Dawn Harding - Adult Counsellor, Chippenham (Stepping Stones Counselling)
A bit about counselling...
Hello, my name is Dawn and if you are reading this right now I guess you are searching for someone to help you with whatever challenges you are having in life right now. So thanks for taking the time to continue reading my profile and to check out whether you feel I might be someone you'd like to work with.
I can appreciate that going to counselling, especially for the first time, can be a daunting experience. So I will do all that I can to make the experience a welcoming one, offering a warm, safe and confidential place where I will listen, encourage and support you. I recognise that it can take time to feel able to trust someone, to open up and share your thoughts and feelings with them for fear of judgement or rejection. Therefore, it is your decision as to what you choose to discuss and at a time when you feel ready to.
Counselling is not about judging or blaming, offering advice or making new friends. Instead, I see my role as a professional one that supports you as we work together to help you make more sense of things. This may include exploring how your past may be affecting your present; looking at how your current thought processes may be influencing your feelings and behaviours; or considering alternative perspectives.
How counselling can help...
By being in a safe environment where you can give yourself the time and space to express yourself freely to someone impartial, without the worry of being judged or the intrusion of someone else's opinion, it enables the healing process to begin. To be really listened to, understood and valued for the unique person that you are can be a powerful experience.
By working together to explore your concerns you can gain a better understanding of yourself through self-reflection, helping you to discover your own solutions to either resolve or cope better with issues.
I believe that we all have that innate drive to re-discover who we really are, warts and all and also that we have the inner resources needed to get there, but we often lose sight of this through life's experiences and social conditioning. Working with a counsellor can help you re-discover your true self, helping you grow as a person and to feel more empowered and self-aware.
A bit about me and how I work...
Having spent most of my life in administration roles I often felt unfulfilled in my work. Then several years ago, after encountering my own major life experiences, it gave me the impetus to make those necessary changes, setting me on the path to become a counsellor. I feel that my own varied life experiences help me to understand many of the difficulties that life can present us with. Now I feel passionate about my work: helping others to help themselves, investing in themselves and their own futures.
I work with a variety of concerns, ranging from anxiety and depression through to low self-esteem and bereavement and trauma.
I trained as an Integrative Counsellor which means I work from several different theories, enabling me to adapt the work to suit your individual needs. In addition, there maybe scope to include mindfulness, creative working and where relevant, guided meditation, if these feel beneficial to the work.
What happens now?
If you would like to book an appointment please call or email me.
What happens in the first session?
Not only does it give us the opportunity to meet each other and for you to see whether you feel comfortable working with me but it also enables us to discuss what you hope to get from counselling and indeed, if I am the right counsellor for you. You can also ask any questions you may have about the counselling process.
There is no obligation to continue beyond the first session but if you would like to, then we will arrange a second session with a view to meeting weekly (or fortnightly) for the initial 6 sessions, at which point we can review progress and decide on whether you would like to continue.
I offer counselling to adults (18+) on either a short or long term basis, dependent on the client's needs.
I also offer "walk & talk/outdoors therapy" which is exactly what it says on the tin - we walk side by side out in the beauty and wonderful healing qualities of nature, connecting with our inner worlds and the other-than-human world around us. This can feel far less intimidating than sat opposite each other indoors and also offers a sense of freedom and clarity of mind through the fresh air and exercise.
Usually sessions are booked for the same time/day each week unless otherwise agreed. My practice takes place in a private purpose built cabin in our back garden and is in central Chippenham. There is free parking on any of the residential streets around and I am about 15 mins walk from Chippenham train station, where there is also main bus stops. There are several steps (but not steep ones) from the front of the house up to the top of the back garden so do please consider this if you have any mobility concerns.
My current availability:
- Monday afternoons
- Tuesday mornings
- Tuesday (afternoons)
Training, qualifications & experience
I have gained experience working with various charities whose areas of work ranged from mental health and bereavement through to survivors of sexual abuse and trauma.
I have worked as a volunteer Counsellor at Olive Branch Counselling, Wiltshire Mind and Wiltshire Revival (RASAC) as well as in my own private practice.
Level 5 Advanced Diploma in Psychotherapeutic Counselling (CPCAB)
Level 4 Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling (CPCAB)
Level 3 Certificate in Counselling Studies (CPCAB)
Level 2 Certificate in Counselling Skills (CPCAB)
- I hold a current Certificate of Proficiency (BACP)
CPD training undertaken to date includes:
- Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)
- Borderline Personality Disorder
- Working with sexual trauma
- Loss, bereavement & grief
- Creative working
- Suicide and self harm
- Mental health and the body
- DBS certificate
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
Other areas of counselling I deal with
I now offer a "walk & talk" therapy session which is great for those individuals who prefer something slightly less intimidating than sat across from someone indoors. This way of working can be offered as a regular option or to mix and match with indoor sessions depending on the weather (although I am usually happy to walk out in most weathers). Walking along together side by side out in nature, breathing in the fresh air helps to the the blood flow circulating and this in itself can contribute towards clarity of mind and calmness. This type of therapy session can also be particularly attractive to those sat in an office all day and want to experience more of a sense of freedom and spaciousness that working in nature can offer.
£40.00 per session
Initial consultation - 50 minutes.....£20.00
Subsequent sessions - 50 minutes.....£40.00
Payments can be made by cash on the day or by bank transfer. If you would prefer to make a payment for multiple sessions in advance, this is also an option for you.
Concessions offered for
I currently have spaces on a Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning and afternoon, online sessions or phone calls only during lockdown.
I am a member (no. 00917584) of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) (www.BACP.co.uk) and I adhere to their Ethical Framework for Good Practice.
I am fully qualified and insured and hold a current DBS certificate.