North Devon

Low Cost Counselling in North Devon

SAND began in 2016 in order to provide a quality specialist service in North Devon for any adult who has experienced sexual abuse. We also extend this service to family members who are in a supporting role.

At SAND, all our counsellors use person-centred therapy. This operates on the humanistic belief that the client is inherently driven toward and has the capacity for growth and self-actualisation and therefore supports this natural force for therapeutic change. The role of the counsellor is to provide a non-judgmental, supportive environment which is therefore conducive to honest self-exploration.

Person-centered therapy encourages and helps you to learn empathy and unconditional positive regard for yourself and others. Your counsellor here at SAND will support, guide, and structure your sessions to help you discover your own solution to the problems you’re facing.

Low Cost Counselling North Devon

The BACP and the UKCP trained counsellors and psychotherapists and they are the two main and the largest registering bodies in the UK. All our counsellors are registered with one of these governing bodies and receive individual supervision accordingly.

In addition to registered support and supervision, our counsellors receive alternate monthly peer supervision within the SAND team and also clinical supervision with Mike Lew. Mike has supported SAND for over 5 years now and provides high-level supervision for all our counsellors.

Mike Lew, M.Ed., is a psychotherapist and group therapy leader, and Co-Director of The Next Step Counseling and Training Center. As a cultural anthropologist specializing in the field of Culture and Personality (Psychological Anthropology), Mike worked with the late Margaret Mead and Colin Turnbull. After further training in Counselling Psychology, he became a leading expert on recovery from sexual child abuse, particularly issues of male survivors.

Mike has worked with thousands of men and women in their healing from the effects of childhood sexual abuse, rape, physical vio­lence, emotional abuse and neglect. The de­velopment of strategies for recovery from in­cest and other abuse, particularly for men, has been a major focus of his work as a counsellor and group leader. He works with both the sur­vivors and their partners and families.

Mike taught at The City College of New York, Quinnipiac College, The College of New Ro­chelle and the University of California at Santa Cruz.

Now he conducts public lectures, work­shops for survivors, and trainings and consul­tations for mental health, medical, human service, clergy, law enforcement, and other profes­sionals throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Africa and Asia.

Victimes no longer

Mike’s publications include Victims No Longer: The Classic Guide for Men Recovering from Sexual Child Abuse (Second Edition, Revised and Updated Quill, 2004) and Leaping Upon the Mountains (Small Wonder Books and North Atlantic Books, 1999).

Mike has been a part of the editorial board of the Journal of Child Sexual Abuse and the review board of the Journal of Interper­sonal Violence.

Once you have been on our supported waiting list and are ready for counselling: Sessions will take place online or in person at our premises at The Lodge, Barnstaple. You will be fully supported in this as we know this can be one of the hardest steps to achieve.

Our team of counsellors specialise in various person-centered therapeutic techniques, allowing for support that is tailored to individual needs and experience. Some of these techniques are:

CBT Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a type of talking therapy. It is a common treatment for a range of mental health problems. CBT teaches you coping skills for dealing with different problems. It focuses on how your thoughts, beliefs and attitudes affect your feelings and actions.

Gestalt is a highly positive and practical integrative therapeutic approach. Broadly, Gestalt practitioners help people to focus on their immediate thoughts, feelings, and behaviour and to better understand the way they relate to others. This increased awareness can help people to find a new perspective, see the bigger picture, and start to effect changes.

Sand Tray Therapy or sandplay therapy, is a therapeutic approach used for people who have experienced a traumatic event such as abuse or a catastrophic incident. Although this type of therapy is used most often with children, sand play therapy also can be helpful for teens and adults.

Walk-and-talk sessions During a Walk and Talk Therapy session, the therapist and the client walk side by side, discussing the client’s issues. Physical activity can help the client to relax and feel more comfortable, making it easier to open up and share their thoughts and feelings.

Guided Smell Therapy Aromatherapy is the practice of using essential oils for therapeutic benefit. Aromatherapy has been used for centuries. When inhaled, the scent molecules in essential oils travel from the olfactory nerves directly to the brain and especially impact the amygdala, the emotional center of the brain.

The reality of long waiting lists and struggles to meet certain criteria often lead people to look to private counselling, however, this isn’t an option that is affordable for everyone. Reaching out and seeking help is the first step in the journey to healing. From Survivor to Thriver.

We believe that no one should have to face any further difficulty when seeking support, which is why our counselling remains low cost. Do not let financial concerns become the barrier between you and a healthier life.

Contact Sarah at SAND. Sand-referrals@survivingabuse.org.uk or call direct on 07763617693

“I have really needed my sessions with SAND. I have had so much happen unexpectedly during the time we have been speaking, so I feel SAND has helped me with a huge spectrum of ordeals and past traumas. But I feel I’m still needing support because of where I am at the moment with my experiences and upcoming stresses. Mentally, SAND has helped me so much, knowing I have my counsellor to talk to every week means I have helped myself a bit more with the stress I feel and I don’t have to bottle it up because I actually have my counsellor to offload to without any judgement or interrupting or competition from others. I feel my counsellor tackles the way I deal with my thoughts, asks me questions about things I probably ignore but then realise I need to address them or deal with them differently. My SAND counsellor is so friendly, compassionate and approachable that I have found it so easy to talk about anything, literally anything. {SAND client}”
“SAND have been incredible with helping me process my trauma and develop a healthier mindset. Following several traumatic events, I struggled to access appropriate mental health support in the UK; I was on several waiting lists and only received a phone counsellor from one national charity, and this was not the right fit for me. SAND has changed my life and helped me reach a much healthier place. It blows my mind that a small North Devon non-profit was able to give me what so many national organisations couldn’t, and I wish more survivors knew what an amazing resource we had here in North Devon! {SAND client}”
“I completed 15 sessions with my SAND counsellor. Helping me find the way on how to deal with difficulties I have been struggling with for a long time, actually perhaps not even knowing, for decades …and more. We brought me to the point where I have started to feel safe. To feel safe is a peaceful place and through my counsellor’s understandings, I have started to approach it. Be aware of it. To feel safe, as we spoke. Is my right. To feel safe changed my view of many things. To feel safe when you put your head on a pillow, invites you to rest your body and mind and gradually you are letting insomnia leave your space, so overwhelming worries and anxiety start to diminish …to feel safe you start to claim your voice back, starting to believe in yourself and gaining confidence and gradually free yourself from what causes you difficulties.
What a wonderful place to be.
My SAND counsellor will take you to the water, but she won’t drink for you……This is your homework. {SAND client}”
“Connecting with SAND was like walking through a door I didn’t know existed. I received vital support from other male survivors of CSA (childhood sexual abuse), and was welcomed by a community that did not judge me, but instead listened and understood. I received counselling which helped me begin to draw together the unravelled threads of my life.
CSA and sexual trauma is a hidden epidemic. To address it we desperately need more organisations like SAND, opening doors to healing.”