For Clients

Heswall Hills Counselling Centre (HHCC) is located on the Wirral. It is a place where members of the public can access private therapy with the reassurance that all the therapists working from the centre have been personally vetted by the manager to ensure that they are suitably trained, ethical and fully insured.


Trained Therapists

We currently have over sixteen therapists working from the centre, either on a permanent basis or on a sessional basis. As a result we are able to cater for a wide range of client’s needs and presenting issues.

We have therapists who are trained in the following approaches:

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Coaching, Children’s Play Therapy, Clinical Hypnotherapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Couples Therapy, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Mindfulness, Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP), Person Centred Therapy, Psychodynamic Therapy,  Psychosexual Therapy, Trauma Focused CBT (TF-CBT), Solution Focused Therapy, and as a result are able to work with adults, children & young people, couples and families.

For more information about our therapists and these approaches, please scroll down to the bottom of the page.


Presenting Issues

Our therapists are trained in a wide range of approaches and we are therefore able to help with the following:

Anxiety (including panic and phobias), depression, bereavement, eating disorders, addictions, trauma, low confidence & low self esteem, work related stress, therapy for children & young people from the age of five, adoption, relationship and sexual difficulties, sexual violence, coaching, OCD, birth trauma, weight management and dementia.


Find a Counsellor

If you would like to be referred to one of our therapists working from the HHCC please complete the form on our website, outlining your requirements and the manager will assess which one of our therapists is best suited for your needs.

Please note that HHCC is located on the first floor and as there is no lift available the centre is unsuitable for anyone with limited mobility.


Cheryl Overington – Centre Manager


Chartered Counselling Psychologist, Clinical Supervisor and EMDR Therapist

Cheryl is the Founder and Manager of Heswall Hills Counselling Centre. She is an experienced practitioner and has worked in private practice for nine years; accepting referrals from GPs, members of the public, insurance companies, Employee Assistance Programmes and Occupational Health and Human Resources Departments. Cheryl has worked with individuals and couples with a range of presenting issues; including anxiety, depression, trauma, bereavement, relationship difficulties, work based stress and sexual violence.

Cheryl is also  the Lead Supervisor at  the Rape & Sexual Abuse (RASA) Centre in Merseyside. Previously Cheryl has worked as a qualified HR professional in recruitment & selection and personal development and is therefore well placed to support clients whose problems originate in the workplace

Cheryl has a Doctorate Qualification in Counselling Psychology and is a Chartered Psychologist, she also has an MA in Counselling & Psychotherapy from Liverpool John Moores University, a Post Graduate Qualification in Clinical Supervision from University of Chester and is a qualified EMDR Therapist. Cheryl also conducts psychological assessments for medical legal work.

With Cheryl’s extensive experience she looks forward to accepting referrals from this website and placing new clients with the most appropriately trained therapist to met their individual needs.

Our Counsellors

Here are just a few of the twelve therapists working from the centre. More therapist profiles will be added soon.



Leigh Best is an Accredited Clinical Psychotherapist (UKCP), a Registered Counsellor (BACP) and a Clinical Counselling Supervisor, and a Counselling Lecturer with 19 years experience  of working with children and adults. She is the Clinical Director of a Social Enterprise called Talking Eating Disorders ( supporting people affected by eating disorders, and their families.  She is B-EAT and Maudsley Trained. She is also a mother of four children, a grandmother, and a long term foster carer to two children. Leigh founded Talking Eating Disorders (TEDS in 2000 following a loved one’s recovery from an Eating Disorder. Her mission at the time was to help and support any other family affected by Eating Disorders, and so the first self- help support group for families and sufferers in the North West was launched. This unique service works tirelessly to provide information, hope and support to any family affected by Eating Disorders. Leigh was runner up in Merseyside Woman of The Year 2012 (Social Impact Category), Winner of O2 Community Award, and received a “Listen To Me “ Award from the Director of Children Services, Wirral, in 2016 for her work as a Foster Carer. She sees counselling and psychotherapy as a unique and individual transformational process that really can change lives. She is an Integrative therapist who works in a collaborative way with her clients using a wide range of approaches and interventions.

TEDS meets on the third Monday of the month 6:30-8:30 pm at HHCC, please contact Leigh if you would like to come along.

Leigh Best, BA (Hons) , MBACP, UKCP, Dip Counselling, Dip Supervision, PG Cert in Inclusive Education, Counselling and Guidance, Cert in Mentoring, Advanced Cert in Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy, PG Diploma in Outcome Oriented Psychotherapies, Foundation Cert Nutrition, Clinical Accredited Psychotherapist and Founder of Talking Eating Disorders CIC


Dr Samantha Fitzpatrick CPsychol, Chartered Clinical Psychologist, Chartered Member of British Psychological Society
Member of BABCP, HCPC registered, GDPR Compliant

Sam is chartered clinical psychologist and joined the NHS in 2008. She has worked with children, adolescents and adults. She is currently clinical lead working with first episode psychosis and uses evidence-based therapies, such as CBT for psychosis/bipolar affective disorder and Behavioural Family Therapy (BFT), to provide a more holistic psychological treatment for clients. Sam trains and supervise staff to enhance the psychological approach to mental health in the team. She has also previously worked in IAPT services, both as a practitioner and supervisor, in a wide range of difficulties including depression and anxiety disorders such as panic, phobias, health anxiety, social anxiety, OCD and trauma. Sam uses both CBT and Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT) for depression as per NICE guidelines. She also use other types of therapy such as Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT) and dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT) for personality issues and compassion-focused therapy (CFT) for shame-based difficulties. Sam also undertakes assessment and treatment for medico-legal purposes.

Sam has worked privately alongside her NHS work for four years and has been able to help many clients. Difficulties have ranged from stress to bipolar affective disorder to personality difficulties. She is very passionate about supporting clients in their recovery and will do all she can to alleviate distress.

Sam is registered will most insurance companies including AVIVA, AXA PPP and CIGNA and will be registered with BUPA from October 2018.


Sharon is a qualified Person Centred therapist with experience of working with bereavement, loss, sexual abuse, survivors of childhood sexual abuse, self-esteem, anger, stress and bullying. If you are you feeling unhappy or are struggling with aspects of your life or your relationships she will listen to you in a safe, confidential and completely accepting environment where you can take time to talk and explore your thoughts and feelings. Key to the healing factor in her approach to counselling is the relationship that develops between her and her clients. She has decades of experience as a senior leader in large business organisations and understands the negative impact of workplace stress, bullying, demotivation, constant change and conflict. Using the beauty of the external environment Sharon can also provide walking, jogging or running counselling in the outdoors if this is suitable for you. She is qualified with English Athletics Association.

Training and Qualifications: Level 4 Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling, Certificate Loss & Bereavement , MA qualification in Mentoring , NLP Practitioner, BA Hons Degree in Business Studies , Running leader (English Athletics Association) She is registered with the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy and is fully insured.



Trained in CBT, EMDR, Psychological Trauma and Person-Centred Therapy Andrea has experience of working with a wide range of clients and presentations, including anxiety, depression, psychological trauma, PTSD, addiction, self-harm, sexual and psychological abuse, low self-esteem and stress. Andrea has practiced both as a mental health Counsellor and CBT therapist for MIND and in primary health care in England and Wales. She has extensive experience of working with survivors of sexual violence/abuse as well as working with asylum-seekers and refugees. In addition to her psychotherapeutic training she has specifically trained in psychological trauma including Trauma focused Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (TF-CBT) and is also a trained EMDR practitioner. Andrea provides an integrative approach to therapy, adapting her therapeutic work to meet the individual needs of her clients. She is a registered member of the British Association of Psychotherapists and Counsellors (BACP) and works within their professional and ethical guidelines. She is also a member of EMDR (UK and Ireland).


Pauline is a Chartered Clinical Psychologist and has worked in the NHS for over twenty-five years. She has worked with people with a range of difficulties including anxiety, depression, obsession-compulsive difficulties, abuse, trauma and psychosis. Pauline spent the last ten years in the NHS working with clients with a range of long-standing psychological difficulties. She has over the years worked within a range of approaches including CBT, depending on the needs of the person. In 2007 Pauline attended a two-day ‘Introduction to Mindfulness’ course which awakened her interest in how mindfulness – based approaches could help people who had struggled with difficulties for many years. Pauline offered mindfulness courses to staff and clients in the community team which led to an interest in similar approaches, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), and Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) for people with personality difficulties and compassion-focussed work. Pauline has completed the University of Bangor’s Mindfulness Teacher Training Programme and a Compassion focussed course. She continues to maintain her professional development through supervision and attending Mindfulness and ACT courses and workshops. ​After retiring from the NHS in 2015, Pauline has continued this work with the public and community organisations. She also co-facilitates ACT training for mental health professionals. Pauline can offer half-day/whole day workshops on mindfulness, sleep, lifestyle, managing thoughts and emotions more effectively and compassion. She has recently developed and delivered a training package based on ACT in collaboration with fellow Clinical Psychologist, Vicki Leidecker. The Step Away Move Towards training programme which is aimed at helping individuals to better understand their mind and the role it plays in the difficulties they experience, is currently being adapted and expanded for use in individual therapy.


Vicki is a qualified Clinical Psychologist, registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and Chartered through the British Psychological Society. She has over 20 years NHS experience, working mainly with children and young people within CAMHS for the past 10 years. Vicki has experience in assessing and working with adults, adolescents and children, and providing therapy using a variety of assessment methods and therapeutic approaches including CBT, Brief Solution Focused Therapy, Family Therapy including Narrative approaches and Psychodynamically informed therapy. She uses third wave CBT approaches, particularly Compassion Focussed Therapy, Mindfulness and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT).

Vicki intervenes with difficulties such as generalised anxiety, panic, obsessive compulsive disorder, phobias, depression, low mood, postnatal depression, trauma and posttraumatic stress, attachment difficulties, eating problems, bereavement, adjustment difficulties and stress. Vicki has worked in a range of health and education settings, most recently in a specialist SEN college for pupils with Autistic Spectrum Condition, offering cognitive and behavioural assessments and interventions to pupils, and consultation and supervision to parents and other professionals.

Vicki currently works as an Independent Clinical Psychologist with her own psychology practice, Seachange Psychology. She is employed as a consultant with a psychological therapy service which provides adoption support, therapy and counselling often following legal proceedings. Vicki works collaboratively with clients by drawing on psychological theory and the evidence base and creatively integrating a range of therapeutic approaches as appropriate.



Emma currently works as a psychosexual therapist for the NHS; she also has 20 years’ experience working as a midwife, most recently in perinatal mental health. Emma previously also worked for Relate as a psychosexual and relationship therapist for 8 years. She has a special interest in the treatment of PTSD and birth trauma and has completed research in this area as part of her MSc in psychological trauma. As well as her psychosexual and midwifery experience, Emma is also a relationship therapist, BABCP accredited CBT therapist and she has also undertaken additional EMDR Europe accredited training. Emma has received four Iolanthe Midwifery Trust Awards in relation to her work surrounding birth trauma and has presented on this subject at conferences in the UK. In addition to her NHS work Emma has a private psychotherapy practice with clinics on the Wirral and North Wales.



Kevin’s training is in psychodynamic counselling and he regards the well-being of the client as being of paramount importance.  Therapy involves talking about a range of issues and life events, both past and present.  These would include: feelings, emotions, relationships, anxiety, depression, self-esteem, anger, ways of thinking and patterns of behaviour.  This process may take some time.  The goal of therapy is to assist a person in identifying the right course of action, to help resolve difficulties and to find better ways of coping. In therapy, a person is able to develop a better understanding of themselves and others, and to find solutions which are right for them.

Kevin has worked as a counsellor for more than 25 years – mainly in Higher Education. He trained initially as a teacher and in his last teaching post, he was head of a Sixth Form of a school in Liverpool.  Kevin was head of the Counselling and Health Service at Liverpool Hope University for 13 years which included a team of counsellors, nurses and a clinical psychologist. He has worked as a staff counsellor in the NHS and has had experience in running various groups – Stress Management; Suicide Awareness; Assertiveness; Dealing with Procrastination; and understanding mental health issues. He has also facilitated therapy groups for men. Kevin currently works as a counsellor at the University of Law in Chester. He is a Senior Accredited member of the BACP and works within its framework of Ethics and Practice.

MBACP (Snr Accred), MSc (Counselling), BA (Hons), PGCE, Diploma in Supervision, Diploma in Hypnosis & Psychotherapy



Maria is a Qualified Integrative Counsellor. In her work Maria uses the Person Centred , CBT and Psychodynamic approaches in a way that is tailored to her client’s needs and preferences and is also a Qualified Counselling Supervisor.  Maria has higher qualification in the CBT approach which allows her to offer more specialised support when supporting clients with Low mood, Depression, Stress  Anxiety and Relationships issues. Maria has worked at Wirral Age UK supporting people with Bereavement, Common life problems and  Mild to Moderate Mental Health issues. In the last couple of years Maria has focused her work supporting people with Addiction  issues. She had also been  working with Young People between the ages of 11 and 18 in Secondary Schools in Wirral. Maria has additional training in areas such as working with Suicide, Sleeping problems, weight management problems and Dementia.




Susan is a professionally qualified Counsellor/Psychotherapist with a CPCAB Level 4 Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling and a CPCAB Level 5, Diploma in Cognitive Behavioural Therapeutic Skills and Theory as well as Applied Suicide Intervention Skills, (ASIST) training She is a registered member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy and she integrates different counselling modalities to best suit the needs of the individual. She has experience in working with Young People and Adults. Susan has experience with working with a wide range of people, men and women, younger and older and has worked with Wirral MIND, Age UK, WIRED, Action for Children and Headway. Susan has many years’ experience of supporting people, through voluntary and paid roles in the community before training to become a Counsellor. Susan is comfortable working and communicating with people from all backgrounds and has experience of working with people who have experienced trauma, abuse, addiction, depression, marital difficulties and child-parent conflicts, bereavement, domestic violence, long term health issues, caring responsibilities and suicide. Miscarriage, teenage angst, health anxiety, eating disorders, body image issues, ADHD and adverse childhood experiences. She has experience, through work with Action for Children, of working with Young People struggling with various issues from anxiety and depression to body image issues and behavioural problems. She hase taken further training to understand the impact of Neurodevelopmental Conditions such as ADHD, Dyspraxia and Autistic Spectrum Disorders. Susan has worked extensively with people and their families coming to terms with an Acquired Brain Injury such as Stroke, Brain Tumour, Assault and Epilepsy and has undertaken further training to enable her to work with in this area in a counselling capacity. I currently work, for a local charity supporting unpaid Carers.

Training – CPCAB Diploma Level 4 in Therapeutic Counselling, CPCAB Diploma Level 5 in Cognitive Behavioural Therapeutic Skills and Theory, ASIST Suicide Intervention Skills, Youth Connect 5 – well-being development and resilience building for parents. Integral Eye Movement Therapy


Lindsay is a fully qualified therapeutic Counsellor/Psychotherapist or ‘holistic therapist’. Although her core training is the Person Centred approach, she works broadly as a humanistic counsellor and is able to offer Cognitive Behavioural Therapy to work with a broad range of presentations including; Low Mood, Anxiety, Depression, Self-esteem, Confidence, Bullying, Loss, Bereavement, Stress, Family Issues, Relationship Issues, Phobias, Self-Harm, Managing Change, Illness, Assertiveness, Infertility, Abuse. She offers an environment that is confidential, safe, empathic, non-judgmental and tailored to each individuals client’s needs. Lindsay is a member of the BACP which ensures she is working to the highest possible ethical standards. Lindsay currently works as a counsellor within the NHS.



Ellen is a fully qualified and experienced counsellor and cognitive behavioural psychotherapist (CBT). She offers all her clients a safe, professional, non-judgemental and confidential environment in which they can explore any past or present issues. With her CBT work she offers evidence based interventions adapted to each individual’s needs and has experience of working with many different issues such as anxiety, depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, bereavement, stress, abuse and post traumatic stress disorder. Ellen is fully committed to continuing professional development and holds a range of additional certificates from counselling and CBT related workshops. Every year she completes safeguarding adults and children training and she has an up to date enhanced DBS (Criminal Records Bureau) certificate.

BSc (Hons). Degree in Psychology; Fast Track Intermediate Certificate in Counselling; Postgraduate Diploma in Counselling; Postgraduate Diploma in CBT


Lorraine is a qualified Person Centred Counsellor, Clinical Hypnotherapist and Teacher.  Lorraine practices in Person Centred Counselling with over 10 years’ experience working adults and children affected by rape and sexual abuse.  Lorraine qualified as a Clinical Hypnotherapist in 2008 she has worked with clients suffering from a range of disorders anxiety, depression, stress and anger management, fears and phobias.  She also has an enhanced qualification in weight management and stop smoking hypnotherapy. Lorraine has additional training in working with suicidal clients, ritual and satanic abuse and clients with Dissociative Identity Disorder. Lorraine  is a safe guarding lead within her role as operations manager for a Rape Crisis Charity.


Barbara is a Consultant Nurse and Psychotherapist working in the NHS and Independent health sector. She has 25 years’ experience providing psychological therapy to people experiencing psychological and emotional problems associated with long term physical health problems, obesity, cancer, chronic pain and psychological trauma. She also specialises in Perinatal mental health providing treatment for tokophobia (fear of childbirth), childbirth trauma, depression and anxiety disorders related to pregnancy and motherhood.

Barbara has worked in private practice in Chester and Wirral for 10 years providing CBT and EMDR to treat depression and a wide range of anxiety disorders including OCD, Health Anxiety, Social Anxiety, Low self-esteem and Psychological Trauma. Understanding that one size does not fit all, she has undertaken training in Counselling, Psychodynamic Interpersonal Therapy and Mindfulness allowing her to tailor therapy to suit an individual’s needs.

Barbara has a Masters degree in CBT and Level 1&2 Certificate in EMDR, she holds accreditation with BABCP and is a member of EMDR UK.


Please click to expand for more information.

Acceptance and commitment therapy (or ACT) is a form of behavioural therapy that uses acceptance and mindfulness
strategies to help increase psychological flexibility. ACT therapy believes that by accepting negative thoughts and feelings, individuals can choose a valued direction in which to take action and make positive changes. ACT promotes psychological flexibility and encourages healthy contact with thoughts, reconnection with the here and now, and a focus on personal values, and commitment to behaviour change.
A life coach is someone that looks to empower others by helping them make, meet and exceed goals in both their personal
and professional lives. They help you to start taking action in the areas of your life that you wish to change. A life
coach guides you through the process by asking questions that help you evaluate and decide which …
Play therapy helps children to express themselves, explore their feelings and thoughts and make sense of their life experiences. Play therapists work with children of all ages in a safe environment to help alter the child’s view of difficult experiences and increase confidence and build self esteem. For children play is a natural activity of learning, exploration and communication, and is considered highly effective for helping children to ‘play out’ what they may find difficult to express.
Clinical Hypnotherapy is the use of an altered state of consciousness, or trance, for therapeutic benefit. Under hypnosis, the conscious, rational part of the brain is temporarily bypassed, making the subconscious part which influences mental and physical functions, receptive to therapy.
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) helps you manage your problems by helping you to recognise how your thoughts can affect your feelings and behaviour. CBT is a combination of a cognitive approach (examining your thoughts) with a behavioural approach (looking at the things you do). CBT is recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) for mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety.
The aim of couples counselling is to improve communication and resolve difficulties within an intimate relationship. Couples counselling is a term applied to therapy for two people within a relationship. If one partner is reluctant to start couples therapy sometimes it is possible to begin therapy on your own first with the possibility of your partner joining you at a later date.
EMDR is used to treat a range of emotional difficulties that typically originate in trauma, such as violence, accidents or natural disaster. These experiences often lead to a post-traumatic stress disorder for which EMDR has been recommended by the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE).
EMDR therapy is also used for the treatment of other issues including:
• depression
• performance anxiety
• phobias and fears
• addictions
• complex grief
Mindfulness is a way of paying attention to what is happening in our lives in the present moment. Although mindfulness cannot remove life’s difficulties with regular practice it can help us take notice of (and hopefully stop) negative, habitual reactions to everyday stress. This is most commonly practised through mindful meditation which involves paying attention to sights, sounds and physical sensations while trying to reduce ‘brain chatter’.
Neuro refers to your neurology; Linguistic refers to language; programming refers to how that neural language
functions. NLP’s creators claim there is a connection between neurological processes (neuro-), language (linguistic) and
behavioral patterns learned through experience (programming), and that these can be changed to achieve specific goals in
The person-centred approach sees human beings as having an innate tendency to develop towards their full potential. This type of therapy facilitates the personal growth and relationships of an individual by allowing them to explore and utilise their own strengths and personal identity. A person-centred counsellor will aid this process and provide vital support.
Psychodynamic therapy aims to bring the unconscious mind into consciousness – helping individuals to unravel, experience and understand their true, deep-rooted feelings in order to resolve them. It takes the view that our unconscious holds onto painful feelings and memories, which are too difficult for the conscious mind to process. To avoid these memories and experiences surfacing, many people will develop defences, such as denial and projections which will often do more harm than good.
Psychosexual therapy is a therapeutic technique which is specifically designed to help people living with difficulties that are of a psychological, sexual nature and has proven successful in helping people of all ages, health and sexuality to overcome their sexual problems. Some of the issues psychosexual therapists will be able to help with include:
• loss of sexual desire
• painful intercourse
• difficulties with orgasm
• arousal disorders
• erectile dysfunction
• premature or delayed ejaculation
• sexual difficulties following abuse
• general breakdown in a couple’s relationship
• not being able to achieve penetrative sex
• fear of sex
• menopause
• pregnancy and postnatal sex
• sexuality and illness
• sex avoidance
• poor body image relating to intimacy
Solution-focused brief therapy is based on solution-building rather than problem-solving. Although the approach acknowledges present problems and past causes, the approach mainly explores an individual’s current resources and future hopes, helping them to look forward and use their own strengths to achieve their goals.
Trauma focused cognitive behavioral therapy (TF-CBT) is a therapy that is aimed at addressing the needs of children and adults with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other difficulties related to traumatic life events. The goal of TF-CBT is to provide psychoeducation to both the child and the caregivers and help them to identify and cope with emotions, thoughts and behaviours. Research has shown TF-CBT to be effective in treating childhood Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and children who have experienced traumatic events.

One of our Counsellors is Arabic speaking and can offer therapy in this language.


It is not possible to offer emergency support in a crisis. If you are concerned that you may harm yourself or someone else you should contact your GP or go to the nearest A&E department

99 Brimstage Road
Heswall Hills
CH60 1XF

07784 735784

Copyright Heswall Hills Counselling Centre 2018

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