Hello and Welcome
Hello, my name is Peter Hellsten and I extend a warm welcome to my website. I am a counsellor, psychotherapist and trauma therapist with over 25 years experience in the helping professions.
I graduated from the University of Edinburgh, where I trained both in the psychodynamic and person-centred traditions, which continue to inform my therapeutic stance.
During my time in independent private practice, I have developed a particular interest in working with trauma. This led me to train in Sensorimotor Psychotherapy™, a trauma-focussed therapeutic practice with a strong evidence base to support its efficacy in the resolution of traumatic life events. As a registered member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, I practice within its framework of ethical guidelines and standards.
Working as a counsellor and therapist is my greatest passion. I feel very privileged for being allowed to accompany and support my clients through often challenging transitions that can lead to personal growth, positive change and an overall improvement to their quality of life.
Whilst I promote and encourage personal growth with my clients, I am equally committed to my own continuous personal and professional development.
I am currently studying for a Phd at the University in Edinburgh researching the area of developmental trauma and human behaviour.
Working with me you will be invited to go on a journey of self exploration and to experience yourself more fully.
My therapeutic practice is based on the idea that difficulties experienced in the present quite often have their roots in the past. We may, without being aware of it, have formed patterns of thinking, feeling, relating and behaving that may have become troublesome, unhelpful or unwanted in our lives today. Especially with trauma, we might find ourselves trapped in the traumatic experience (thoughts, feelings, images, body sensations, etc.), being triggered by our our environment and thus having to relive the past trauma in the here and now.
Counselling and psychotherapy can provide a nurturing relationship in a comfortable and safe environment, where we can give free expression to our feelings, explore our thoughts, reflect on our behaviours and experiences and use our body’s innate intelligence as a resource. Therapy can help people overcome ‘stuckness’ that stands in the way of emotional, physical and mental well-being. By moving to a more fluid, expansive way of being, positive feelings such as empathy, self-esteem, love, courage and contentment may increase.
In my work, I support clients with a range of issues, such as anxiety, depression, loss, bereavement and grief, low self-esteem, anger, trauma and abuse, dissociation and dissociative disorders, relationships, work related issues, gender and sexuality as well as victimisation and bullying.
I welcome anyone who feels that counselling and psychotherapy may be of help. You might want to explore a specific issue or situation, or invest in your ongoing personal development.
A good fit
Finding a practitioner you can trust, relate to and connect with is really important and central to a positive and sustainable outcome of your counselling and psychotherapy. With this in mind, I offer our first appointment at a reduced rate of £50. This will provide us with an opportunity to get to know each other and hopefully give you a sense of what working with me might feel like. You can then take your time to reflect on your experience and decide whether you wish to work with me.
Thereafter, once we have agreed a regular day and time for our sessions, my fee is £50 for a standard 50-minute appointment. In some circumstances I might be able to offer concessional rates, however spaces are limited and may not always be available right away. I am able to take card payments and accept all major debit and credit cards.
My practice, A Quiet Room by the Shore, is located on a tranquil side street in the heart of the The Shore in Leith and can easily be reached by public transport. There is free on street parking available. I work Mondays to Wednesdays in Edinburgh.
I also run a private counselling and psychotherapy practice near Livingston, West Lothian, which is set in beautiful surroundings in the country side. Presently, I only work Thursdays at this location.