Laura Matthews - Therapy in Nature (BACP Accred)
Thank you for visiting my profile and considering working with me. I am a calm and an experienced therapist who endeavours to provide a safe and authentic relationship for client's whilst walking in nature. Client's come to me often feeling lost or overwhelmed, anxious, depressed or dissatisfied with some area of their life. They share that they want to re-connect with themselves and their life goals. I'm experienced in facilitating clients in restoring balance in their life, recognising and validating feelings and working through stress and anxiety. I am also help clients with low mood and relationship struggles as well as eating issues. I am a highly experienced eating disorders psychotherapist who has worked within both adult and child settings in this area. I also work with depression and anxiety within the NHS.
As well as working with clients through video and on the telephone, I also offer a 'walking and talking' approach to therapy, reaping the benefits of the aliveness and peace of the outdoors when being with my clients for the therapy hour. Client's often feel they are naturally more able to articulate themselves outdoors on a walk than in a clinical setting. This is a very popular way to experience therapy and work through difficulties.
More about the walking and talking:
I work therapeutically in the outdoors, offering therapy whilst walking in the beautiful surrounding countryside of the South Hams. I am led by the client's pace and design the walk based on the client's physical capabilities and preferences. We can go as easy as you like and sit for a while in a private place also. Social Distancing measures are respected throughout due to COVID 19 guidelines however I am also offering temporary telephone counselling to those who prefer this at this current time.
My belief is that I can attend to a person's distress more effectively when we both feel completely relaxed and yet awake to our natural surroundings. It is less threatening to open up when walking rather than sitting face to face in a sterile room where defences are much more present. Conversation flows naturally. I can draw upon nature and mindfulness to help aid relaxation if required. On the whole, clients experience the physical active state as a real positive during the sessions and appreciate the fresh air.
Positive psychology has long researched the impact of nature on mood. Mood is automatically lifted and anxieties soothed by being immersed in the natural world (Ecotherapy, Outdoor pursuits, Forest Bathing for example). Research shows that being and walking in nature can reduce heart rate, cortisol levels, blood pressure and increase parasympathetic nervous system activity indicating lower levels of stress and anxiety.
There is reward in abundance when working therapeutically outdoors from a greater sense of freedom and empowerment, to a sense of feeling grounded and more connected with self and environment. Client's seem to have reached greater clarity and experienced a sense of calm. After therapy outdoors, client's have expressed greater shifts within them and been more motivated to walk alone also.
I work with young people aged 16 upwards and adults on an open-ended or short-term basis depending on what best suits you. I work with the aim of enabling you to shift 'stuckness' and blockages in your inner world and towards finding solutions to addressing the struggles you may experience in your everyday life. Clients approach me with a diverse range of experiences and whatever the nature of the distress, we work out a way to tenderly explore it often resulting in positive change quite quickly.
My experience in mental health has been wide, as I have worked both in the NHS, the private sector and for charitable organisations the last 12 years with issues such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, relationship/family difficulties and eating disorders. I am currently a practising counsellor and supervisor within the NHS and a eating disorders therapist working with families in CAMHS. Alongside this I work as a person-centred and experiential supervisor privately. I have also worked as a lecturer in counselling and with a range of therapy modalities.
I am willing to offer telephone and video support to those who feel uncomfortable with walking and talking. This feels sensible in some situations despite social distancing being respected as part of my work.
Please do get in touch with me for an informal chat should you want any further information. I am happy to talk this through.
Training, qualifications & experience
My Professional Qualifications:
- BA (Hons) in Humanistic Counselling awarded by the
- University of Nottingham
- Professional Training in Bereavement and Loss Counselling
- Professional Training in Working Therapeutically with Children and Young People
- Interpersonal Psychotherapy Training (NHS NICE approved)
- Counselling for Depression Practitioner and Supervisor Training (Metanoia Institute London)
- MANTRA Practitioner Training (Kings College London - Treatment for Anorexia Nervosa)
- Foundation Certificate in Family Systemic Practice (University of Plymouth)
My Areas of Specialism:
- Eating Disorders
- Bereavement, Grief and Loss
- Depression/low mood
- Traumatic experience
- Self Esteem/Self-worth struggles
I am an accredited member of the BACP and work within their ethical guidelines for safe practice to ensure the clients best interests remain the focus of my work. I also hold Public Liability Insurance.
Registered / Accredited
Being registered/accredited with a professional body means an individual must have achieved a substantial level of training and experience approved by their member organisation.
British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy
BACP is one of the UK’s largest professional bodies for counselling and psychotherapy. Therapists registered with the Association fall into a number of different membership categories such as Individual Member, Registered Member MBACP and Registered Member MBACP (Accred), each standing for different levels of training and experience. MBACP (Accred) and MBACP (Snr Accred) members have achieved a substantial level of training and experience approved by the Association.
Registered members can be found on the BACP Register, which was the first register to achieve Accredited Voluntary Register status issued by the Professional Standards Authority. Individual Members will have completed an appropriate counselling and/or psychotherapy course and started to practise, but will not appear on the BACP Register until they've progressed to Registered Member MBACP status.
All members are bound by a Code of Ethics & Practice and a Complaints Procedure. Accredited by the Professional Standards Authority.
Accredited register membership
Accredited Register Scheme
The Accredited Register Scheme was set up in 2013 by the Department of Health (DoH) as a way to recognise organisations that hold voluntary registers which meet certain standards. These standards are set by the Professional Standards Authority (PSA).
This therapist has indicated that they belong to an Accredited Register.
Areas of counselling I deal with
Concessions offered for
My fees are £45 per hour session.
I do offer some concessions for counselling students.
Usually clients come to see me weekly or fortnightly dependent on what is best for them.
I offer a free initial 30 minute telephone consultation to find out more about your and discuss your needs in therapy.
Various: some daytime, evening and Saturday appointments.
I offer daytime, weekend and evening appointments (telephone).