Sarah Hamilton – Accredited Psychotherapist And Counsellor:
Am I The Right Counsellor For You?
Talking things through with a calm and non-judgmental psychotherapist or counsellor can help you contain and resolve difficult feelings, understand where you are, and find a way forwards in your life. But it’s really important to choose someone you feel comfortable with – someone who is the right ‘fit’ to help you achieve change.
What Will We Talk About?
I generally find that before we start looking at solutions, we need to understand something about who you are – your life, your experiences, and how you think and feel about things. That’s because a problem that may seem on the surface to be shared by many other people (e.g. depression, or anger, or feeling ‘stuck’) can actually have very different roots in each case. And that means the best way forwards will be completely different for each person.
So we’ll talk not just about your problems but also your strengths and values; not just about your worries, but also your joys; not just about your fears, but also what helps you find courage. In this way we can find a path that makes the most of your own natural resources. And the changes we achieve together are much more likely to ‘stick’, long term.
How Will We Work Together?
We may be highly focused in our work. Or we may be moving more patiently, recognising deep fear or sadness, making space for your heart to speak. At times our conversations may be quite energised and creative. At other times they may be more pragmatic, a sort of thinking-things-through together.
Whatever we talk about, you can expect our work 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 might 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’: We identify and engage your existing resources, challenge old habits where appropriate, and look at new tools for problem-solving where necessary. We’ll take time to observe, reflect, and deepen our understanding, at whatever pace is right for you. 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 might cope with any future difficulties, and ensure you leave feeling confident and resilient.
“Sarah is an exceptional therapist – kind, intuitive and insightful. She helped me on a journey discovering myself, and our sessions have helped me better understand the root of my frustrations and also to better cope with everyday issues and be happier.”
Feedback from a client
How Long Will It Take?
Everyone faces different challenges – and has their own natural pace for change. So for some people the above three ‘stages’ of counselling might extend over months or sometimes years, while for others, they might be completed in under ten sessions. Of the adults I see, the average is around 18-20 sessions. For teens, it’s usually a little less.
How Do We Start?
Talking to a psychotherapist or counsellor isn’t always easy. In fact, opening up to someone you’ve never met before, sharing your most personal problems, can often feel very daunting. Your task, then, is to find the courage to begin – to book a first session, to start talking. From there on it will be a joint endeavour. Together we can help figure out the path that will work best for you, to move forwards with your life.
My Qualifications and Experience
My working life has spanned retail and restaurants, teaching and web development, and a 17-year career in international marketing and management. I spent much of this time living and working abroad, in a variety of countries and continents. A fascination with inter-cultural communication and psychology eventually led me to the field of talking therapies in 2011.
Since then I have worked as a psychotherapist and counsellor for adults and teens 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 the Welsh borders in 2017. I now have a private clinic in Hay-on-Wye, Herefordshire.
I have attended numerous specialist training courses, particularly in the areas of trauma-treatment, neuroscience, mindfulness, and counselling for teenagers. I’ve also conducted Masters-level academic research into what influences therapeutic change.
I am fully accredited with the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, and have an enhanced DBS-check for working with young people.
Issues I Work With
In the area where I work, around Hereford, Brecon, Builth Wells, Kington and Leominster, common problems include family and relationship difficulties, anxiety, depression, trauma, and stress.
I have helped adults and teens to work with and resolve a very wide range of issues – including (but not limited to):
- Low self-esteem
- Meaning and identity
- Panic attacks
- Relationship and family problems
- Separation and divorce
- Suicidal thoughts
- Terminal/chronic illness
- Trauma and PTSD
- Work-related issues
“I have really appreciated the time and space, free of distractions, but more importantly the accepting nature Sarah has shown me, the ease I have felt in discussing topics with her and the encouragement I have experienced in moving forwards. I could not recommend Sarah highly enough!”
Feedback from a client