Psychotherapy And Counselling:
A Pathway To Meaningful, Lasting Change

Are You Struggling To Cope, And Don’t Know How To Change Things?

As we grow up, we each develop a range of skills for navigating through life. These skills may serve us extremely well for many years. But sometimes underlying issues, such as early trauma or low self-esteem, can begin to seep out and cause problems. Or challenging life events can simply overwhelm our coping mechanisms.

You may face practical issues such as relationship difficulties, bereavement or work problems, and realise you aren’t coping.

Maybe life looks fine on the surface, but you find yourself increasingly anxious, or panicky, or depressed.

Perhaps you notice your behaviour changing for the worse, as anger, compulsions or addictions take hold.

You may push ahead doggedly with everyday tasks, masking things from others as much as possible… but end up feeling terribly alone.

Sometimes Even Strong People Can Feel “It’s All Too Much”

Counselling and Psychotherapy for Anxiety, Hay-on-Wye, Hereford, Brecon, Builth Wells, Kington, Presteigne, Talgarth

Struggling with difficulties like these is more common than you may think. Research shows that in any given year, one in four adults in the UK will experience a mental health difficulty. And one third of NHS ‘sick notes’ for time off work are due to mental health problems.

As adults we often have a tendency to think: “I should be able to cope”. This means that on top of the problem itself, we may feel confused, 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 trouble coping at certain times.

You Can Get Through This…

These difficulties can be resolved. There is always a way to untangle the knots, and move on from the stuck places. The natural movement of living beings is towards growth, connection and resilience. Regardless of how withdrawn and isolated you may feel, or how distressing your experience has been, or how messy your relationships have become, change really is possible.

…And Counselling Can Help You Find The Way

Talking therapy is not about issuing formal diagnoses, or prescribing medication. It is about finding a way through difficulty, and resourcing yourself for the future, in collaboration with someone who is trained in psychological exploration.

A psychotherapist or counsellor acts as a sort of ‘midwife for change’ when you’re facing stress or adversity. That means they may be providing focused assistance to resolve a particular problem you have right now. Or they may be journeying alongside you, to transform something more general such as feeling ‘lost’ or ‘worthless’.

I work with adults of all ages – there’s no upper age limit for counselling. My clients come from all walks of life, with all sorts of problems. I know that wherever you may be in your life right now, together we can find your path towards clarity and confidence.

Interested In Therapy But Still Have Some Concerns? …

“Talking Can’t Really Change Anything”

Counselling and Psychotherapy for Depression, Hay-on-Wye, Hereford, Brecon, Builth Wells, Kington, Presteigne, Talgarth
Many people wonder how ‘just talking’ about things can possibly help – especially if their problems involve difficult life-events that simply can’t be changed.

But psychotherapy and counselling provide a different kind of conversation. We orient ourselves to the detail of your experience; we pay attention to the things that normally get skimmed over; we ask different questions. We’ll maintain a gentle, steady curiosity about you and whatever you’re facing.

As things get spoken out loud and looked at together, the circular narrative that takes place in the closed circuit of your own mind can begin to shift – to move forwards. You and your story start to ‘make sense’. You can stop operating so often on autopilot, and start choosing different responses to the world where appropriate. Talking enables us to find a path, together, through your current difficulties, to a more peaceful place.

“It Will Take Too Long”

It’s very common for people to worry about how long psychotherapy or counselling will go on for. You might be concerned about it being a bit vague and directionless, or about you becoming dependent on it. Or you may worry about the whole process costing more than you can afford.

Of course therapy can sometimes take a long time, where sensitive issues need to be gently explored in some depth. But I’ve seen plenty of other instances where people make huge strides forward in just a few weeks. Most (around three quarters) of my clients achieve the changes they want to see in under 20 sessions.

I am experienced in working both short-term or long-term, as needed. So you can have confidence your counselling will never be rushed or forced, but it also won’t go on any longer than it needs to. We’ll work according to your personal needs and natural pace, until you feel able to meet life with confidence and resilience on your own.

“It’s Too Late For Me – This Is Just The Way I Am”

Counselling and Psychotherapy for Bereavement, Hay-on-Wye, Hereford, Brecon, Builth Wells, Kington, Presteigne, Talgarth
Some people worry that their problems have been around for so long, there’s no point in trying to change.

But there’s no time limit on resolving a problem, and definitely no upper age limit for counselling. In fact, modern neuroscience has proven that although the brain undergoes some natural ageing processes over time, it never loses any of its original ‘plasticity’, or flexibility. In other words, even though old patterns can become quite ingrained, we never lose the capacity to change.

This means that in our sessions, we can work together to loosen even the oldest and seemingly most entrenched habits or difficulties. It’s never too late to find a sense of ease.

“It’ll Just Open A Can Of Worms…”

It’s true that looking at yourself and your life with honesty and clarity – as psychotherapy and counselling ask you to do – can be challenging at times. You may worry it will all be too ‘messy’, and feel things are better left neatly ‘packed away’. You might fear that you will be judged… or that you will fall apart if you start dismantling the scaffolding that has held you together till now.

However, most people find that looking at the difficult stuff is just one part of a helpful process of understanding, cleansing, and moving on.

And if that still doesn’t feel safe for you, then I have also undertaken specialist training which enables me to help you achieve change in the present without discussing all the details of the past. So you never have to talk about anything you don’t want to.

What’s The Next Step? …

I have worked with adults from all walks of life, of all ages, from hundreds of different professions and cultural backgrounds. When we work together every piece of your story will be welcome. I will not turn away from any part of you. And I will walk alongside you, each step of your journey towards change.

If you live in or near Hereford, Brecon, Builth Wells, Kington or Presteigne then you’re probably within 30 minutes of the Hay Counselling office. If you live further away, we can still work together by secure video link. Take the first step and contact me to book an initial session.

“Sarah is a therapist with great empathy, insight and intelligence. She offers a safe framework for her clients, does not judge them, and works with courage, flexibility and energy. I recommend her highly.”

Dr. Meriel Powell, PhD (Psych), MBACP (Snr Accred), UKCP (Reg) – Psychotherapist and Clinical Supervisor

Find out more about how I work, and if I might be the right therapist for you:

Counselling and Psychotherapy, Hay-on-Wye, Hereford, Brecon, Builth Wells, Kington, Leominster, Talgarth