Hart Counselling CICCounselling and Psychotherapy based in Odiham, nr Hook, Hampshire

Counselling with Mel. Mel Photo

Mel Crawford

A warm welcome to my page.


Are you feeling anxious or low and having difficulty knowing which way to turn? Are you spending a lot of time in your own head with no relief from what your mind is telling you?



If you are struggling to decide if counselling is for you then you have come to the right place.


You are not alone.

Have you exhausted everything you can think of to feel better? This may have included exercise, working, meditation, talking to friends and family and reading self-help books.

Through experience, I know it is common to put off coming to see a counsellor for months or even years. It can be a lonely place when nobody can see what’s happening on the inside. It takes enormous energy and effort to keep going and mask your true feelings to the rest of the world.

Counselling is a highly effective way of building your inner and outer resources in order to cope better with your life.


How I Work

Initially, talking to a complete stranger about things that are really personal to you is going to feel strange. Counselling works best if we are a good match and I offer confidentiality and safety in order to explore what is going on for you at your pace.

I treat my clients exactly as I would wish myself to be treated and I have enormous respect for anyone who comes into my counselling room either physically or virtually.

I love helping people to reach their full potential. Science has given us a new perspective of our nervous systems and I have developed a personalised approach which incorporates that knowledge to help you to understand yourself better.


Taking the first step

You might be thinking “How helpful can counselling be?” I want to reassure you that it is common to feel unsure and sceptical and it’s perfectly ok to feel like this.

If you are anxious or feeling low there are some understandable reasons why it can be difficult to reach out for help.

When anxious you feel under threat (fight or flight) and your nervous system is activated to be on the lookout for danger. You may find yourself avoiding situations with an inability to think clearly and commit to anything.

Our mind asks, “what if……..” a lot of the time. So, “what if I am choosing the wrong counsellor?” You can find yourself going down the rabbit hole of self-doubt, uncertainty, second guessing and losing trust in your ability to make the right decision.

When depressed we can shut down with an immobilised response (freeze). This is when the threat overwhelms us and we can become numb. We have low energy and motivation. Understandably, lethargy is a barrier to seeking help and we become frozen with indecision.

Does any of this sound familiar?


I Work With

• Anxiety and panic: which can appear to be dominating your life and leaving you feeling out of control. You may be struggling to concentrate, have intense reactions, racing thoughts, defensiveness, emotional outbursts and tension.

• Low self-esteem and your inner critic: when you feel you are not “good enough.”

• Depression: when you can feel disconnected, numb, depleted and hopeless. Finding yourself avoiding and withdrawing from the world and having little interest or pleasure in doing things.

• Sleep issues: as a result of over thinking, rumination and negative thoughts.

• Loss: following the death of a loved one, miscarriage, end of a relationship, loss of identity or purpose.

• Working issues: can include perfectionism, addiction to work, bullying, imposter syndrome, procrastination and work/life balance.

• Boundaries: around your time, health, work, relationships and priorities. Where you want to say no in your life but are finding it hard to do that.

• Communication: helping you to respond rather than react in relationships and be heard.


Initial Session

My aim is to make the process as stress free and positive as possible.

There are many myths about counselling and I am happy for you to ask questions so we can debunk them together. I will talk about what you are likely to expect and ask, “what are your hopes?” with the idea of working collaboratively towards this.

Previously I have heard:

  • I want to be challenged.
  • I don't want to have silence in my sessions.
  • I want structure, homework or a plan to work towards, goals and strategies.
  • I want to focus on the future, not the past.
  • I would like to be asked questions and given direction.
  • I want to focus on my emotions and I would like help to do that.
  • I just want to talk and have someone to listen.

  • Counselling is YOUR time and my role is to make it as valuable to your life as possible.

    Short-term approach - Some clients choose to have 3, 4, 6 or more sessions and we can be flexible.

    Longer term is open-ended - You are in charge and I have regular reviews to make sure you are getting what you need from the work we do together.

    We can discuss which is best for you.


    Counselling with Mel. Photo by guille pozzi on Unsplash

    Photo by Guille Pozzi on Unsplash
    “You can’t stop the waves however, with help, you can learn to surf."
    -Jon Kabat-Zinn


    Sometimes we need to draw a line in the sand and make a declaration “because I care about myself, I need to do something different.”

    To see if counselling can make a difference to your life, please feel free to get in touch. I offer a free informal phone call of around 20 minutes to give us an opportunity to talk a little about your needs and the way I work.

    I look forward to hearing from you.


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