Anna Ferris Dip Counselling BACP Registered Integrative Counsellor
Counselling and Ecotherapy in North Somerset and Bristol
COVID19 / LOCKDOWN Please note I am currently offering online and telephone counselling and ecotherapy sessions during this period. We will be able discuss the option of moving to face to face sessions (including ecotherapy) once social distancing measures are relaxed. I am also offering a free 30 minute introductory session for new clients during the lockdown. Please email or telephone me to book your free introductory session.
I offer individual counselling sessions in both a traditional indoor therapeutic setting in Long Ashton, North Somerset and ecotherapy in outdoor settings in Bristol and North Somerset, working with a range of issues including anxiety, depression, panic, relationship and family issues, abuse, trauma, PTSD, bereavement and low self esteem. During the lockdown I am offering ecotherapy adapted for work online or on the telephone.
I offer both counselling and ecotherapy using an integrative and holistic approach. I draw upon a range of theories and techniques in my work with you. This offers a flexible way of working as I 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.
I offer both short and long-term counselling.
Online and telephone counselling during lockdown
During these unprecedented times we are all 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. There may be practical concerns around income and work, family relationships are under strain and for some the experience of lockdown may feel intensely isolating and frightening. Lockdown may also be impacting on existing mental health difficulties especially where usual coping strategies are not possible due to self-isolation or social distancing.
Although you cannot meet with a counsellor in person at the moment - online and telephone therapy 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 supportive 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 I am able to offer you suggestions for resourcing and healing practices that you can incorporate into you 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 ask you about why you are seeking support at this time and what you are looking for from therapy. I will ask you about any previous experiences of therapy and what was helpful or not about this. The aim of this discussion is to support me to understand what you need from the therapy and how I can best work with you.
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 the best location for you to attend - Bristol or North Somerset and I will send you further information about practicalities. During the Covid lockdown I have adapted my ecotherapy offer 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. 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 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 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
Free 30 minute online or telephone introductory session.
£50 for a 60 minute session.
Sliding scale for those on a low income / students / unemployed.
I am offering reduced rates for NHS and Social Care workers during the current Covid19 Lockdown. Please email me for sliding scale and reduced rates.