Hoddesdon & Hertford Counselling Service
Welwyn Garden City
01992 420994 / 0794 812 8472
Hoddesdon and Hertford Counselling Service:
Our team of accredited psychodynamic counsellors are experienced in both long-term in-depth counselling and in short-term focused counselling.We work with individuals and couples, adults and young people. We also offer counselling to trainee counsellors and supervision for both experienced and trainee counsellors.
We have experience in a wide range of problems including: depression, anxiety, panic attacks and stress; bereavement and loss; miscarriage, stillbirth, IVF, termination of pregnancy and cot death; emotional trauma, abuse, domestic violence, and bullying; low self-esteem; eating disorders; separation, divorce and relationship problems; problems arising from childhood trauma; stress arising from dealing with physical illness or disability; and work related issues such as job loss, bullying, or feelings of underachievement.
You can reach us by phone or email and our administrator will arrange for you to attend an initial assessment session with one of our counsellors; the fee for this session is £45.00. The purpose of this session is to explore your needs, gain an idea of the nature of your problem, and think about the most appropriate form of counselling for you. It will give you an idea of what to expect from counselling and help you decide whether or not you wish to continue. After the initial assessment, if you do decide to continue, you will be allocated to a counsellor for on-going once-weekly sessions.
We provide a confidential and private space to all our clients; anything you say to your counsellor will be heard in confidence and accepted without judgement. No information will be disclosed outside our counselling agency without your written permission, except as required by law. All counsellors are bound by the ethical framework of their professional organisation.
The fee for on-going sessions for individuals is £43.00 and for couples is £55.00. We have a small number of lower fee spaces available for those on low incomes, and if you would like to be considered for one of these spaces please mention it to the administrator when you first make contact. Counselling sessions last for 50 minutes. We charge for all sessions, including those which are missed or cancelled.
Appointments are available to be booked in advance from Monday to Friday between 8.00 am – 9.00 pm.
- We have two consulting rooms in Hoddesdon. There is parking available in a nearby side road, we are also on several bus routes, and are 20 minutes walk from Rye House train station.
- We have alternative rooms in Welwyn Garden City, Essex and Central London.
Training, qualifications & experience
Gwyneth Hellewell: Advanced Dip. Psychodynamic Counselling (1995); BPC registered psychoanalytic psychotherapist (2007); Dip. in supervision (2001). MBACP (Accred).
Diana Constantinou: Postgraduate Dip. Psychodynamic Psychotherapy; BPC registered psychodynamic psychotherapist. Dip. in Adolescent work (2014).
Sarah Lock: Advanced Dip.in Therapeutic Counselling.(2002) MBACP (Accred)
All our counsellors have experience of working in private practice in counselling agencies and as NHS counsellors; we also have experience of working with young people and couples.
Member organisations *
Accredited register membership
Areas of counselling we deal with
- Affairs and betrayals
- Anger management
- Anorexia nervosa
- Binge-eating disorder
- Body dysmorphic disorder
- Bulimia nervosa
- Carer support
- Child related issues
- Chronic fatigue syndrome/ME
- Domestic violence
- Eating disorders
- Emotional abuse
- Family issues
- Gender dysphoria
- Generalised anxiety disorder
- Hearing voices
- Low self-confidence
- Low self-esteem
- Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Panic disorder
The fee for an initial assessment for individuals is £45.00, and £43.00 for on-going sessions. The fee for couples is £60.00 for the initial assessment and £55.00 for on-going sessions. We have a small number of lower fee spaces available for those on low incomes, and if you would like to be considered for one of these spaces please mention it to the administrator when you first make contact. Counselling sessions last for 50 minutes. We charge for all sessions, including those which are missed or cancelled.
What is Psychodynamic Counselling? As with other models of counselling we aim to offer you a safe and private space where you are free to explore your feelings and thoughts in confidence. We do not offer advice or tell you what to do, but will work to help you to gain a clearer understanding of your problems and explore ways in which you might be able to help yourself and make changes for the better. People often find that simply having the space to talk freely can be very therapeutic in itself.
In addition to listening and responding to what you bring we will also be seeking to help you to explore the underlying roots of your problems and the ways in which they might have been shaped by your past relationships and experiences. Our understanding is that these past experiences are stored in our minds, consciously and unconsciously, and influence us in ways we can find hard to understand, e.g when we feel we are acting out of character or not being ourselves. Everything we do and feel, the way we think and react in certain situations, are conditioned at least partly by the past; but far from being a static and fixed state of affairs it is possible that with help our personalities can be freed up to enable us to become more fully ourselves. Psychodynamic counsellors look for links between past and present; we work to uncover the effects of past experiences, to make them conscious, so that we can understand ourselves more fully and gain a deeper understanding of the underlying fears and anxieties which may be preventing us from living a more fulfilled life and enjoying more enriching relationships. Your relationship with your counsellor is also a key factor in psychodynamic work as the different thoughts and feelings you have about your counsellor and about the sessions can in themselves provide useful insights into your problems.
Counselling does not provide an instant fix, but works through the process of sharing who you are with another person who can listen with attention and empathy. It often involves re-telling the same events over and over in different ways; sometimes it can feel challenging and painful; sometimes you will go away feeling frustrated; progress is forwards and backwards; but with patience we have found that it is possible to gain relief from your pain and to have a sense of lightness which wasn't there before; it is possible to find that you are less angry or less depressed, that things which used to feel unendurable are more bearable; that your relationships are more satisfying, and that you are more accepting of yourself. For many of us this process involves having to let go of the idea that it is possible to have a perfect self, a perfect life, or a perfect relationship and to develop more realistic expectations of ourselves and others.
How can psychodynamic counselling help you with your particular problem?
Depression, Anxiety, Panic Attacks and Stress. Many of us find the modern pace of life to be full of stress and anxiety, which can lead to feelings of inadequacy and failure, or panic attacks and feelings of being out of control of our lives, or simple exhaustion and burn-out. You may have felt depressed on and off for many years and never really understood the causes. It's hard to understand unless you have experienced it yourself how dark and pointless every day can seem when you are in the depths of depression, how heavy and sluggish, and how it can feel as if this is the only reality. Our counsellors can help you to explore and understand the nature, meaning, and underlying reasons for your feelings and facilitate your exploration into ways of bringing about change.
Bereavement. Loss and bereavement can leave us feeling alone and isolated, longing to talk about the loss but not wishing to burden others with the depth of our feelings. A counsellor can help you to bear the painful, often confusing and despairing experience of loss, after the death of someone close to you.
Relationship Problems. Whether it is within the context of a committed partnership, with family and friends, or at work, problems in our relationships with others can cause great unhappiness, and we can find ourselves stuck in a situation, endlessly repeating the same pattern, which we feel unable to change. Exploring our relationships in counselling sessions can help us to name and understand what is going on, to recognise our part in it, and to see where changes can be made.
Self-harm. This has many guises, from eating-disorders, cutting, suicidal thoughts, addictions, and obsessions about body image, to low self-esteem and excessive guilt, shame and self-blame. Rage and aggression can be extremely difficult and frightening feelings to bear or face up to in ourselves. Talking about your patterns of self-destructive behaviour in a safe space with a counsellor can help you to begin to understand the nature of your problem, and to discover a different perspective as you explore the hidden and unexpressed feelings which lie beneath your behaviour and patterns of thoughts and feelings.
Issues From Childhood. Problems of abuse, loss, and trauma in childhood can have long-lasting effects on us in the present. No matter how long ago they happened, unresolved and unexamined experiences can feel as painful and distressing today as they did at the time, or even more so. Within the secure space of a counselling session you can begin to make sense of these past experiences, to understand their effects on you today, and discover ways of beginning to move beyond them.
Family Life, Childbirth, Parenthood. This can be a busy and demanding time of our lives, and a time when depression can first rear it's head.You might be feeling alone and scared as you juggle the demands of a new baby, suffering with post-natal depression, struggling with the responsibilities of being a parent, losing touch with yourself and your partner, trying to get back to work, or cope with being the sole wage-earner, or being a single parent. Counselling can help you to explore all these issues, to re-discover who you are, and re-gain your confidence.
Aging and the Mid-Life Crisis. Like a second adolescence, this period in our lives can be a time of profound change and turbulence as we re-examine our lives, mourn the failures and losses, celebrate our achievements, and look to the future with renewed enthusiasm.
Young People. Between the ages of 12 -18 we undergo a crucial and transitional period of development where emotional, physical and psychological changes are taking place. During this period of growth and change we are negotiating the changes between childhood and adulthood and we constantly move between these two positions. It is a turbulent phase and brings with it its own stresses and concerns, for our parents as well as for ourselves. As young people we use varying methods of communication which can be very difficult for those closest to us to understand. Whilst this period in our lives can be confusing it is also a rich time of development where positive and effective changes can be made. If you are a parent who is concerned about your son or daughter please feel free to contact us. At HHCS we offer a safe, non-judgmental space where your difficulties can be explored and negotiated; we can help and support you as you negotiate difficult and painful problems which may be holding you back from reaching your full potential. We can help with problems such as eating disturbances, peer pressure, exam stress, confusion regarding identity, concerns about sex, differences in behaviour at school/home, divorce, obsessive behaviours and self - harm to name a few.
Couple’s Therapy. All couples experience conflict at times. We are never fully free from the effects of our first relationships in infancy, they become an essential part of our personalities which we then carry forward into our closest adult relationships, and are often the source of conflict. Couples Therapy can help you to explore these underlying issues and help you to begin to understand where the irritations and tensions and repeating patterns in your relationship originate. Understanding and seeing things from a different perspective can be the first step towards making changes. Other life events such as bereavement, changes in your work or financial situation, or illness, can also be difficult to negotiate and cause tensions which are hard to talk about. Whether you are married, in a civil partnership, living together or apart, if your relationship feels close to breaking down, and you feel you are going round in circles and never resolving anything, then talking to a counsellor can help you to get your relationship back on track. At HHCS our counsellors can help you to listen to one another, enabling you to improve your understanding of each other and of yourself. If your relationship has already broken down we can help to support you through the difficult process of separation and divorce, helping you to re-discover yourself as a person separate from your ex-partner, re-building your confidence in the future.
Maps & Directions
Type of session
|Face to face counselling:||Yes|
Sessions are available Monday to Friday from 8.00 am until 9.00 pm. Sessions are once a week, preferably at the same time and day, although there can be some flexibility about this.
Types of client
|Employee Assistance Programme|