Heather Thomas Verified Professional Verified Professional
Verified Professional

Every professional displayed on Counselling Directory has been independently verified by our team to ensure they have suitable credentials to practise.

Adv Dip MBACP (Accred.)
St Albans AL4 & Welwyn Garden City AL7

About me

Counselling is an investment in yourself. It can be used for working through specific difficulties or issues such as personal development or aligning yourself to who you're meant to be when life has gone off track. It is a time and space to share your innermost feelings and problems with someone to start to unravel and understand thoughts and feelings, to grieve losses, and to build resilience towards life's challenges.  When a person is feeling sad there can be a real benefit in talking feelings through in the confidential space which the counselling relationship provides.  During this period of COVID-19 sessions are available via telephone or on-line until the situation changes when face to face appointments can be resumed.

In my practice I offer both short term counselling or long term, open ended therapy. Short term counselling can be used to focus on anxiety and depression and open ended psychotherapy is more suitable for a deeper exploration and more thorough review of your life.  I also provide cognitive behaviour therapy which brings a fresh approach to negative thinking and promotes positive changes and alteration in a person's thought processes using CBT tools and techniques.  Each approach is collaborative and flexible where individuals can experience a non-judgemental, confidential environment which enables them to explore the difficulties and challenges they have encountered over their life.

I work psychodynamically, facilitating a process of exploring how the past can affect current relationships, to enable a person to reassess and begin the journey of change. The work often uncovers unprocessed painful experiences which may be adversely impacting the present. These may manifest through depression, anxiety, or unhappiness in relationships either personally or in the workplace. Often a person's emotional experience may be communicated through symptoms in the physical body. The opportunity to be heard and understood alleviates the anxiety that accompanies these physical symptoms, resulting in better health and wellbeing. The areas of work which I have experience in are as follows:

  • Persistent depression
  • Feelings of emptiness, dread or boredom
  • Bereavement and loss of a loved one
  • Diagnosis of illness
  • Relationship difficulties
  • Loss or bereavement that feels increasingly more difficult to cope with as time goes by
  • Anxiety, panic attacks, physical restlessness
  • Constant rumination or chatter in the mind and unwanted thoughts
  • Difficulties in understanding thoughts and feelings with the arrival of a new baby, or post natal depression
  • Sleep problems which may include insomnia or nightmares
  • Addictive relationships with alcohol, drugs, painkillers, sex, internet use, gambling and overeating
  • Family relationships

I have worked for the NHS as a counsellor/psychotherapist in primary care for several years, with many presenting issues and with a diversity of nationalities. My work is supervised by a UKCP Accredited Supervisor and I regularly attend professional development seminars to ensure that my practice offers the best informed care and up to date psychoanalytical thinking.

I adhere to a strict code of ethics and I am regulated by the British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists (BACP). The ethical guidelines and practices of the BACP to which I am bound can be viewed via their website www.bacp.co.uk.

Training, qualifications & experience

  • WPF Certificate in Psychodynamic Counselling
  • WPF Diploma in Psychodynamic Counselling
  • Counselling Foundation BACP Accredited Advanced Diploma in Psychodynamic Counselling
  • Dynamic Interpersonal Therapy Training with the Anna Freud Centre
  • Counselling for Depression Training with Nottingham University
  • WPF Certificate in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
  • 16 years working within the counselling and coaching field
  • Clinical affiliate for Employee Assistance Programmes
  • Step 3 High Intensity Psychological Therapist for IAPT services (NHS)
  • 25 years experience working in business, publishing, finance and administration
  • Diploma in Business and Language Studies London University
  • Certificate in Couple Counselling Tavistock Relationships
  • Certificate in Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy with The UK College of Hypnosis & Hypnotherapy an approach used by psychologists in hospitals and a course recognised by the BPS

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.

BACP

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

Fees

From £50.00 to £75.00

Concessions offered for

  • Keyworkers

Additional information

£55.00 for a 50 minute therapy session (plus a few assisted/affordable spaces available)

£60.00 for a 50 minute CBT session

£75.00 for a 50 minute couples therapy session

When I work

Monday to Friday daytime and weekday evening appointments

St Albans, Hertfordshire, AL4

Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, AL7

Type of session

In person
Online
Phone

Types of client

Young people
Adults
Older adults
Couples
Employee Assistance Programme

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.

Heather Thomas

Heather Thomas