Sarah Hamilton, PGDip (Psych), MBACP (Accred)
I am an experienced counsellor and psychotherapist, fully accredited with the BACP. I work with adults and teenagers from age 13 upwards at my clinic in Hay-on-Wye.
If you’re thinking about psychotherapy or counselling then you probably want something to change in your life. You might want to feel differently, or act differently, or understand yourself better. Or you might want to relate to things that can’t be changed – difficult life events – in a more spacious and accepting way.
It may seem difficult to imagine how such changes might happen – especially if you’ve been feeling lost, or confused, or trapped by old habits, for a long time. But I’ve seen that everyone has the capacity to get ‘un-stuck’, no matter how difficult a place they may be in.
I know it can take huge courage to consider talking to a therapist. Sometimes just booking a first appointment can seem incredibly hard. But counselling is a joint endeavour. Together we can meet whatever comes up with steadiness and kindness... and you can begin to make sense of where you are, look more clearly at the future, and achieve the changes you want to see in your life and your relationships.
HOW I WORK
Our conversations will take quite a different shape depending on what kind of changes you're looking for, and the goals we agree for our sessions. But whatever we talk about, you can expect our time together to cover the following stages:
- Assessing and Exploring: We look together at what you’re facing, how it’s affecting different areas of your life, and what you’d like to be different. We’ll get curious about your life-patterns, your coping strategies, and habits of thought – so we can start to make sense of your experience.
- Mindful Observation and ‘Life Testing’: We take time to observe, reflect, and deepen our understanding, at whatever pace is right for you. We’ll identify and engage your existing resources, challenge old habits where necessary, and consider new tools for problem-solving where necessary. And as you begin to ‘test out’ new ways of being, we’ll notice carefully how things affect you on a practical, physical and emotional level.
- Consolidation and Ending: We fine-tune and strengthen your new sense of self, and make sure it’s comfortably embedded in your daily life. We’ll review the changes you’ve achieved, look at how you'll cope with any future difficulties, and make sure you leave feeling stable and confident.
HOW LONG IT TAKES
My training and experience enables me to work either in a time-limited way, or on a more open-ended basis, as needed. Everyone faces different challenges – and has their own natural pace for change. So the above three ‘stages’ of counselling might take as few as six sessions for some people, while for others, they might extend over months or sometimes years. Of the people I see, the average is around 18-20 sessions.
ISSUES I WORK WITH
I have helped people resolve a wide variety of problems, from anxiety (including generalised anxiety disorder and panic disorder) and work-related stress, to anger management, low self-esteem, low self-confidence, and bereavement. I am a specialist in working with depression, family issues, relationship issues, affairs and betrayals, separation and divorce, trauma and PTSD, and personality disorders.
Training, qualifications & experience
My working life has included retail and restaurant work, teaching, web-development, marketing and management. A fascination with communication and psychology eventually led me to the field of talking therapies in 2007.
Since then I have worked as a counsellor and psychotherapist for adults and young people in the private and charitable sectors, and in the NHS. I co-founded and managed a network of counsellors across London and Reading, and ran a successful private practice in Harley Street (London) before moving to Hay-on-Wye in 2017.
At the heart of my professional qualifications is a rigorous four-year Postgraduate Diploma in Integrative Psychotherapy. (‘Integrative’ means I am trained to work flexibly using a range of therapeutic approaches.)
I have undertaken many specialist courses, particularly in the areas of trauma-treatment, mindfulness, neuroscience, and counselling for young people. I have also conducted academic research into what influences therapeutic change.
I am a fully Accredited Member of the BACP, and have an enhanced DBS-check for working with young people.
Areas of counselling I deal with
- Affairs and betrayals
- Anger management
- Asperger's syndrome
- Attachment disorder
- Bipolar disorder/Manic depression
- Borderline personality disorder
- Carer support
- Chronic fatigue syndrome/ME
- Domestic violence
- Emotional abuse
- Family issues
- Feeling sad
- Generalised anxiety disorder
- Learning difficulties
- Low self-confidence
- Low self-esteem
- Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Panic disorder
- Passive aggressive behaviour
- Personality disorders
- Physical abuse
Photos & videos
My standard rate per 50-minute session is £60.
I do have some flexibility for those on limited incomes, and can offer reduced rates down to £35 where necessary. If you think you will struggle to pay the standard rate, please let me know when you first contact me.
I am happy to accept referrals from EAPs (Employee Assistance Programmes) and medical insurance companies. Please contact me for further information.
Maps & Directions
Type of session
|Face to face counselling:||Yes|
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday
Types of client
|Employee Assistance Programme|