Vanessa Hedley - Embodied Psychotherapy - MBACP

Vanessa Hedley - Embodied Psychotherapy - MBACP




Save profile




About me

Hello and welcome.

I am an experienced practitioner of Embodied Psychotherapy, both with individuals and couples.

The way I work is integrative, relational and incorporates early attachment re-patterning, somatic therapy, mindfulness practice and the transpersonal.

I see clients both indoors in more traditional therapy settings both in Stroud and central Cheltenham, but also in- and as part of - nature, ie outdoors.

I have been working with clients therapeutically for over a decade and am always engaged in ongoing personal development and professional training that deepens my knowledge and embodied understanding of what helps facilitate recovery, healing and growth towards ever greater health, vitality and enjoyment of life.

It may well be that you are experiencing feelings, thoughts and behaviours which you struggle to understand or find peace with. You may have tried for a long time to work with old trauma, grief, loss or attachment issues from your very early life on your own and have found that for some reason they're not getting easier in spite of your greatest efforts.

Often it is the case that it is within a skilfull psychotherapeutic relationship where you are heard without judgement in a regular time and space that is for you alone, that you will feel safe and supported enough for the shifts you are longing for to be able to begin to happen.

With many years of experience, I am trained to work in a creative, individual-focussed way to support you in shedding light on what is happening in your life, connecting more deeply with who you actually are; what you need and want, finding new perspectives and developing effective strategies for coping with and transforming difficult experiences in order to free yourself up to be able to enjoy life more fully.

Respect, honouring of all that has brought you to this point and confidentiality are core to my work, as are a strong grounding in early attachment theory and re-patterning, mindfulness and meditation, somatic movement practice and bodywork and trauma-release.
I deeply respect the unique journey that each and every person who comes to work with me has travelled.

No matter what has happened in our lives, we each deserve to have a space where we can discuss our thoughts, emotions and actions freely, openly and in confidentiality, and find ways of moving forward that bring us relief from suffering and greater freedom, peace and happiness.

You are very welcome to call for a free phone consultation to find out more about me.

My Background

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

I work with clients suffering the effects of early attachment disorder, trauma, isolation, loneliness, addiction (I've worked as a counsellor in two drug and alcohol rehabs) fear, depression, anxiety and other mental health diagnoses, eating disorders, physical health problems and those who have spent much of their lives feeling generally overwhelmed, frightened or stressed without ever really understanding why.

I also work as a bodywork therapist, and as a specialist mentor for students with a wide variety of difficulties at a university.

How I Work

My sessions are tailored very specifically to each client's individual needs. I use a variety of techniques and approaches during counselling:

  • traditional person-centred, existential and integrative applied theory
  • compassion-focussed therapy
  • in-depth knowledge of attachment theory and facilitation of somatic trauma release
  • mindfulness
  • up to date neurobiology
  • somatic awareness and movement
  • guided relaxation
  • connection in nature
  • ritual
  • other forms of creative self-expression

As well as my more conventional, indoor integrative psychotherapy practice, I also offer Embodied Therapy out in nature, 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

  • SATe/DARe (Somatic Attachment Training / Dynamic Attachment Re-patterning experience) Cologne, 2016 (ongoing training)
  • Post-Graduate Diploma Psychotherapy - 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

  • insecure attachment
  • 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

  • Autumn Leaves
  • Embodied Psychotherapy in Nature
  • Lake
  • Leaf


£45 per session (Concessions available)

Further information

Psychotherapy 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 therapeutic 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, early attachment repatterning, First Nation American and Hawaiian shamanism, Buddhism 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 psychotherapy, you are very welcome to call for a free initial phone consultation.

Maps & Directions

Cheltenham, GL50
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 daytime and evening, face-to-face, Skype and phone sessions.

Types of client

Older adults
Employee Assistance Programme
We love feedback