Laura Matthews Verified Professional Verified Professional
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Therapy in Nature (BACP Accred)

About me

Thank you for visiting my profile and considering working with me. I have been working for 12 years as a therapist with people experiencing many forms of psychological and emotional distress. I endeavour to provide a safe and authentic relationship for client's and have been told I have a calm and reassuring manner which enables people to feel heard and safe when expressing themselves.  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 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 soothing nature 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. There is no pressure for eye contact, nor to talk and fill the whole space with the superficial because of awkwardness. 

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 telephone counselling and video 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
  • Anxiety
  • Depression/low mood
  • Traumatic experience
  • Relationships
  • 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.

Member organisations

Registered / Accredited

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.

BACP

British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy (BACP)

BACP is one of the UK’s leading professional bodies for counselling and psychotherapy with around 60,000 members. The Association has several different categories of membership, including Student Member, Individual Member, Registered Member MBACP, Registered Accredited Member MBACP (Accred) and Senior Registered Accredited Member MBACP (Snr Acccred).

Registered and accredited members are listed on the BACP Register, which shows that they have demonstrated BACP’s recommended standards for training, proficiency and ethical practice. The BACP Register was the first register of psychological therapists to be accredited by the Professional Standards Authority (PSA).

Accredited and senior accredited membership are voluntary categories for members who choose to undertake a rigorous application and assessment process to demonstrate additional standards around practice, training and supervision.

Individual members will have completed an appropriate counselling or psychotherapy course and started to practise, but they won’t appear on the BACP Register until they've demonstrated that they meet the standards for registration. Student members are still in the process of completing their training.

All members are bound by the BACP Ethical Framework and a Professional Conduct Procedure.

Accredited register membership

British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy

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.

British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy

Photos & videos

Fees

£55.00 per session

Concessions offered for

  • Low income
  • Students
  • Trainee counsellors

Additional information

My fees are £55 per hour session.

I do offer some concessions for counselling students. For those who wish for a longer session in nature whether this be a longer walk, a wild dip on a warm day or to sit for part of the session, I offer this for £75 per hour and a half. 

Usually clients come to see me weekly or fortnightly dependent on what is best for them.

When I work

Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
Morning
Afternoon
Evening
Night

Various: some daytime, evening and Saturday appointments.

Further information

I offer daytime, weekend and evening appointments (telephone).

South Brent, Devon, TQ10

Type of session

In person
Online
Phone

Types of client

Young people
Adults
Older adults

Key details

DBS check

In England and Wales, the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS, formerly known as CRB) carry out criminal records checks for individuals working with vulnerable groups, such as children. To find out more, visit gov.uk , or contact this professional directly

Online platforms

Microsoft Spaces