Sarah Hamilton, Psychotherapist & Counsellor
During the current situation with COVID-19, I am conducting all sessions by secure online video link or telephone. I have extensive experience in providing safe, effective video counselling and telephone counselling. Contact me to find out more, or call on 07580 482751 for a no-obligation chat.
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.
Would you like a no-obligation chat about your situation? Call in confidence on 07580 482751.
SECURE ONLINE COUNSELLING BY VIDEO AND TELEPHONE
Online counselling by secure video link or telephone has been part of my therapy practice for many years. Using video or phone to talk about very personal issues can feel a little strange to begin with. However, most people find themselves adapting to it surprisingly quickly and comfortably.
Studies have shown that online therapy can be equally as helpful as face-to-face therapy. It’s ideal when facing weather or transport problems, or if you’re trying to schedule around childcare or travelling for work. And in the current situation with COVID-19, it’s the only safe and effective way to access professional psychological help.
Video counselling: Modern stable, secure video platforms such as Zoom provide an excellent alternative to face-to-face sessions. I work from either my Hay-on-Wye clinic or my home office, a dedicated private space. It’s important that you also find a safe and private place from which to speak with me. It is of course possible to connect to video sessions using a mobile phone, if that’s the only way you can get privacy. But using as large a screen as possible for your video sessions will help them feel more natural and comfortable – so if you can use a PC or laptop or tablet, that’s better.
Telephone counselling: Not everyone feels comfortable with video, or with the technology around it. Sometimes poor connection speeds means video just isn’t practical. In this case, telephone counselling can provide the professional support you need. There is also a natural human tendency to become more settled and focused when we pay full attention to listening, which is really helpful for therapy. In fact, studies have shown that telephone counselling can help people go deeper and open up more freely than they would in person.
Call me on 07580 482751 if you would like to discuss online counselling further.
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?
Psychotherapy and counselling can last just a handful of sessions, or it can continue for several months, or even years.
How long it takes for you will depend in part on your personality. For example, do you have a clear idea what you want to look at, or do you prefer a less prescriptive, more explorative approach? What is a comfortable pace for you on this kind of internal journey? How scary does it feel for you to be unpacking things? How deeply or extensively do you want to explore?
It also depends to some degree on what we are looking at. 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.
My aim is to make sure that our work doesn’t feel rushed, and also that it doesn’t drag on for longer than it needs to.
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 or discuss your situation.
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.
I have extensive experience of providing counselling by secure online video (Zoom), or by telephone, for those who are unable to reach my office.
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
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.
Areas of counselling I deal with
Other areas of counselling I deal with
- Climate grief
- Complex trauma
- Inter-cultural issues
- Medically unexplained symptoms
- Mindfulness practice
- 'Rewind' treatment for PTSD
- Online counselling
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.
Concessions offered for
Private medical insurance
I am a registered practitioner with Aviva, AXA and Bupa Private Healthcare. If you would like to pay for your sessions through private medical insurance, please let me know when you contact me.
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.
Secure online video or telephone counselling
Online counselling by secure video link or telephone has been part of my therapy practice for many years. It’s ideal when facing weather or transport problems, or if you’re trying to schedule around childcare or travelling for work. Studies have shown that online therapy can be equally as helpful as face-to-face therapy. And most people find themselves adapting to it surprisingly quickly and comfortably. If you are interested, please contact me to discuss further.