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11th August 2022 
About Barbara. Barbarabest


I founded Growing Unlimited Therapeutic Consultancy in 2002 and Growing Unlimited HSP Hampshire Meetup in 2008. I have worked in the field of personal development for twenty seven years, based in Hampshire.

About Barbara. childforest

I work with highly sensitive individuals but can also offer work with couples and groups/families and with parents looking to better understand their highly sensitive children. I also provide professional training to organisations, workplaces and other professionals about high sensitivity. I do not offer therapy, but aim to help clients to manage the changes they would like to make and assist them with information, communication and other skills to help make practical changes and pursue emotional healing and personal development.

About Barbara. Counselling1a

HSP Mentoring is not an easy option for solving problems. Part of our first meeting will be to help you check out whether this is the right time for you to be doing this work and whether you are in a good enough place to make the most of it.

Important details about your work here will be kept confidential and I do not make large amounts of notes following sessions. However, do remember that boundaries and processes for mentoring are not the same as counselling or therapy, even though you are likely to find mentoring therapeutic :)


I began my training as a therapist in 1991 with a 3 year course at a Southampton based psychodynamic organisation affiliated to Westminster Pastoral Foundation. During that time I also underwent training in the counselling of addictions and related issues, worked as a family worker/counsellor within social services and also worked for 10 years in an addictions counselling agency as a counsellor, group worker, counselling supervisor, and client services manager, counselling a large variety of clients in both short and longer-term work including underlying issues, and working with couples and family members where appropriate. During that time I counselled in a variety of settings including hospitals and GP surgeries. In 1999 I qualified as a counselling supervisor and have a lot of experience in supporting and mentoring counsellors and workers from a variety of therapeutic and educational backgrounds with particular experience in facilitating and supporting those working in the addictions and domestic violence fields, supporting change and development. I went into Private Practice in 2002, specialising in highly sensitive people and was a UKRC Registered Independent Counsellor accredited with the Federation of Drug and Alcohol Professionals and The National Counselling Society, plus an individual member of BACP, UKRCP & FDAP until I retired from therapy in April 2013. Other trainings I have participated in include: Group Analysis (introductory year); Diagnosis and psychotherapy of dissociative disorders; brief, solution-focussed therapy; motivational interviewing; cognitive beharioural therapy; anger management; anxiety management; Gorski relapase prevention; systemic work in addictions; childhood sexual abuse; counselling for gamblers; dual diagnosis; cultural diversity; men in therapy; freedom programme facilitation, and much more.

In 2008 I launched the first HSP Monthly Meetup in Winchester from my practice at Haven on The Square, this is still going and has now transferred to Andover. In 2010 I founded the National Centre for High Sensitivity and have co-hosted HSP Gathering Retreats in the UK, USA, Germany, Canada and Sweden with Jacquelyn Strickland who co-founded these retreats with Dr Elaine Aron. I have also co-led two-day workshops with Jacquelyn Strickland and Annet de Zwart. I have been interviewed numerous times on the topic of high sensitivity and continue to be listed as a spokes-person by Dr Elaine Aron (the renowned researcher on sensory processing sensitivity) on her website at

Currently I run and support meetups, provide workshops and days of community, mentoring and coaching for HSPs and also run training events for professionals who wish to give a better quality of support to their highly sensitive clients. I provide input around career and relationships for HSPs and also Mentor professionals who are developing services for the sensitive population.

About Barbara. Cllgroomcompressed1

Individual fees for mentoring or coaching start at 80 per hour pro rata and couple work at 95 per hour pro rata and may be more if you are seen elsewhere than Barbara's local practice. (There is potential for fee concessions in some circumstances, please ask). Please note that time is set aside especially for you. You will need to pay your fee in advance in order to reserve the appointment and there is a 25 cancellation fee taken from your refund if you do not give at least 5 days notice to change or cancel your appointment. Following assessments of children with their parents, written reports for schools or other professionals can be provided for an additional fee, if required. Call or email Barbara to discuss mutually convenient dates and times.

(all comments included are with express permission of the client)

"Barbara created a safe space which gave me the confidence to be totally authentic. As a result I am making a transtion that I was frightened of but knew deep down would have to be made. This feels exciting and I am looking forward to working with Barbara in the future. I would recommend her wholeheartedly to anyone looking to heal from traumas or to make inner transitions and personal growth. Many thanks Barbara"

"I joined the Self-Help group to feel supported through a difficult time in my life .......... The atmosphere feels professional yet caring - and definitely non-judgemental. I really appreciate the availability of the additional 1-1 support. Thank you Barbara and Delyse."

"The work you did with us helped us to secure our relationship and we now have a much better understanding of ourselves and each other."

"[The Group] has most definitely helped me to begin to understand the underlying issues that I have been struggling with. It's helped me to understand how events in my childhood have shaped my present and has given me the courage to delve deeper...... I cannot put into words how helpful it has been, I have discovered things that I didn't think possible. Barbara is the first person to see beyond the surface and give me a positive response to what she sees, it's beyond words."

"[Growing Unlimited] is a place that offers a mental detox, a place away from the pain, somewhere that brings some light back into what can seem a dark world. If you show some courage, it can change your life."

"Sessions are held in an appropriately sensitive and professional manner; I generally came away having learned something. I have been helped with regard to my (parental) family relationships."

"[I've been attending Growing Unlimited] with Barbara for almost a year. I wanted to stop feeling unhappy, destructive, depressed and understand why I was unhappy....I didn't feel normal. I learned [about my] lack of connecting with Self and learned more acceptance of myself, gained confidence. Last year I never thought I could feel different. Now I'm more often happy than sad."

"[Counselling] is very supportive - nothing like I'd ever felt before. I could say ANYTHING without being told off or disliked. That's so unusual...."

"Amazingly perceptive counsellor - saw more than I thought existed let alone what I was hiding! Incredibly supportive and insightful, [counselling] fits into your life without any stigma or disruption."

"Participation in the Group helped greatly. [I worked on] inner child work, dealing with ageing parents and how to support my children in a positive way."

"I participated in [joint] counselling for relationship issues. I wanted to resolve issues and set up strategies for dealing with stress points. I identified .... blockages and problems, and clear ways of addressing stress points in the future. I got a generally better understanding of Self and partner issues and the impact of our behaviour, [which I was not expecting]. Barbara was engaging, proactive and extremely positive - although did challenge us both."

"If you have problems and are both committed to addressing these constructively, Barbara enables this process to happen. Thank you for your patience, time and clarity in understanding the needs we had."

"[The atmostphere] was good. Caring and warm. But it was difficult to trust someone when you don't know them. The experience was far more helpful than other counselling sessions undertaken in the past."

"I had 10 sessions. Certainly did help. Explained how to better handle feelings. [It helped me] understand my own feelings as important. Barbara was professional and friendly. Well worth time spent there. The fact the therapist was well versed about recovering alcoholics made it a lot easier."