Paula Hutchings Verified Professional Verified Professional
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Registered MBACP (Accred) Counsellor, MA, BA, Adv Dip Couns

About me

I am an experienced, friendly and down-to-earth counsellor offering:

  • Straightforward and practical therapy
  • An interactive and collaborative approach
  • Warmth, understanding and respect

I offer day-time and evening appointments on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. I see clients online using Zoom or over the phone.

Issues I work with

I work with individual adults and couples and provide counselling for a wide range of issues including:

  • Midlife transition
  • Relationship difficulties
  • Family problems
  • Bereavement / Adjusting to loss
  • Low self-esteem
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Childhood Sexual Abuse
  • Domestic Abuse

I specialise in mid-life transition coaching. Midlife occurs anywhere between 40 and 60 years of age and can be a challenging time in our lives. During this transition, many of us may experience a growing realisation that we need to shape our lives differently but wonder what to do next. Although midlife is not without its difficulties, it can be a time of growth, satisfaction and creativity where we can discover a greater sense of personal power and a deeper pleasure in life. As a mid-life transition coach, I work alongside you and help you manage this transition as effectively and in as fulfilling a way as possible.

Who Am I?

As well as being a counsellor in private practice:

  • 10 years experience as a part-time NHS High-Intensity Counsellor at Bridport Medical Centre where I worked with a wide range of clients with a variety of issues
  • 25 years experience as an HR consultant and trainer
  • I am a qualified Coach with extensive experience in coaching individuals within organisations and also privately
  • An accredited member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP). I can be found on the BACP Register of Counsellors and Psychotherapists

How I work

I am a pluralistic counsellor. This means I am trained and experienced in using a wide variety of approaches giving me the flexibility to specifically tailor an approach that will work best for you and meet your needs, hopes and goals. I am also a qualified and experienced coach and for some sessions we may decide a coaching approach might work best.

My person-centred and humanistic approach means that I believe that deep down, we all know what’s best for us and have the resources within ourselves to help us develop our potential. I will often ask what has worked well for you and build on this to help you to solve your problems, gain new perspectives and increase hope, resilience and self-confidence.

As a BACP Registered Member (Accredited) I adhere to their Ethical Framework so you can have peace of mind that I work to clearly defined standards and I am accountable for the quality of my work.

But by far the most important thing is the relationship between us. Coming to counselling for the first time can feel a bit daunting and takes a lot of courage. As your counsellor, my aim is always to put you at ease so you feel able to trust me and safely explore issues that may be bothering you, knowing everything we discuss is confidential. That’s why I always offer a no-obligation first session so we can find out if I'm not the right person to work with you.

Training, qualifications & experience

  • Advanced Diploma in Counselling (Iron Mill Exeter)
  • Certificate in Counselling
  • Certificate in Coaching
  • Certificate in Jungian Studies
  • Training in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy from Oxford Cognitive Therapy Centre
  • Training in Couples Counselling
  • Training in Transactional Analysis, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Compassion-Focused Therapy and Solutions-Focused Therapy
  • Training in Sand Tray therapy
  • Diploma in Personnel Management and Development
  • NLP practitioner certificate (Sue Knight Ltd)

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)

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


Concessions offered for

  • Trainee counsellors

Additional information

Each of my counselling sessions with you lasts one hour and costs:

£55 per session for individuals

£65 per session for couples

Between one and six sessions can often make a huge difference to the way you feel. My aim is to keep things grounded and affordable. You may also decide you would like longer-term counselling so you can explore things in more depth or work with complex problems or issues.

I offer daytime and evening appointments. I am happy to work weekly or fortnightly and often less frequently when the initial sessions have been completed.

When I work

Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun

Mondays between 9am and 6pm

Tuesdays between 9am and 7pm

Thursdays between 2pm and 7pm

Chedington, Beaminster, Dorset, DT8

Type of session


Types of client

Young people
Older adults
Employee Assistance Programme

Key details

DBS check

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