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Meet Heather

I am an experienced, qualified therapeutic counsellor offering 1:1 sessions from a comfortable, quiet room in Street.  I set up my independent practice in 2012 and in that time I have supported people through a wide range of difficulties.

I provide a safe, confidential and caring place where you can feel trusting enough to explore your feelings, thoughts, fears and actions at your own pace and without judgement.  As we work together, I will support you to find a path through your difficulties, exploring options which will allow you to make informed choices and helping you to gain clarity of your situation.

You may also naturally choose to make some changes in your life and I can continue to support you whilst you implement these, providing a nurturing space for you to voice any concerns or to explore how the alterations are affecting you and your everyday life.

I have always held an innate belief that we can all thrive on being listened to, on being understood and on being supported but it was my own experience of counselling undertaken at a very difficult stage in my life which helped me to recognise the life changing benefits that counselling can have. And it was these very experiences and beliefs which led me to become a professionally qualified counsellor.

I have a specific interest in how our experiences can shape our everyday reality.  I believe the experiences we have from birth to present day can influence the way we think about ourselves, the choices we make and how we experience our external environment.

Messages received from other people and watching how others behave can lead us to form an opinion of who we are, how we choose to behave and how we decide to live our lives.  If we are told often enough that we are a certain way or a specific type of person, we begin to believe it.  If these messages are negative and repetitive, we start to live as if they are true and often our thought patterns and behaviour begin to imitate those very messages we received from others. The result is that we start to relate to ourselves unkindly, we mimic our negative experiences and we limit our growth. In essence, we can become our own internal bully.

But this learned behaviour can be changed.  I believe we all  have an instinctive desire to reach our full potential and we are all on a journey to achieve this.  With our capabilities of  questioning, learning, exploring and experiencing, we can choose to recognise and change our learned behaviours, to let go of our inner critic and to implement new ways of being, replacing the unhealthy patterns with experiences such as confidence, self-awareness, self-acceptance, compassion and trust.

This doesn’t mean we ignore any feedback from others, rather it allows us to consider everything with compassion, to recognise what is right for us and to choose to ignore what is unhealthy. We learn to trust our own judgement, to make our own decisions and to empower ourselves to choose a way forward that respects who we are as individuals. As we learn to accept ourselves, we find our relationship with others improves and our lives become more fulfilled.

Qualifications and Experience
CPCAB Level 2 Certificate in Counselling Skills
CPCAB Level 3 Certificate in Counselling Studies
CPCAB Level 4 Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling
CPCAB Level 5 Diploma in Psychotherapeutic Counselling

I have experience of working with a wide range of issues some of which include anxiety, low self esteem, low self confidence, depression, loss, trauma and relationship difficulties.

As well as running my own independent practice, I have worked for a number of community organisations including a local branch of the mental health charity MIND where I was Director of Counselling and Support Services. Here I set up a counselling service, facilitated wellbeing groups and introduced an allotment to allow participants to connect with nature.

Most recently, I have worked for a project supporting young people aged 13-18 years of age where I was Project Manager and Counsellor.

I’ve also worked in a refuge providing counselling for survivors of physical, emotional, financial and sexual abuse and volunteered for the bereavement charity CRUSE, undertaking their Awareness in Bereavement Care course.

I continue to increase and update my skills and knowledge base by committing to an ongoing professional development plan and I attend regular supervision to ensure I continue to work in a safe and professional manner.

Main Photo: Akira Hojo on Unsplash