Hello and Welcome
Are you considering talking therapy or looking for a therapist?
Is there something preying on your mind? A worry or a sense of dissatisfaction, confusion or uncertainty ...
... sometimes it is easier to talk to someone who is independent of friends and family - someone who will be objective and non-judgemental.
My name is Suzy Carter and I am a BACP registered psychotherapeutic counsellor.
I will listen to anything that you would like to share, no matter how serious, sensitive or even trivial you fear it may seem.
Working together, we will create the support you need to move towards a way of being that feels more comfortable to you.
A short, complimentary introductory session would allow you to meet me before making a commitment to therapy and help you to decide if you would like to work with me.
You can contact me directly for an appointment - a doctor's referral is not necessary. However, I would be happy to talk to your doctor at any stage of the process if it seems relevant and with your permission.
I work with people of all ages and I would welcome your enquiry, whoever you are and whatever your background.
Anything you tell me would be treated with confidentiality and respect.
I have experience of working with a range of issues, such as stress, anxiety, depression, panic attacks, relationship problems, attachment issues, abuse, adverse childhood events and trauma - I have a post graduate diploma in contemporary trauma practice.
Coping with illness and the pressures of caring, bereavement, grief and loss are areas of particular interest to me as I also work with a bereavement counselling charity and an organisation that supports carers.
This beautiful short film describes how helpful talking therapy can be ...
My personal philosophy is rooted in humanistic principles: I believe we have only one life and that we should each be able to have the personal responsibility and autonomy to live ethically and well - and to empathically support others to do the same.
My training has been a good fit with this philosophy and the overarching aim of my work is to encourage clients’ autonomy and agency in shaping their own lives, ultimately in a way that feels satisfactory to them.
My Person-Centred foundation supports me in approaching each person with sensitive understanding as a unique individual, believing them to be basically OK, self-determining and with an innate ability to change and grow, at any life stage.
Further training allows me to integrate other approaches and techniques, as appropriate.
As a humanistic and integrative counsellor, with my work underpinned by Person-Centred theory, we would work with the issues you choose to bring - whatever matters most to you, right now.
We would work together, to create a safe, warm and professional relationship in which you could feel able to explore your concerns, whilst being supported in your process of increasing self-awareness and growth.
Counselling usually takes place weekly, over several weeks or longer, depending on individual requirements. Single sessions may occasionally prove helpful, especially when we have worked together before. Sessions last for 50 min.
My entire career has been spent in the health and wellness sector: I was formerly a clinical physiologist, specialising in cardiology and have also been a complementary therapist for a number of years, with a particular interest in reflexology, essential oils and the benefits of far infra red sauna use.
Complementary therapy still forms a small but important part of my work and I am always delighted to meet new clients. Wellbeing springs from the union of a well-balanced mind with a well-balanced body.
People who come for reflexology find the deep relaxation, often encouraged by the treatment, to be profoundly therapeutic. More specifically, I am able to use the reflexology lymphatic drainage (RLD) technique to support those with primary or secondary lymphoedema.
Occasionally, people who come for counselling find that combining it with reflexology is helpful - for more information on this way of working, click here.
Email or landline is the quickest way to contact me, as mobile reception here is poor
Whatever has brought you to this page I am pleased to welcome you and hope that you find something useful to take away.
Irish poet, author, priest and philosopher John O’Donohue wrote:
May I have the courage today
To live the life that I would love,
To postpone my dream no longer,
But do at last what I came here for
And waste my heart on fear no more.
Do these words strike a chord for you? It often seems very difficult to find courage and face change alone. Talking to someone else may help you to get started ...
In his poem, The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost wrote:
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference.
There is always a choice.
Maybe now is the right time for you to speak and to be really heard; to have someone alongside you on your journey. If so, counselling is worth serious consideration (see below). As Oprah Winfrey said, in her inspiring acceptance speech for the Cecil B DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award at the Golden Globes earlier this year, 'Speaking your truth is the most powerful tool ...' It has the power to create change.
If you are looking for a counsellor near to Petersfield or Midhurst, do get in touch - my contact details are at the top of every page of this website and you can email me directly and in complete confidence.
You might also like to visit the Counselling Directory, the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) or the Hampshire Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (HACP) websites to search for therapists.
Or your GP may able able to help ...
A further option is to call helplines like The Samaritans (for anyone) or The Silver Line (for older people). These helplines are open 24 hours a day.
HOPELineUK is for young people under the age of 35 who may be having thoughts about taking their own life and anyone who is concerned that a young person may be having thoughts of taking their own life. Contact them on 0800 068 41 41, text to 07786209697 or email [email protected] They are open 10am to 10pm on weekdays and 2pm to 10pm on weekends and bank holidays.
The Samaritans is a registered charity, which provides a confidential, off the record listening service, 24/7. Their aim is to offer support to anyone in emotional distress, struggling to cope or at risk of suicide. Contact them by following this link: Samaritans
(Some simple tips on how to improve your own listening skills, to better support a friend or relative who is struggling, can also be found here.)
Whatever you're going through, you can call the Samaritans free any time, from any phone on 116 123 (from anywhere in the UK or the Republic of Ireland).
They are there round the clock, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
If you need a response immediately, it's best to phone. You don't have to be suicidal to get in touch.
You can email, write or visit a local branch, if you prefer. The nearest branch to Petersfield is in Portsmouth at 296 London Rd, PO2 9JN. Phone: 023 9269 1313
Visit the Samaritans for more information and alternative ways to make contact.
Counselling - sometimes it's just good to talk ...
As a counsellor, I work on a 1:1, face-to-face basis with adults and young people, aged 12 and over.
The sorts of issues that counselling may help with include:
- Stress, including work, parenting or caring-related
- Low self-esteem
- Bereavement, loss and change
- Coping with illness
- Self harm
- Suicidal thoughts
In counselling jargon, I use a humanistic and integrative approach, sometimes incorporating creative, Mindful and CBT-based interventions if appropriate - but only if these ways of working appeal to the client.
In plain language, counselling can provide you with an opportunity for self-exploration and examination of troubling issues and feelings in a confidential, non-judgmental and honest yet empathic environment.
My counselling framework is underpinned by Person Centred theory so my work is client-led and non-directive; in other words, we would work on the concerns that you bring and I would not tell you what to think or do; rather, I would encourage you to discover your own ways to achieve greater contentment.
The human brain is extraordinarily adaptable and change is possible at any time of life. My aim is always to empower clients to bring about the changes that seem important for them, through my listening and enquiring skills as well as the power of a strong therapeutic relationship - something that is key to the success of any therapeutic encounter, whether in counselling or in complementary or conventional medicine. Carl Jung, the father of analytical psychology, said that:
People new to counselling are often mystified as to how it might work for them and actually, it is quite difficult to explain! There is much evidence to suggest that it is the quality of the relationship between therapist and client, whatever their modality (e.g. integrative, Person-Centred, Psychodynamic, CBT), that is the key to a successful outcome in the eyes of the client (see this article and others):
The idea is that a person can begin to see how their mind works in the unique relationship with the therapist, a relationship that is purposefully structured to make the person's psychology more apparent and a topic of exploration. Noticing, exploring and working through these emotional experiences in relationship with the therapist is a powerful mechanism of growth in therapy.
People who get the most out of therapy are those who are:
- willing to try to discern within themselves their feelings and reactions in talking with their therapist
- willing to share and explore those feelings and reactions with their therapist
Exploring these responses in the immediacy of the relationship with the therapist is considered a powerful mediator of change in therapy.
(The above is quoted from this paper: Self-Awareness, Transference & Counter-Transference by Michael E. Makekau, University of Hawaii - and is equally applicable to all counselling and psychotherapeutic approaches.)
As a practicing counsellor, I am a registered member of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP).
Reflexology, Essential Oil Therapy and Sauna - wonderful ways to de-stress ......... in an un-stressed state the body is better able to heal itself and to fight-off illness and the effects of aging: Immune function improves; fatigue, irritability and perception of pain are reduced; the mind is sharper and more creative; energy, motivation and productivity increase; and sleeping patterns improve.
These factors are so important to my clients, who include people of all ages: men and women from every walk of life - busy professionals, older people, mothers, mums-to-be, students, couples with fertility issues, those living with chronic conditions, the well and the not so well. They use my reflexology sessions as "time-out" - space to relax and unwind from the pressures of hectic or difficult lives; space to restore balance and to heal; space to maintain optimal health.
I am a member of The Association of Reflexologists (AoR). As such, I work according to a strict code of practice and ethics requiring the highest level of professionalism and giving client well being the highest priority. I am also registered with The Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC).
(The General Medical Council recommends that GP’s refer to practitioners on a register accredited by the Professional Standards Authority, such as the CNHC register, when suggesting the use of a complementary therapy to patients.)
To visit the CNHC website go to www.cnhc.org.uk.
Please get in touch if you are interested in either counselling or complementary therapy.
Autumndale Therapies provides:
- Short, free of charge 'meet the therapist' sessions for prospective clients
- Integrated counselling and reflexology sessions
- Reflexology Lymphatic Drainage
- Vertical Reflex Therapy (visit this other page for more information on VRT)
- Essential oil products to support and enhance reflexology treatments
- Essential oil products, tailored to individual needs, for use at home
- Reflexology taster sessions
- Foot/ hand massage
- Sauna suite with private shower and space to relax
- Dedicated and comfortable ground floor treatment rooms (3 steps to front door)
- Cloakroom, also on the ground floor
- Tranquil, discrete location, convenient from West Sussex, Surrey or East Hampshire,
including Petersfield, Liss, Liphook, Haslemere and Midhurst and Waterlooville
- On-site parking
- Vouchers for complementary therapies
As a counsellor, I use a humanistic and integrative approach.
Humanistic psychology has been called the 'Third Way' in relation to psychotherapeutic work because it does not focus on past events and unconscious processes, as in psychoanalysis or psychodynamic therapy; or on how thoughts might influence behaviour, as in CBT - cognitive-behavioural therapy; it focuses on the unique experience of each individual and is underpinned by the belief that everybody, no matter what their circumstances or stage in life, has an innate tendency towards growth and development.
Carl Rogers was a well-known figure in the field of humanistic psychology and developed the Person-Centred approach, which underpins my way of working.
Carl Jung also focused on the uniqueness of the individual; he believed, among many other things, that crisis and breakdown were essential precursors to transformation and healing. His sense of the need for the individual to achieve 'wholeness' for their wellbeing sits comfortably with the view - my view - of the holistic nature of complementary therapies, such as reflexology. I believe that counselling too, should be holistic.
The humanistic counsellor aims to support clients along their personal development journey by offering a safe, non-judgemental relationship where they may explore any issues - thoughts, feelings, circumstances - that are of concern to them.
Humanistic counsellors are generally non-directive and client-led, encouraging autonomy and personal choice.
My integrative training allows me to utilise aspects of other approaches where appropriate and if they appeal to the client - and of course if it seems that they may benefit the therapeutic process and do no harm.
If you think you might like to make an exploratory appointment, please get in touch.
Reflexology is a form of therapeutic massage of the feet or hands and its' effects on the whole person may be profound - supporting good physical and mental health, emotional well-being and symptomatic relief from a wide range of conditions. Reflexology tends to stimulate the body's natural relaxation response, a powerfully beneficial physiological reaction which is suppressed when the body is under stress.
Recognising and then tackling the early signs of stress through reflexology may help to prevent it escalating into more significant health problems such as raised blood pressure with all its' associated risks, or anxiety including performance anxiety such as exam or interview "nerves", depression, headaches, arthritis, insomnia, fatigue, fertility issues and digestive and respiratory system disorders.
As a holistic therapy, reflexology supports the whole person rather than seeking to identify and treat specific illnesses and conditions. For optimal health, function and well-being, every aspect of an individual needs to be in balance. Reflexology may help to maintain that balance. It may also help to restore balance and so provide invaluable support through times of potential difficulty such as illness, pregnancy, the conception journey, early parenthood, sadness, loss, change and stress.
Reflexology is a profoundly relaxing and yet invigorating complementary therapy: a potentially helpful treatment for use alongside conventional medicine.
Briefly, during a reflexology treatment specific points on the feet and/or hands are massaged in a particular way. Reflexologists believe that this massage helps to optimise bodily function and to restore and maintain the body's normal state of balance; this will in turn lead to an improvement in general health and well-being.
There is a wealth of anecdotal evidence to indicate that reflexology may offer relief from a wide range of symptoms and conditions.
See the Complementary Therapy page for more information on the theories behind reflexology.
More importantly, reflexology may also help to maintain good health, prevent illness, aid relaxation and promote a positive frame of mind.
For this reason, a regular visit to a reflexologist may be a useful addition to any personal fitness plan - in fact, the cost of a monthly reflexology session compares favourably with the cost of weekly exercise classes or membership of a gym (see Fees page for details of my current rates).
The possible promotion of the relaxation response is one of the most powerful potential benefits of reflexology (see this other page for more information about the relaxation response):
In an un-stressed state, the body is better able to heal itself and to fight-off illness and the effects of aging: Immune function is improved; fatigue, irritability and perception of pain are reduced; the mind is sharper and more creative; energy, motivation and productivity increase; sleeping patterns improve.
Stress is something that we all suffer from occasionally and at these times reflexology may aid deep relaxation and sleep; improve mood; relieve tension and anxiety and increase our sense of wellbeing.
I see people of all ages, from all walks of life and with a wide range of symptoms and conditions who find that an occasional visit, a course of treatment or regular sessions help them enormously. Children, even the very young, usually love to have a short, gentle treatment. Explore the Complementary Therapy page to discover more.
A number of my clients are busy and successful professional people seeking to improve their well-being and performance by finding an effective method to achieve deep relaxation and relieve tension, anxiety and fatigue (some forward-thinking organisations will even fund this type of therapy for their employees). Regular Mindfulness-based practices offer similar benefits.
Reflexology and counselling may complement one another and I do offer integrated sessions, if it feels appropriate (click here for further information on this way of working).
Reflexology should not be used an alternative to seeking medical advice
Reflexology is the perfect way to ensure that your hormones are balanced and that you and your baby are relaxed and ready for the birth when the time is right. Many midwives are now also practicing reflexologists and your midwife may suggest reflexology as a helpful therapy to use to support you throughout your pregnancy. Some people experience a reaction to the treatment which may leave them feeling tired or out-of-sorts for a few hours, before any benefits are noticed. This tends to be more common in people who have not had reflexology before or not for a long time. Therefore, if you are pregnant, it is really important to have had a couple of sessions well before the end of your pregnancy (or even before you were pregnant) if you are thinking about using reflexology for support when you are close to your due date - a time when you want to be feeling as well as possible. It is also helpful and reassuring for you and your reflexologist to know one another quite well before the intensely emotional time around the approaching birth.
I am also qualified and insured to use and make products, with a range of therapeutic essential oil blends - for example creams, lotions, massage and bath oils, roller balls, bath salts, shampoos, conditioners, shower gels and hand washes. Popular products include insect repellent, anti-dandruff pre-wash treatment oil and roller balls to aid sleep, concentration, relaxation or recovery. The products are all made with people and planet-friendly ingredients and I like to use the oil blends to support and enhance the effects of my reflexology although I can also make bespoke products as required, following a consultation appointment. You will find a little more information here ...
My practice is easily accessible, whilst being tucked away in a peaceful corner of the South Downs National Park, in a small village near Liss. It is less than 4 miles from Petersfield and Liphook. It is also within easy reach of Farnham, Guildford and Haslemere in Surrey, Midhurst, Fernhurst and Chichester in West Sussex and Portsmouth, Bordon and Alton in East Hampshire.
(Find me on Google by searching for counsellor Petersfield, counselling Midhurst or reflexology Liphook.)
Do call to arrange a taster session if you would like to meet me and see the facilities at Autumndale Therapies (there is no obligation to book a further appointment):
The telephone numbers for Autumndale Therapies
(9.30am - 8pm, Mon-Fri + Sat am) are:
or click here to email me
Personal Health Budget holders - you may choose to use some of your funding for complementary therapies.
Several health insurance providers, including Bupa, Medicash, Health Shield, Paycare, Simplyhealth and Sovereign, will now cover the cost of complementary therapies including reflexology as part of some of their healthcare benefits plans.