The Hove Counselling Practice

Transforming Lives, Inspiring Hope

 Brighton and Hove Counselling and Coaching

Welcome to the Hove Counselling Practice in Brighton and Hove, where you will find professional help and guidance for many personal problems or challenges. 

Whether you are looking for support with an individual or relationship difficulty 
or help in maximising your potential, and driving positive, transformational change, an initial counselling and coaching assessment may enable you to feel much clearer about what is happening to you and the type of therapy, treatment or strategies  that may help you most. 

"Despite the adversities and challenges that many of us face at various stages of our lives, there is one thing that stands out for us as professional helpers of people - and that is a person's capacity to transcend difficulties and embrace change.    

This single aspect of our work continues to drive our passion for helping individuals and couples to identify the blocks that are preventing their growth and limiting their level of happiness in life.  

The rewards of personal growth are attractive to many, and they are, of course, an important outcome of any personal development process. However, the most challenging aspect of realising these rewards for ourselves through the change process, is finding the awareness and motivation to step away from old conditioning and patterns.

Very often, factors like fear, guilt, shame, lack of confidence, low self-worth or poor self-esteem build up from earlier life experiences and remain hidden within our subconscious minds. They may be out of sight but they nevertheless exert very powerful influences on individual choice and personal growth. 

Counselling and psychotherapy is a process that helps you to identify whether previous experience may be creating a negative impact in your current life and coaching empowers you to manage destructive thoughts and feelings as you engage in becoming your own agent of change.  Once you can "see" what is getting in the way of your happiness in life and also "understand" how to make effective changes, life need no longer be problematic. 

The team at The Hove Counselling Practice are experienced in helping individuals and couples achieve these goals through it's wide breadth of expertise. 


Claire Sainsbury BSc MA MBACP (Accred)
Co-Founder and Lead Therapist - The Hove Counselling Practice

Client Feedback

Individual Therapy

If your life feels like hard work with little reward or enjoyment, we can help you to explore limiting perspectives and realise opportunities instead.  We can support you in discovering new possibilities as you embrace the power of conscious mindset.

Couples Therapy

We can help you address challenges or difficulties you may be currently experiencing with your partner. Whether these involve issues of trust, infidelity, communication, parenting or lack of intimacy, we can help you to foster an environment of greater interpersonal connection. 

Eating Disorder Help

Whether you are finding it difficult to 'stop' eating or to relax food 'restriction' and/or 'purging' behaviours, we can support you in regaining control.  Once strategies are in place to help you manage your relationship with food, we can begin to help you understand underlying issues that are influencing your disorder.

Trauma Treatment

Trauma can be described as distress that is so intense that it is hard to let go of.  As childhood trauma often influences adult difficulties, it is important to identify it and treat it appropriately.  EFT is a gentle technique that helps distressed individuals embrace the emotional impact of trauma safely.    

Credentials and Qualifications

The lead therapist, Claire Sainsbury, holds a BA in Psychology, a Masters in Counselling and Psychotherapy practice as well as an advanced postgraduate diploma in Integrative Counselling and Therapy. She has also undertaken further specialist training in various areas including: 

(i) Working with Couples - this training in relationship counselling involves the key dynamics that are influencing a couple as well as communications skills to better manage conflict and intimacy,

(ii) Trauma Treatment EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) in which Claire is an Advanced Certified Practitioner,

(iii) Eating Disorders - Claire is qualified as a Master practitioner offering specific approaches to treat Anorexia, Bulimia, Binge Eating Disorder and Over-eating,  

(iv) CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) - useful techniques to challenge unhelpful habits and promote change,

(v) DBT (Dialectical Behaviour Therapy) - skills specifically designed to help people suffering with emotional instability.  Claire is a tutor of DBT at a London College.

  • Abuse
  • Affairs, betrayals, infidelity
  • Anger management
  • Antisocial personality disorder
  • Asperger’s syndrome
  • Attachment disorder
  • Avoidant personality disorder
  • Bereavement and loss
  • Bipolar disorder/Manic depression
  • Borderline personality disorder
  • Child related issues
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome/ME
  • Couples / marital issues
  • Cultural issues
  • Depression
  • Disability
  • Drug abuse
  • Eating disorders
  • Emotional abuse
  • Family issues
  • Problem Gambling
  • Generalised anxiety disorder
  • Health related issues
  • Internet addiction
  • Low self-confidence / self esteem
  • Mens issues
  • Narcissistic personality disorder
  • Obsessions / OCD
  • Panic disorder
  • Passive aggressive behaviour
  • Personal development
  • Personality disorders
  • Phobias
  • Post-traumatic stress 
  • Redundancy
  • Relationship issues
  • Self-harm
  • Separation and divorce
  • Sex problems
  • Sexual abuse
  • Sexuality
  • Spirituality
  • Stress
  • Trauma
  • Womens Issues
  • Work related stress issues

Brighton Counselling Services for Non-Specific Issues

As the impact of many life events can remain out of conscious awareness, it is not always easy to know whether something past or current is causing distress.  Often it can be a mixture of both and can also include thoughts or concerns about the future. 

may be that the issues you are experiencing cannot be conveniently categorised as anxiety related, rooted in relationship problems, or concerning an addiction. You may be experiencing some kind of emotional imbalance the root cause of which may not be easy to put a finger on. 

Your mood may be low and you might have noticed that you seem to be more anxious than usual, worrying a lot more about everything, panicking sometimes and waking up at night, even though you can’t pinpoint exactly why.  Or you might be feeling frustrated, easily triggered into anger, feeling aggressive and saying things that are explosive and hurtful to those around you.  Or you might be very tired, with little energy and feeling close to tears a lot of the time, with little understanding about what is unsettling you.  

  You might also be harbouring some of the following thoughts…

  • What’s wrong with me, I feel so tired and low all the time…?
  • Is it normal to feel this way -why don’t other people seem to get as worried about things as I do…?
  • I hate these horrible thoughts, I’m worried that something bad is going to happen, my mind won’t switch off, will I ever be able to sleep through the night again…
  • Why do I keep crying, its so embarrassing, I feel like a child, I’m worried about what other people think or say about me…?
  • I’m so angry, I’m so pissed off, I can’t let it go, I feel tense all the time…

High levels of emotion, whether anger, worry, panic, fear, a lack of confidence, feeling unsafe, being depressed, sad or lonely, can be very difficult to bear and can eat away at personal confidence, leading you into doubting yourself and feeling that you are not good enough compared to others.  Such feelings are generally “signs” of “something” that therapy can help you to unravel, so you become more aware of what might be unsettling you, more able to be in control and generally happier. 

Hove Counselling and Integrative Therapy

Integrative therapy at The Hove Counselling Practice seeks to help you reveal what lies beneath your current difficulties so you can understand and make more sense of what you are experiencing.  Through the process of therapy and the skills of EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) and DBT (Dialectical Behaviour Therapy), you may uncover personal blocks or painful experiences that have been buried inside of you and find that you are able to let them surface, along with thoughts and feelings that can now be expressed.  With professional kindness, non-judgemental acceptance and insight, you may find support that allows you to understand more and start to heal.  You may even reveal personal strengths and capabilities that have been overshadowed by problems and these may become personal tools to help shape your growth into a happier and more enabled person. 

Overall, treatment at The Hove Counselling Practice aims to support you in feeling better and to increase your personal capacity to manage life difficulties.With the personal coping skills that you will learn, you will be better equipped to sustain happiness within your life.  We believe that therapy helps to improve quality of life for sufferers of many different problems through 3 key steps:

1. Compassion – to help you share your difficulty as well as the bigger picture of your life

2. Patience and Encouragement– to help you learn how to better manage situations

3.Respect and Honesty – to build self-belief and confidence, so you can make better life choices beyond therapy

Brighton counselling and therapy will aim to introduce you to new ways of managing yourself in life through:

  • greater awareness of how your particular past may be affecting your current lifestyle 
  • changes that may be needed to improve your life
  • an understanding of the relationship between your thoughts, feelings and behaviour and how to challenge unhelpful patterns

Short or Long Term Counselling or Therapy in Brighton and Hove

Counselling and treatment could be short-term for 4-6 weeks or longer-term over several months and will involve a personal assessment and then a form of talking therapy with various creative and structured aspects.  There may be some activities for you to complete at home in-between Hove counselling sessions as well as consistent emotional support as you explore the source of your distress or unease. 

Start The Process By Reaching Out For help

Whether your issue is specific or less obvious, an initial session will generally help you to start feeling better and less alone with whatever you are experiencing.  Reaching out for online counselling or face-to-face in-person help and support can be a very important part of the change process since your action initiates some commitment within yourself to start addressing whatever has become overwhelming.

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