Hesther Somerville

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Counsellor and Psychotherapist, MBACP
Available for new clients
Available for new clients

This professional is available for new clients.

Totnes, Devon, TQ9
Available for new clients
Available for new clients

This professional is available for new clients.

About me

Making sense and finding meaning in the ebb and flow of life...   I am qualified with the Advanced Diploma in Psychotherapy from 'Re-Vision' in London, am a Member of the BACP, and I offer a confidential, compassionate space to help you make sense of the puzzling predicaments and overwhelming quandaries that life presents. 

I draw on a range of modalities (Integrative, Transpersonal, Jungian, Gestalt, Psychodynamic) to suit individual needs in therapy. Sessions take the form of exploration through talking confidentially, incorporating where appropriate creative mediums such as imagery & visualisation, dreams, drawing, sand-play, 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 area of particular interest:-

If you excelled in any of these subjects at school: music/sport/creative-arts/dance/acting/engineering... and yet underachieved in other subjects despite being conscientious and working hard, it could be that your learning style is at odds with the generally accepted way of delivering mainstream education.  It can result in feelings of being misunderstood and not accepted, making you vulnerable to isolation, ridicule, bullying, loss of identity, low self-esteem, loss of self-worth, putting on an act, depression and anxiety, and loss of sense of direction and purpose - a few of the symptoms resulting from trying to fit in to a society that favours viewing the world through an analytical and logistical lens where hard facts, certainty, and passing exams are the ultimate goal.

Creative people are often highly intelligent and talented, and yet under-achieve and under-perform.  They are often people who find it hard to fit in, and who feel overwhelmed by the world.  They are often big thinkers who find it hard for their voice to be heard.

Sometimes life's problems and issues can wear us down and prevent a sense of moving forward, and they call for us to take a few sessions of short-term counselling where what's needed is a confidential and empathic listening ear.  Sometimes what's needed is a longer-term and deeper psychotherapeutic relationship which allows the opportunity to explore the shadow areas of the fertile unconscious where there is the possibility to 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 personal 'pandora's box'.  Our work is not to avoid the depths, 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.

My clients describe their experience of working with me under 'Testimonials'.

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

Training, qualifications & experience

I am fully qualified as an Integrative, Transpersonal Psychotherapist, with an Advanced-Diploma from 'Re-Vision' in London ('Psychotherapy from a Soulful Perspective')  This is a UKCP accredited training.  My initial training was in a Gestalt-based Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling from Heartwood in Dartington, BACP accredited. 

During my counselling training I volunteered as 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.  I went on to train as a Cruse Bereavement Volunteer, and this 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 practice I use myth, story and archetypes, at least as a backdrop if not overtly, to inform the work and to integrate and synthesise the split from the conscious of those parts of Self which are hidden. 

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

Member organisations

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

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


£55.00 per session

Concessions offered for

  • Low income

Additional information

My fee is £55 per session which lasts for one hour. I offer some low-cost concessionary places.

The fee you pay me maintains the professional standards I adhere to:-  my professional memberships, indemnity insurance, continuing professional development, supervision and online listings.  Please only ask for a reduced fee if you are really in financial hardship.  I reserve a few reduced-fee spaces.

It is helpful for both of us to have an initial half-hour informal chat, which is not for process work, to get a sense of each other and the nature of the work you wish to focus on.  This allows me a chance to assess if I have the right skill-set to support you, and for you to have a sense if I am the right therapist for you.  To arrange an informal chat please email me: info@hesthersomerville.co.uk, or call me on 01803-762 703 / 0777-950 0905 where it is safe to leave a confidential message with your name and 'phone number: if I'm unable to answer straight away I will call you back as soon as I am able.

When I work

Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun

Dartington Hall, Totnes, Devon, TQ9

Type of session

In person

Types of client

Adults (25-64)
Older Adults (65+)

Key details

DBS check

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