Creative Minds - North Star Counselling CIC

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Counselling, Brainspotting, Workshops and more.
Available for new clients
Available for new clients

This professional is available for new clients.

Sunderland, Tyne and Wear, SR1 3HT
Available for new clients
Available for new clients

This professional is available for new clients.

About us

Hi, my name is Nicola and I am lead counsellor and Founding Director at Creative Minds - North Star Counselling CIC, which was established in 2019. We are a not for profit organisation based in Sunderland city centre. I have over 10 years experience of counselling and my specialist areas include working with children, anxiety, and trauma. As an autistic and ADHD woman, myself and the team also work therapeutically with children and adults who are neurodivergent, newly diagnosed or awaiting diagnosis.

It can be very scary for those who are experiencing difficult emotions and not being able to understand or make sense of these feelings can create anxiety and distress in our day to day lives.

At Creative Minds we understand that it can be extremely difficult for some children and adults to verbalise how they feel, and this is why we have developed a service that offers a creative outlet. By using creativity in therapy we have found that more children, adults and young people have been able to express how they feel, offering different ways to explore emotions which has lead to people being able to talk about their traumas and issues in a more depth. I have listed below the services we offer at Creative Minds:

One to one counselling - for children, adults, and young people aged 4+

Brainspotting - A form of therapy that uses the brains natural healing abilities to selfheal from past traumas. Currently suitable for young people and adults aged 15+

Couples and relationship counselling - Suitable for all types of relationship struggles.

Training - CPD training for counsellors and other professionals. 

Workshops - For children, adults, and young people who are having difficulties with their feelings and emotions. These workshops are designed to raise awareness of mental health issues and to teach people how to manage big emotions in creative ways. Our workshops focus on things such as traumas, anxiety, low mood, bullying, anger and many other feelings and emotions a person may find overwhelming. The sessions offer fun and creative ways to learn to understand and make sense of these feelings and develop techniques to use in times of distress. Working creatively allows the individual to express themselves in different ways and opens up the mind to communicate more freely. We aim to boost confidence and self esteem and to bring the community together to show people that it is ok to feel what we feel. Our Children's Crystal Club is a big hit and our most popular session at Creative Minds. Keep a look out on our social media and wepage for upcoming dates.

Cuppa and a chat - A space for those aged 40+ to come and chat and meet others who are experiencing similar situations to be able to develop a support network within the community. Currently funded and FREE to attend.

Holistic services - We also offer a range of different Reiki treatments.

Our aim is to offer support to children, adults, young people and families within the Sunderland and surrounding areas who may be struggling with mental health issues and who may be on lengthy waiting lists for any therapeutic support.

Through the work we do at Creative Minds we aim to remove the stigma that is still attached to mental health issues and provide a safe environment for all who attend. We aim to offer the opportunity for people to be around like minded people, somewhere you feel able to open up about your struggles in hope that you no longer feel alone with your thoughts and feelings.

We aim to act as a stepping stone and bridge the gap between accessing therapy and waiting times by offering our services to those who are in need of immediate support, holding each individual while they are waiting for more intense therapy such as one to one counselling, Brainspotting and other forms of therapeutic input. Occasionally, workshops and counselling will be FREE when funding is available.

We strongly believe that early intervention is key in reducing the risk of mental health issues developing in later life and that each individual should have access to mental health services without being turned away or made to wait. We currently offer support with zero or limited waiting periods within our practice. 

We have 10 counsellors on our team (including myself) some of who are also neurodivergent. You will always be paired with someone who is best suited to work with your needs and who has experience with the issues you may bring. Many of our autistic and ADHD clients have found being paired with our autistic and ADHD counsellors extremely beneficial.

Getting started:

Once you have communicated your interest via email, an initial telephone call will be arranged where we will take more information about your current situation.  You will then be allocated an appropriate Counsellor who can work with your current needs.

We are strong believers in early intervention to help prevent the point of crisis. Please feel reassured that there are no commitments after our first point of contact and that you are in control at all times.

If you require any further information, please do not hesitate to get in touch. We are best contacted via email as we may be in sessions at your time of call, however, if you wish to call and we are unable to answer, please leave a message with your name and number and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

Thank you for taking the time to have a look through our profile and we look forward to hearing from you.

Training, qualifications & experience

I (Nicola) have the following qualifications. Please check our webpage for the teams individual profiles.

  • BA (hons) Degree in counselling
  • Foundation Degree in counselling
  • Access to Higher Education - Counselling
  • Level One Counselling Skills
  • Certificate in Creative Supervision
  • Brainspotting practitioner
  • Theraplay Level One
  • Emergency first aid at work
  • I am DBS Checked and fully insured

all of our staff attend monthly one to one supervision and/or group supervision. Some are also a part of a peer support group to ensure we are working ethically and to the highest of standards. we all attend regular workshops, training and CPD to ensure we are working to the best of our ability. All of our staff also hold relevant qualifications, are DBS checked and are members of the BACP or other governing bodies.

Member organisations *

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.

We have verified that at least one professional at this organisation is registered with the relevant professional body.

Other areas of counselling we deal with

  • Looked after children/children in care
  • Post Adoption 
  • I also offer Brainspotting. 

Photos & videos


£50.00 - £90.00

Additional information

Private counselling:

One to one counselling for children, adults and young people -  £50 per session. May be free or reduced when funding is available. 


  • Initial assessment (1hr) - £50
  • Brainspotting (1.5hrs) - £90

Workshops And Therapeutic Programmes For the community

Workshops and therapeutic programmes will occasionally be FREE or at a considerably reduced cost when funding is available. When no funding is available, workshops start at £12.50 per person (Please get in touch to find out more and to check when our workshops are running).

Counselling, Therapy, workshops And Therapeutic Programmes For Corporations And Schools:

We also offer bespoke sessions in schools and with other local businesses and organisations, offering all of our services listed above. Our workshops are chosen by you and designed by us. Please contact me for an enquiry form.

For more information on prices of the services we offer, please get in touch.

When we work

Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
  • Monday and Thursday: 10am - 7pm.
  • Tuesday and Friday: 10am - 4.30pm
  • Wednesday: Closed

Children's Crystal Club takes place each half term.

Further information

Keep a look out on our Facebook page, Creative Minds - North Star Counselling CIC, or webpage for regular updates and available workshops.

Hills Arts Centre, Creative Minds - North Star Counselling CIC, 17-18 Waterloo Place, Sunderland, Tyne and Wear, SR1 3HT

Type of session

In person

Types of client

Children (0-12)
Young people (13-17)
Young adults (18-24)
Adults (25-64)
Older Adults (65+)
Employee Assistance Programme

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 , or contact this professional directly

We are based on the first floor and, unfortunately, there is no lift accessable. Our coffee mornings, however, are held in the gallery on the ground floor.

Additional languages

We can also work with interpreters provided by yourself or organisations

Online platforms

Google Meet


In person

I offer one to one supervision with extensive experience working with children and young people.

View supervision profile


Creative Minds - North Star Counselling CIC
Creative Minds - North Star Counselling CIC