Hesther Somerville, Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling, Reg.MBACP

Hesther Somerville,  Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling, Reg.MBACP


01803-762 703 / 0777 950 0905

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About me

I am a qualified, professional and experienced BACP-registered Therapeutic Counsellor, working from therapy rooms in private practice in both Staverton and Dartington 'Space', or by arrangement I can use a therapy room in Totnes. I draw on a range of modalities to suit individual needs in therapy. Sessions take the form of exploration through talking confidentially, and incorporate where appropriate creative mediums such as sand-play, imagery and visualisation, drawing, body work and body awareness, mindfulness, archetypes, myth and story... I work relationally and soulfully to develop a safe, non-judgmental therapeutic container with trust and integrity.

My clients give the best description of what it's like to work with me in the way I work: please see below under 'Testimonials'.

Sometimes life's problems and issues wear us down and prevent a sense of moving forward, and they call for us to take a few sessions of short-term therapy where all that's needed is a confidential and empathic listening ear to sort the wood from the trees, and sometimes what's needed is a longer-term psychotherapeutic relationship which allows the opportunity to explore the shadow areas of the fertile unconscious. Here we find new seeds of hope waiting to take root in the nutrient-rich composts of those hidden areas we'd rather keep buried deep in our unique and private pandora's box, which holds the golden keys that open doors with rusted locks. Our work is not to avoid the depths and keep pushing the dark and ugly back down, but to find the courage to take a peek and shed new light on what's waiting to be learned and grown from the depths.

Further information about me and about how I work can be found on my website: www.hesthersomerville.co.uk

Training, qualifications & experience

My initial training was in a Gestalt-based Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling at Heartwood in Dartington. My further training is a post-diploma in Integrative Psychosynthesis Psychotherapy at Re-Vision in London. I use myth, story and archetypes to integrate and synthesise the split from the conscious of those parts of Self which are too painful to face. With this soulful perspective I work with an understanding of the neuroscience of the brain and the autonomic nervous system, and how the body regulates and disregulates from trauma.

During my counselling training I became a Samaritan, supporting people in times of crisis and deeply painful distress. I developed the skills to stay calm, focused, patient and non-judgemental in allowing space and time, one-to-one for someone on the other end of the 'phone in desperate need of support. My training as a Cruse Bereavement Volunteer gave me insight into the wide and varied responses to grief and loss, and sometimes buried related issues that can arise because of a death.

In my current clinical practice I work with people who come to me with a vast and wide range of issues from shame, despair, depression, loneliness, anxiety, bereavement and loss, suicidal thoughts, sexual-, mental-, emotional- and physical- abuse, low self-esteem, eating disorders, addictions, stress, anger issues, loss of direction in life, life transitions, personal development, finding meaning as life unfolds, and so on...

Member organisations


Accredited register membership

Other areas of counselling I deal with

Testimonials from Clients:

"The sessions gave me a much needed opportunity to reflect on my relationships (especially parental) and on my life's journey. Your ability to really listen and grasp the essentials and at times offer an objective 'outsiders' reflection was very helpful in this process, as was your willingness to show and share who you are ('just' by being so). Above all your integrity stands out in my memory and I really felt that we were working together, rather than my being 'done to'." MV

"You gave me all the time I required and I feel your time with me was invaluable. I appreciate your time and kind nature. I told you all my thoughts and feelings and due to your nature I felt absolutely comfortable trusting you. Being able to express my feelings to someone who didn't know me was extremely helpful. You allowed me to speak, and you are a brilliant listener. I feel it has made a huge impression on me and given me more peace than I thought I could have received on my own. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, Hesther. Giving me your time and being so kind was a true gift. I truly appreciate it." HS

"Thank you for listening, much appreciated." ME

"Thank-you for all the help you've given me. It's been a big comfort to me." PS

"Because boundaries were put in place this helped to feel I could trust sharing whatever I needed to. I felt safe and comfortable to speak my mind. Not having to sensor what I felt or needed to say was really helpful. Always felt comfortable and safe to share confidential matters, which helped me to move forward. I must admit I was pleasantly surprised to be able to discuss things at such a deep level, and to find such openness. I needed to be able to work from a 'spiritual' standpoint and to gather a depth of understanding to be able to move forward. The sessions were intense, but I was (and still am!) very grateful for that. The way you asked questions helped me to find answers in myself. Also I felt really supported during the sessions and felt helped to see that I was actually doing ok, even pretty well. Sharing all kinds of family issues with someone not remotely connected to them was very valuable. I was able to see my patterns, family patterns and really work with you to come through them. I enjoyed really getting to the nitty gritty of things even though it was sometimes painful and difficult. Working this way enabled a lot of emotions to be released and shed quickly. I'd long since felt frustrated and unable to create a 'new' picture of myself, one that was up-to-date with who I am now. After each session I felt more and more confident to be able to do this, ultimately feeling safe enough to bring the sessions to a close and move on. The process is of course ongoing, but without these sessions I think I would have felt very unsupported or perhaps lacked the confidence I began to experience. I'm really grateful for that!" FW

"I felt very comfortable discussing everything. I feel more confident and able to deal with the 'bad' day much better. The benefit counselling was to me was amazing. I was beginning to feel that nothing mattered and talking it through without judgement made all the difference." DS

"Felt safe to express my feelings without fear." MH


My fee is £40 per session which lasts for one hour.
I offer some low cost concessionary places.
Initial consultation: £15

Further information

I offer an opportunity to explore your problems, the twists and turns your life has taken, and support you compassionately and non-judgementally to help you make sense of it all. I believe we know inherently the answers to our problems, and sometimes we find ourselves sinking as though in a boggy mist, or tangled in brambles that smother the sleeping beauty within. Then it takes a while to dig and delve and find a thread to piece together the meaning of Soul's story. Soul speaks with wisdom from the depths, and when life falls apart the inspiration of that meaning can be unearthed and brought to light.

'A human being has so many skins inside, covering the depths of the heart. We know so many things, but we don't know ourselves! Why thirty or forty skins or hides, as thick and hard as an ox's or bear's cover the soul. Go into your own ground and learn to know yourself there.' Meister Ekhart

Whatever the complexity of your story your experience in life is uniquely valid. I work with compassion and empathy to support you in finding your way to a sense of meaning and well-being.

I look forward to working with you.

Maps & Directions

Totnes, TQ9

Type of session

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

Practical details

Sign language: Unspecified
Other languages: None


Accessibility information
Wheelchair access: Unspecified


Weekdays and some evenings

Types of client

Young people
Older adults