Michelle Hitt MBACP Accredited Counsellor & EMDR therapist for children & adults
I offer high quality counselling and EMDR therapy for adults, children, young people, couples and families. I provide a relaxed, supportive and pragmatic approach to therapy within a confidential and calm space, where thoughts and feelings can be safely explored. I also offer animal assisted/nature based therapy sessions as an alternative to room-based counselling sessions This type of session offers a more embodied approach to therapy and will be useful for those that are more comfortable with doing/experiencing rather than talking.
During COVID-19 I am pleased to be able to offer telephone and online counselling for those who need support during these difficult times. I have found that, despite the potential challenges and anxieties that can arise for clients around these forms of therapy, I am finding that it is working much more effectively than we could have expected and, indeed, most of my clients are reporting very positively about the outcomes that they are achieving either by telephone or online.
My Way of Working
I work in a client-centred way and draw on many integrative skills so that my counselling practice can be truly holistic and tailored to meet your individual needs. I do not believe in a "one size fits all" approach as you need to be completely comfortable with the process and only you know what is right for you. As I offer a variety of approaches therapy, I am confident that we can find an approach that will suit your individual requirements but if not I am more than happy to help you to find a therapist that will suit your specific needs.
I can help you to explore your feelings, emotions, relationships and behaviours in an empathic and non-judgmental way so that you can address the problems that are troubling you the most and improve your overall quality of life. Developing this self-awareness can lead to greater understanding, which will help you to build resilience and enable you to find your own way to grow and develop. This can also have a positive effect on your current and future relationships with others as we are all inter-connected and, by default, we directly affect and are affected by those around us.
I have significant experience of working with adults and young people with trauma and abuse related issues. We can tend to think of traumas as one-off major events such as road accidents or sexual abuse but this is not always the case. We can experience many less obvious traumas in our lives, which may not immediately spring to mind, and can include events that happened in childhood or relationship breakdowns but these supposedly "smaller" traumas can accumulate and become quite toxic for us. During the counselling process, many of my clients are surprised when they discover just how many times they have actually been exposed to traumatic events and how they can continue to have a significant effect on their lives. Traumatic memories are not always readily accessible as our minds sometimes suppress these memories in order to keep us safe. However, undetected or unexplored trauma can sometimes explain our emotional responses and behaviour patterns in the present moment. It can also have a negative impact on our relationships with others. If this is the case, I can offer a gentle and supportive way to explore your past experiences and to promote healing from within. I am trained in Eye Movement Desensitisation & Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy and this, NHS approved therapy, in conjunction with talk therapy, can help you to process negative/traumatic experiences and memories so that you are able to move forward in your lives in a healthy and positive way.
Children and Young People
Childhood experiences can trigger painful and confusing emotions, which in turn can produce negative, and often conflicted, feelings. This can often present itself in a variety of ways such as angry outbursts, withdrawn behaviour, self harm, anxiety and difficulties with relationships. I believe that our behaviour provides us with useful feedback and it can be an indicator that something needs attending to on a deeper level.
Children and young people are often overwhelmed by anxiety and difficult feelings and it can be hard for them to share what is troubling them, particularly with parents and those closest to them. My positive and supportive attitude can help a young person to gain insight into their feelings and patterns of behaviour and find possibilities for moving forward. I promote calming and relaxation techniques, the development of a sense of self and an understanding of others in order to help build confidence, self-esteem and a sense of balance in their lives.
It can be a difficult decision to come to counselling as an adult as often it can feel easier or more safe to suppress our feelings and internalise them. Whilst this can work for some in the short term this is not a healthy option in the longer term as it can lead to more serious mental health issues. Many people will continue through their lives without being able to truly be aware of their emotions and the effect their behaviour may be having on themselves and those around them. If you are unhappy with the way that you are living your life or if you feel that your relationships with others are not what you would like them to be then you will almost certainly benefit from therapy. Maybe your are feeling stuck or struggling with motivation? You might be trying to fit into this world we live in? Maybe you have a diagnosed disorder that you are struggling to understand? Maybe your anxiety or depression is starting to affect the life that you lead? The list is endless as we are all individuals and we all have a different perception of our world. As human beings, we have a tendency to minimise our past experiences but those experiences will have affected our feelings and, ultimately, how we live our lives
Your perception is so important and the development of your self awareness is fundamental to your future. Becoming aware of your past experiences, your emotions, feelings and behaviour is the first and hardest step but it is a necessary process that will enable you grow and develop as a person. The EMDR therapy that I offer can help you to process your negative/traumatic memories in a scientific and effective way so that you are able to build a much more positive future for you and those around you.
Relationships - Building and maintaining relationships is fundamental to our survival and we should never underestimate the importance of connection and relationship in our lives. When our relationships break down it can seriously impact on our happiness and life satisfaction. Relationship issues can often present themselves at major life transition points such as beginning to live together, the birth of a child, illness, debt or retirement/ageing.
I offer relationship counselling to couples (of any identity) and families. I can help you to identify why things have deteriorated and look at potential ways to work through your problems. I provide an unbiased and safe environment for you to explore your personal needs, concerns and expectations of your own unique relationships. My EMDR therapy can also help you to address any deeper issues that may be troubling you and also, maybe unknowingly, be affecting how you are in your relationship. You will gain more understanding about yourself and each other, which will help you to acknowledge and address those unmet needs By learning to adjust, cope and change it is often possible for you to rebuild trust and mutual respect, resolve conflict and ultimately build stronger relationships with your loved ones.
As a qualified inter-personal mediator, I also offer a mediation service for a variety of relationship issues, including family problems, work-related issues and neighbour disputes.
Animal Assisted Therapy I also offer outdoor counselling and animal/equine assisted therapy at a base near Crosskeys. Please look at my website or email/call me for more details.
As an accredited member of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy, I am bound by their Code of Ethics and aspire to the highest standard of practice. I hold professional indemnity insurance and I have a current enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service Certificate (Adults and Children).
Training, qualifications & experience
- Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling
- Diploma in Counselling Children and Adolescents
- Certificate in Couples Counselling
- Eye Movement Desensitisation & Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy
- Certified psychotherapist in Equine Facilitated Therapy
- Diploma in Equine Guided Learning
- Diploma in Inter-personal Mediation
- Certified practitioner in Neuro-Linguistic Programming
I am an accredited member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), which is an enhanced level of membership and means that I have achieved a high standard of knowledge, experience and development as required by the BACP.
I am passionate about the work I do and the emotional safety of my clients remains my priority. As such, I am fully committed to maintaining my Continued Professional Development in this field. I regularly undertake training in order to keep my counselling practice safe, credible, relevant and informed.
I have undertaken further specialist training in the following areas:
- Attachment issues
- Suicide and Suicidal Ideation
- Anger management
- Psychodynamic Equine Assisted Trauma Therapy
- Coaching Youth at Risk
- Safeguarding for vulnerable adults and children
- First Aid at Work
I am currently undertaking a MSc in EMDR and Trauma Therapy. Although I am fully trained in EMDR therapy, the MSc course is giving me the opportunity to explore the treatment and effects of trauma in much greater detail.
In addition to my current private counselling practice, I have a wide range of relevant experience working with children, young people and adults in a variety of therapeutic, supportive and educational settings. I worked as a counsellor for CASY (Counselling And Support for Young persons) in school and centre settings for several years and was also a counsellor for Trust House for over 2 years, working with survivors of rape and sexual abuse.
I am currently an associate counsellor for Womens's Aid, BUPA, and several other Employment Assistance Programmes, and also a counsellor for 2 Wish Upon a Star, a charity to help families that have experienced the unexpected loss of a child or young person.
As an equine therapy facilitator, I have spent many years working with children and young people with variety of issues including autism, mental health disorders, attachment disorder and relationship problems at several equine assisted learning centres and alternative learning centres.
As a serving member of the Royal Air Force, I worked extensively with personnel and families in the Armed Forces and also in human resources and children's education. This has given me much valuable professional knowledge and life experience in and around these areas, which continues to inform my counselling practice.
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
£45 per 1 hour session for individual counselling.
£60 per 1 hour session for couples' counselling.
£55 per 1 hour session for individual animal assisted therapy.
£Please call for group or family animal assisted learning and therapy sessions.
I offer concessionary rates for low income earners and trainee counsellors. Please contact me for further information.
Please email, text or ring me to make an appointment.
Its really important that you find the right counsellor for you and it can be so difficult to make a choice. With that in mind, I am really happy to talk to you prior to booking your first appointment so that you can ask any questions and find out a little more about me and my approach to counselling. I look forward to hearing from you.