Rich Hayden - Counsellor & Creative Arts Therapist MBACP

Rich Hayden - Counsellor & Creative Arts Therapist MBACP

The Practice Rooms
32 Cambray Place
GL50 1JP

07565 679081

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About me

About Me

Hi and welcome! My name is Rich Hayden, I am a fully qualified, BACP registered counsellor and creative arts therapist. My approach to therapy is creative; I prefer to work "in the moment" with what the client brings to the session and the inspiration we find together. I welcome clients who wish to work with either talking therapies alone, or with a blend of both talking and creative arts therapies.

Although the more commonly known, traditional approach of talking therapies are a proven and effective way of tackling issues; for many of us, words can sometimes be hard to find. Using creative work in therapy offers us an alternative form of self-expression and communication about our experiences.

I always have creative materials to hand and encourage experimentation with those clients who wish to explore their issues through creative, therapeutic work. I am very accepting and easy to talk to; people describe me as open minded, non-judgemental, compassionate and curious.

In addition to my private practice, I am employed as a part-time counsellor for a local charity who support young people and families in need within Gloucestershire.

What I Offer

I offer one-hour sessions to adults and young people (aged 16+) from a safe, welcoming, comfortable and relaxed space in the centre of Cheltenham. I have experience of supporting clients through a wide range of issues and welcome people from all backgrounds and walks of life. It can be difficult trying to choose the right counsellor without being face to face. That’s why I offer a reduced rate first session to give us the chance to meet with no obligation before deciding to work together. I am happy to work with both long term clients and also with clients who prefer a more focussed, specific and time-limited approach.

How Counselling & Creative Arts Therapies Can Help

In modern terms, the words counselling and (talking) therapy are often used to mean the same thing. However, it is a process that anyone can seek when they are experiencing difficulty in life, with emotions, with mental health or in relationships. Counselling is also suitable for anyone who wishes to gain a clearer understanding of themselves and how they relate to the world around them, or to explore how they are affected by past events. It is an opportunity to work through issues in a safely held space and gain the skills to understand yourself better.

I feel that most of us in modern society regularly don’t have enough space for ourselves with family commitments and hectic work schedules. There are many issues that we can encounter in day to day life that build up stress levels and we often tend to bottle it up due to having no time or space to process and release. Current research shows a strong correlation between continually high levels of unprocessed stress and disease in the human body.

Daily life can seem like an uphill struggle and become even more chaotic & cluttered if we are weighed down with the burden of our issues. Making an hour a week for counselling can be a step towards learning to make more space for you and help to navigate life more effectively.

Common issues in society such as anxiety & depression, trauma/ptsd, low self-esteem, addiction, self-harm and abuse affect a significant proportion of the population and mental health diagnoses are rising every year. I have found from experience that creative arts therapies can bring about a deeper understanding and acceptance for many clients with issues such as these and, in addition, help to open a path towards healing and closure around situations where many find it virtually impossible to communicate their experience of with words.

Creative arts therapies are accessible by everyone and you don’t need to have any art skills or experience. The word ‘arts’ refers to different ways of exploration and expression, which can include: music, painting, movement, clay, poetry, drama, writing or any other art form you can think of. It’s not about making a presentation piece; it's about the connections we find on the journey to creating something itself. It is also about inviting a sense of play, curious exploration and enjoyment into the experience of therapy.

I welcome all enquiries, which are treated confidentially and with no obligation. Please see my website ( for more information about myself and my practice.

What To Expect From Your First Session

It's often difficult to know what to expect when meeting a counsellor for the first time, especially if you have not had counselling before, so I am happy to answer any enquires you may have before coming in.

The first time we meet will be an introductory session; an opportunity for you to ask me any questions you have, discuss how you would like to work and see if you feel comfortable with me and my counselling space. I will take some brief details from you, go through my counselling agreement and briefly discuss the issues you are bringing, what you wish to gain from counselling and how we might work together to achieve that. This is more like a 'get to know each other' session which generally takes around 45 minutes.

Training, qualifications & experience

  • Certificate in Counselling – Iron Mill College, Exeter
  • Advanced Diploma in Integrative Counselling - Iron Mill College, Exeter
  • Post Qualifying Diploma in Creative Arts Therapies - Iron Mill College, Exeter
  • Volunteer Student Counsellor (2 years) – Listening Post, Gloucester
  • Youth & Family Services Mentor (3 years)- The Door Youth Project, Stroud
  • Counsellor & Creative Arts Therapist (current) - Infobuzz, Gloucester

Member organisations


Accredited register membership

Photos & videos

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  • Client Work


£25 initial consultation (45 minutes)

£45 per 1-hour session, payable by cash or bank transfer on the day.

Maps & Directions

Cheltenham, GL50 1JP

Type of session

Online counselling: No
Telephone counselling: No
Face to face counselling: Yes

Practical details

Sign language: No
Other languages: None


Wheelchair access: Unspecified


Wednesday: 2.30pm-8pm Thursday: 10am-6pm Friday: 10am-4pm Other times may be available by arrangement

Types of client

Young people
Older adults
Employee Assistance Programme