Richard Dennison

Richard Dennison

PAC Exeter
3 Barnfield Cresent

The Practice Rooms
26 Upper Borough Walls

01395 487397 / 07753 827745

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PAC Exeter
3 Barnfield Cresent

The Practice Rooms
26 Upper Borough Walls

01395 487397 / 07753 827745

About me

I qualified as a Gestalt Therapist in 1999 after studying Psychology at University. Gestalt therapy looks at the whole life and situations in which our lives exist. Relationships are important as is background and families.

I offer a complimentary initial session as a means of meeting and introducing ourselves without a need to commit. Every person is different, as such the way I work is able to meet the situation presented. It will be useful to have some idea of what is required from therapy which would then give us a map to work toward.

I have worked in Primary Health Care, and now in private practice in Exeter and Bath and have recently been employed by two employed mental health charities, Rethink and Mind. I have recently facilitate a personal development group on the counselling diploma course at The University of the West of England.

I am a member of BACP.

I work with individuals, couples and groups. More about group work below.

Training, qualifications & experience

  • BSc (Hons) Psychology
  • Diploma Gestalt Counselling
  • Certificate Group Facilitation.
  • Developing Effective Group Facilitation
  • Introduction Group Analysis
  • Conflict, Challenge and Confrontation in Groups
  • Understanding Group Dynamics.
  • Facilitating groups and leading teams.
  • Certificate in relationship issues and couples counselling.

Member organisations


Accredited register membership

Other areas of counselling I deal with

Shame issues are a common feature in our society. Having suffered from being shamed as a child I know what it is to live in the world where I would like to feel invisible. It is possible to change these feelings.

To feel exposed and 'like a rabbit in headlights' is a difficult place to be.The deep significance of shame and how this can affect us in all forms of living in the world could be a very surprising revelation. It is so easy to feel ashamed of being ashamed. To travel in life with our full confident sense of being who we are, allows such a sense of freedom, visibility and movement.

Coming to terms with such feelings as shame are difficult and sometimes shameful in themselves. In Gestalt therapy it is possible to look at these feelings through slow, gentle, empathetic, direct experience. Acceptance by the individual of him/herself and the acceptance of that person totally by the therapist is a large part of the process of healing and change.The understanding of how these feelings have arisen can also help in developing news ways of being in the world. There may be no quick fix, however, it is definitely possible to create a new way of living.

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Individual therapy £40 per hour. Couples £50 per hour. All initial meetings free.
Groups ..£15 per evening group. See website.

Further information

I offer individual therapy, couples therapy and group work in Bath and Exeter. See my website for details of groups in Bath and Exeter.

                                                    GROUP WORK

Group members are very varied and diverse and no two groups are the same. When thinking about coming to group therapy it is well worth spending some time thinking about what it entails and what you aim to achieve by being a member.

Maybe there is a need to relate differently to people in your life. Aspects of how we relate as humans is so important to our lives. There are few environments that allow us to be honest and to explore who we are, feeling our way with others who are also doing the same. It can be very challenging to give direct feedback and to listen to others returning feedback.

What is your experience in this group at any moment? You could be experiencing confusion, or finding there is a lack of support and direction that needs attention. There may be a desire to change, to act or behave in a different way, and the group provides an opportunity to practise a new way of relating or to discover how our relationships are formed or damaged.

Group members unfold and grow gradually. This is the process of the group. Safety, confidentiality and trust are most important. Participants are required to look after themselves, but facilitators and group members can support in this regard.

Each person coming to a group brings their total ‘field’. That is, everything that has made them the person they are today, be it past, present or future. It is well worth being yourself and checking on how you feel in the group here and now. It is imperative to use ‘I’ statements and talk about our own experiences and how these affect us today. Be honest, try to come without masks or veils, be prepared to show yourself and be prepared to protect yourself but also to take risks (safe emergency). Try not to have investment in outcomes or conclusions, understand that support will be there and feel able to give support. This can be a central feature of group work.

Very little learning takes place in our comfort zones. The learning edge is at the place where we challenge ourselves. Experiencing ourselves behaving differently can lead to a greater sense of our potential. That behaviour can then be integrated and utilised within the group and outside.

Groups can require a considerable amount of investment in time. Attendance is vital. You may well find yourself thinking about the group throughout your days. This can be productive and also useful. Ascertain what it is you need from the group and may not be getting. Evaluate how you feel in the group and be honest in taking these feelings to the group.

It is not the role of groups or Gestalt facilitators to instruct members in how to be, or to interpret behaviour.  Each person has the freedom to decide for themselves how they proceed in the group or in their lives. However, actions will have consequences and these can become apparent in such a diverse environment.

Finally, groups should be fun as well as a place for creativity and awareness. The group creates the group and can be largely responsible for the environment. Your time should be varied, stimulating and enjoyable.

Maps & Directions

Exeter, EX1 1QT
Bath, BA1 1RH

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


Available Weekdays, evening appointments also available.

Types of client

Young people
Older adults
Employee Assistance Programme