Esther Friend

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Available for new clients
Available for new clients

This professional is available for new clients.

Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, HX7
Available for new clients
Available for new clients

This professional is available for new clients.

About me

Welcome to my profile. This is where I tell you a bit about myself so you can get an idea whether or not my approach is a good fit with what you are looking for.

I qualified as a counsellor in 2017 after 4 years of training; working with both adults and children. I previously worked as a primary school counsellor for 3 years and currently work as a trauma therapist with both children and adults. I am fortunate enough to love my job and it feels like a great privilege to be doing this work. My motivation to train as a counsellor grew from the knowledge and wisdom I gained over many years of working on my own healing from Post Traumatic Stress, and the desire to be there as a compassionate witness alongside others who might be struggling. Although I qualified recently, I have been engaged in different types of therapy (as a client) throughout my adult life so I have learnt a great deal about what makes a good therapist from my perspective. The key ingredients for healing and change, I think, are based on feeling seen, heard, safe and met. I aim to create the conditions in the counselling room where these ingredients can thrive and interact so that you can move closer to your inherent potential.

How counselling can help:

Parenting or work stress, juggling multiple demands, feeling isolated or finding daily life overwhelming or hard to find pleasure in can all be indicators of your life feeling out of balance. This may be showing up in a variety of ways including high stress, low life force energy, difficulty with interpersonal relationships, loneliness, angry outbursts, lack of emotional regulation and low resilience to stress. If this sounds like you, finding some extra support can make a profound difference. It can be difficult to find the words to share with those around us, or we might be reluctant to try, for fear of worrying others or not feeling understood. Talking to someone who isn’t involved in your immediate situation can give you new insights, understanding and strategies. I hope to help you feel heard and understood and offer myself as a compassionate witness and guide to help you navigate through difficult times.


You may be someone who has experienced adversity or trauma in your early life, whether that was through explicit abuses of trust, medical procedures or being parented in a way which did not meet your basic physical or emotional needs. Such experiences may have left you feeling like there is something fundamentally wrong with you and hopeless that you can change, which brings to mind the words of Carl Rogers, “The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.” I can help you navigate closer to this place of self compassion and self acceptance by building on your strengths (which may be buried under the rubble, but have got you through this far), and help you honour and deepen your understanding of old coping mechanisms which may be making your current life more difficult. I am especially interested in attachment and trauma and its impact on both the mind and the body and have accumulated a lot of embodied knowledge in these areas.

What to expect from counselling:

I work in an integrative way with lots of tools to choose from depending on what best suits you. Deciding to have counselling is a courageous endeavour and I want you to get the most out of it possible. I understand the need for an individualised approach, where you are acknowledged as your own best expert, are supported, empowered and offered appropriate tools and information to ease distress and maximise your capacity and choices for finding life easier.

If you decided to work with me, we would normally work in 6 week blocks and review as we proceed. We would start with building a sense of safety between us where you could feel seen, heard and psychologically held. This is a continuous process, the foundations of which may be laid quickly, or may take longer if relationships are a source of difficulty for you, for example. I would encourage you to set an intention for the work, which could be open “I want to explore what might be making me feel anxious” or quite specific “I want to develop some strategies to help me feel less overwhelmed”. I will bring the conditions – compassion, no judgement, a willingness to see the world through your lens, curiosity, hope – along with a bag of varied tools. We would then be led by you and your own inner wisdom about what would best suit your needs at this time, whether that be simply a space to feel heard, or something more specific such as trying out some body based practises or wanting to know more about the impact of trauma on the brain. I will be your ally and guide in this process but we will follow your lead.

I am passionate about counselling and have done a lot of work on my own healing in parallel with ongoing professional development and research.

Training, qualifications & experience

EMDR Standard Training - 52 hours of lectures, practicum experience and case  supervision in EMDR Therapy - as required by EMDR Europe Association. Delivered by Dr Michael C Paterson OBE, EMDR Europe Accredited Senior Trainer. Completed September 2021.

Healing the Fragmented Selves of Trauma Survivors - an 8 week online interactive training for trauma informed stabilisation treatment with Janina Fisher. May 2021.

2 day introduction to Somatic Experiencing. Live training delivered by Giselle Genillard from SOS Internationale. November 2019.

Shame: Healing hidden wounds - a seven month online in-depth training delivered by Diane Poole Heller. (Containing specific modules exploring the role of shame in trauma; power dynamics; physical and sexual abuse and how shame manifests in therapy. Completed October 2019.

Attachment based yoga and meditation for compassionate trauma recovery. A three day live training facilitated by Deirdre Fay. May 2019.

Healing Sexual Trauma: A somatic and attachment approach to working with therapy clients. A five week interactive online training with Peter Levine and Diane Poole Heller.  May 2019.

Working with relational trauma: dealing with disorganised attachment. Online training from Positive Outcomes for Dissociative Survivors (PODS). Completed March 2019.

Therapy Mastermind Circle, a three month online course about Developmental Trauma created by Diane Poole Heller, including detailed sub-modules on the topics of Developmental Trauma, Shock Trauma and Character Structure. 2018.

Treating Trauma Master Series, an online course delivered by Pat Ogden, Ruth Lanius, Peter Levine, Bessel Van der Kolk, Dan Siegal and Allan Schore, including the modules of: The Neurobiology of Trauma and Attachment; Working with Traumatic Memory That Is Embedded in the Nervous System; Helping Clients Tolerate Dysregulation and Come Back From Hypoarousal; Working with the Limbic System to Reverse the Physiological Imprint of Trauma. 2018

Smart Body Smart Mind an ongoing online programme of psycho-education and bodywork by Irene Lyon for rewiring the nervous system and healing from trauma (for personal development). Based on the work of Peter Levine and Kathy Kain.

Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling (2017). The Art of Change, Blackburn.

HNC Dance Movement Therapy (2004). Dance Voice, Bristol.

I have experience counselling adults at Mind and children at a Place2Be project, I was a primary school counsellor for three years and am currently working as a children and families trauma therapist.

Member organisations

Registered / Accredited

Registered / Accredited

Being registered/accredited with a professional body means an individual must have achieved a substantial level of training and experience approved by their member organisation.

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.

Accredited register membership

British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy
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.

British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy


£40.00 - £60.00

Concessions offered for

  • Low income

Additional information

Adults: Self-assessed scale from £45 (low income) - £60 (higher income)

Children: Parent-assessed scale from £40 (low income) - £50 (higher income)

When I work

Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun

Mondays and Fridays

Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, HX7

Type of session

In person

Types of client

Children (0-12)
Young people (13-17)
Adults (25-64)
Older Adults (65+)

Key details

Wheelchair user access
Wheelchair user access

Wheelchair-accessible premises should have step-free access for wheelchair users and individuals who are unable to climb stairs. If a Counsellor's premises aren't step-free, they may offer alternative services such as telephone/web-based appointments, home visits, or meeting clients in different location, so you can choose the option that suits you best.

You can contact the Counsellor to discuss the options available.

Under the Equality Act 2010 service providers have a duty to make reasonable adjustments to ensure that individuals with disabilities can access their service. You can read more about reasonable adjustments to help you to access services on the CAB website.

Esther Friend
Esther Friend