Michael Forrest BACP Accredited Counsellor and Psychotherapist
I work with a mindfulness based and embodied-relational approach and have over 30 years’ experience in Mindfulness. My training started in my mid-20s as a Theravada Buddhist Monk, through to my early 30s. Nowadays, it enables me to work with a subtle body-based awareness of what’s happening, moment-to-moment, in the therapeutic relationship. I endeavour to live and work in an embodied-relational way using a synthesis of approaches I have learnt and been trained in. Initially, this was to heal my own trauma, but subsequently, these have become an integrated part of me and my therapeutic work.
I am a BACP Accredited Counsellor & Psychotherapist who has been working with individuals and couples since 2005. In the same year, I gained certification as a Trainer in Nonviolent Communication (NVC). I have since worked in a Hospice as a Bereavement Counsellor and the NHS as a Psychotherapist. I also worked for Social Services out-of-hours Emergency Duty Team for 12 years, supporting families in crisis, through conflict resolution and mediation.
My Specialisms Include:
Anxiety, Depression, Trauma, Anger Issues, Relationship Issues, Couples. Loss & Bereavement, Confidence & Self-Esteem, Mindfulness,Embodied Movement
My Approach: The way I work recognises that your early life experiences and relationships may have shaped the ‘lens’ through which you see the world and can have a profound impact on your sense of self – for better or worse. This may lead you to feel 'disconnected' from the world, at times, because to survive you may have needed to disconnect to protect from emotional overwhelm. This is a common and natural coping mechanism but, if left in place ongoingly, can reduce your capacity to be spontaneous and full engage in life.
I have been through a deep therapeutic journey myself and recognise that connecting to your ‘felt’ experience during therapy can be challenging at times. So, I offer my presence as an anchor, whilst I guide you gently and compassionately into an awareness of your inner experience. Over time, I help you to build the capacity to stay with this and what you meet there. Experiencing at a bodily felt-sense level what has been avoided, is the key to resolving trauma and may be the gateway to insight and deeper understanding – reconnecting you back to a more whole self.
Presence - both yours and mine, combined in a session - can be a powerful force to bring forth (naturally) that which is most calling your attention for healing. This may be something you are already consciously aware of, or it may manifest from something just beyond the edge of your awareness. Either way, I offer you skills and tools to track and navigate your 'inner landscape' and help you stay with your unfolding experience in the body.
I recognise the importance of identifying and developing inner resources before working, at times, with emotional intense experiences that can arise in therapy. Your resources and skills you develop with me, then support integration and your on-going inner resilience.
The therapeutic relationship we establish is fundamental to the work we do and can be a rich ground for learning and understanding. It can (especially in longer-term therapy) mirror or shed light on patterns of how you ‘do’ your other relationships in life. My observations and feedback to you, may help you to see and understanding this at a deeper level - allowing the possibility for you to make more conscious choices moving forward.
Professional Membership: I am an accredited member of British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy (BACP). As such, I adhere to their code of ethics and they have a formal route through which complaints can be heard, if they cannot be resolved in the first instance by talking to me - more information is available on their website: www.bacp.co.uk
Training, qualifications & experience
Certificate in Relational Therapy (2020 - Relational School of Therapy)
Embodied Dance Journey Facilitator (2015-2017, The Dancing Heart Path - Guy Barrington)
Advanced Diploma in Integrative & Humanistic Counselling (2009-11, Dartmoor Centre for Counselling & Psychotherapy)
Certified Trainer in Non-Violent Communication (NVC) (2001-05, CNVC.org)
Certificate in Focusing Skills (2001)
Foundation in Core Process Psychotherapy (1998-99, Karuna Institute)
Previous Experience Over 30 Years Mindfulness Practice, also Co-Facilitator of Mindfulness Courses for Devon Recovery Learning Community (2014)
Trainer in NVC (Nonviolent Communication), working with individuals and small groups (2005 - 2014)
12 Years - Torbay Social Services, Emergency Duty Service, providing mediation, conflict resolution and crisis support for families in need, as well as supporting individuals with mental health issues (2002-14)
Bereavement Counsellor, Rowcroft Hospice - Torquay (2010-13)
NHS Psychotherapist for Devon Partnership Trust - Torquay (2009-11)
Facilitator of Trauma Skills Training for Counsellors - Battiacaloa, Sri Lanka (2005-07)
Co-Founder of Floatation & Complementary Health Centre - Exeter (1996-98)
Buddhist Monk, Thai Forrest Tradition, Mindfulness Training - English Sangha Trust (1988-95)
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
From £50.00 to £65.00
EAP/Health Insurance Providers
I offer a 1 hour initial meeting:
£25 for individuals
£30 for couples
Follow up 1 hour sessions are:
£50 for individuals
£65 for couples
Daytime & Evenings
I am registered BUPA counsellor, offering sessions to clients with BUPA membership.
For more information, please visit my website www.embodiedrelationalliving.com