Vanessa Gaier Accredited MBACP ( BA Hons)
"It is better to live your own destiny imperfectly, than to live an imitation of somebody else's life perfectly" Bhagavad Gita
Welcome......I am an experienced, BACP accredited Person Centred Psychotherapist, Couples Counsellor and Parenting Practitioner.
I have over 18 years experience as a therapist and over 5 years experience as a domestic abuse group facilitator.
I understand how difficult it can be to seek support when we are feeling sad, lonely, anxious or depressed but if you can manage to cross that threshold, I want to reassure you that a problem shared relieves you of the burden of being all alone with your thoughts and feelings and might be the greatest gift you could ever offer yourself.
The therapeutic relationship is a deeply personal one so I think its worth taking the time to find the right person to begin this journey with. I remember starting out as a 'client' during training and being encouraged to trust my instincts and take time to find what felt right for me. We are all faced with making choices, and choose our friends based on character and personality that fits with our world view, or our values or they feel safe or funny or whatever it is, but either way, we choose and so I would say, trust yourself to know what you like and what you don't as this relationship is for you and about you. so it is ok to try a few therapists before you settle with the right fit.
Previous clients have told me that they have found me instantly warm and approachable, genuine and heartfelt, that they felt safe and held, accepted and seen, not just seen as a fellow human being but seen for who they are and what they feel. This feedback is enormously important to me as I appreciate the courage it can take to reach out to a perfect stranger for support and healing.
I was trained as a Person Centred Therapist at the Metanoia Institute in London and include this quote from Carl Rogers, which helps to describe the approach that I offer and speaks to the heart and true nature of what I want to offer you.
"When someone really hears you without passing judgment on you, without trying to take responsibility for you, without trying to mold you, it feels damn good. . . . When I have been listened to and when I have been heard, I am able to re-perceive my world in a new way and to go on. It is astonishing how elements which seem insoluble become soluble when someone listens. Carl Rogers ( Founder of the Person Centred Approach).
I work with a wide range of clients to increase understanding and self awareness, to explore family attachments and systems, to understand and clarify our self beliefs or to raise confidence and heal old wounds. I have found that including breathing techniques and meditation with my clients who feel a lot of anxiety has helped them calm their nervous system and quieten the negative self talk that can feel so loud and intrusive. It helps to dis identify and allows you to reflect on the true nature of your suffering. Pain x resistance = suffering.
What to expect
I am accessible, interested and I want to support you. I will go at your pace, helping you to explore gently and empathically to see whats going on and how you might be able, to feel differently about yourself and any other difficulty that you may be struggling with. At times I may offer you my reflections, psycho educational information or strategies. I am always open to questions that you may have and will answer them as honestly as I can. I will never judge or criticise you and will be open to feedback should something I say not feel quite right or accurate.
I work with anxiety, depression, eating disorders, low self esteem, relationship difficulties, parental difficulties, drug addiction, suicidal thoughts, self loathing abandonment issues and despair to name a few. If you would like to give me a try, please call, text or email and I will get back to you as soon as I can.
I offer a free half an hour introductory session to discuss the nature of your enquiry.
Couples work -
It is my deepest intention to offer couples an opportunity to hear each other differently that can bring about change in your relationship or shed light and a new perspective on each other. You may feel lost as a couple, or distant, angry and resentful and maybe holding feelings that you don't know how to communicate safely with one another. You may feel unable to express your vulnerability for fear of rejection or ridicule and need to understand how to reconnect and bond.
These sessions allow couples to examine and explore their relationship and themselves in a non threatening and compassionate way.
I have many years experience of working with parents who may be experiencing a breakdown of their relationship with their child/children. I support parent(s) explore what may have caused this difficulty and how to repair their relationship. Children and young people use behaviour to express their hurt and anger and I see my role as supporting parents find a way of reaching out to their children with empathy and understanding.
"When I first met Vanessa I was frail, fearful, disempowered and angry. I was also sceptical and needy - I'd had a counsellor in the past and it hadn't helped. Over the course of our first tentative sessions, I relaxed into a process led by her warmth, her humanity, her heart-centred approach and her subtle skill of gently weaving my past into my present. It felt like Vanessa's supportive energy walked with me through some of my most painful experiences as they unfolded, slowly enabling me to become the agent of change I so needed to be. Her expertise shone a light on my dark corners, revealing the shadows lurking there, empowering me to face and engage with them in ways entirely new. She tactfully and congruently mentored me. Her integrity built a foundation of trust which genuinely freed me and has impacted how I see myself, function in relationships and embrace life's wonder and challenges. Metaphorically, Vanessa worked with me to release my butterfly from the cocoon of fear-based relating I had been so long trapped within."
A tear rolled down my cheek as I left Vanessa’s for the last time and walked to my car, before pulling up by the park where I always paused to reflect and note down our sessions. Two years had passed since my first appointment, the most difficult and yet enlightening chapter of my life to date.
It was only in our final meeting, as we sat down to consider where I was now, that it dawned on me just how far I had come.
When I first met Vanessa I was in an anxious, overwhelmed state with no one to confide in. Over the weeks and months that followed she helped me to evolve into who I am today; a self-assured open person, teetering on the edge of something.
I still have lots to explore about myself and what I want in life, but I’m now equipped with tools that will allow me to do this. I also have a new sense of perspective - I feel I am in control and the whole world is at my feet, whatever life throws at me. Vanessa is an extremely gifted person-centred counsellor and her home is comfortable and inviting, allowing even the most closed person to feel able to open up. It is a sanctuary away from judging eyes and condescending voices. She is warm, friendly, encouraging and quietly challenging.
My personal growth has been amazing. I credit Vanessa with so much as she provided the support I needed during a time when very little seemed available. I now stand on my own two feet and have a new resilience, yet I feel reassured that her door remains open should I ever need it.
When I came to Vanessa I felt hopeless. I didnt know what to do or who to talk to. My head was a mess of thousands of thoughts of despair and depression. I was at the end of my tether and thought there was no way out. The hardest step for me was to admit to myself that I needed help, that I couldnt do it on my own. I clung to the thought of this cant be what life is supposed to be. Once I contacted Vanessa and had my first session I knew that I had made the best and most important decision of my life.
Vanessa took me in to a cocoon of safety. She gently coached me through the worst times of my life with compassion and understanding. She is an amazing woman with an incredible gift. I felt safe and secure in her hands. After a year of talking, crying and laughing I came out the other side with a set of tools that I use every day. I am making what I wanted to happen for so long happen. I can communicate with my family and partner without getting defensive, angry or frustrated. I can show love without fear. I finally feel like the me inside reflects the confident person I had been projecting to the outside world, rather than a scared kid in an adult world that I didnt feel worthy of. Vanessa helped me see the real me and I will be forever grateful for her.
14 Misconceptions about people who go to therapy:
Training, qualifications & experience
- Foundation - Pychodynamic Therapy
- BA (Hons) Accredited Person Centred Counselling
- EFT therapy - Couples work
- Domestic Violence - Group Facilitator ( Accredited by Respect)
- Positive Parenting Practitioner - PPP
- Menopause Training
I have completed several workshops and trainings since becoming a therapist in 2004. Some of these include:
- Anxiety and Depression
- Anger management
- Domestic abuse
- Eating disorders
- Meditation in the therapeutic practice
Parent - child work
Registered / Accredited
Being registered/accredited with a professional body means an individual must have achieved a substantial level of training and experience approved by their member organisation.
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
I work with families experiencing the possible breakdown of relationships with their children. Many parents experience violence from their children, I work with parents to help repair the damage and heal the rifts that have occurred.
I have been part of a women's group for 16 years and have recently set up another group for women looking for a deeper connection with themselves and others.
I have peer supervision once a month and clinical Supervision every 3 weeks with a qualified accredited supervisor
I am a certified Yoga Teacher
Free 1/2 hour introductory session
Individual - £50
Couples - £80 1 hour - 1.15
Students - Sliding scale
Accredited Member of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP)
Abide by the BACP Code of Ethic- dedicated to social diversity, equality and inclusivity of treatment without discrimination. BACP opposes any psychological treatment such as 'reparative' or 'conversion' therapy which is based on the assumption that homosexuality is a mental disorder, or based on the premise that the client change his/her sexuality.
Concessions offered for
Due to Covid, I am currently available for online work only.
I work on Tuesdays/Wednesdays and Thursdays
I offer 1:1 Parenting advice and am trained facilitator in The Positive Parenting Programme