Elissa Mood MSc MBACP Lev 4 Dip Counselling Lev 6 Dip Relationship Counselling
As an individual or a couple thinking about counselling, you may be feeling overwhelmed or worried, but perhaps also hopeful at this time that things can change. This step of searching for a counsellor shows there is something in you which has the courage to look at what’s happening in your life and/or relationships, and reveals a strength, no matter how small, which will help you through the counselling process and ultimately help you heal and change.
My aim is to build on this strength and create a safe space, so you can explore all your feelings and life experiences without judgement, and with a view to heal from the past, change unsatisfactory current circumstances, create a better future, become the person you were born to be and have the relationships you want and deserve.
People who know me describe me as kind, caring, humane, loyal, patient and trustworthy; and I use these qualities in my counselling practice to offer the best support I can. I care deeply about my clients and am fully committed to help you on this journey. This is not just a job for me, it’s a vocation.
I work in the St. James area of Exeter and can help with many forms of emotional, behavioural and psychological distress (see full list below). I work in an Integrative way; which means I can tailor my counselling approach to suit your needs, using whichever method(s) work best for you.
Work with individuals
I believe that deep and lasting change occurs within the safety of a trusting and caring relationship. This can be enormously therapeutic if you are struggling to find unconditional support from the people in your life, or if you do not feel you are accepted for who you are. Even if you do have this support it can be difficult to share certain difficult feelings, thoughts or experiences. Friends and family, even with the best of intentions, can often tell us to "get over" our problems or tell us how to fix them. This can make us feel bad when we can't or don't feel it's right to take their advice, and we may feel unable to continue sharing our problems with them - which can leave us feeling alone, unsupported and stuck. The truth is that many life problems are complex, and cannot be resolved by simple solutions. I therefore do not offer quick fixes but work patiently with you until your way forward becomes clearer.
I am trained in many different methods of counselling and can therefore tailor my approach according to the needs of each client. For example, some clients prefer a direct and practical method such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), whereas others might need a more gentle, exploratory approach such as Person Centred Counselling. Others may require a combination of these or other methods according to their needs at different times. Each of us is unique and I do my best to respect and reflect that in the way I work.
Work with couples
As with individual work, my aim is to create a safe space in which you feel able to open up about the problems which have brought you to counselling, and to share with each other and with me how you would like your relationship to be. Many people learn how to be in relationships from observing others (often our parents) and we often do not realise we are repeating patterns and behaviours in current relationships which do not serve us. One partner may have learned, for example, to withdraw when feeling criticised or vulnerable, and to not share how they feel. This may be confusing for the other partner, or make them feel scared because the withdrawal feels like a rejection. Dynamics such as these create a kind of ‘dance’ between the two partners (e.g. where both are avoiding each other; or one is anxiously trying to get the other’s attention and affection, whilst the other has ‘shut down’ emotionally).
Whatever your ‘dance’ is, we can work together in couples counselling to look at the dynamic between you and see how this may have caused problems and prevented you getting the love you want and deserve from each other. Often, just having someone observe these patterns and making them conscious can transform a relationship, offering you renewed hope and happiness, which may have been missing for some time. As a rough guide, typically 6-8 sessions of couples counselling can help put couples on the road to a healthy and satisfying relationship.
What to expect in your first counselling session
In our first session I begin by explaining the boundaries to confidentiality, and asking you a few practical questions (e.g. contact details, health issues and medication). You will then have a chance to offload and tell me more about what's been troubling you. This opportunity to share your problems with someone trained to listen without judgment, advice or opinions can in itself be enormously therapeutic, and provide a feeling of relief and hope. We will also be able to discuss what you hope to gain from counselling in this session, so we have a clear map to follow if you decide to continue with me as your counsellor.
If I don't feel I can give you the help you need, I should be able to refer you to someone who can. If you feel comfortable and are happy to continue with me, we can set up a second session, and will continue to see each other on a weekly/fortnightly/monthly or ad hoc basis, according to your needs.
I am about 10-15 minutes walk from Exeter City Centre in a quiet, pleasant street off the Old Tiverton Road. There is free off-street parking if you are coming by car. If travelling by public transport, the house is less than a minute's walk to the nearest bus stop (E, F1, F2 buses); and 5 minutes walk from St. James Park train station.
Sessions last one hour and cost £45. Some concessions are available for those on a low income (please enquire for further information or see my website at http://elissamood.com/wp/further_info/). Payment is by cash, cheque or BACS transfer. You are never under any obligation to continue counselling and can leave at any time.
My counselling room is on the first floor, up one flight of stairs. Please let me know if this is not accessible for you and I will arrange to see you in a room on the ground floor. I have awareness of visual and hearing impairments and hold a BSL level 2 certificate. I also hold a level 2 certificate in Mental Health Awareness, covering many mental health disorders.
If you would like to discuss your needs, ask me any questions or arrange an initial session you can call or text on 07456 780130 or email me at email@example.com. Alternatively you can click the 'Email me' link above to send me a message. If you are unsure and want to have a think about it you can click 'Save Profile' below to come back later. You can also find out more about me on my website www.elissamood.com.
A final note ...
I know how hard it can be taking that first step to contact a counsellor. It can take a great deal of courage to open yourself up to someone you haven't met before. I recognise and respect this and will always be sensitive to any fears and vulnerabilities you have.
Thank you for taking the time to read my profile and I hope to meet with you if and when you feel ready to get in touch.
Training, qualifications & experience
Advanced Specialist Diploma (Level 6) in Couples and Relationship Counselling (Heartwood College of Counselling & Psychotherapy)
Understanding Children and Young People’s Mental Health Level 2 Certificate (The Skills Network, Petroc College)
Awareness of Mental Health Problems Level 2 Certificate (The Skills Network, University of West Anglia)
ABC Level 4 Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling (Exeter College)
Working with Sand Tray (Tina Hill-Art 'Living and Life' Training)
Focussing for Psychotherapists (Susan Jordan, British Focussing Association)
Gender Identity Awareness (Diversity Trust)
Sexual Abuse Awareness Training (Margaret Jackson Centre, Exeter)
Domestic Abuse Awareness Training (Devon County Council)
NCFE Level 3 Award in Counselling Skills and Theory (Exeter College)
Introduction to Counselling (Open University)
Masters in Social Anthropology (Edinburgh University)
I worked as a counsellor for the Margaret Jackson Centre in Exeter between 2015 and 2018.
I currently work with staff and postgraduates at Exeter University under the EAP programme.
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
Pre Menstrual Syndrome / Pre Menstrual Tension (PMS / PMT)
Pre Menstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)
Pre Menstrual Exacerbation of another disorder (PME)
Complex PTSD / CPTSD / Complex trauma / Developmental trauma
Counselling sessions last one hour and cost £45. Some concessions available (see http://elissamood.com/wp/further_info/ for more information).
Concessions offered for
I hold a current DBS enhanced certificate and am fully insured. I also receive regular supervision and CPD to help me support clients as best I can.