About Me And My Approach


Eyelids Of Morning – Dominique Velarde

Blessings As School PrayerDiane Ackerman

In the name of the daybreak
and the eyelids of morning
and the wayfaring moon
and the night when it departs,

I swear I will not dishonor
my soul with hatred,
but offer myself humbly
as a guardian of nature,
as a healer of misery,
as a messenger of wonder,
as an architect of peace.

In the name of the sun and its mirrors
and the day that embraces it
and the cloud veils drawn over it
and the uttermost night
and the male and the female
and the plants bursting with seed
and the crowning seasons
of the firefly and the apple,

I will honor all life
– wherever and in whatever form
it may dwell – on Earth my home,
and in the mansions of the stars.

“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field. I’ll meet you there”. Rumi   Photo: Dominique Velarde – Daybreak

I am an experienced practitioner and have been working as a psychotherapist and counsellor with adults and young people in a variety of settings since 1996. These settings have included a GP surgery, a university, a school, a young person’s centre, two clinics, and private practice where I have worked both with adults and with teenagers in crisis.  I currently work in private practice and have just completed 10 years working as a student counsellor at the University of the West of England. I am registered with the United Kingdom Council of Psychotherapy (UKCP).

Dominique Velarde

I initially trained in Integrative Arts Psychotherapy at The Institute for Arts In Therapy and Education (IATE) where I discovered the enduring power of imagination and the arts on the road to health and well-being. I have since continued to develop my skills and broadened my approach in order to offer more to those who do not feel so comfortable exploring in this way.

I work holistically integrating concepts from Integrative, Humanistic, Psychodynamic, Positive Psychology, Solution Focused and Somatic Therapies and, most recently, Internal Family Systems Therapy. I am particularly influenced by Gestalt Therapy. Inner work, body awareness, and working with imagery form central parts of my practice.

I have spent the last five years deepening my experience of  Internal Family Systems and have completed the 15 day Level 1, a 5 day Level 2 and a 5 day Somatic training (IFS), a 6 week IFS Coaching Course and most recently in February 2022 Level 3. I am also interested in Daniel Siegel’s approach and Marion Woodman’s BodySoul work having engaged in two Intensives and several weekend workshops with Marian Dunlea and Wendy Bratherton. I was invited to create the logo for BodySoul Europe.

BodySoul Europe Logo – Dominique Velarde

I have completed Janina Fisher’s 3 year webinar programme on Trauma Treatment and a year in the Next Level Practitioner programme run by Ruth Buczynski through NICAMB, this included daily and weekly teachings from Peter Levine, Pat Ogden, Rick Hanson, Joan Borysenko, Ron Siegel, Kelly McGonigal, Marshe Linehan and Stephen Porges amongst others. I have explored Bert Hellinger’s Family Constellations work, Matthew Harwood’s workshops working with Pesso Boyden Therapy and enjoy working with dreams. I am also hugely influenced by the teachings of Tara Brach, John Oakley’s School of Kabbalah and Sadhguru.

My experience as a mother informs my work and I currently balance work with being a parent and giving time to my own art making.

Firebird – Dominique Velarde

It can feel onerous deciding which therapy to choose and which therapist to work with. Research suggests that the most important factor in therapy is the quality of the relationship between therapist and client, how listened to and understood you feel. It is often helpful to speak to several different therapists in order to decide who may best suit your needs.  After a phone conversation or initial consultation you will have a better sense of whether we feel a good enough fit to proceed. It can also be useful to review after 6 sessions.

‘Being able to feel safe with other people is probably the single most important aspect of mental health; safe connections are fundamental to meaningful and satisfying lives.’
Bessel Van Der Kolk

Two Birds – Jessica Fisher

I work in St Andrews, Bristol. Sessions last 50 minutes and generally take place once a week. I offer short or long term therapy depending on individual preference and need.


‘I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel’.
Maya Angelou




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