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Leigh Smith Director

Leigh Smith - Heartwood Director of Studies, Course Designer and Tutor

BA Hons. PGCE. Dip Psych. Dip Sup. Dip Couns.

Registered Member of BACP and NCS.

Leigh has a background in arts and community based theatre.  She moved into the world of counselling as a way of understanding more about people and their uniqueness. She has practiced and taught in a wide variety of settings and organisations.

Leigh started Heartwood over a decade ago, and from it's humble beginnings the college has grown into an established and widely respected institution.

“This has been the most amazing journey, and I truly believe that I have the best job in the world. My love for teaching and personal development run through all of the work I do, and I never stop being curious and being amazed”

Leigh has a small private practice and loves to spend time with her family and working on creative projects. 

Fully qualified counsellor, psychotherapist and supervisor (Registered member of the BACP Accredited member of NCS)

Audrey Cooper - Administrator, Placement Co-ordinator and Level 2/3 tutor (with Poppy who is often in the office as well!)

Fully qualified counsellor in private practice www.audreycooper.co.uk (Registered Member of the BACP)

"I have had a wide variety of types of job in the past with several twists and turns in my career path.  After graduation from University with a BSc in Biology, I taught English in Japan for 4 years.  Upon my return to the UK, I trained in Horticulture, and a job as a teacher of organic gardening first brought me to the Dartington Hall Estate in 2000.  

I started my own counselling training out of a desire to learn more about myself and to understand how my childhood history was effecting my life as an adult.  I quickly became 'hooked' because it was a course that I found fascinating - and also led to some major life changes! I have worked as a counsellor in different settings, including Sure Start Children's Centres, and the University of Plymouth Student Counselling Service. 

I have been working at Heartwood since 2011, initially just in the office, but then adding to this the role of Placement Co-ordinator, and most recently as a tutor - which combines my two loves - of teaching and counselling.

It will often be me who answers the phone and responds to emails...  I really enjoy sharing my passion for the training we offer at Heartwood."

Angie Smith – Weekend Tutor for Levels 2, 3 and the Level 4 Advanced Diploma (NCS accredited)

B.Ed (Hons). Cert. Counselling. UKCP Registered Gestalt Psychotherapist Dip. NLP. Cert CBT

Angie has a background in secondary teaching (Personal, Social and Religious Education) and Youth and Community Work.

She started in the counselling world by acknowledging her own stuckness and pain and recognising the need to reach out for counselling support. She has a big heart for people and is constantly amazed by the potential in everyone to live life more fully.

Her counselling training began in Lancaster in 1989 on a Person-Centred course and, after being on the receiving end of a wonderful Gestalt Therapist, she was eager to embark on this training herself. So began a four year long journey of core training at Manchester Gestalt Centre, qualifying in 2001. She later completed training as a supervisor.

Angie has, until recently, maintained a small private practice but the vast bulk of her counselling work has been with students in various University Counselling Services. She has also taught on a variety of counselling courses in colleges and universities, including the management of a well respected Counselling Diploma Course at Lancaster and Morecambe College for 6 years.

Angie currently works as a counsellor at the University of Plymouth.

I genuinely head to work each morning thinking how privileged I am that young lives come and take the courage to open up their hearts to me. Such vulnerability is so precious. It is a very humbling and a huge honour”.

As part of her current role, Angie also supervises several trainee counsellors on placement at the University and runs workshops and Personal Development Programmes for students and staff.

She enjoys walking and swimming – both of which she prefers to do at the beach!

Stephen Tame - Body Process tutor

Stephen is a relational body psychotherapist, with decades of experience and enthusiasm working with adults, couples, children and trainees. He is a member of the training team for the Embodied-Relational Therapy training, and the Wild Therapy training. He aims to take a non-expert position in his work, and continues to learn from his clients. He currently has particular interest in embodied counter-transference, play, working outdoors, and the subtle signals that can open up significant change.  www.stephentame.co.uk

Louise Page -Saturday Workshop Tutor

Since 2010 I have worked fully in my private practice based in Thorverton in Mid Devon. My practice weaves together what I have learned over more than 25 years from my training and experience and I offer this out in an integrative way to my clients and supervisees. Alongside my main trainings I have studied many other approaches, e.g. focussing and mindfulness.


I aim to offer a compassionate and strong holding space for clients and supervisees, based on humanistic principles and offering a deeply relational approach and focussed presence.


Monica Khosla - Senior Counsellor, Supervisor & Student Mentor, Specialist Psychotherapy Tutor (Advanced Specialist Diploma)

(Registered and Accredited member of the BACP)

Monica qualified as a therapeutic counsellor in 2005 and then went on to further studies in body process and trauma psychotherapy approaches. www.monicakhosla.co.uk

She has a special interest in applying an understanding of neuroscience to therapy work and has recently started running workshops on this subject.  She also collaborates in the teaching of the Psychotherapy Advanced Specialist Diploma - which gives this training a strong focus on trauma and related issues.

Monica also works as a mentor supporting Heartwood students, alongside her busy private counselling practice. 

"I have loved being involved with Heartwood since it's inception and enjoy being part of such an energetic, generous and creative organisation."

Willow Dicker - Finance Manager and Social Media Marketing

 Chris Smith - Level 4 Tutor, Internal Verifier and tutor on Nature based therapy courses. 

Fully qualified counsellor (Registered member of the BACP)

Chris primarily teaches on the Level 4.  He has a wealth of teaching experience, having taught counselling at Heartwood for 4 years.  For the past 10 years, Chris has also worked part-time at Plymouth College of Art where he is Course Leader for a pre-degree photography course.  Chris has a private counselling practice as well.  www.heartseedcounselling.co.uk.  Chris's photographs can be viewed here www.changing-stories.blogspot.co.uk.

"I'm passionate about both teaching and counselling; it's such a pleasure and a privilege to be able to work with people to help them on their journey of self-discovery and personal development.  It's about helping people to 'unfold' their potential to flourish in life - that's my mission, and I love it!" 

Dinah Mears
- Tutor in Relationship Counselling (Advanced Specialist Diploma)

I began my career by training as a State Registered Nurse and then moved into community work running Family Support Groups and a Youth Club for Devon County Council.  In 1993 I worked with the International Red Cross resettling traumatised refugee families to Devon from the war in the former Yugoslavia.  I began my therapeutic training in 1999, alongside my role in a child protection team where I began to develop an open access support service for parents and children.

While completing both the Foundation and Clinical practice Certificate in Family Therapy from Exeter University's Department of Psychology, I spent 10 years working as a manager of Family Support Services in the field of Child Protection.

I then worked as a counsellor and trainer with Relate for 10 years, before developing my own private counselling practice.  During the last sixteen years, I have also become a specialist trainer and consultant in the field of Domestic Abuse, Child Sexual Abuse and Child Sexual Exploitation.  I deliver training on these subjects across the UK.

Outside my work I enjoy swimming, vinyasa yoga and a spot of fairweather camping.

Relationships are the core part of how we function in the world as human beings, and as such my curiosity about them is fundamental to the work that I do whether it is counselling, training or supervision.

Jane Schindler-Ord - Tutor in Counselling Young People (Advanced Specialist Diploma)

Frazer Reid - Sand Tray tutor

Hello, I facilitate a Sandtray course for Heartwood – it’s a day that focuses on the healthiness of trusting intuition, playfulness, instinct and feeling; a day of letting things unfold and be rather than analysing, rationalising, or talking about ‘problems’.

My original training was in Drama and Movement Therapy (Adv Dip, 1994) so I feel very at home in this creative approach. I worked with people with psychiatric conditions, prisoners, the elderly, and children and adults with learning disabilities and challenging behaviour. These days I’m in private practice at dartington, offering integrative counselling (Adv Dip 2011) to individuals and couples, and supervision (Dip 2012) to other therapists. Best wishes, Frazer.  www.totnes-counselling.co.uk


Jane Hancock - Eating Disorders Tutor

'I am a Senior Accredited BACP Counsellor and BACP Accredited supervisor.  with a Diploma in Counselling from Relate Training and a Clinical Supervisor offering group and individual Supervision. I counsel individuals and couples.

I offer a reduced rate of supervision and therapy to students

I work in an Integratively but studied with the Oxford Cognitive Therapy Centre and often work in this way especially for Employee Assistance Programmes.

I have been in Private Practice in Exmouth for many years and some of the places I have worked or currently work are Devon Rape Crisis Exeter, Sexual Assault Referral Centre Service, Gender Clinic in Exeter, NHS Occupational Health and within a GP surgery as well as a number of charities.

I am a Lecturer in Counselling on the level 4 Diploma at Exeter College and so have a good understanding of the needs and challenges of being a trainee counsellor and I run Continuing Professional Development Training in Exeter and East Devon.

I believe in a relationship with someone I am working with, client or supervisee, that is as equal as possible and tailoring my work to each individuals needs'