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A valuable experience. I learnt a great deal about myself, and was able to view past events from a new perspective.

Male client

What I Offer

Esther Dawney-New counselling - exterior


Generally counselling tends to be used to describe meetings over a short period of time, usually with the focus on a particular difficulty, such as a relationship break-up, bereavement, or some other life event, or a more personal concern such as anxiety or lack of self-esteem.

I can offer you a place to explore difficulties in your personal life. I will neither judge nor advise you, but together we will explore and help unlock your feelings which may have been hidden for years.


Often, when looking at a particular problem, you may find that your difficulties extend beyond the particular, current problem and relate to difficulties that have been going on for much longer. For example, a difficulty meeting new people may be part of a lifelong pattern of shyness and anxiety. At these times it is necessary to look more broadly at your difficulties and this is usually described as Psychotherapy.

Feelings, thoughts, wishes, memories and dreams can be explored within the relationship between us, and you can be helped to understand unconscious processes which affect every day thought and behaviour. In this way, psychotherapy may gradually bring about a greater degree of self-understanding and enable you to find more appropriate ways of being, and of coping with difficulties.
One particular characteristic of psychotherapy is that the therapist will often look at the way that someone’s difficulties are affecting them at that moment with the therapist.

For example, if someone struggles with social anxieties the therapist will very likely explore what it is like for the person to be talking to the therapist. In this way there is immediate access to the anxieties that the person struggles with, rather than having to describe these difficulties second-hand. This allows the difficulties to be ‘worked through’ in the relationship with the therapist, as well as being understood in the context of the person’s previous life-experiences.

Couple Counselling

My approach is grounded in psychoanalytic theory through my training at Tavistock Centre for Couple Relationships. During sessions I will explore the issues that are concerning you and try to understand what they mean and how they might relate to other events in your life. Couples often use their relationship to work things through that have been painful or traumatic in the past. Relationships can be very challenging but also a place of great strength and so worthy of nurturing. Our work together would help you understand yourself and each other more deeply and come to an acceptance of those things which cause difficulties. Ultimately you can be helped to achieve a partnership from which you can both grow and develop.

The process may involve exploration of sexual difficulties and the part they play in your relationship

Psychosexual Counselling

Sexual problems may be longstanding, or related to more recent events which have caused stress, confusion or unhappiness.

Psychosexual therapy treats the causes as well as the symptoms. You will have the opportunity to explore why a problem may have arisen and, where appropriate you may be offered a specific treatment programme to help you overcome the difficulties you are having.

Professional Supervision

I am a member of the British Association for Psychoanalytic and Psychodynamic Supervision (BAPPS) and offer supervision to individual counsellors working in Private Practice, NHS and the voluntary sector. I have a particular interest in couple psychotherapy. It is preferable that your approach is psychoanalytical or psychodynamic but may work together if your practice is founded in another background. It would be best to discuss this further. In supervision I aim to support the therapist by:

    • exploring unconscious processes in the clinical material presented linking theory with practice
    • working with the transference and countertransference in order to deepen an understanding of the client's inner world
    • addressing issues of technical difficulty in the clinical work which may be hindering the therapist's efficacy
    • encouraging the therapist to develop their own ways of reflecting, thinking and processing clinical material, in order that they establish their own identity as a therapist over time.

I offer to work with individuals and small groups of therapists and trainees from other approaches and modalities as they may find that an increased understanding of unconscious processes can help with their work. My approach combines my formal psychodynamic and experiential dynamic training with many years of learning from real experience with clients and diploma students.

Appointments are 50 minutes fortnightly in either Bath or Devizes