About me

What can counselling do for me and will it be of help for my particular situation?

Big question and no one answer that would fit all. Experience has taught me that allowing yourself to get/be in touch with your feelings and emotions, reactions and thoughts in a honest and realistic way, is a crucial step for an inner process to take place. The times when we experience life more painfully (for whatever reason) is usually a good time to engage on this path of getting to know yourself a bit better, so that your resilience can grow.

The counselling realationship can be  a powerful tool to facilitate that inner growth to happen.

About me:

I see life as a journey written in many chapters. All chapters are inter-connected even if they look very different at different periods in life.

​I have also found that there are certain themes that run like a red thread throughout the chapters. My passion for personal development is one of the most important of those threads and has manifested in various forms and shapes.

​In search for some deeper understanding of myself and life, I left Germany and went travelling abroad for many years.

​I was particularly drawn towards Buddhist countries and cultures and spent time in Sri Lanka, Burma and especially India. From an early age I was fascinated with meditation techniques and I went on to explore Buddhist contemplation practises. This culminated in my decision to become a Buddhist monk for five years to have the opportunity to spend as much time doing meditation and contemplation retreats as possible.

​Coming back from my Asian travels it seemed like a natural progression to go on and train to become a counsellor. I gained my postgraduate qualification at the University of North London (now Metropolitan University) in 2001 and have volunteered as a counsellor in various settings ever since.

​At present I work as a bereavement counsellor for a local charity in Carlisle. I  feel it is important to broaden my training and completed successfully courses in complementary therapies like Reiki, Acupuncture and Healing Techniques. In 2019, I trained with Hermoine Elliott from 'Living Well Dying Well' to become a Death Doula.

Covid has dramatically changed the face of counselling and I have completed the certificate for Online and Telephone Counselling. There are a lot of advantages in doing online sessions and online work can be just as effective and helpful.

I also rent a warm and welcoming therapy room in Longtown, North Cumbria at the 'Esk Holistic Therapies' Centre.

How to get started?

This can be the most daunting thing to do: reaching out and asking for help when you are in a place where life is challenging you. In a way, when you are reading this, you have already started and I want to encourage you to take the risk and make contact and connect. The place and space is confidential, nothing leaves the room.

Start by messaging me or give me a call. If you decide that you would like to give it a go, we will meet (online, telephone or face to face) for a first session. In the first session we will get to know each other a bit and you can decide if you would like to work with me.

Training, qualifications & experience

I am fully trained and registered member of the BACP. I trained at the University of North London in the postgraduate Diploma course in Integrative Counselling. (2001)

I have completed the first level of End of Live Doula training with Living Well Dying Well.

I have experience in various settings as a volunteer counsellor and now work for a local charity as a counsellor.(2020)

I am utilising supervision and am passionate about mindfulness practise, something I have trained in and experience of for many years.

Member organisations


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

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.

Other areas of counselling I deal with

I have over 30 years of experience in buddhist meditation practise and am happy to guide or help deepen your own practise.


From £45.00 to £50.00
Free initial telephone or online session

Concessions offered for

  • Low income
  • Students
  • Trainee counsellors
  • Unemployed

Additional information

  • The first session is 20min and is free
  • £45 for the full hour thereafter for telephone and online work
  • £50 for the full hour Face to Face.


I am flexible and work on some weekends too. After work hours are an option. Best thing is to get in touch and we can find a time that works for both of us.

Further information

This time of 2020/21, with the virus affecting every part of our lives, can be truly challenging and a lot of people experience their emotional world in unknown intensity. That in turn can bring about unwanted reactions and reactivity that ripples out to family and wider social contexts.

A lot of people experience anxiety, depression, bereavment, sadness, lonliness....

If you feel overwhelmed or it is hard to cope, find any sense or meaning, reach out and ask for support.

One way of getting support is to allow yourself to make contact witht he world of counsellors.

In my  experience of listening to people I have found that the fundamental element of being listen to, is the main ingredient needed to work through difficult times. Just by being able to share it out loud to someone listening is often the point where things start to shift.


Type of session

In person

Types of client

Young people
Older adults

Key details

DBS check

In England and Wales, the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS, formerly known as CRB) carry out criminal records checks for individuals working with vulnerable groups, such as children. To find out more, visit gov.uk , or contact this professional directly

Additional languages


Online platforms

Ralf Bidder

Ralf Bidder