Vanessa Hedley

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MBACP Accredited - Embodied Counselling & Psychotherapy
Available for new clients
Available for new clients

This professional is available for new clients.

Stroud, Gloucestershire, GL5
Available for new clients
Available for new clients

This professional is available for new clients.

About me

A very warm welcome to you.

I am currently available for face-to-face sessions.

I am a BACP accredited counsellor and psychotherapist with over a decade of experience.

My approach is humanistic, relational, embodied, and attachment -  and trauma - informed. It is rooted in my integrative training and a wide variety of other therapeutic influences, meditation, mindfulness practice, somatic movement, nature-based practices, IFS and Somatic Experiencing and ongoing professional development.

Elements of coaching and mentoring practice also inform my client work where appropriate.

Are you longing to connect more deeply with who you truly are, physically, emotionally, mentally (and if relevant to you, spiritually) and with what you need and want in order to shift towards increased wellbeing?

If you are in crisis, transition or having a challenging time generally; if you are longing to reconnect with your true purpose and your enjoyment of life; if you're experiencing repeating patterns of difficulty in your relationships; if you identify as 'highly sensitive' and struggle to sustain a sense of resilience; if you're feeling depressed, anxious, overwhelmed, angry or unable to see a way to move forward, my support could help.

It is my experience that when it's the right time to commit to giving ourselves the regular space and attention that therapy can offer, a sense of safety and resource is possible that can lead to profound shifts in our experience of ourselves, our relationships with others and to the wider world.

From a decade of psychotherapeutic practice and many years of therapeutic work prior to that, I am experienced in working in a creative, individual-focussed way to support you in shedding light on your relationships to each aspect of yourself, the people in your life and the wider world.

My perspective is informed by a deep understanding of trauma (shock -, developmental - , complex - ) and I have a specialist interest in working with early attachment issues; how they play out in our relationships in later life and also how they can be re-patterned within the therapeutic relationship to enable us to experience greater ease and enjoyment in all of our relationships in the here and now.

As well as offering support with anxiety, depression, low self-worth/confidence, loss of meaning/purpose, work-stress and relationship difficulties I have a lot of experience working with people who struggle with disordered eating and difficult relationships with food and their bodies, as well as with clients who suffer in relation to other forms of addiction.

I have been a mindfulness meditation and somatic movement and embodiment practitioner for over 20 years and this informs my client work.

As well as working with clients in indoor settings, I offer therapy in nature and run somatic movement groups in wild settings.

Respect and compassion for you and all you've been through to bring you to this point is core to my work.

You are very welcome to call me to get more of a sense of me and ask any questions you may have.

My Background

I was originally a community midwife and have experience of working in the charity sector supporting people with life-threatening / terminal illness. I also spent several years working with refugees and asylum seekers.

I work with clients suffering the effects of early attachment disorder, trauma, isolation, loneliness, addiction (I've worked as a counsellor in two drug and alcohol rehabs) fear, depression, anxiety and other mental health diagnoses, eating disorders, physical health problems and those who have spent much of their lives feeling generally overwhelmed, frightened or unsafe without ever really understanding why.

I have also worked as a bodywork therapist, and as a specialist mentor/coach for university students with a wide variety of needs and challenges.

How I Work

My way of working is tailored very specifically to each client's individual needs and is underpinned and inspired by:

  • traditional person-centred and existential applied theory
  • in-depth knowledge of attachment theory
  • mindfulness
  • family constellations
  • neurobiology
  • polyvagal theory
  • somatic awareness and movement (indoors and on the land)
  • other forms of creative self-expression
  • ritual-making
  • nature-based exploration

Training, qualifications & experience

  • Working with Anger - Jill Gabriel - Oct. 2022
  • 'Privilege and Otherness: Developing a Language for Practitioners with Prof. Dwight Turner - GCS - June 2022
  • 'The Integrated Trauma Therapist' - incorporating Internal Family Systems (IFS), EMDR and other trauma-focussed modalities - April 2021
  • Dreamwork & Belonging - Toko-pa Turner - November 2020
  • Masterclass with Peter Levine - Somatic Experiencing: Mastering the body-oriented approach to stress and trauma - October 2020
  • Masterclass with Esther Perel - Couples Therapy in Action - July 2020
  • Dealing with Affairs - June 2020 - with Nicola Jones
  • Fundamentals of Working with Couples - November 2019 - with Juliet Grayson
  • SATe/DARe (Somatic Attachment Training / Dynamic Attachment Re-patterning experience) Cologne, 2016 (ongoing training)
  • Post-Graduate Diploma Integrative Counselling - Masters Level (L7) (Distinction) (BACP Accredited Course) (UWL) 2010
  • Certificate (Masters Level) in Somatic Dance/Movement Education (Distinction) (UCLAN) 2009
  • Kahuna Bodywork Diploma - Hawaii 1996
  • Mindfulness Training - Ongoing training since 2000 - MBSR, Plum Village

    As an accredited member of the BACP, I work in accordance with the ethical framework of the BACP and am committed to ongoing personal and professional development and attending regular supervision.

Member organisations

Registered / Accredited

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)

BACP is one of the UK’s leading professional bodies for counselling and psychotherapy with around 60,000 members. The Association has several different categories of membership, including Student Member, Individual Member, Registered Member MBACP, Registered Accredited Member MBACP (Accred) and Senior Registered Accredited Member MBACP (Snr Acccred).

Registered and accredited members are listed on the BACP Register, which shows that they have demonstrated BACP’s recommended standards for training, proficiency and ethical practice. The BACP Register was the first register of psychological therapists to be accredited by the Professional Standards Authority (PSA).

Accredited and senior accredited membership are voluntary categories for members who choose to undertake a rigorous application and assessment process to demonstrate additional standards around practice, training and supervision.

Individual members will have completed an appropriate counselling or psychotherapy course and started to practise, but they won’t appear on the BACP Register until they've demonstrated that they meet the standards for registration. Student members are still in the process of completing their training.

All members are bound by the BACP Ethical Framework and a Professional Conduct Procedure.

Accredited register membership

British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy
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.

British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy

Other areas of counselling I deal with

  • insecure attachment
  • childhood abuse
  • addiction/substance misuse
  • eating disorders and body-image
  • relationship issues
  • change and transition
  • depression and/or anxiety
  • birth-related trauma (relating to pre- peri- or post-natal period)
  • parenting issues
  • crisis of all kinds
  • low self-worth
  • health concerns
  • suicidal feelings
  • spiritual matters
  • bereavement
  • work- or study-stress
  • loss of meaning
  • trauma and many others.

Photos & videos


£60.00 per session
Free initial telephone session

Additional information

£55 per session 

When I work

I currently offer daytime and evening face to face, zoom and phone sessions.

Stroud, Gloucestershire, GL5

Type of session

In person

Types of client

Adults (25-64)
Older Adults (65+)

Online platforms

Vanessa Hedley
Vanessa Hedley