Mel Heap, Psychotherapist, Counsellor, Registered MBACP
Are you anxious, overwhelmed, depressed, struggling to function? Are you generally fed up and low, perhaps without really knowing why? I am an experienced Counsellor and Psychotherapist, offering weekly one to one sessions with adults, at my practice in central Bath.
Asking for help like this can be such a difficult step, especially when faced with so many choices. With very limited resources available through the NHS, how do you know what is right for you or who to trust, especially when you feel vulnerable?
I am a registered member of the British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists (BACP). I am included on the first accredited psychological therapist’s register set up by the Department of Health and administered by an independent body, accountable to Parliament. This means that I meet the rigorous, professional standards expected by the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care.
I have many years of experience and having worked as the Senior Counsellor for a reputable Counselling Agency in Frome and Bristol, I have worked with a wide range of difficulties and symptoms. In addition to working extensively with depression, anxiety and anger, particular areas of interest include:
- loss: of a loved one, relationship, job, identity, personal authority, hope, the life we had planned for ourselves etc.
- people who have experienced absent parents as a child or adult - be it through divorce, depression, alcoholism or other illness, abandonment, neglect or death.
- students and young people from age 16+: struggling with studies, relationships and living away from home.
- infertility and miscarriage: I offer supportive therapy or implications counselling for those undergoing tests or treatment such as IUI, IVF,ICSI, embryo adoption, egg or sperm donation, adoption, as well as support for those moving on after treatment.
- food issues and disordered eating: comfort eating, bingeing, not eating, yo-yo dieting etc.
While sometimes the cause of pain seems clear, often, this is not the case and you may not understand why you feel the way you do, fearing judgement or being told that you have nothing to complain about, or thinking that you should be over something that has upset you by now.
Sometimes there are well meaning friends and family around who want to help, but it may feel like the level of difficulty is too great to talk with them as you need to. You may feel ashamed, embarrassed, fearful of burdening them or being misunderstood. Perhaps relationships with loved ones is complicated and despite their best efforts, talking with them can make things feel worse, causing things to escalate, especially if they are part of the problem. For some, there is simply no support available. In all cases, this can leave you feeling very isolated and alone.
I provide a safe, confidential, non judgemental, space for you to talk with me about whatever is troubling you. I work psychodynamically which means that I look carefully with you at your whole life experience. All of your thoughts, feelings and instincts are important and need to be heard and respected in order to gain insight and understanding. Sometimes there is a particular difficulty in the present that you need help with and want to focus on. However, often present difficulties have links with your childhood, with patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving that are unconsciously repeating themselves, causing chaos in your life. These patterns may have been necessary at some point in your life, but can become outdated, unhelpful and even destructive.
I work alongside you and think with you about your current difficulties and where appropriate notice with you how these may link up with past events, as well as how these old dynamics may be unconsciously set up in the room with me. This allows space for a self awareness that enables you to bring about change and find new resources within yourself to move forward. While therapy at times can be a painful process, it is also an empowering one, giving you back control of your life and an ability to thrive rather than just survive.
So what happens next?
If any of this resonates with you, just send me an email or leave me an answer phone message, whatever you prefer. I will contact you within 24 hours to arrange an initial meeting. I am happy to call for a brief chat on the phone first, if that feels comfortable.
At the initial appointment we will have 50 minutes to talk and think about what is bothering you and explore whether psychotherapy feels right for you.
Once we have agreed to work together, we can decide on a convenient regular time to meet for ongoing weekly sessions at the same location. I usually work long term but can offer either short term or open ended sessions. This is something that we can discuss further when we meet in relation to your own particular needs.
Training, qualifications & experience
I have undertaken a 6 year advanced clinical training in Psychodnamic Counselling and Psychotherapy:
- Advanced Diploma in Psychodynamic Psychotherapy (BPC and WPF accredited)
- Diploma in Psychodynamic Counselling.(BACP and WPF accredited)
- WPF Foundation in Psychodynamic Counselling
- CIPD Postgraduate Diploma in Management and Leadership, UWE, Bristol
- Senior Psychodynamic Counsellor, Intake Assessor and lead for all therapists and trainees working for Bristol based Psychodynamic Counselling Agency
- Psychotherapist for Psychodynamic Counselling Agency at various Frome locations.
- Psychotherapist in private practice, Bath.
- Personal Tutor for Diploma students at Frome based Counselling Agency.
- Counsellor for Student Counselling Service, Bath College.
- I am also experienced in Management, Human Resources, Finance and Contracts.
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
Please call or e-mail to discuss fees and availability for an initial session.
Monday to Thursday
I aim to reply to enquiries by the next working day where possible.
There is usually no waiting list.
I also accept referrals from GPs, health visitors, charities, midwives and employers.
I have full professional indemnity insurance.