Hello and Welcome
Hello, my name is Peter Hellsten, and I extend a warm welcome to my website. I am a counsellor, psychotherapist, trauma therapist and clinical supervisor with over 25 years of experience in the helping professions.
I graduated from the University of Edinburgh, where I trained in psychodynamic and person-centred traditions. My therapeutic practice is mostly informed and underpinned by relational psychoanalytic and psychodynamic theories and scholarship. In addition, I am a qualified clinical supervisor for individual counselling and psychotherapy practitioners and groups. My approach to supervision is integrative and I welcome practitioners from all modalities.
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-focused therapeutic practice with a strong evidence base to support its efficacy in resolving traumatic life events.
As a registered member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, I practice within its ethical guidelines and standards framework.
Working as a counsellor and therapist is my greatest passion. I feel very privileged to be 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 a PhD candidate at the University of Edinburgh with a research interest in queer and critical theory, sexual behaviour and the French psychoanalytic traditions.
Working with me, you will be invited to embark 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. Without being aware of it, we may 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.), often being triggered by our environment and thus having to relive our past trauma in the here and now.
Counselling and psychotherapy can provide a nurturing relationship in a comfortable and safe environment, where we can express our feelings freely, explore our thoughts, reflect on our behaviours and experiences and use our body’s innate intelligence as a resource. Therapy can help people become ‘unstuck’ and to improve emotional, physical and mental well-being. Positive feelings such as empathy, self-esteem, love, courage and contentment may increase by moving to a more fluid, expansive way of being.
In my work, I support clients with various 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, 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 important and central to a positive and sustainable outcome of your counselling and psychotherapy. A first appointment and consultation 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.
All appointments are charged at £60.- with sessions lasting 50 minutes. In some circumstances I might be able to offer concessional rates however, spaces are limited and may not always be available right away.