Vanessa Hedley - MBACP, PgDip

Vanessa Hedley - MBACP,  PgDip



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About me

Thank you for visiting my profile, I want to start by reassuring you that whatever problems you may have I am here to support you through them. You may be experiencing emotions, thoughts and behaviours which you are struggling to understand or come to terms with. You do not need to be alone with them.
We can work together to shed light on what is happening, find new perspectives and develop effective strategies, based on your own unique needs, for coping with and transforming difficult experiences and to move towards enjoying life more again.

Respect, empathy and kindness are core to all of my work as are groundedness and honesty. I value and am interested in every individual and the life experience that has brought you to this point. I believe that you deserve to have a space where you can discuss your thoughts, emotions and actions freely, openly and without judgement, and find ways of moving forward that are as beneficial as possible for you.

My Background

I was originally a midwife and also have experience of working in charities supporting people with life-threatening / terminal illness. I also spent several years working with refugees and asylum seekers.

I work with clients suffering the effects of trauma, isolation, loneliness, addiction (I've worked as a counsellor in two drug and alcohol rehabs) fear, depression, eating disorders, ill-health and those who have spent much of their lives feeling generally overwhelmed with what they've been presented with.

I also work as a bodywork therapist, and as a specialist mentor for students with mental health difficulties at a local university.

How I Work
My sessions are tailored very specifically to each of my clients individual needs. I use a variety of techniques and approaches during counselling:

  • traditional person-centred, existential and integrative applied theory
  • compassion-focussed therapy
  • mindfulness
  • movement
  • guided relaxation
  • connection in nature
  • ritual
  • other forms of creative self-expression

As well as my more conventional, indoor integrative counselling practice, I also offer counselling out in nature (eco-therapy), which includes the added dimensions of support and connection from our relationship-with and experiences-in the natural world. I have included more details further down in my profile.

Training, qualifications & experience

  • Post-Graduate Diploma Counselling - Masters Level (L7) (Distinction) (BACP Accredited Course) (UWL) 2010
  • Certificate (Masters Level) in Somatic Dance/Movement Education (Distinction) (UCLAN) 2009
  • Kahuna Bodywork Diploma - Hawaii 1996
  • Mindfulness Training - Ongoing training since 2000 - MBSR, Plum Village

    As a BACP member on the accredited register, I work in accordance with the ethical framework of the BACP and am committed to ongoing personal and professional development and attending regular supervision.

Member organisations


Accredited register membership

Other areas of counselling I deal with

  • childhood abuse
  • addiction/substance misuse
  • eating disorders and body-image
  • relationship issues
  • change and transition
  • depression and/or anxiety
  • birth-related trauma (relating to pre- peri- or post-natal period)
  • parenting issues
  • crisis of all kinds
  • low self-worth
  • health concerns
  • suicidal feelings
  • spiritual matters
  • bereavement
  • work- or study-stress
  • loss of meaning
  • trauma and many others.

Photos & videos

  • Leaves
  • Seating
  • Dorset Coast
  • Bluebell Woods
  • Lake
  • Leaf


£40 per session

Concessions available

Further information

Counselling In Nature

"When at long last, we gaze into our own depths, we see the same kind of enchantment and resilience we see in undisturbed nature" Bill Plotkin

Whether or not we are consciously longing for a stronger sense of connection with the natural world, the experience of being outdoors; under the sky, accessible to the elements, and physically, mentally, emotionally responding to - and interacting - with the stimuli in that experience, can greatly enhance the counselling process.

The same attention to boundaries, safety and the therapeutic relationship is paid whether we are outside or in, but working together outdoors can help facilitate valuable shifts and direct positive experiences through the deepening of connection to ourselves and the wider world of landscape and other-than-human interactions.

I draw upon my experience and training in mindfulness, meditation, somatic movement and body awareness, shamanism and therapeutic use of art. These ways of working can all help cut through to what is really going on beneath the chatter and ‘trying-to-work-it-out’ of our minds, and our own, deeper understanding, insight and wisdom about what we need, want and are capable of.

Whatever is bringing you to seek counselling, you are very welcome to call for a free initial phone consultation.

Maps & Directions

Stroud, GL5

Type of session

Online counselling: No
Telephone counselling: Yes
Face to face counselling: Yes

Practical details

Sign language: No
Other languages: None


I offer both daytime and evening sessions.

Types of client

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