Amy Mills (she/her)
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. People are very resourceful and find ways of surviving. I believe that everyone has the capacity to adapt and to grow.
I consider myself to be a trauma-informed practitioner. I believe mental discomfort stems from our relationships with ourselves and other people, things that happen which affect us (both past and present), the beliefs we hold about ourselves and the world, and what choices are available to us. Sometimes we can get stuck in patterns of thinking and behaving, which maybe were once helpful but aren’t any more. We build our ideas about others and ourselves based on our past 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 sometimes these ways of coping might cause other problems – like using drugs, alcohol, over and under eating, hurting yourself. I won’t condemn you for how you feel and how you cope, nor will I think there is something wrong with you. I offer a reliable, private space to make sense of what you are experiencing, to find ways of accepting your situation and to think about any changes you might want and be able to make.
I have travelled quite a lot across six continents and I believe this has really helped me develop a curious and non-judgmental mindset towards the different ways people live their lives. I am really interested in people and what different cultures are like to live within, our differences and our similarities. I particularly enjoy working with people who want to explore their own sense of identity in the world.
My style of counselling and psychotherapy is called Humanistic Integrative. I have a pluralistic approach meaning I draw on theory from a number of therapeutic schools including Person Centred, Psychodynamic, CBT, Solution Focused, Gestalt, Mindfulness, Attachment Theory, Systemic Theory and Existential.
My qualifications and professional memberships
I hold a Postgraduate Diploma and 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. I am currently volunteering my time with ACTO, helping to put together a database of different countries’ laws and regulations relating to counselling with the aim of making it easier for counsellors to support people across international borders.
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.
I have been counselling adults, young people and children for over ten years. I set up Paper Plane Counselling in 2018 after moving to Hull, UK, to offer counselling to people directly. Before this 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 in order to better support them.
Besides counselling people, I have been supporting adults with their mental health for over twenty years now. I’ve enjoyed and learnt a lot through being in a variety of roles including volunteering on helplines, supporting people with long-standing mental health difficulties and running social events in a psychiatric hospital.
Other things you might 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’m counselling though.)
I hold an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Scheme (DBS) check which you can view on request.