Emma West

Specialist in Depression • Anxiety • Stress • Low self esteem • Abuse • Disability/health issues • Trauma – one off/ongoing/childhood • Carer issues • Loneliness • Relationship difficulties • Gender dysphoria/transitioning • Parenting issues • Managing lifestyle issues



Hi my name is Emma. I have a non medicalised approach to counselling which means I see mental wellbeing - how we think, feel and behave - as being the result of people's life experiences [What's happened to you?] rather than as a medical diagnosis [What's wrong with you?].

My background of working at the BBC and being a writer means I have a lot of experience of putting people at ease and developing a good rapport. I aim to offer a warm, friendly approach to counselling, which most importantly includes listening without judging.

So whatever you are struggling with - stress, low mood, anxiety, relationship issues, problems at work, loss, low self esteem, anger, trauma - I will support you in exploring what is going on, help you work out what you would like to change, and work with you to find ways to make those changes.

Because I believe information and understanding can go a long way to resolving problems I often use psycho-education in sessions this starts with understanding the natural ['Monkey brain'] reactions we have when life has been, or is, difficult. To this end I've developed a series of mind maps to help explain common issues eg anxiety, depression, low self esteem, sleep problems, and which also identifies potentially useful solutions for you to try out.

Potentially useful solutions include Cognitive Behavioural Therapy [which is about recognising and challenging unhelpful thinking], [long out breathe] breathing techniques, mindfulness [which is about being in the here and now / accepting thoughts], and various written exercises - these are just some examples - really it's just a question of finding what works for you.

Whilst I can't give you medical advice I can help you source information and support you if you are thinking about taking prescribed psychiatric drugs, are already taking psychiatric drugs but want to consider your options, have decided you want to stop taking them, and/or you are in the process of tapering already.

I also have specialist experience and knowledge of disability, discrimination, health, carer, student, LGBTQIA2S+, and gender dysphoria issues, and lived experience of carer issues and rare disability. If you have a hearing impairment we can use captions on Zoom. Please just get in touch if you have any other access requirements.

Finally, I'm experienced in doing long and short term work - even one off sessions - having worked in a variety of different settings including in the NHS taking referrals from the local Depression and Anxiety service, for an NHS Specialist Gender Identity Clinic [for individuals thinking about, or in the process of, transitioning], and at the University of Exeter, as well as counselling GPs and trainee doctors [via Employee Assistance Programmes], and private individuals.

NB Please message me if you'd like a session on a day/time that doesn't look available on my calendar because I could have availability and/or I can create a session slot for you.

Member of

Accredited Member of BACP

Approach to treatment

I aim to offer a friendly approach to counselling, listening without judging. I believe that it's important for people to understand what mental distress is all about, with this in mind I have developed a series of mindmaps to help people understand common issues eg anxiety, depression, common problems eg sleep issues, and solutions. The idea being that information and understanding means it's possible to feel more in control about doing something positive to improve your own mental wellbeing. CBT, Person Centred, Mindfulness, Psycho-Education

Languages spoken

• English

Currently Practice

Privately online

Therapy Types

Stress, low mood, anxiety, low self esteem, relationships, loss, anger, trauma. I also have specialist experience and knowledge of disability, carer, health, student and gender dysphoria issues.


• Online Counselling Certificate Course, OCST [Online Counselling Services and Training], passed with Distinction, May 2016 – July 2016
• Creative CBT Diploma, Dartmoor Centre for Counselling and Psychotherapy, Sept 2014 – Feb 2015
• Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling [Level 4], Exeter College, Sept 2012 – July 2014
• BSc (Hons) Psychology 2:1, University of Bristol, 1988 – 1991

Demographics of Focus

I work with adults, 18+