Swindon: Gilly Chapell Reg. MBACP Trauma Counsellor, Degree Qual.

Swindon: Gilly Chapell Reg. MBACP Trauma Counsellor, Degree Qual.

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Newport Street

07716492753 / 07716492753

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Newport Street

07716492753 / 07716492753

About me

I am a BACP Counsellor also trained as a neurobiologically informed trauma therapist.

I'm a member of TAG (Trauma & Abuse Group), qualified to Degree level with extensive experience of working in a variety of different settings, volunteering in the public and private sector along side my private practice addressing a wide breadth of emotional concerns.

Last year I was on the clinical team of one of the world leading trauma experts; Janina Fisher. In one of her private trauma clinics treating some of the most challenging presentations of trauma. So I bring with me to my private practice some the most up to date treatment applications for complex trauma, PTSD, Disassociation, borderline and similar diagnoses.

I have taken Janina's valuable training and experience to the homeless in Swindon and am currently writing a trauma resolution program for Threshold homeless Shelter in Swindon and am clinical lead for the delivery of this program.  All my private practice session fees are fundamental in funding this homeless project.

In my experience counselling has helped clients, presenting with all sorts of difficulties, such as: emotional overwhelm, hopelessness, shame, worthlessness, lack of memories, mistrust, anxiety, panic attacks, stress, depression, chronic pain, irritability, loss of interest, decreased concentration, insomnia, alcohol, addiction, lack of self care or confidence, disordered eating, comfort eating, legacy of abuse or neglect, self destructive behaviour, parenting and relationship issues. Along side clients who come because they want to make sense of a life event such as problems related to affairs, betrayal, separation and divorce, abusive relationship, bereavement and loss of long term relationships.

For example... a client may report feeling a loss of interest in things, in life, in relationships. Sometimes this is a subtle way of our emotional well being telling us that we have had a tough time digesting when something really important and meaningful was taken away from us. We cope with the loss by not getting too attached to anything again in the future. The logic being if we are not too attached we don't get hurt when or if it is taken away from us. There tends to be an underlying message hidden within the symptoms clients present. So a good place to start in counselling is to explain what isn't working in life at the minute.

Sometimes clients report sudden, intense and lasting 'moments' of emotional overwhelm which after the 'moment' has past seems out of proportion to the situation. This is very common in unresolved trauma. But often clients are too scared to bring it to counselling and instead battle with 'if I could just keep it under control, do better, stop over reacting or similar...' again this is all very common when there is an underlying situation that has not been resolved properly and you'd be surprised just how it can be unravelled. I also often here clients report feeling like they are a fraud, carrying a sense of I am going to get found out, like they are not good enough and it is only a matter of time before people will discover it.  This again is a symptom of trauma. Also see:

which explains how trauma can impact us.

Take a look at the additional images uploaded for further symptoms of this.

Counselling is a talking therapy which helps clients understand that the symptoms (whatever they may be e.g. emotional overwhelm, hopelessness, shame, worthlessness, lack of memories, mistrust, anxiety, panic attacks, stress, depression, chronic pain, irritability, loss of interest, decreased concentration, insomnia, alcohol, addiction, lack of self care or confidence, disordered eating, comfort eating, self destructive behaviour). When a client can understand the symptoms it is easier to see what the symptoms is telling them and for us to work on restoring emotional well being, improve low self-esteem, unravel things like anger management, rage, bereavement, phobias and post natal depression etc. By providing a unique perspective it can assist in evaluating and changing how life is being experienced. This can improve relationships, how we communicate with our children, family issues and help us digest affairs and betrayals, separation and divorce.

Counselling is one of those therapies which really requires the professional to hold a great deal of integrity, so that clients stand a good chance of being able to open up and share their difficulties.   In order to prove our integrity to clients we do a great deal of training with other more experienced professionals and take a lot of personal counselling ourselves to ensure your sessions remain completely uncontaminated from anything other than what your bring.

My approach combines Person-Centred and Psychodynamic theories providing clients with options of short term or open ended therapy. I am trained and experienced in dealing with all of the mentioned symptoms. One of the areas I don't have training in and therefore I do not work with clients who's main presenting symptom falls within sexual addiction or dysfunction, however there are many therapists trained specifically in this area.

I do work a lot with clients who appear to get a sudden, intense and long lasting, (as in the feeling that linger and impact their day sometimes week) so like a sudden high impact of emotional overwhelm. These clients when triggered often report feeling like there is something seriously wrong with them, like this just is not normal... this is often a very common symptom of a previous trauma (trauma can mean anything which scares us, so from a car accident to growing up with a scarey parent). I use a very effective approach under the direction of Janina Fisher, PhD who is recognised in our field for the understanding and treatment of the legacy of trauma: attachment failure, neglect, physical or sexual abuse in childhood, sexual assault, medical trauma, and domestic or community violence.

Everyone deserves to be heard and I believe from client feedback I can offer clients empathy, acceptance, understanding and place where they feel safe and capable of change. I believe with the right support you will find the resources you need to feel like your own expert in what you need to find your potential and continue self growth through what is a self empowering counselling relationship.

I can be found on the BACP's Register of Counsellors & Psychotherapists, certificate number 054329. This register was accredited under a Parliamentary Scheme in 2013 to protect clients and support best practice. So you'll find I work ethically and I am a trusted pair of hands for clients.

Counselling is an opportunity to unravel; thoughts which maybe tie us up in knots, decisions which could make us go round in circles and change habits which might make us cringe to the core. Counselling can also be a life sustaining therapy for the emotionally bruised.

Some clients know their limitations, spot trouble ahead or want to make changes and know they need to seek help to achieve this. Whilst at the other end of the spectrum others are right at their wits end before they get in touch. There is no right or wrong time to start counselling, you will be welcome whenever to choose to get in touch...day or night and I usually respond promptly to text messages and emails (although they are delivered when the phone syncs).

Training, qualifications & experience

These are some of the Certificates and Qualifications I have obtained which support my work:

Practical Brain-Focused Strategies for working with Depression                               2017 (new research on natural antidepressants) with Elisha Goldstein

Brain Science, Neurobiologically Informed Neuroplasticity                                        2016 with Dan Seigel, Rich Hanson, Kelly McGonigal, Norman Doldge, Stephen Porges, Pat Ogden

Conscious Relationships                                                                                           2015 with Tara Brach

Working with the Neurobiological Legacy of Trauma lead by Janina Fisher
Level 1 2 and 3 at Khiron House

Foundation Degree in Therapeutic Counselling - Merit
My training was undertaken face to face through the University of Gloucester

D171 Introduction to Counselling
(equivalent to the CPCAB Level 3 in Counselling Theory

CPCAB Level 2 Certificate in Counselling Skills

CRUSE Awareness in Bereavement Care
A foundation course

NCFE Level 2 Certificate in Nutrition and Health
(emotional well being starts with good physical health)

Associate of the CIPD with Level 3 Certificate in Personnel Practice
(Being qualified in Human Resources & Employment Law helps clients with work related issues)

Btec National Diploma in Business & Finance

Member organisations


Accredited register membership

Photos & videos

  • Any of these look familiar....
  • Where do you operate....


You can pay as you go or swap to monthly and back again depending on whatever suits your budget at the time. I see people normally weekly but also once the relationship is established some clients prefer fortnightly.

Fees are very reasonable and are priced to cover insurances, advertising, supervision and professional memberships etc. I work because love helping people. The rest of my private practice fees supports the delivery of a significant trauma resolution program being gifted to organisations who can not offer such services.

As a guide I charge £43 pay as you go and £37.50 if paid in advance monthly for all daytime slots slots. Evening slots can be offered at £43 per hour if paid 24 hours in advance.  But please see my website for the most up to date rates and offers... or text me.

I do offer couples counselling at £55 per session.

Further information

Ever felt like there is something inside your head holding you back?
Maybe a little more self control, to stop you showing your frustrations, your anger, your rage...
Maybe a little more self constraint, to help you act more appropriately, stop you showing your true feelings which are getting you into trouble...
Maybe a little more confidence or self esteem to be able to tell people how your feel, get your own needs met...
Maybe a little more self discipline, to help you maintain better boundaries with people, stop them from making your feel invisible, help you to say no when you need to...

My experience tells me many clients come having grown up pleasing or butting against their parents, their teachers, their friends and peers. They leave school and work hard to please their bosses to get a promotion, get a long term partner and work hard to please them and eventually they wake up exhausted from pleasing or butting against everyone else and find they need to start working on pleasing themselves without feeling like they it comes with a high price tag attached. A lot of these clients will have lost sight or the presence of a significant care figure during their own development and now have fundamental needs not being met in the right ways. Such as:

  • Appreciation
  • Approval
  • Encouragement
  • Support
  • Security
  • Respect
  • Attention
  • Comfort
  • Acceptance
  • Mirroring
  • Twinship
  • Idealisation

When our needs are not met in an appropriate way defenses to start popping up all over the place. Sometime we may notice a bit of anxiety before our defences kick in sometime it may not be in our awareness at all. Defences are behaviour which do not really fit with who we are. Behaviour which maybe gets us into trouble but on the surface stops us from getting hurt which is why unconsciously we do it. Such as:

  • Denial
  • Acting out
  • Disassociation
  • Repression
  • Rationalisation
  • Compartmentalization
  • Projection
  • Displacement
  • Reaction Formation
  • Introjection
  • Regression
  • Splitting
  • Projective Identification
  • Intellectualisation
  • Undoing
  • Compensation
  • Assertiveness
  • Sublimation

The fact is no amount of trying will find the person we really are behind all the defenses if we are rubbing alongside things which unconsciously threaten our own or make us feel like we are going to get hurt. Nobody encourages us to love and please ourselves this is something we are lucky enough to just get or we need help finding a balance that works for us. A great place for clients to start is looking at their physical health and you can start today by looking at some of the basic gifts we can offer ourselves...

  • Do we allow ourselves to get a good 8 hours sleep?
  • Do we drink at least 8 glasses of water spread evenly during a day?
  • Do we eat at regular intervals and if we asked a nutritionist would they consider we eat our 5 a day and a good balance of fresh food?
  • Do we look after ourselves with a regular twenty minutes exercise?
  • Do we feel in balance between rushing around to meet the needs of others and satisfying our own needs?
  • Do we get plenty of sunlight, (vitamin D) or vitamin B6 which supports our emotions, probiotics capsules to take care of our stomach (reduce bacteria & fungus build up) these release toxins which can cause mental health symptoms?

If not I wonder why not? How can we feel emotionally balanced if physically we are neglecting ourselves. On a first initial session when clients are not really sure where to start or what to share this can be a good place to start.

Nobody wants to admit they are struggling... we might ask the opinion of others to try and gage if we are OK. But at the point that uncertainty enters it becomes very difficult to understand who is right in any situation. Relationships start to become strained as we feel less heard and understood. Sometimes we get a sense that things are not OK but this means we stop rubbing shoulders with others as it emphasis how different we feel. We struggle on, trying to over compensate until we become exhausted with trying and we are unable to cover all the cracks.

It can feel very scarey coming to counselling but in my experience nobody has yet regretted facing that fear, being able to look it square in the eye and work out that fear alone is no long going to limit the responses and options available.

I'm waiting for you to get in touch so you can decide if we can make this journey together. I'm just a text message away...

Maps & Directions

Swindon, SN25
Swindon, SN1

Type of session

Online counselling: No
Telephone counselling: No
Face to face counselling: Yes

Practical details

Sign language: Unspecified
Other languages: None


Wheelchair access: Unspecified


9.30am to 11.30am Mon to Fri Clinical Lead for Threshold Homeless trauma resolution program Private Practice is open : Mon to Thurs 12.15pm & 1.30pm Evenings 7.15pm & 8.30pm

Types of client

Young people
Older adults