Anna Ferris Dip Counselling BACP Registered Integrative Counsellor
Counselling and outdoor Ecotherapy in East Devon
I offer individual face to face counselling sessions in Sidmouth, Devon from my practice room. I also offer outdoor Ecotherapy at High Grange (an outdoor venue) near Axminster.
I have experience in working with a range of issues including stress and anxiety, depression, relationship and family issues, illness, caring responsibility, abuse, trauma, PTSD, bereavement and low self esteem. I have worked with people of all ages and am particularly interested in supporting people with the challenges that each stage of life can bring. I am also able to offer sessions online or on the telephone.
My therapeutic work is integrative and holistic in approach. I draw upon a range of theories and techniques and can tailor my approach to meet your individual needs and preferences. Whichever way we choose to work together, I will hold a deep respect for you and the difficulties that you have brought to the therapy. I will offer a safe and confidential space where you will be listened to with care, acceptance and full attention. You will have the opportunity to explore your current or past issues at your own pace, to reflect and to discover what may be hidden from your awareness. I will offer you support and encouragement to move through any difficult feelings and to help you towards clarity, compassion and acceptance.
If you are interested in working outdoors we can explore a range of nature connection practices to support your wellbeing and can use nature as metaphor to make sense of your difficulties in order to find creative ways for you to move forward. My outdoor work is offered at High Grange, Devon an outdoor cookery school near Axminster. There is a cosy indoor space available in case of bad weather.
I offer both short and long-term counselling.
Online and telephone counselling
During the Covid pandemic we have all been experiencing intense emotions including increased feelings of uncertainty, anxiety, depression and panic. This is normal as these are not normal times. For some people, who have already been experiencing difficulties in their lives, the coronavirus pandemic has magnified the problems they face. As life starts to look more normal again there may still be practical concerns around income and work, family relationships are under strain and fears around moving back out into the social world again. Lockdowns have impacted significantly on existing mental health difficulties especially where usual coping strategies were not possible due to self-isolation or social distancing.
If you find the prospect of face to face therapy daunting I am continuing to offer online and telephone therapy. For many people this is a really effective form of support. I have experience of providing this kind of support through many years of working on mental health telephone helplines and through crisis work within the NHS mental health services. I am able to offer you with a safe space to talk things through. I can provide insights and strategies to help you build your resilience in these difficult times and beyond.
If you are interested in how Ecotherapy could help you we can make this a part of the online or telephone sessions and I am able to offer you suggestions for resourcing and healing practices that you can incorporate into your daily exercise or at home.
What happens in a session?
When you first make contact with me we will arrange a free 30 minute introductory session. I will help you to clarify what you are looking for from therapy. I will ask you about any previous experiences of therapy. The aim of this discussion is to help me to understand what you need from the therapy and how we can best work together.
I appreciate that it can feel like a daunting step contacting a therapist and I will not push you to say more than you feel comfortable with. It is important that you feel safe and comfortable with the process. Confidentiality, respect and trust are key elements in a therapeutic relationship and it is important to find the right therapist for the way you are and for what you need right now in your life.
Following our initial telephone session I understand that you may wish to take time to think about whether I am the right therapist for you before you book your first full session.
Face to face and online / telephone counselling - counselling sessions can help you to step back from the challenges in your life and to take some time to slow down and reflect. I will always check in with you about what you need from the session and we will work with what you bring to the space. You may find it helpful to talk things through or you may want to simply use the time to just be, to breathe and reconnect with your body - to remain in the 'here and now'. I will offer a space where you can feel deeply listened to, validated and understood. You will be able to explore your difficulties at your own pace with support and compassion.
Ecotherapy - Many people find that spending time outdoors helps depression, stress and anxiety as well as promoting physical health and wellbeing. Ecotherapy takes the therapeutic space and relationship outside and helps us to engage directly with the natural world and the elements. This could be through walking or practising grounding and breathing exercises to bring us into our bodies, it could be by connecting with our imagination and sense of wonder at the more-than-human world, by appreciating beauty and reconnecting with a sense of slowing down and noticing the interplay of the outer and the inner world. Ecotherapy sessions can also draw on elements of the natural world as a way of making sense of the issues you are finding difficult in your life. Ecotherapy may also touch on feelings around man's destruction of nature or fears around climate change. I will support you to stay with these difficult feelings and to honour and transform them in creative ways. During your 30 minute introductory session we will discuss practicalities of working outdoors. I am also able to provide you with nature connection and resilience practices to use in your time between sessions.
I completed my training as an Integrative Counsellor at UWE Bristol in 2011 and have a background in social work and mental health. Over the past 20 years I have worked in the charity sector as well as in local authority and NHS settings with a diverse range of people. Alongside my private therapy practice I also work as a Wellbeing Consultant with students at Exeter University. I bring this wealth of experience to my counselling work.
Some of the areas I have experience in working with include;
- Pregnancy / conception related issues
- Relationship problems
- Work related problems
- Domestic Violence
- Sexual Abuse
- Physical Health and Disability
- Bereavement and Loss
- Issues around Self-Fulfilment and Self Esteem
- Finding life direction
I am a member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy MBACP. I follow the ethical framework set out by BACP.
I attend monthly clinical supervision to ensure that I meet the BACP's ethical requirements and also undertake regular Continuing Professional Development to keep my practice up to date.
Whatever brings you to seek support at this time, a warm, accepting and supportive therapy relationship can give you the opportunity to bring unconscious patterns of thinking and feelings into awareness. If you are met with kindness in this process you will be able to meet yourself with increasing compassion, clarity and acceptance.
You can find further information about me and my work on my website.
To book your free 30 minute introductory session please give me a call or send me an email. I aim to respond to your enquiry as quickly as possible (usually within 48 hours). I very much look forward to hearing from you.
Training, qualifications & experience
I qualified as an Integrative Counsellor (Diploma in Professional Studies Counselling) in 2011. The course is fully accredited by the British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists (BACP) and I am on the BACP National Register of Counsellors and Psychotherapists. This means that I adhere to the standards set out in the BACP Ethical Framework for Good Practice in Counselling and Psychotherapy.
I have worked in the field of Mental Health in the Bristol area for over 20 years, in the NHS as a Mental Health Social Worker, in Education and Youth Work settings and as a Specialist Trauma Counsellor for SARSAS (Somerset and Avon Rape and Sexual Abuse Support). I have also worked with carers as a counsellor for Dementia Care Trust and as a Social Worker with adults with physical disabilities. Through my various roles I have completed specialist mental health training around trauma, self-injury, addiction, eating disorders, domestic abuse, depression and anxiety. I am currently employed part-time as a Wellbeing Consultant at Exeter University where I work with students experiencing mental health difficulties. I have a particular interest in working with students with ADHD.
I have completed a Foundation Certificate in Core Process Psychotherapy with the Karuna Institute, Devon. This is a psycho-spiritual approach integrating Buddhist understanding of personality and consciousness with Western psychotherapeutic theory and practice. Mindfulness is a key part of this practice.
In 2019 I completed a year long Foundation in Outdoor Education Leadership ‘Call of the Wild’ with Shumacher College and Wildwise Events, Devon. The course was a hands-on experiential introduction to deep ecology, mentoring nature-connection, earth education, bush-craft, ceremony and storytelling. I am developing this side of my work to integrate the benefits of nature connection with my counselling practice through ecotherapy.
I am currently training as an ICF certified coach and will be offering outdoor and online coaching in early 2022.
I have further training and experience in Trauma Informed Practice, Motivational Interviewing, Brief Solution- Focused Therapy, Coaching Approaches and CBT skills.
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
£50.00 per session
Free initial telephone session
Concessions offered for
Free 30 minute online or telephone introductory session.
£50 for a 60 minute session.
Sliding scale for those on a low income / students / unemployed please enquire.
Monday - High Grange Axminster (outdoor)
Tuesday - Sidmouth (in person and remote)
Wednesday - Exeter (in person and remote)
I work both face to face and online or on the telephone.
Face to face sessions are held indoors in Sidmouth and Exeter. Outdoor Ecotherapy sessions are held at High Grange (an outdoor cookery school near Axminster). I may also be able offer outdoor walk and talk therapy at other locations depending on availability . Please contact me to discuss.
Online sessions are offered on Zoom or WhatsApp Video according to client preference.
I am an integrative counsellor, which means I draw on a variety of therapeutic tools and approaches to best meet your needs.