Hillary Smith, MA, PGDip, MBACP (Accred)
I strive to provide a warm and non-judgemental space for my client’s to talk, believing the relationship and connection between counsellor and client is fundamental to client self-exploration and personal growth. I work collaboratively with each client so I can tailor my approach, this is important, as we are all unique. Offering a safe and confidential space for the expression and understanding of feelings, I may also use Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) for exploring thoughts and behaviour, Behavioural Activation for depression, or Mindfulness to help focus on the present. I work in a client-centred way, encouraging feedback to help guide any treatment suggestions I make. My aim is to support each client to reconnect and develop the confidence to be the expert in their own life. I am a registered and accredited member of the British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy (BACP), and I am therefore required to work to the standards set in the ethical framework for good practice.
Taking the first step...
Taking the decision to embark on counselling can be daunting and anxiety provoking. Choosing to face our problems or fears, understand past and present experiences or to make a change takes courage. Finding the right counsellor is important, so in the first instance I am happy to have a telephone conversation to answer any questions. I also offer a reduced fee for our first meeting to allow you to meet me and discuss whether therapy is right for you, and in turn that I am the right therapist for you.
I can offer the flexibility of short or longer term therapy. I am able to offer telephone, skype/zoom, email or instant messaging sessions. Sessions are usually booked for 50 minutes, however longer sessions are possible. Deciding to embark on counselling does require a financial commitment, with this in mind for those on low incomes I can offer reduced session rates, as well as for students and those training in counselling or psychotherapy. Please contact me to discuss.
I am currently only offering remote/virtual sessions.
Training, qualifications & experience
I have a Postgraduate Diploma in Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP Accredited) and an MA in Counselling and Psychotherapy from the University of East London. My approach is integrative which means I draw on a variety of models and techniques that best suit my client’s individual needs. As a BACP accredited and registered member I have undergone additional in-depth assessment regarding my practice and experience. I have a Level 3 Certificate in Online Counselling Skills which provided me with additional training in online counselling.
Throughout each year it is a requirement that I continue to update my skills and knowledge by engaging in continual professional development activities.
Alongside my private practice, one area of focus is my work with cancer patients and their carers for Paul's Cancer Support Centre, a south London charity. I am an Associate Psychotherapist for the Weight Matters Group Practice dealing with eating disorders, weight and body issues. I work for Insight Healthcare an NHS Provider as an IAPT Counsellor for Medway Talking Therapies.
I have experience of working within a busy London university counselling service, and working short-term with NHS patients in Lambeth IAPT. I am interested in the connection between physical and mental health, and promoting holistic care and wellbeing.
Before becoming a counsellor I had a working background in publishing and photography, with a keen interest in wildlife and the environment. I worked as a massage therapist for 10 years, where my interest in health, the human body and the mind developed. I have experience of working in the finance sector and corporate environments, where stress can be a common occurrence.
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 is one of the UK’s largest professional bodies for counselling and psychotherapy. Therapists registered with the Association fall into a number of different membership categories such as Individual Member, Registered Member MBACP and Registered Member MBACP (Accred), each standing for different levels of training and experience. MBACP (Accred) and MBACP (Snr Accred) members have achieved a substantial level of training and experience approved by the Association.
Registered members can be found on the BACP Register, which was the first register to achieve Accredited Voluntary Register status issued by the Professional Standards Authority. Individual Members will have completed an appropriate counselling and/or psychotherapy course and started to practise, but will not appear on the BACP Register until they've progressed to Registered Member MBACP status.
All members are bound by a Code of Ethics & Practice and a Complaints Procedure. Accredited by the Professional Standards Authority.
Accredited register membership
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.
Areas of counselling I deal with
Other areas of counselling I deal with
Chronic illness, cancer, pain management, dying, fear of dying. Alongside bereavement I am all too aware that the loss of a pet can be just as painful as losing a person in your life, and therefore I am happy to work with those experiencing pet bereavement.
Concessions offered for
For 50 minute initial first meeting £20.
For ongoing sessions on weekdays before 6pm £45.
For ongoing sessions on weekdays after 6pm or weekends £50.
I can offer reduced concessionary fees for those on a low income, and for students, please contact me to discuss.
Limited availability on Mondays and Saturdays only. Currently I am not seeing clients in person due to COVID-19. Online via Zoom/Skype or telephone sessions are available.