background image
20th January 2017 
book cover

How to Thrive:

Call me on 07779 198917

The demands of our current lifestyle mean that building resilience in people with demanding responsibilities is one of our most important challenges. Stress and burnout are never very far away – sometimes just one small, unexpected thing can tip the balance and we find our selves flailing in a downward spiral.

It’s easy to believe that it can’t happen to us, and then we reach the limits of what we can withstand and find ourselves empty, with nothing left to offer to our selves or anyone else.

Stress is usually accompanied by anxiety, and often by depression. We are whole beings, so our bodies are affected too and aches and pains can be the start of a path to full-blown illness. While we are coping with all this, we have no attention to spare for those we love, so relationships become strained.

me and books

The good news is that it is possible to come back from that place, to understand and to mourn what is lost, and then to re-group and come back stronger. The even better news is that we can protect ourselves from sliding down that spiral in the first place.

How to perform well and remain resilient while undertaking a demanding role was the topic of my book. Competence and self-care are fundamental for everyone, not just counsellors and psychotherapists and the ideas are easily applicable in other contexts.

I offer psychotherapy and counselling, coaching and non-managerial supervision to individuals, couples and groups. I run workshops to help people gain the skills they need to thrive in their lives. ALSO AVAILABLE VIA SKYPE

bcpc me

Gerrie Hughes MA, UKCP Reg. Gestalt Psychotherapist and Supervisor, Coach and Facilitator

‘Lived philosophy’ is a term that describes when a person demonstrates in their own lives what they talk about in their work. ‘Walking the talk’ is a simpler definition. I have made many mistakes in my life, but I have always followed my own philosophy of trying to discover as best I can the real nature of my self, and expressing it in the world. I have discovered how to listen for when the world talks back to me, learning about the power of the dynamics present in a situation and how to notice them and take them into account, so bringing a deeper knowledge into the moment.

My major trainings have been in Gestalt, a philosophy of engagement in the world. It enables understanding of what helps us to bring our selves fully into the moment to meet the other, and how we avoid doing so because of the limitations that, as humans, are natural to us, but not always necessary. Gestalt is experimental in that it encourages an attitude of willingness to try something out and, if it doesn’t work, trying something else, and to keep on doing that until we achieve the best outcome possible.

I have practised yoga for thirty years, appreciating how Vedic philosophy permeates all levels of experience: body, mind, emotions, intuition and context. When something is true, it is true in all philosophies, and I appreciate the parallels between yoga and Gestalt.

I became involved in Community Building (M.Scott Peck) and Hellinger’s and trained to be able to facilitate both.

Writing is both a solace and a discovery for me. It took a long time (and a lot of therapy) for me to believe that I might be a person who could write, who would write… At the moment I concentrate on non-fiction, mainly connected with my work. Later on, I plan to take out the two unfinished novels I have ‘in my drawer’ and find a way to make them work.

ukcp logo

Psychotherapy, Counselling, Coaching and Supervision

If you are feeling stressed and noticing the effects in your work and life, then psychotherapy and counselling offer a space in which to pick over the combination of circumstances (and usually it is that) which led you to this place. The therapeutic relationship is a safe haven in which to heal, and find your self again. Meetings are usually face-to-face and take place weekly for an hour.

Maybe you know that your busy life and demanding work makes you vulnerable to becoming stressed. coaching offers a context in which your resourcefulness can be recognised and freed-up; a place for a ‘reality-check’ on what you are experiencing, and to vision your future. Meetings may take place monthly, or a combination of kinds of contact may work best, for example a face-to-face or Skype session monthly, supplemented by email or text contact as negotiated.

Consultative Supervision is where work issues can be explored and unpicked. It can be particularly useful for those whose main focus is on creating effective working relationships with others (leaders, HR professionals, social workers, teachers, medics etc.). New insight can be brought on problematic situations and helpful ways forward identified.



My practice is based in Penarth, a small sea-side town in the Vale of Glamorgan with a Victorian pier and lots of interesting shops and cafes. Penarth is on the opposite side of Cardiff Bay from the Wales Millennium Centre and Mermaid Quay. All the other big-city amenities Cardiff has to offer are easily within reach.


There is a direct route to Penarth from Junction 32 of the M4, which makes it easily accessible by car from Bridgend, Port Talbot and Swansea in the west; Newport, Chepstow, Bristol and Bath in the east and Pontypridd, Merthyr and Brecon towards the north. There are regular bus services from Cardiff to the centre of Penarth, and my office is easily walkable from there. There are three train stations in Penarth and my house is 10 minutes walk from Dingle Road or Penarth central.

Gestalt Psychotherapy, Counselling, Coaching and Supervision

Gestalt is a whole person approach: working with emotions, body and breath, and transpersonal and environmental matters, as well as cognitive behavioural concerns. As human beings we seek to create whole experiences and endow them with meaning; deciding whether, for us, ‘the glass is half full or half empty’. Our experiences emerge from interaction with what surrounds us, and particularly from our contact with other human beings. Therapy offers a context in which to explore how we make sense of our world: affirm aspects that work effectively and address those that are less effective. Coaching and supervision are often lively, experimental and transformative.


If you think you might be interested in Gestalt therapy, counselling or coaching, or if you are a counsellor, psychotherapist, social worker or ina demanding work role seeking supervision please contact me. I am an experienced supervisor and trainer in both clinical and organisational settings. I specialise in supervision for counsellors, psychotherapists and others wishing to establish themselves in private practice.

Organisational work

I also offer Employee Assistance Provision (EAP) for counselling in business and organisational consultancy, supervision and training.
If you are the leader of a company or organisation and want to offer effective development and support to your staff - and they, after all are what makes your business a success - please contact me to discuss Employee Assistance Provision (EAP), staff counselling, non-managerial supervision and consultancy and training. For key members of staff Coaching can enhance performance and communicate value. I specialise in supporting leaders to develop their personal presence, influencing and motivating skills and inspirational communication. I work particularly in the Cardiff, Newport and South Wales, and Swansea and West Wales areas.

larger hat rev

About me

I have been working as a psychotherapist for more than twenty years, initially as a trainee, under supervision, then for more than ten years as a qualified, accredited practitioner. In that time, I have worked with a whole range of people from different backgrounds, and from age 16 to age 80: men and women, gay and straight, able-bodied or with a disability, and from a range of ethnic groups. I have worked mainly in private practice, but also have experience in student counselling services, the N.H.S. and with Employee Assistance providers.

My background is in industry, and I spent many years in British Gas. I became interested in ways of supporting people to work together effectively while I was there, eventually realising I needed to develop more skills in order to be able to do that as well as I possibly could. So I took voluntary redundancy and re-trained as a therapist. I am still interested in bringing psychological health into organisations and often facilitate work groups.


United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (U.K.C.P.) registered Gestalt Psychotherapist, having qualified with the Gestalt Psychotherapy Training Institute in 1998.

EAGT Accredited Gestalt Practitioner in Organisations

M.A. in Creative Writing

Diploma in Management

My work is influenced by my own journey of self-development, following my interest in dance and yoga, writing and storytelling, intuition and imagination and the body.