Counselling Exeter

Providing Counselling in a safe, confidential and supportive environment.


Here at the Estuary Clinic Topsham, Exeter we offer a professional counselling service  in a safe, confidential and supportive environment working alongside an integrated health team. Our clinic Counsellor Peter Coppin Harris is a member of the British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy.

Counselling (& Psychotherapy) is a recognised medical profession where people can explore their issues in a safe, confidential and supportive environment. Its somewhere the client can have the time and space to focus on themselves. Sometimes referred to as ‘talking therapy’.

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or CALL  01392 875770

Why people choose to have Counselling?

Often when experiencing difficulties and distress in their lives, people choose support from counselling, feeling easier talking to someone independent of their situation, away from family or friends, particularly about personal, family or relationship issues. Sometimes people know ‘somethings not quite right’, but are unable to explain or understand why. You don’t have to be in crisis, or close to it, to choose to see a counsellor.

Counselling can be complimentary to other medical interventions, and often people are referred through their GP or other medical professional.

Our lives can be so busy with many conflicting demands. As we travel the roller-coaster of life, we endure and tolerate the ups and downs. But can sometimes find the downs too much or too often and maybe find ourselves stuck or overwhelmed, unable to see or even appreciate there’s a way out.

Understanding Counselling?

Many of us play roles in our lives, some are ‘the strong one’, others ‘the fixer’. So what happens when they need help or have problems? Counselling can enable you to see from new perspectives and through becoming more aware of the issues and understanding how you tick, can lead to choices and often change.

Counselling isn’t a cure all and doesn’t promise to ‘fix’ things, however, it can be solution focussed and sometimes instead of trying to be someone different, help you learn to accept who you really are.

What to expect?

A time set aside by you and your therapist to confidentially explore your issues. This might be talking about life events, feelings, emotions, relationships, ways of thinking and patterns of behaviour. The counsellor is there to support you to look at your issues, and to identify the right course of action for you, either to help you resolve your difficulties or help you find ways of coping. Talking about these things may take time and on average, short-term work is provided in 6 to 8 sessions, but occasionally less. Mid to long-term work can continue over months and sometimes more than a year.

Sessions are a set time, normally one hour, on agreed time and date, which provides a save space, which is private, undisturbed and isn’t overheard or interrupted. It may be available for individuals, couples, families and groups.

There are different ways of working with people, usually know as ‘approaches’ or ‘therapeutic models’ as explained in the table below.

cbt counsellorThe most commonly known is CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy). Which addresses your thoughts and patterns of behaviour, therapy can assist to ‘change the rules’ and lead to you reacting in a healthier and more acceptable way. It can be effective with stress and anxiety, obsessive behaviour, and self-esteem.
we can experience many other reactions to issues, e.g. emotions and feelings, physiological reactions. ‘Gestalt’ based approaches can be used to explore current and past events, how you have ‘learnt’ to react in certain ways to situations and seek to find healthier ways for your future. We can have some effective coping mechanisms that serve us well at the time, but in reality store ‘unfinished business’ that can cause adverse reactions to other life events. Therapy can assist to identify the symptoms and causes, providing new healthier ways of reacting.
“When I think about it, I get a tightness in my chest.” “My shoulders are weighed down with worry.” “I’ve a knot in my stomach.” These are examples of Body Process, where you might be experiencing physiological reactions to psychological conditions. Therapy can help you to explore these reactions, the causes and develop new ways to react healthier in the future.
Our core beliefs, values and principles can be challenged and questioned, even our purpose and existence. Transformational therapy can assist to explore these core issues in a safe and non-judgemental way.
Person centred is a counselling style that puts what’s happening to the client in the present (the here and now) at the core of the therapeutic work.
In any counselling it’s important for the therapist to appreciate what it’s like from the clients perspective, to ensure an empathic understanding.

Why the Estuary Clinic?

  • Professional excellence guaranteed
  • Team of Experienced & Knowledgable practitioners
  • Work alongside an integrated health team

Fact Sheets

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Peter will initially be working on Thursdays, and other days and evenings are available on request
Peter- Mobile: 07980 825833 ~ Email:
Clinic: Call 01392 875770

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