Sarah Hamilton, PGDip (Psych), MBACP (Accred)
I am a fully accredited BACP psychotherapist and counsellor, based in Hay-on-Wye (HR3). I have many years' experience helping adults and teens to:
- Learn who they are and find the courage to live richly and fully
- Overcome anxiety, depression and trauma
- Transform anger and low self-esteem
- Improve relationships
- Deal with bereavement, divorce, and other difficult life-events
At the heart of my professional qualifications is a rigorous four-year Postgraduate Diploma in Psychotherapy. I’ve undertaken Masters-level academic research into what influences therapeutic change, and extensive additional training in mindfulness, trauma, and mind-body interconnectivity. I specialise in working with PTSD, complex trauma, dissociative disorders, and personality disorders.
If you are struggling with difficult emotions or past traumas: I can help you find relief, coping skills, and healing.
If you are dealing with relationship difficulties, family issues, or separation and divorce: I can help you navigate complexities and find your confidence.
If you are facing bereavement or other situations that cannot be changed: I can help you find a path of ease and courage.
Would you like a no-obligation chat about your situation? Call in confidence on 07580 482751.
The tendency to think “I should be able to cope” often means that on top of facing a problem, we often feel ashamed or highly self-critical about how we’re handling things. But everyone’s capacity to manage stress has certain limits. Even people who are usually strong and capable can feel vulnerable or have difficulty coping at certain times.
A psychotherapist or counsellor acts as a sort of ‘midwife for change’ during periods of stress or difficulty. That means I may be providing assistance to resolve a particular problem you have right now. Or it can mean we’ll be journeying together to transform something more general such as feeling ‘lost’ or ‘overwhelmed’.
Talking honestly and openly about yourself and your life can sometimes feel risky, scary, or even shameful. However, looking at the 'difficult stuff' is just one part of a larger, helpful process of understanding, cleansing, and finding a new path forwards.
You may think your problems are so BIG, or so entrenched, that nothing can fix them. But in my work I’ve seen that everyone has the capacity to get ‘un-stuck’ – no matter how difficult a place they may be in.
HOW WILL WE WORK TOGETHER?
I am trained to work flexibly, according to your individual needs and the goals we agree for our sessions. So sometimes we may be on a practical mission to improve your coping skills - and other times we may be moving much more slowly, making space for your heart to speak.
Most importantly, we will maintain a gentle, steady curiosity about you and whatever you’re facing. You can expect our conversations to cover the following stages:
- Assessing and Exploring: We look together at what you’re facing, how it’s affecting different areas of your life, and what you’d like to be different. We’ll get curious about your life-patterns, your coping strategies, and habits of thought – so we can start to make sense of your experience.
- Mindful Observation and ‘Life Testing’: This is when changes start to happen. We take time to observe, reflect, and deepen our understanding, at whatever pace is right for you. We’ll identify and engage your existing resources, challenge old habits where necessary, and consider new tools for problem-solving where necessary. And as you begin to ‘test out’ new ways of being, we’ll notice carefully how things affect you on a practical, physical and emotional level.
- Consolidation and Ending: We fine-tune and strengthen your new sense of self, and make sure it’s comfortably embedded in your daily life. We’ll review the changes you’ve achieved, look at how you'll cope with any future difficulties, and make sure you leave feeling stable and confident.
HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE?
Everyone faces different challenges – and has their own natural pace for change. Counselling might mean just a handful of sessions for some people, while for others, it might extend over months or years.
Sometimes problems that have been around a long time (especially if they began when you were young), or which are quite complex (affecting many different parts of your life), can take longer to resolve. If your problems are more recent, or if you have a wide range of supports and resources available to you, it may be a quicker process. But these are not hard-and-fast rules. Once we look together at what you, personally, are facing, then we can get a clearer picture of how many sessions you might need.
I generally recommend a minimum of six sessions to begin with. Sometimes that's enough. But on average, the people I work with take around 12-20 sessions to achieve the changes they want to see.
WHAT'S THE NEXT STEP?
Contacting a therapist can feel incredibly daunting... but it's the last step you need to take on your own. Once our first session is booked, whatever you're facing is a joint endeavour. Together we can figure out the path that will work best for you, to move forwards with your life.
Call me (07580 482751), or email (email@example.com), to arrange an initial appointment.
Training, qualifications & experience
I am an experienced counsellor and psychotherapist, fully accredited with the BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy). I am fully insured and have an enhanced DBS-check for working with young people.
My working life has included retail and restaurant work, teaching, web-development, and a 20-year career in international marketing and management. A fascination with communication and psychology eventually led me to the field of talking therapies in 2011.
Since then I have worked as a counsellor and psychotherapist for adults and young people in the private and charitable sectors, and in the NHS. I co-founded and managed a network of counsellors across London and Reading, and ran a successful private practice in Harley Street (London) before moving to Hay-on-Wye in 2017.
At the core of my professional qualifications is a Postgraduate Diploma in Psychotherapy. My studies covered a range of therapeutic approaches so I can work flexibly with each person. I've also undertaken many specialist courses including training in trauma-treatment, mindfulness, neuroscience, mind-body interconnectivity, and counselling for young people. I am a qualified 'Rewind' Practitioner for PTSD.
Areas of counselling I deal with
- Affairs and betrayals
- Anger management
- Asperger's syndrome
- Attachment disorder
- Bipolar disorder
- Borderline personality disorder
- Career counselling
- Chronic fatigue syndrome/ME
- Family issues
- Generalised anxiety disorder
- Hearing voices
- Low self-confidence
- Low self-esteem
- Passive aggressive behaviour
- Personality disorders
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Relationship problems
- Separation and divorce
- Suicidal thoughts
- Work-related stress
Other areas of counselling I deal with
- Climate grief
- Complex trauma
- Inter-cultural issues
- Medically unexplained symptoms
- Mindfulness practice
- 'Rewind' treatment for PTSD
Photos & videos
My standard rate per 50-minute session is £60.
I do have some flexibility for those on limited incomes and can offer reduced rates down to £35 where necessary. If you think you will struggle to pay the standard rate, please let me know when you first contact me.
- How therapy can eradicate symptoms of PTSD
- Embracing the golden years: growing older with confidence, courage and optimism
Private medical insurance
I am a registered practitioner with Aviva and AXA Private Healthcare. If you would like to pay for your sessions through private medical insurance, please let me know when you contact me. Insurance fees are £80 per session.
Employee assistance programmes
I am happy to accept referrals from EAPs (Employee Assistance Programmes). Please contact me for further information.
"Rewind" treatment for PTSD
I am a qualified practitioner in the "Rewind" technique, which has a 90% success rate for treating Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD. Rewind treatment is extremely fast-acting - PTSD symptoms such as flashbacks and nightmares can be relieved in just two or three sessions. And there is no need to disclose the details of the trauma to the therapist. Contact me for further details or to book a session.
Maps & Directions
Type of session
|Face to face counselling:||Yes|
I offer sessions by Skype video for those unable to reach my office in Hay-on-Wye.
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday
Types of client
|Employee Assistance Programme|