Sarah Hamilton, Accredited Psychotherapist And Counsellor

Am I The Right Counsellor For You?

Sarah Hamilton, BACP Accredited Psychotherapist and Counsellor

Talking things through with a professional psychotherapist or counsellor can be hugely beneficial. It can help you contain and resolve difficult feelings, understand where you are, and find a way forwards in your life.

But sharing your most sensitive problems can feel daunting, even risky. So it’s really important to choose someone you feel comfortable with – someone who is the right ‘fit’ to help you achieve change.

The information below will give you an idea of what it might be like for us to work together. For a no-obligation chat about your situation, call in confidence on 07580 482751.

“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

What Will We Talk About?

I generally find that before we start looking at ‘solutions’, we need to understand something about who you are. For instance, looking at your life experiences, your values, 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 anxiety) can actually have very different roots in each case. And that means the best way forwards will be completely different for each person.

Our conversations may change from week to week: sometimes wide-ranging, energised and creative; other times more focused or deliberate, a sort of thinking-things-through together. But we will always have a clear intention. We will be working together to understand; to ease; to find your individual path towards change.

How Will It Be Different From A ‘Normal’ Conversation?

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

Therapy sessions are not like everyday chats. They involve both a wider-than-usual perspective on your life, and also a more forensic examination. We may think about what energises you, where you get stuck, what you long for. We’ll pay special attention to the bits of your experience that may be hidden from everyday sight, but which powerfully shape your views and your life.

The arc of our sessions is likely to include:

1. Exploring and Assessing: We will 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.

2. Observation and ‘Life Testing’: We will 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 in the world, we’ll notice carefully how things affect you on a practical, physical and emotional level.

3. Consolidation and Ending: We will 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.

How Long Will It Take?

Psychotherapy and counselling can last just a handful of sessions, or it can continue for several months, or years.

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

How long it takes will depend partly on what brings you here. If you are seeking focused help with one particular issue, or support through a period of crisis or upheaval, then our work together may be quite brief. If we need to look in-depth at the root causes of long-term behavioural patterns, and work towards changing them, that’s likely to take longer.

It also depends on you. For example, what is a comfortable pace for you on this kind of internal journey? Is there part of you which is hesitant about unpacking things, or about change? Do you have a wide range of supports and resources available in your life, or are you unsupported or even discouraged by others?

I am trained to work both short-term and long-term. The majority of those I work with achieve what they want from therapy in under 20 sessions; others find it useful to undertake a longer journey. I will meet your individual needs so that our work is never rushed, but also doesn’t drag on for longer than required.

“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

How Do We Start?

Trying to untangle a life and find the right way forwards can be complicated… but in my experience, it is always possible. When we work together, I will be fully committed to helping you achieve significant and lasting change. And whatever your story, wherever you find yourself now, every part of you will be welcome in that process.

I know that opening up to someone you’ve never met before, sharing your most personal issues, can 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.

(For Those Who Are Curious): More About Me

Professional Qualifications And Training

I am a fully accredited Psychotherapist and Counsellor, and a member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy. I am regularly supervised, comprehensively insured, and have an enhanced DBS-check for working with vulnerable adults.

At the heart of my professional qualifications is a masters-level Postgraduate Diploma in Psychotherapy. This rigorous 4-year training encompassed a wide range of therapeutic approaches, which enables me to work flexibly according to each person’s needs. (You can find more information about some of the approaches I draw on here.)

I have undertaken extensive further training in trauma-treatment, mind-body interconnectivity, and the issues faced by adults who went to boarding school. I’ve conducted real-world research into how courage influences therapeutic change. And I am a qualified practitioner in the “Rewind technique”, a highly effective (and fast) treatment for PTSD symptoms such as flashbacks and nightmares.

Personal Background And Experience

It took me a while to find my vocation. After graduating from art college, my working life included stints as a pavement artist, schoolteacher, yoga teacher and website developer, followed by 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 retrain as a therapist.

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

Since 2011 I have worked as a psychotherapist and counsellor in the private and charitable sectors, and in the NHS. I co-founded and managed a network of counsellors across London and Reading, and established a successful private clinic in Harley Street (London). In 2017 I moved to the Welsh borders and set up a practice in Hay-on-Wye, Herefordshire.

My work as a psychotherapist is informed not only by my professional training, but also by over 25 years of meditation and mindfulness practice, and a deep personal interest in Buddhist psychology. These approaches emphasise the importance of not exiling, or turning away from, what is difficult in our experience. They call on us to meet our deepest pain with curiosity, compassion and care. And they offer a framework not just for incremental change, but for transformation and real vitality.

People I Work With

Over the years I have worked with people from all walks of life, and with ages ranging from teenagers to the very elderly. I especially enjoy working with older adults. I have particular experience in working with people with Aspergers or who are on the autistic spectrum, and also in the problems faced by adults who went to boarding school.

Issues I Can Help With

I specialise in helping people resolve issues related to Trauma and PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), including Complex Trauma, Developmental Trauma, and Dissociation. I also have extensive experience in working with other issues – including (but not limited to):

Abuse ▪ Addiction ▪ Ageing ▪ Anger ▪ Anxiety ▪ Bereavement ▪ Death and Dying ▪ Depression ▪ Eco-Anxiety ▪ Intercultural Issues ▪ Low Self-Worth ▪ Meaning and Meaninglessness ▪ OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) ▪ Overwhelm and Burnout ▪ Personality Disorders ▪ Relationship and Family Problems ▪ Separation and Divorce ▪ Stress ▪ Suicidal Thoughts ▪ Terminal Illness

“I can’t thank Sarah enough for the lasting and positive contribution she has made on my life. Having an open space to speak freely and an unbiased opinion has been invaluable. I now feel that although I will still have down days, these will be few and far between and I am equipped with the tools and skills to cope with whatever comes my way.”

Feedback from a client

To ask a question, or book an initial consultation:

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