Helen Carter

Helen Carter

PhD, MSc psychotherapy

Humanistic (Gestalt) psychotherapist, supervisor, mindfulness meditation teacher, group facilitator

Specialisms: Spirituality; Spiritual – psychological integration; Embodiment; Chronic illness; Personal growth; Transitions; Mid-life, Existential questioning

Therapeutic Approach: Gestalt psychotherapy


I remember vividly the experience of looking for my first therapist. Like you now, I imagine, I found myself on numerous websites searching for someone who could help with my problems; someone with whom I could feel comfortable talking about what I was facing in life. I found many of the therapist profiles and presentations of counselling and psychotherapy ‘theory’ (whilst well-intended) distracting and a little overwhelming. And so, putting myself in your shoes now, I want to get across the more human aspect of our work together. In my experience, that is what makes therapy effective after all: two human beings, coming together and forming a relationship that is trustworthy, reliable…and, at times provoking and challenging.

Being human is at the heart of the approach I have trained in – so-called ‘humanistic’ psychotherapy. It is actually quite a radical approach. I understand that right now, you or your life might feel like it needs ‘fixing’; and yes, in our time together each week we will talk about the obstacles or down right impossibilities of your struggles. The humanistic approach doesn’t deny the ups and downs of being a human being. But unlike some other therapies, the humanistic approach doesn’t believe that these highs and lows point to a personal deficit.; you nor your life need fixing. For every single 7.8 billion of us, distress and happiness come and go.

It is our relationship to this human existence that defines how ‘well’ we feel.

Of all the humanistic psychotherapy approaches, it is my view that Gestalt (my chosen modality) is the most transformative. Whilst I know first-hand the power of finding someone to talk to, Gestalt is not simply a ‘talking therapy’. Inevitably, each week in our sessions you will share what is going on for you. We might even ‘put our heads together’ and give thought as to WHY things are the way they are for you. However, in my experience real change, growth, healing come when we drop below the story and into the direct experience of what it is to be you; the HOW of your being.

You will always have the steering wheel of this journey – you know what you want and don’t want better than I ever will. My role is ‘co-pilot’ as you make sense of your ‘human being’; to help you bring together the ‘why’ and the ‘how’; a marriage of insight and awareness. My training and experience as a practitioner of Gestalt will help you find respite from the limitations and predominance of the thinking mind – thoughts, beliefs, stories – and toward greater awareness of the totality of your lived, bodily experience. Sounds challenging, right? It is! And, it might not be what you expected from a ‘talking therapy. I have come to trust the genius of Albert Einstein who said, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”. Talking might offer temporary relief, but we need alternatives to go deeper.

I am a practicing Buddhist, and this undoubtedly flavours my work. Buddhist meditation and its incredible psychological wisdom have informed my own journey toward embodiment; and continue to influence how I facilitate others arriving ‘more in their bodies’. I am also influenced by the ideas of Carl Jung, especially how he likened the space between therapist and client as an alchemical container for the ‘magic’ of personal transformation.

Humanistic theory and transpersonal ideas also influence both my supervision approach and my teaching: I am a Senior Lecturer at the University of Brighton, teaching trainee counsellors and psychotherapists. This role allows me to indulge my passion for writing and research in the integration of spiritual and psychological work. I write a regular blog on these themes, and my first book, “The practice of human being” is due for publication in 2023.

To get a sense of whether you and I might make a good ‘fit’, I invite you to ‘meet Helen’ in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NetLKcTmNNk

Professional Registration: UKCP registered psychotherapist

Cost: £80

Make An Enquiry for Therapy
To make an enquiry for therapy with Helen Carter please email us at referrals@thewilburyclinic.co.uk.