BACP Registered Therapist Offering Anxiety Therapy for Adults and Teens, Relationship Counselling for Couples in Exeter and Across the UK

Coping Skills for Anxiety – A free course in how to manage anxiety


Free Manage Anxiety Course.  Anxiety affects us all in one way or another.  I am offering a FREE Course to help individuals Manage their Anxiety.

Free Course Manage Anxiety

Definition of Anxiety: an abnormal and overwhelming sense of apprehension and fear often marked by physical signs (such as tension, sweating, and increased pulse rate), by doubt concerning the reality and nature of the threat, and by self-doubt about one’s capacity to cope with it Miriam-Webster Dictionary. 2021

Have you ever heard/or said “I have Anxiety”?  Do you ever been overwhelmed with feelings of anxiousness?  Are you experiencing feelings that either last a long time or feel debilitating?  Then you may be interesting in this free course aimed at individuals who are suffering from anxiety.

I am offering a FREE Course to help individuals Manage their Anxiety.

Q.  Who is the course for?

A.  All adults aged 18 to 118.

Q.  How much does the course cost?

A. T he course is free to attendees.

Q. How long does the course last?

A.  The course will consist of 3 short one hour sessions, spread out weekly.

Q.  How large is the groups?

A.  I aim to keep the group small, ideally no more than 6.

About Me (Renee Norris)

I am a therapist working in Exeter, Devon and see clients via ZOOM from anywhere in the country or virtually anywhere with a wifi signal.  I have extensive training in the field of counselling.  If you are interested in learning more about my education and personal information please click on the ABOUT RENEE link.

I have worked with adults, couples and teens for several years now to better understand and accept themselves, in addition to making vital changes for their mental health & well-being.  I enjoy the work I do and look forward to helping you have less anxiety.

To register or find out more information email me on or send a small message.

Coping Skills – An Anxiety Workshop for Teens

teen anxiety

teen anxietyThis is a 4 week workshop to help teens with anxiety & panic attacks. We will explore coping skills such as Grounding Techniques, Cognitive Distortions and learn breathing techniques all to help reduced anxiety levels.  

Teens have a lot to contend with today, now more than ever.  Teens today are faced with such challenges as:

  • being pushed harder to achieve higher grades,
  • group dynamics are shifting to larger (gang like) groups,
  • child sexual abuse has risen 57% in the past 5 years (NSPCC)
  • body image and social media
  • pressure to use alcohol and/or drugs
  • 40% of young people were bullied in the past 12 months, online and off  (ABA)
  • lockdown restrictions
  • homeschooling
  • sexual exploration

As a result of the above it is no wonder that teenagers today are more anxious than ever.  These are just a few of the challenges that teens face today so it is no wonder if teenagers are struggling  with anxiety or depression.

This workshop is an easy going – slow paced way of learning new ways of coping with anxious feelings and thoughts.  While this is a serious topic, it will be delivered in a light hearted and friendly way.

Weekly sessions will be held via Zoom (Free downloadable secure platform)

Each week we will talk about different aspects of anxiety. In this anxiety workshop for teens we will learn new coping skills.

Learning objectives:

Week 1 – Explore and increase understanding of:

  • What is Anxiety?
  • What are Panic Attacks?
  • Practice Grounding Techniques to help reduce anxiety

Week 2 – Explore and increase understanding of:

  • Practice Grounding Techniques to help reduce anxiety
  • Healthy vs Unhealthy Coping Strategies

Week 3 – Explore and increase understanding of:

  • Practice Grounding Techniques to help reduce anxiety
  • Challenging Anxious Thoughts
Week 4 – Explore and increase understanding of:
  • Practice Grounding Techniques to help reduce anxiety
  • Decatastrophising – Looking at Cognitive Distortions

Each week will consist of a combination of grounding & relaxation technique, followed by a short worksheet & discussion about the worksheet.  There will be a chance for attendees to share their experiences and participate in open discussions. 

Firstly, this will give participants a chance to practice being more in control of their emotional state.  Secondly, they will be given a chance to socialise in a safe and friendly environment, while discussing real and meaningful topics.  

At the end of the 4 1-hour long workshops, your teen will be awarded with a Certificate of Completion on completion.  Click here for an example.

Prerequisites to attending:
  • Aged 13-17
  • Computer with video capabilities
  • A private space
  • Be available to attend all 4 sessions
  • Be willing to share in a small open group (max of 4 teens in one group)
  • Able to respect the privacy of others within the group and show respect
Not suitable for those:
  • Aged 18+ (to avoid mixing under/over 18)
  • Causing serious harm to self or others
  • Suffering from Psychosis or Delusional thoughts
By the end of the workshop we will have talked about different aspects of anxiety. This anxiety workshop for teens is tailored to deliver basic coping skills to help your teen with their anxious feelings.

If you think your teenager would benefit from this workshop get in touch via my contact page by clicking here.


Discount for NHS Staff and Gratitude

Thank you NHS

NHS Staff Discount and Gratitude

Discounts offered for all NHS staff to show gratitude for their hard work.  The first 3 sessions are £30 as a discount, then regular rate applies afterwards.

Definition – Gratitude is a warm feeling of thankfulness towards an entity, or towards specific individuals. The person who feels gratitude is thankful for what they have, and does not constantly seek more.

Thank you NHS
I have always been grateful for the NHS service, however since the Covid-19 pandemic I think I recognise more reasons to be grateful.  My gratitude is partly due to times when I or someone I love have relied heavily on the services offered. In addition to this, I now feel grateful for the efforts of the NHS to look after those who fall ill with Covid-19.

It can be very easy to take services like the NHS for granted or criticise wait times, however I wonder where we would be without the service. I am also grateful for a society which values the health of all vs only the ones who can afford.

For this reason, I would like to show my gratitude by offering a reduced rate for counselling sessions for anyone working for the NHS.

Gratitude is very important in our lives as humans. There are many ways to show gratitude, such as;

  • saying “Thank you”
  • listening with intent to others
  • give of your time (as time is very precious)

Does it serve a purpose?  Simply put YES

What benefit is there to being grateful? Many

  • Lights up the brain’s reward pathways
  • Lessens Anxiety and Depression symptoms
  • Shifts the heart rhythm
  • Increases heart rate variability
  • Increases resilience
  • Increases empathy & compassion
  • Increases social connection
  • improves physical health

These points are explained in further detail in the diagram below from gratefully made available by

Benefits of Gratitude
In parting, I would like to show my gratitude to the men and women of the NHS for making our health service what it is. It may not be perfect but I am so thankful for each and every one of you, from the Doctors to the Staff who schedule appointments. Especially big thanks to those who put their own lives at risk by working directly with Covid patients.


When making an appointment please mention that you work for the NHS and you will receive a £20 discount making sessions £30 instead of £50.

Click here to get in touch.

Questionnaires for Depression and Anxiety (Adults)

measure mood

When considering counselling/therapy for depression or anxiety it can be helpful to understand just how much our mood affects us. The sheets below are used routinely by the NHS to gauge anxiety and depression levels. The sheets are good for anyone who is experiencing low mood or bouts of anxiety.


Below is a questionnaire to help with understanding the severity of depression.  It can be helpful to measure depression at the start of therapy and review it later on.


Below is a questionnaire to help with understanding the severity of anxiety.  It can be helpful to measure anxiety at the start of therapy and review it later on.GENERAL ANXIETY DISORDER SCALE





Tips for dealing with depression from the NHS.

You can talk it through with your GP first if you prefer. Your GP can also tell you about antidepressants.

If you start to feel that your life isn’t worth living or about harming yourself, get help straight away.

You can:

  • contact Samaritans on 116 123 for 24-hour confidential, non-judgemental emotional support
  • call your GP and ask for an emergency appointment
  • call 111 out of hours – they will help you find the support and help you need

You can find mental health apps and tools in the NHS apps library.


If you are feeling suicidal please seek help immediately and consider this very useful NHS app called distACT

My articles can be viewed at Articles

Directions to Fernbank, Sowton Village


Directions Fernbank Sowton Village Renee Norris Counselling

Address:          Fernbank, Sowton Lane, Exeter EX5 2AG

Phone:             07590996566

Direction:        Village is South East of the M5/A30 junction (Junction 29).

Black Horse Pub
Black Horse Pub
Turn opposite the Black Horse pub

Checkered Red Brick House
Checkered Red Brick House

Turn Right at this house

and go 2/10 of a mile

Turn In to Fernbank
Turn In to Fernbank
Take this turn in and follow it to the top through the gates

Google MAP to Fernbank


Depression and Anxiety Counselling in Exeter

Depression and anxiety often go hand-in-hand.  Treating depression and anxiety is a complex task because there are many causes.  Some of the more widely recognised reasons are:

    • Health conditions
    • Trauma and grief
    • Changes and stressful events
    • Medications
    • Drugs (prescription and non-prescription) and alcohol use

The NHS have a great tool called Mood Self-assessment Quiz.


Click here to self-refer for counselling.  Fees and cancellation information can be found here.

Ending Therapy – Celebration of a Healthy Relationship – Exeter Therapy

Healthy Relationship

Ending Therapy – Celebration of a Healthy Relationship

The experience of a healthy relationship is vitally important for our well-being. The counselling relationship can play a huge part in the well-being of clients. Clients usually engage in therapy because something is not quite right in their life, and they are seeking guidance and support from someone independent and impartial. Counsellors are trained in walking this journey with clients, however, they cannot walk the journey alone or for the client.

So exactly what is happening while in a healthy relationship, and what makes a good ending to therapy so valuable? Counsellors are trained to listen, be present, understand without judgement, and offer clients acceptance for who they are. Possibly for the first time in a client’s life, they can experience a healthy relationship in which they can be themselves without fear, judgement, or shame. They can feel safe enough to risk being authentic.

Once the therapeutic relationship is present, a client may face difficult situations with more confidence, because they are no longer alone in their struggle. They are now being attended to. Therapia in Latin means to “attend to”. To be attended to while on a journey of self-discovery and change can be highly comforting and reassuring. When we are young, we might have looked back at a parent for reassurance before taking our first steps, riding our bike without stabilisers, going off to school for the first time, or walking down the aisle. Therapy can provide that element of reassurance, without authority, pressure, or judgement.

Often, client’s unhappiness with the world around them is really unhappiness about themselves in the world. Unrealised dreams and missed opportunities can often lead to feelings of dissatisfaction and even resentment towards others for how we have become. Therapy is an excellent way of getting back on track.

A healthy counsellor/client relationship can bring about what is needed for healing to take place. Clients may experience being well, in the presence of another, i.e. the therapist.

When a client experiences the restorative healing benefits of a healthy relationship, they begin to realise they are ok in the world. This now means they no longer need the guidance or support of the therapist, and the relationship comes to a natural end.

We know how to end unhealthy or unwanted relationships. We generally lack experience in ending good and healthy relationships.  Ending therapy can be avoided by some. Sometimes people move, jobs end, or a loved one passes away, thus giving an unwanted or unwelcomed end to a good relationship. This can be experienced as loss or grief, which can be painful, so it is no wonder that we don’t linger too long in this experience.

Clients often become keenly aware of how important the relationship between therapist and client has been to them.  This acknowledgement, or at least awareness, can be profound. By ending the therapeutic relationship, the client is now saying ‘I am now accepting responsibility for my presence in the world and my well-being’.

Avoid sending a text when you are ready to end therapy, when possible.  Plan your ending, take charge of how it looks, have a cup of tea and a cake. It is worth the effort, and so are you.

To experience the closure of a good ending to a healthy relationship brings healing. Get in touch to begin that journey.

Also published at Counselling Directory

October News! Sheepish Production presents Communicate, a Play about Grief


Sheepish Production Presents Communicatea play about one couple’s journey through bereavement, love, grief, pregnancy, superheroes and enforced pen maintenance. From award nominated Sheepish Productions, this is an intimate and gripping story about life and death, developed in association with Cruse Bereavement Care.

“I should have mentioned it before, my Mum, she, last year, she passed”.

James is suffocated by his past. Heather is focusing on the nursery. It deals with the importance of talking about how you feel and not letting your past determine your future.

“…brilliant show. Moving, real, funny, thought-provoking and intriguing. Best of all it dealt with a “difficult issue” but with characters you cared about.” – Tom Bailey, Organiser of Love Arts Leeds

“Bloody lovely, heart-breaking and funny” – Jo West (playwright)

“So powerful and moving” – Audience Member (Theatre Deli, Sheffield)

Sheepish Productions first play, Shadow On Their Wall, received a Best New Writing Nomination and ★★★★ reviews from Fringe Guru and York Mix Mag. Their second play, a black comedy called The Last Motel, received ★★★★ reviews.

Age guide: recommended 12+

11 October 2019: Barnfield Theatre, Exeter: With a post-show panel discussion with


“How many sessions do I need?”

counting sessions

The age old question of “how long will it take” is something that I get asked occasionally. Firstly, I would like to address the concept of “need”. As a therapist, I don’t believe anyone “needs” therapy. I believe that there can come a time when we may benefit from talking to another person who is not a friend, relative or co-worker. My view is that there is no right or wrong number of session to have. One person may decide that a few sessions will help them to clear their minds while another person is interested in long-term goals and personal development.

Some factors in deciding on when to end therapy;

  • Finances – Therapy can be considered a luxury if finances are limited, however it can also be a great form of support to keep one going in the face of hard times.
  • Timing – As they say, “timing is everything” and I believe this to be true. It is important that clients come when they are ready. Are you one who acts as soon as a problem is noticed or do you wait until things are at a breaking point? Whatever your personal timing is is fine, however it will have a direct impact on results. “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is appropriate in this case. 
  • Issue – Another factor could be the issue itself. Disagreements with ones boss over a pay rise can may be dealt with over a short period of time. Issues such as long term abuse or long term addiction can be more embedded and may benefit from longer term sessions.
  • Additional support – Working on issues without support can in some cases mean that the process can be protracted. It can be helpful to have a support network.  It is a good idea to access other means of support.  Pinpoint is a great site for additional support services.
  • Compatibility – Finding a therapist that you are comfortable with is important to the process.  We access and process emotional content when we are not under threat with less difficulty.  Therefore having a therapist that we are comfortable is an important factor. The longer it takes a client to feel comfortable, the longer the process will take. Likewise, the more comfortable the better.
  • Privacy concerns – Sometimes clients are concerned about privacy and may not wish for others to know they are attending therapy.  For this reason, I allow enough time between sessions for the next client to arrive in privacy. 

These are just a few of the factors that determine how long that piece of string is for you. Ultimately, having a goal in mind can be a big factor in the time you spend working with a therapist. Goal setting provides structure to therapy and identifies when you have reached a comfortable place to end.

No matter what the reason for seeking therapy is, counselling can be a valuable experience.  I work out of the centre of Exeter in Gandy Street and Pinhoe area, Exeter, which is near Broadclyst, West Clyst, Sowton , Cranbrook and Rockbeare.

Also published with Counselling Directory.

Is your teen self-harming?

Is your teen self-harming?

Being a teen is hard; there is no manual for getting through teenage issues. So, when they struggle, is it any wonder they turn to unhelpful coping mechanisms or even self-destructive behaviour?

Self-harming behaviour can be distressing for the teen and those around them because they may not understand why they cut themselves, and it may also leave parents with a sense of failure, blame or shame. This in itself can make communication harder.

It may be assumed that if a teen is cutting themselves they must be suicidal. This is normally not the case.

NSPCC have this to say about self-harm:

“Self-harm can take lots of physical forms, including cutting, burning, bruising, scratching, hair-pulling, poisoning and overdosing. There are many reasons why children and young people try to hurt themselves, and once they start, it can become a compulsion. That’s why it’s so important to spot it as soon as possible and do everything you can to help. Self-harm isn’t usually a suicide attempt or a cry for attention. Instead, it’s often a way for young people to release overwhelming emotions. It’s a way of coping. So, whatever the reason, it should be taken seriously.”

I often hear young people say that friends and family think they are seeking attention. It is important to know that this isn’t usually the case.

Being a teen today brings many challenges. Some of these challenges won’t go away as they come with the territory. Some of the issues counsellors can spot within their work with teens who self-harm are:

  • Loneliness.
  • Fear they will lose their closest friendships.
  • Lack of confidence.
  • Inability to express anger.
  • Lack of control over their lives.

These reasons can be very similar for adults; however teens are still learning to navigate their emotional landscape.

Q-Does this mean I have failed as a parent?

A-No, what it does mean is that your child is struggling with something which may or may not have anything to do with you. They are growing up, and experiencing real life issues that they just don’t know how to manage more effectively.

Q-What can I do to help my teen who is self-harming?

A-Listen without judgement or wanting to change them. Address any wounds, and don’t forget first-aid is important. Don’t tell them to stop – if they could, they would.

Seek professional help, with the safeguarding lead at your teen’s school or a private counsellor. If you are distressed by your teen’s behaviour then get help to manage your own emotions so that you can help your teen. I will repeat the first point of listening without judgement. Don’t use phrases like, “I don’t understand why you cut yourself” or “Is this my fault?”

If you are concerned that your teen may be cutting themselves or know someone who is impacted by self-harming, please get in touch with a counsellor. We are all here to help.

Additional support site: