Jenny Chesher

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BACP Reg. Counsellor and Animal /Equine-assisted Therapist
Available for new clients
Available for new clients

This professional is available for new clients.

Bridgwater, Somerset, TA5
Available for new clients
Available for new clients

This professional is available for new clients.

About me

What I offer clients

Are you seeking a different form of therapy to help cope with a stressful life, difficult relationship, painful loss or perhaps just your own negative thoughts or feelings of anxiety? Let the therapeutic power of animals and nature combine with my  counselling skills to support your healing journey.

I offer both counselling and equine or animal-assisted therapy sessions in an idyllic rural setting on the edge of the Quantock hills in Somerset, close to both Bridgwater and Taunton. Here you will find a tranquil haven in which to seek respite, and a supportive, caring counsellor to help you overcome or cope with your difficulties.

As a BACP Registered counsellor, with equine-assisted psychotherapy training, I offer clients a professional and caring service in a variety of settings to suit your own needs ranging from counselling sessions (assisted by my dogs) in my therapy hut, to outdoor therapy sessions with my horses or ‘walk and talk’ sessions in quiet Somerset countryside, for those who people who are uncomfortable having face-to-face conversations in a room.

The combination of being outdoors and with animals can be particularly helpful in enabling young people and adolescents to share and reflect on their feelings and talk about their problems.

Who can benefit from my service?

The peaceful setting for my counselling and the supportive presence of animals is particularly conducive to helping people who are feeling stressed, anxious, or depressed. For clients leading hectic lives, they have space to become calmer and more reflective, whilst for those who feel lonely, hurt or rejected they can find a warm, reparative relationship. The presence of my animals is reassuring and particularly comforting for people struggling with bereavement. It can help overcome the reticence that some people may feel at sharing painful feelings or experiences. For people who have suffered from abusive relationships, the healing touch offered by animals can be very beneficial.

My form of therapy is particularly accessible to adolescents and young people. I find that the combination of interacting with animals and being outdoors engages them more than conventional face-to-face counselling in a room, and helps me to build a collaborative relationship with them.

How I work with clients

Clients say they find me very calm, understanding, supportive and grounded to work with.

I have particular experience of working with anxiety, phobia and low self-esteem issues as well as depression, bereavement and loss. I have also developed a special interest in work-related stress experienced by clients working for large organisations. In my therapy, my initial aim is to gain your trust as a client and enter into your world, to experience life as you see it and build a strong relationship. I can then start to understand the issues that are troubling you, and use that insight to support you in facing your problems and finding strategies to either change them or better cope with them. I can use a combination of talking, creative therapeutic techniques and animal-assisted interventions to help you explore your issues.

My unique Practice, Equilibrium Animal-assisted Therapy and Counselling, integrates the healing power of animals with my professional counselling skills to help relieve people’s emotional pain or mental distress, working with both dogs and horses. I facilitate the remarkable ability of these animals to connect with, and gently reflect back, underlying human emotions in a non-judgemental and supportive way. My dogs offer a calming and reassuring presence for clients in the counselling room and can help build confidence and trust and support clients who struggle to communicate or describe their painful feelings.

No experience with horses is required for equine sessions nor is horse riding involved, although a certain level of mobility and a willingness to take part in outdoor activities is needed.

For further information about what happens in a therapy session see below in the 'Any Further Information' box. Also, please look at my web-site for further details of how I provide this therapy with my dogs Monty, Lily and Rufus, and ponies Tommy and Spirit.

More images of my animals can be seen on my Instagram account: @jenny@equilibrium.

Where I offer counselling and therapy

I provide counselling and therapy in a peaceful location in Spaxton, Somerset which is surrounded by tranquil countryside in which we can also walk and talk. My counselling room is a traditional shepherd's hut which provides clients with a cosy and safe place to share their thoughts and feelings. Outdoor and equine-assisted therapy takes place at the same location. Private transport is generally required to reach this location. Please advise me beforehand if you have any particular access requirements.

Training, qualifications & experience

Professional training

In 2012-14 I trained at the Iron Mill Institute in Exeter and in 2016 I gained an Advanced Diploma in Integrative Counselling (Level 5). This course is accredited by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP)

Training in working with young people

  • Between April- December 2021 I completed an Advanced Diploma course with Devon Counselling Training, in Working with Children and Young People.
  • I have completed Somerset County Council's 7 day training course for volunteers who providing mentoring and advocacy services for children from troubled backgrounds - 2017-18
  • Supporting young people with anxiety and depression (2 days) - Iron Mill Institute, 2019

I have up to date training in safeguarding and child protection.

Additional qualifications in Equine and Animal-assisted Therapy

  • In 2016 I qualified as a Practitioner in Equine-facilitated Psychotherapy with LEAP,  and am a member of their practitioners' network.
  • In 2022 I became a Member of the UK Human-equine Interaction Register, which has a rigorous application process: 

I have also completed certificate courses in:

  • Introduction to Animal-Assisted Interventions (24 study hours) - Society for Companion Animal Studies, 2015 (achieved Distinction)
  • 3 day Course 'Animal-assisted Therapy in Counselling' - 2015
  • 2 day practical course - Animal-assisted Therapy - People & Animals - 2015

I regularly undertake continuing professional development, and completed training includes subjects such as:

  • Bereavement
  • Domestic Abuse
  • Working with Boarding School survivors
  • Creative therapeutic interventions
  • Working with anxiety and trauma
  • Pre-trial therapy, 2019
  • Supporting victims of sexual assault and violence, 2019

My experience includes membership for 4 years of the bereavement support team of a local hospice, supporting both adults and children, and volunteering with a charity which provides equine-assisted therapy to children and young people with developmental disorders. Together with my registered therapy dogs I have visited the wards of a local rehabilitation hospital and the hospice as a volunteer for Pets as Therapy.

Following my training with Somerset County Council Childrens' Services, for 5 years I undertook volunteering as an advocate and mentor for young people who are looked after, or provided with other services, by the Council. 

I am a registered member of the BACP and adhere to its Ethical Framework, I undertake regular supervision, carry full practitioner's insurance and continue to pursue relevant professional training.

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

Animal-assisted therapy

Equine-assisted therapy

Pre-trial therapy

Pet Bereavement


£50.00 per session
Free initial telephone session

Additional information

60 minute counselling sessions (which may incorporate my therapy dogs) are £50-00.

90 minute equine-assisted therapy sessions cost £70-00 or £60-00 for clients aged under 15.

I am happy to hold a short, free, introductory meeting for clients aged under 18 to explain about my therapy and ensure that you are comfortable working with me, my dogs or my horses.

Group or bespoke animal/equine-assisted therapy sessions can be individually quoted for.

When I work

Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun

I am available for counselling and animal or equine-assisted therapy on Thursdays, Fridays some Saturdays and can have early evening slots available

Further information

What is Animal-assisted Therapy and how could it help you?

Animal-assisted therapy, or AAT, is the targeted involvement of animals by a professional within a therapeutic setting, for the purpose of helping people. Whilst the use of animals to provide physical support to people has been long-established (e.g Riding for the Disabled or Guide Dogs for the Blind) their use in a psychological or emotional context is a more recent development. It was developed as a professional tool in the mid twentieth century by the American child psychologist Boris Levinson, but even Sigmund Freud included his dog Chowfi in sessions with his clients. It can be particularly beneficial for clients who:

  • have difficulty trusting people
  • struggle to talk about difficult feelings and experiences,
  • feel damaged by abusive or manipulative relationships
  • suffer poor self-esteem and lack self-confidence.

A dog provides a calming presence in the counselling room which clients can find supportive when exploring and talking about difficult emotions and its unconditional affection can be comforting to those who have experienced bereavement and loss. Animals provide an opportunity for clients to practice building a reparative relationship without fear of judgement or rejection.

Equine assisted therapy utilises the remarkable emotional intelligence of horses, and their ability to give instant but constructive feedback to people, as a tool for greater self-awareness and personal development. Sessions involve a variety of observational, reflective and active exercises which, with the support of a trained facilitator, provide meaningful experiences to clients which can be applied to situations and relationships in their everyday lives.

For more information about animal-assisted therapy the book Animal-assisted Therapy in Counselling by Cynthia K. Chandler provides an accessible and informative introduction to the subject. The following web-sites may also be of interest:

Bridgwater, Somerset, TA5

Type of session

In person

Types of client

Young people (13-17)
Adults (25-64)
Older Adults (65+)

Key details

DBS check

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I am in a rural setting which is not regularly accessible via public transport. My counselling hut is reached by a short run of steps but I have other semi-outdoor spaces with level access. I can also offer telephone or online sessions for clients.

Online platforms



Jenny Chesher
Jenny Chesher