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About me

I became a counsellor because I care about people and want to make a positive difference to their lives. I can enable you to discover a better way of living and coping, no matter what challenges or difficulties life throws at you. I offer a free 20 minutes consultation. This allows time for you to talk about your situation, and explore whether I am the right person to support you.

"I want someone who will listen without judging"

As a warm, compassionate and experienced therapist, my focus is on my clients, listening to their problems and concerns without judgement in a supportive environment.

I offer a confidential space in which we can talk, and this means that I won't discuss the content of our work with your GP, family or workplace. Therapy works and whatever the issue, my aim is to help you find a way to bring about the constructive changes in your life you are seeking.

I work with clients on a broad range of issues including:

  • Anxiety & Depression
  • Suicidal Thoughts
  • Emotional Regulation
  • Bereavement & Loss
  • Trauma & PTSD
  • Rape, Sexual Abuse
    & Domestic Violence
  • Relationship Breakdowns
  • Loss of Confidence & Purpose
  • Boarding School Syndrome
  • Retirement Issues

Successful outcomes are born out of achieving a strong trusting relationship between client and therapist. Making the right choice can be daunting and feel overwhelming. I am passionate about the work I do, and really care about my clients.

"Telling someone felt like such a relief, I wanted to stop feeling like this"

I offer traditional "talking therapy" alongside other therapies including CBT, ACT, Mindfulness, guided visualisation, and creative exercises. I treat each client as an individual and work with their difference, and I have a proven track record of helping people become the best that they can be.

"I just didn't know what to do next"

My website provides more information about the many areas I work with, but one area I specialise in is facing Loss & Change which can be experienced in many forms including:

  • Facing a big decision
  • Relationship breakdown
  • Loss of confidence
  • Loss of purpose
  • Change in health
  • Impact of caring for someone else
  • Pre-Bereavement loss
  • Redundancy
  • Relocation
  • Retirement
  • Consequence of Ageing
  • Young person leaving home
  • Change in identity

To find out more about me and how I can help you, I offer an initial 20 minute confidential consultation at no charge. This can take place either over the telephone, via video calling or you can meet me at my private practice in Sidmouth, East Devon.

Contact me for an informal chat about what is troubling you, and together we can begin to explore ways in which you can achieve either positive change, a new way forward, or learn to live with the compassionate acceptance necessary to live your life fully.

Training, qualifications & experience

I am a qualified accredited Counsellor and Psychotherapist holding a Diploma in Integrative Therapeutic Counselling and an Advanced Specialist Diploma in Psychotherapy. I have trained in both CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) and Solution Focused Therapy. I am Registered and Accredited with the British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy, National Council for Psychotherapy and the National Counselling Society. I am an 'Approved Therapist' registered with Anxiety UK, a certified Bereavement Support counsellor, and an accredited counselling professional with the Foundation for Infant Loss.

In addition to running my private practice https://sidmouthcounselling.com I have worked for a number of charities and voluntary organisations.  These included a low cost counselling service providing both crisis and long-term support, a charity providing counselling for unpaid carers, and a Rape and Sexual Abuse helpline.

I have many years experience as a trainer and listener for a leading suicide prevention agency. I have also provided counselling for a bereavement charity where I worked with complicated grief.

I continue to extend my training and knowledge through the completion of numerous Continuous Development Courses including: suicide and mental health awareness, supporting survivors of sexual violence and abuse, working with trauma, PTSD and flashbacks.

Member organisations

Registered / Accredited

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.


National Counselling Society

The National Counselling Society

This Not For Profit association of counsellors and psychotherapists aim to support the counselling profession, members and training organisations.

In 2013 the NCS register was accredited by the Professional Standards Authority under the Accredited Voluntary Register Scheme. Accredited by the Professional Standards Authority.


The National Council of Psychotherapists

National Council of Psychotherapists

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.

National Counselling Society

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.

Other areas of counselling I deal with


Loss and Change

Trauma, PTSD and Flashbacks

Therapies offered

  • Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT)
  • Behavioural therapy
  • Cognitive and behavioural therapies
  • Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)
  • Cognitive therapy
  • Gestalt therapy
  • Humanistic therapies
  • Integrative
  • Mindfulness
  • Person-centred therapy
  • Psychodynamic therapy
  • Solution focused brief therapy
  • Transactional analysis

Photos & videos


Additional information

My standard fee is £48.00 for a counselling hour.

This consists of 60 minutes of counselling and psychotherapy, and includes time in which to ground yourself at the beginning of the session; summarise and review our work at the end of the session, and arrange any subsequent appointments.

I also offer both online video and telephone therapy, which will last for the full hour and is charged at the standard fee rate.

Low Cost Counselling from £35.00 per hour.

I believe in providing a low cost counselling service for those on a low income, and keep a number of low cost sessions available to meet this need. If your income is derived substantially from means tested benefits, or you are a counselling student, then I am normally able to offer a reduction from my standard fee. **Unfortunately I have now closed my waiting list for these sessions.


Flexible Hours including some evening sessions available

Livonia Road
EX10 9JB

Gandy Street

Type of session

In person

Types of client


Key details

Wheelchair user access

Wheelchair user access

Wheelchair-accessible premises should have step-free access for wheelchair users and individuals who are unable to climb stairs. If a counsellor's premises aren't step-free, they may offer alternative services such as telephone/web-based appointments, home visits, or meeting clients in different location, so you can choose the option that suits you best.

You can contact the counsellor to discuss the options available.

Under the Equality Act 2010 service providers have a duty to make reasonable adjustments to ensure that individuals with disabilities can access their service. You can read more about reasonable adjustments to help you to access services on the CAB website.

My comfortable practice room has a level access with level off-street parking. Please contact me if you require more information about access or have any other concerns about how I can adapt my service to meet your needs.


Martin Hillson, MBACP (Accred), MNCS (Prof Accred), MNCP -SIDMOUTH COUNSELLING

Martin Hillson, MBACP (Accred), MNCS (Prof Accred), MNCP -SIDMOUTH COUNSELLING