Counselling and Psychotherapy for Individuals
Welcome to Dorchester Therapy
Donna Harris MBACP (Accred)
BACP Accredited Counsellor/Psychotherapist
Life can be difficult.
Whatever you bring to therapy, I can help you to air and better understand your feelings and thoughts. We can find coping strategies to help you manage your day to day life. From this foundation, you may wish to explore things in more depth. This process can help you to view your life in a different way.
I realise that you may feel uncertain, daunted or sceptical at the prospect of therapy and warmly invite you to contact me with any questions
or for an initial chat about your situation.
At the heart of counselling and psychotherapy is a confidential, boundaried relationship between client and therapist where the sole purpose is the wellbeing of the client.
All therapists work differently because we are trained in different modalities and have different life experiences.
I am an integrative therapist which means that I have flexibility to draw from several approaches* to tailor the therapy to you, as a unique individual. My approach is also influenced by my own personal experiences and struggles.
What you might expect, should you choose to work with me, is an open, responsive and authentic approach. I aim to step gently into your world, to understand and value your experiences. I’m curious to know your story, to help you find the words to describe and understand what you may not have previously had the opportunity or courage to share.
Being supported and heard by someone attentive and objective can be very therapeutic in itself and may be just what you need for now. It can give you an emotional release and help you to explore and organise your thoughts, to regain clarity and perspective.
Should you feel overwhelmed, or are struggling to function, I can also help you to find ways to cope with everyday life. Sometimes the way we react to thoughts, emotions and sensations can be a large part of the problem. Being aware of, but less reactive to, difficult internal experiences can be very liberating.
Should you be interested in exploring the possible causes of your unhappiness or distress, then I am experienced in facilitating that process. I believe that often, the roots of anxiety, depression or other difficult emotions can be found in our early relationships and experiences. For example, as children, we developed beliefs and behaviours that were necessary to maximise the acceptance or approval of those around us . These patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving, although crucial to our early wellbeing, may be unhelpful in adulthood because our environment and relationships are now different. It is this mismatch that can be the cause of psychological struggles in our present life. Our work together can give you the space and support to learn about your relationship to yourself, other people, and your environment. This insight can be life-changing.
I am fully committed to my role as a therapist and look forward to helping you to better know and support yourself.
*For those who wish to know about the main therapeutic approaches that influence my work, these are: Gestalt, Transactional Analysis, Existential Therapy, Mindfulness and CBT.
I am fully qualified and experienced in working with a broad range of issues.
In addition to my private work, I am a therapist for a low-cost counselling service and I lecture in counselling at Iron Mill College.
My previous roles include university counsellor and crisis counsellor.
I have also worked for services supporting people with anxiety issues, panic, depression and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). In addition to individual support, I am experienced in facilitating support groups, group therapy and workshops.
Previously, I was an ecologist and my life-long interest in all things psychological was more of a hobby. Then, my own life experiences tipped the balance and a career change to a therapist felt more meaningful and fulfilling. My ecological perspective, however, continues to hone my curiosity and awareness of how we interact with each other, ourselves, and our personal 'environment'.
My therapy approach is informed by my counselling training and years of experience in this field and is influenced by my own personal life experiences.
Advanced Diploma in Integrative Counselling (BACP Accredited), Iron Mill College, Exeter
Certificate in Counselling, Iron Mill College, Exeter
DPhil Ecology, University of Oxford
As a British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy Registered Accredited Counsellor/Psychotherapist MBACP (Accred) you can be confident that I am not only fully qualified but also committed to the highest professional standards of proficiency and accountability. Click here to check my status on the BACP Register. As requirements of membership I attend ongoing training (Continuing Professional Development) and supervision and I adhere to the BACP's Ethical Framework.
Some examples of recent Continuing Professional Development training:
Working with shame - Carolyn Spring
Counselling online - Open University
Internal Family Systems (IFS) therapy for trauma, anxiety, depression - Dr Richard Schwartz & Dr Frank Anderson
Existential psychotherapy and counselling - Mick Cooper
Grief works - Julia Samuel
Trauma and the body: Somatisation and dissociation - PODS
Identity: Can you tell me who I am? - BACP Private Practice Conference
Supercharging CBT for complex OCD - Centre for Anxiety Disorders and Trauma, Maudsley Hospital
Abuse and trauma counselling skills - Dorset Action on Abuse
Free initial consultation
I offer a free 30-minute initial session for us to meet, discuss the issues you are experiencing and think about how counselling or psychotherapy might be able to help you. I also welcome any questions or concerns you may have about therapy.
If you decide to continue with therapy, I offer weekly sessions of 50 minutes duration.
I also offer telephone or online video sessions. If you’d like to give this a try then please contact me to arrange your free initial telephone or video session so that you can get a feel for this mode of counselling.
Fee: £45 per 50-minute session.
Please feel free to contact me by phone, text or email with any questions or to arrange a free initial session.
Appointments are at Partners in Wellbeing, Hamslade Green, Poundbury, Dorchester.