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. 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 difficult relationships in our early years or later in life, the messages we receive about ourselves which we internalise and continue to tell ourselves, 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 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 ways of coping might be attempts not to feel and may cause other problems – like dissociating, using drugs or alcohol, over or under-eating, hurting yourself or others. 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, confidential space to pause and make sense of what you are experiencing, to find ways of coming to terms with your situation and to think about any changes you might want and be able to make. I believe that everyone has the capacity to change and to grow.
My qualifications and professional memberships
I have been counselling adults, young people and children for 14 years and supporting people with their mental health for over 20 years. 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. 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 since 2008. 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.
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 very 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.
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.