About: Amy Mills
I work slightly differently with each person I meet because I adapt my counselling style depending on what a person wants to think about and get out of our meetings. I see each person as unique although many things that happen in life are not. We all experience loss, change and uncertainty at different times in our lives. Things happen which are unfair and we have to cope. Relationships can be supportive but can be sources of stress as well. People are very resourceful and find ways of adapting. I believe mental discomfort stems from: •the messages about ourselves which we receive and internalise from our relationships in our childhood or later in life •the patterns we develop of relating to ourselves and others •things that happen which affect us (both in the past and ongoing) •the beliefs we hold about other people and the world •what choices are available to us. Sometimes we get stuck in patterns of thinking and behaving, which perhaps were once helpful but aren’t any more. We build our ideas about others and ourselves based on our past relationships and experiences, and sometimes our view of how things might be – what we deserve, what we’re worth – gets muddled. People respond in different ways to difficult situations and find ways of coping with the feelings they bring up. Sometimes these might be attempts not to feel and may cause other problems in life – like dissociating, using drugs or alcohol, over or under-eating, hurting themselves or others. I won’t condemn someone for how they feel and how they cope, nor will I think there is something innately wrong with them. I work with these types of behaviours by helping a person make sense of why they are doing them and – if they want to – consider how else they might be able to look after themselves and get their needs met. I believe that everyone has the capacity to change and to grow.
My commitment to people who identify as LGBTQI+
I particularly welcome people who identify as LGBTQI+ (aka ‘GSRD’ or Gender Sexuality and Relationship Diversity). I am fully committed to the Memorandum of Understanding on Conversion Therapy in the UK and as such I do not offer or endorse so-called ‘conversion therapy’. Instead, I seek to offer counselling and supervision which supports people to explore, validate and integrate the different parts of themselves. Some people seek counselling to support themselves with exploring their LGBTQI+ identity, while others are instead looking for support to address other challenges in their lives (like navigating change or difficult relationships with others) and their LGBTQI+ identity is just part of the picture of who they are. Either is totally fine – I won’t attempt to pathologise someone’s consensual identity expression or lifestyle choices. I aim to meet someone where they’re at with respect, acceptance and understanding.
My qualifications and professional memberships
I have been counselling adults, young people and children for 15 years and supporting people with their mental health for over 25 years. I hold a Master’s degree in Counselling and Psychotherapy from the University of East London, and a BACP endorsed Level 6 Certificate in Therapeutic Counselling Supervision from the Counselling and Psychotherapy Central Awarding Body (CPCAB). I am a Certified Cyber Therapist and a Certified Clinical Cyber Supervisor, having completed substantial training through the Online Therapy Institute on counselling and supervising online and by telephone. I am an Accredited Member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (MBACP Accred) and a Professional Member of the Association for Counselling and Therapy Online (ACTO). I am committed to ethical practice and abide by the BACP’s Ethical Framework and ACTO’s Code of Ethics. I am continually learning and developing my practice in a wide range of ways. Since 2019, I have been a committee member of the Yorkshire Supervisors' Forum, helping to organise events for this vibrant CPD group for supervisors of counselling and psychotherapy professionals.
Before setting up Paper Plane Counselling in 2018, I worked for many years in various parts of London, UK, running counselling services in primary and secondary schools with the national charity Place2Be. Before this I counselled adults and ran psychoeducational groups through branches of the national charity Mind; I counselled university students at the University of Roehampton and younger people at a community centre called the Wimbledon Guild in south west London. I developed a passion for working creatively with younger people, helping them to express themselves through artwork and play as well as with words. I became very experienced at supporting parents, carers and teachers to reflect on and develop their relationships with children and young people in order to support them better. Besides counselling, I have supported adults struggling with their mental health through roles on crisis helplines, in the community offering advice to people looking for work and volunteer opportunities, as well as running social events in a psychiatric hospital. I have travelled widely across six continents and I believe this has helped me develop a curious and non-judgmental mindset towards the different ways people live their lives. I am very interested in what different cultures are like to live within, the rules and versions of what is ‘normal’, our differences and our similarities. I enjoy working with people who want to explore their own sense of identity in the world.
Other things you may want to know about me
I occasionally work with the media and have sometimes featured on local radio station Viking FM contributing to discussions around mental health. (I never speak directly about the people I work with though.) I hold an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Scheme (DBS) check which you can view on request. If you want to know more about my background and experience then you can take a look at my LinkedIn biography and feel free to message me if there is something specific you want to know.
About: Paper Plane Counselling
Paper Plane Counselling was founded by Amy Mills in 2018 to offer counselling for children (aged 6+) and adults as well as supervision for other counsellors and professionals in related fields. Initially services were offered both online and face-to-face from a dedicated therapy room in central Hull, UK.
Since March 2020, all sessions have been delivered either online or by telephone. Amy's style of counselling is less effective for younger children when delivered online and for this reason she currently offers counselling for young people aged 16+ years.
Working online enables Amy to support a wide range of people both across the UK and in some other countries too.