Barbara Mella, MSc Integrative Psychotherapy, Adv Dip, UKCP Registered

Barbara Mella, MSc Integrative Psychotherapy, Adv Dip, UKCP Registered

Hawkchurch, Axminster


0794 1045004

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Hawkchurch, Axminster


0794 1045004

About me

My experience of counselling, psychotherapy and Mindfulness has given me a positive belief that we all have the potential to change, to grow and to find balance and joy in our lives.

Counselling allow us to feel supported in our quest to understand who we are, how we arrived to the present and what we want for now and the future.

So I see psychotherapy as a path of self-discovery: we realise how we are stuck in habitual and unhelpful ways of thinking, feeling and behaving, and, through awareness and compassion, we take action towards positive change and happiness.

In fact, as we let go of old habits, new perspectives, meanings and directions emerge, giving us greater freedom to create novel opportunities, and to choose our own life's journey.

I have experience of working with clients in different settings: students within a University Counselling Service, where I've also run Stress & Anxiety Management, and Procrastination workshops; teenagers at a Southwark Community Centre; in-patients, out-patients and relatives at a large hospital in South-East London; adults in private practice; students of Mindfulness...

My clients struggle with a wide range of issues including anxiety, relationship and family issues, depression, separation and divorce, abuse, pre and postnatal depression, bipolar disorder, panic, seasonal affective disorder (sad), low self-esteem, anger management, addiction, life changes and transitions, suicidal thoughts, redundancy and career choices, difficult decisions, bereavement, phobias, abuse, personal development, child related issues, life’s meaning, balance, etc.

While still living in London, I set up a network of alternative therapists and midwives (, who specialise in working with women (and men) dealing with issues regarding fertility, pregnancy and parenhood. I was the psychotherapist in the group and counselled women at any stage of the emotional roller-coaster on their often difficult journey to becoming a mother and beyond. Within NEST I also worked with men affected by related issues and children who attend with or without their parents.

Counselling, psychotherapy and Mindfulness are my life’s work and I'm very passionate about what they offer. I feel privileged to be allowed into my clients' worlds while accompanying them on their own journeys. I never fail to be touched and changed by these encounters.

I offer psychotherapy and counselling sessions in person, on the phone and on Skipe.

I work with adults and children and I offer Couple Counselling.

I can conduct sessions in English or Italian.

I am also a Life Coach and a Yoga teacher.

Training, qualifications & experience

As a fully qualified psychotherapist, having completed five years of formal training first at the Minster Centre and then at The Metanoia Institute in West London - both part of the UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) and the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy. Such trainings led first to a Certificate, then a Diploma and finally a Master in Integrative Psychotherapy.

I practice within the BACP code of conduct.

I regularly dedicate time to further personal and professional development attending CPD courses and workshops. I have completed a training at the Gestalt Centre on working with children and adolescents, one at IATE on Filial Therapy (working with parents and children), also on CBT, Anger Management And more recently I have qualified to teach Mindfulness.

I am also a qualified Life Coach.

Member organisations

Registered / Accredited


Accredited register membership

Other areas of counselling I deal with

I have experience of and interest in working with women who go through the roller-coaster of pregnancy and motherhood as a time of major changes. Many women are aware of post-natal depression but not of pre-natal depression and when they start feeling low, suicidal, paranoid, afraid, etc both before and after the birth of their children they often just pretend they are ok and soldier on keeping all their awful feelings locked inside until they can't cope anymore. I invite mothers to be and new mothers who are experiencing any difficulties to seek help as soon as possible.


The first session is £30 (Devon) / £35 (London) and gives us a chance to meet and decide if we want to work together.

One-to-One Psychotherapy: £35-£45 (Devon) or £45-£55 (London)
Online Counselling (Adults Only) is £30-£40
Both on sliding scale.
Sessions last 50 minutes.

Further information

What is psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy is a challenging and rewarding personal journey towards increased self-awareness, acceptance and peace which leads to change and the achievement of certain aspirations about who you want to be and what you want to do.

It offers you a chance to talk and work through complex and difficult feelings and situations. You can bring specific issues such as low self-esteem, anger management, addiction, bereavement, relationships, dilemmas, doubts, commitment issues, existential questions (Who am I? What am I doing? What's the purpose of my life?) or a simple curiosity to know yourself more.

It involves taking time and space to slow down and explore, with honesty and courage, who you are, as yourself and in the world with others.

It allows you to grow in awareness and grace, to move away from habitual thoughts, responses and feelings, to listen to the natural intelligence of your heart and your body, thus creating new perspectives, and opportunities for yourself so that you can choose your own life's journey. Although potentially painful, therapy moves you towards a more harmonious sense of wholeness, liberation and joy. It is a truly amazing process!

The process of psychotherapy

Therapy helsp youto re-enact aspects of your past today so that with new and increased awareness you can explore old habits, fears, behavioural patterns, etc

The subsequent wisdom allows youto be more compassionate of who you are, including your 'negative' aspects, but also to integrate these rather than repress them or be overwhelmed by them.

The aim is not to forcefully alter experiences, but to understand how you relate to them and who you are in their midst. Yet, inevitably, through self awareness you become more honest and flexible, thus more able to change and find self-fulfilment.

My beliefs about psychotherapy

Through therapy you can explore how the present is shaped by past conditioning. Useful and appropriate defences might have been set up in the past to respond to real situations, crises, traumas. As a child, you really did the best you could to ‘survive' the reality around you. And you did survive.

But with time, these strategies developed into habitual and fixed patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving, which are now damaging your true self, free will and creativity. When you identify with and hold on to a false self, suffering often ensues because you feel inherently dissatisfied, alienated, inauthentic or empty. You restrict your way of living, keeping yourself stuck and unhappy.

Self awareness developed through therapy is the tool to understand yourself and why you are the person you are. Whatever you do - how you move, eat, talk, what books you read, who your friends are, what your home looks like - says something about who you have become. When you learn to listen to yourself more accurately and to see yourself more clearly, you start taking wiser decisions.

Why therapy needs a therapist

Psychotherapy happens in the relationship between client and therapist. It is the purposeful and meaningful use of such a relationship to engender change. Together, we collaborate to build respect, responsibility and trust. Sometimes we use our experience in the room to explore how it can be a mirror of the outside world.

As a therapist, I offer you an open, supportive and enabling safe environment for your self-exploration. I assist you while you re-discover your own inner capacity for health, growth, creativity, peace and well-being.

The sessions are completely non-judgemental and confidential.

How I do therapy

I have a holistic approach. I am trained in integrative psychotherapy which promotes openness to and merging of different schools of thought (CBT, Transpersonal, Existentialist, Gestalt, Person-Centred, Analytical, etc.)

I don't have a method which I impose. Instead, I allow each client to guide me towards the creation of an individual process, unique to their needs.

I tend to work in the present, attending to what emerges in the relationship with openness and care.

How long therapy will last

Sessions are once weekly, and we will begin with a commitment of three months. Then we will discuss your particular wishes and needs.

The overall number of sessions will depend on an almost endless number of factors: the difficulties you wish to explore, the speed at which you want to work, how long it takes you to trust us, whether you want to deepen your self-awareness once a matter at hand has been addressed, etc.

Maps & Directions

Hawkchurch, Axminster, EX13
London, SE5

Type of session

Online counselling: Yes
Telephone counselling: Yes
Face to face counselling: Yes

Practical details

Sign language: No
Other languages: Italian


Wheelchair access: Unspecified


Mon to Thu in Devon, Fri and Sat in London