Brighton, England. I am also certified by Dr Richard Bandler and Johan la Valle (NLP).

I was featured as Practitioner in Focus on   As a brief therapist and solution-focused hypnotherapist, since 2008 I have had extensive experience including online counselling sessions with clients all over the world. As a professional therapist, I have worked with hundreds of people from a diverse range of backgrounds and nationalities.


  • Diploma Hypnotherapy/Psychotherapy – Uncommon Knowledge, Brighton, UK 2008
  • Psychotherapy for Clinical Depression Treatment – Uncommon Knowledge – Advanced Hypnotherapy skills, 2008.
  • Precision Hypnosis – Uncommon Knowledge – Advanced hypnosis skills, 2009.
  • NLP Hypnosis – Richard Bandler & John La Valle – The Society of Neuro-Linguistic Programming, 2009
  • EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) – Stephanie Alison, 2011
  • Advance psychotherapy based EFT and matrix EFT –  Jill Wootton 2020

Extra Studies 

  • Eriksonian Conference – International psychotherapy conferences, 2012 and 2013
  • Brain Science Webinar Series – NICABM, 2014
  • Overcome Anxiety with Mindfulness – Ron Siegel, PsyD (NICABM), 2016
  • Tangata Tiriti – The Treaty of Waitangi – Dr Ingrid Huygens Treaty people Inc 2018 NZ


  • Free2live, brief therapy and solution-focused hypnotherapy online and face-to-face clinic, 2008 – 2010
  • Managing San Marcos Holistic Centre – A multi-discipline health centre 2011 -2013
  • Co-create Loving Life On The Road – An online wellness  resources  site
  • Created and taught, Hypnosis For Everyday course – A basic hypnosis skill course
  • Love Food Love Your Body – An online course helping people to reconnect with healthy nutrition and  feel good in their body

We can work on any issue that bothers you. Here are some common issues I work with:

  • Anxiety and fear
  • Phobias e.g. spiders, flights, social
  • Depression and low feelings
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Panic attacks
  • Unwanted habits and patterns
  • Increase sports or business performance
  • Public performance issues
  • Self-confidence and low self-esteem
  • Chronic fatigue. Burn-out