Joanne Elsmore

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BSc(Hons), PGCE, MBACP Counsellor, Jo@Babbling Brook Therapy
Available for new clients
Available for new clients

This professional is available for new clients.

Bideford, Devon, EX39
Available for new clients
Available for new clients

This professional is available for new clients.

About me

Humans thrive in connection.

You will find me gentle, compassionate and easy to connect with because I nurture a supportive relationship in which to feel safe, valued and understood. I offer healing through connection.

About you

Are you feeling lost and alone? Isolated? Confused? Unsure of which way to turn next? As if no one in your life understands the huge obstacles you are facing?

Talking helps.

I will listen and you will feel heard by me.

Are you struggling with emotional pain, anxiety or stress? Unhappiness, regret or frustration? Overwhelming or uncomfortable feelings that are sucking the joy from your everyday world? 

​At times in life, we find ourselves with seemingly no control over events. It is easy to feel abandoned, directionless and misunderstood. We may even begin to attack ourselves as worthless or unlovable.

I am able to offer you a safe space in which we can connect with warmth and trust. This helps because you will feel supported and guided to find relief from overwhelming issues. 

How will I help?

I am able to give you the safety and time to express your emotions. To explore your possibilities without judgement. I will take this journey with you as a supportive, reassuring, calming presence. As your story unfolds, I will imagine how it is to walk in your shoes and see things through your eyes. This helps because I will become a reflective lens on your internal world, enabling you to take confident steps towards change and growth.

You will lead me in your quest for enlightenment, because I believe your courage and wisdom will show us how to find a way to help you live your best life.

My Approach

Every person is deserving of kindness, respect and self-worth. This is what I give to you with warmth and honesty, by putting our relationship at the core of our work.  I believe that all people ultimately have the potential to find a way to be their happiest selves, but may be emotionally blocked, or stuck in their way of being. My aim is to allow you to voice your inner thoughts freely, explore options, and find a way to tolerate uncertainty by focusing on the present. I will be guided by you, as you are the expert on your world. By constructing a solid foundation of safety and trust, our work will blossom into a holistic approach that is tailored to your individual needs. I will always listen to your hopes and fears, with gentle curiosity and reflective empathy, while supporting you to build resilience and find clarity. 

Negative thinking

I will help you develop an awareness of your limiting beliefs, behaviours and negative thought processes. I will show you how to talk back to yourself with courage, kindness and compassion, because I know how destructive it is to feel worthless. I have a lifetime of learning how to rise above low self-esteem, shame and guilt successfully. 

Soothing techniques

I will explore simple grounding techniques with you to alleviate distress, using breath, body and senses to create safety and an awareness of self in the present moment. This helps because if you are distressed, the conscious, thinking part of your brain shuts down, allowing emotion to take over, perhaps as fear or anxiety. By soothing the emotional brain, and reconnecting to logic and language, you will find it easier to face difficult issues, and problem solve to move forwards.

Creative experience

You may think it will be impossible to verbalise your experience aloud. I enjoy enabling creative expression, by using sand-play, role-play, drawing, writing or a range of other ideas. Can you imagine unloading your darkest thoughts, without saying a word, while feeling safe and understood? Creative expression is excellent at bringing to awareness insights that have been invisible to the conscious mind.

Walk and Talk

Do you find tranquillity in the wide open sweep of the beach, the wind in your hair? The sound of running water, or being immersed in the peace of the woodland?

I have a deep belief in the healing power of the wild outdoors because the earth has a self-righting capacity to maintain integrated balance. We are all part of earth's system, with the capacity to tap into and harmonise with this balance. In nature, your body, brain and emotions can experience the present moment.

Imagine using the healing power of nature on your journey to self-awareness.


I will not expect you to 'get over it' or 'move on'. Instead I will help you accept the reality of what has happened, develop self-care strategies and express the pain you are feeling. When you feel ready we will explore ways to adjust to life without the deceased, while creating lasting connections to them.  You may feel lost in a dark, tangled forest right now..... together we can find a road which leads towards the light.

I am a volunteer with Cruse Bereavement.

Why counselling?

Talking to a counsellor can help to relieve your pain, calm anxiety, explore your past, develop your resilience, tolerate uncertainty, find meaning and reveal your inner wisdom.  This is different from talking to a friend, because I engage with your life without being too close to it. I see things from an alternative and non-judgmental perspective where my opinions and experiences are put aside. You can tell me things in absolute confidence that friends would find too personal to discuss and reflect on. This enables you to fully explore and work through all your issues while developing the skills to flourish within your life. Counselling has long lasting effects and often leaves you with the tools and resiliency to deal with life's future challenges yourself.

Training, qualifications & experience

Advanced Diploma in Humanistic Integrative Counselling

25 years+ working with Children as a teacher and sports coach. Now passionate about helping children overcome their difficulties, especially anxiety.  Early intervention equals resourceful child with resilient mental health, and happier future.

Registered Member of the BACP

  • Working with Trauma- Dr Arielle Schwartz (PESI)
  • Safe & Sound Protocol (SSP) Certification & Provider (Polyvagal Informed Therapy)
  • OCD management training (BACP & Institute for Child Psychology)
  • OpenLearn Remote Counselling Competence Certificate
  • Healing Trauma Programme -Sounds True
  • ASIST- Suicide Awareness & Prevention Training
  • Vagal Toning Programme -Rewire Therapy Institute
  • Understanding Children & Young People's Mental Health L2 Certificate.
  • BACP Children & Young People's Conference 2021
  • Cruse Bereavement Care Foundation Course, Complex Grief and Traumatic Death.
  • Cruse Bereavement Care supporting Children & Young People course 
  • Cruse Bereavement Care Dementia Awareness course
  • Pregnancy & Infant Loss Certificate -Foundation for Infant Loss
  • Emotional Awareness of Life Limiting Illness Awareness Day -North Devon Hospice 

Accompanying people on their journey through grief; to understand life is irrevocably changed but can still be fulfilling, is a passion. I also help people come to terms with life's upheavals, such as divorce or retirement. Loss and change throw up a lot of complex stuff, from love and hate to depression or trauma. I have helped clients explore many overwhelming issues, and they have appreciated the uniquely warm, safe and supportive way in which I have been able to guide them to face and overcome difficulties.

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

Pandemic fear and anxiety

Photos & videos


£50.00 per session
Free initial in-person, telephone or online session

Concessions offered for

  • Trainee counsellors

Additional information

Because it can feel very daunting to imagine sitting and talking about your most intimate thoughts and experiences to a stranger, I offer

A free, no obligation, 30 minute consultation.

If you would like to chat about how I could help you, pick up your phone and get in touch today on 07494 250387, or via the contact buttons at the top of my profile. You've nothing to lose and everything to gain!

There is no pressure to continue, but if you feel I could help you, my fees are:

  • £50 per hour in person or remotely. 
  • Walk n Talk may cost more if more time is needed for the appointment.

I can offer short-term solution-focused counselling, or more open-ended counselling with regular reviews of progress. 

When I work

Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun

Please book a free introductory session using the tab above, or call 07494 250387 for availability and we'll see what we can work out together. Or by email

Further information

Visit my website using the tab at the top of the page.

I can see you in person in my counselling room at my home in Northam, Bideford, or remotely via Zoom or telephone. My counselling room is accessible with no steps or stairs.

I can meet you for Walk & Talk by mutual agreement locally to Northam.

How to Book

Scroll up and book an introductory call with me using the button at the top of my profile (by my photograph), and I will call you at your preferred time, with no obligation to continue. Alternatively please use the contact form or call/text me on 07494 250387. If I can't answer the phone please leave a message and I will get back to you as soon as I can. You can email direct at You've taken the first brave step! I look forward to speaking with you soon.

Northam, Bideford, Devon, EX39

Type of session

In person

Types of client

Children (0-12)
Young people (13-17)
Young adults (18-24)
Adults (25-64)
Older Adults (65+)

Key details

DBS check

In England and Wales, the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS, formerly known as CRB) carry out criminal records checks for individuals working with vulnerable groups, such as children. To find out more, visit , or contact this professional directly

There are no steps to access my counselling room

Online platforms