HOPE-FILLED PROFESSIONAL COUNSELLING FOR ADULTS & TEENAGERS.
PEACE FOR TROUBLED HEARTS AND MINDS.
LATEST NEWS: All sessions are currently full. I am not accepting new clients during spring/summer 2022.
Ric Wilton - Heart Thoughts
Specialism: Every counsellor has an individual focus and mine is to work with adults and young people of post-primary age. I have a particular empathy for those who have experienced trauma and for those with a crushed sense of confidence and self-worth. I believe in all of my clients, that they are all deeply valuable and that recovery, peace and joy are achievable at any age.
Accessibility: Whilst my face-to-face counselling is based in Ballymena, I also offer online counselling sessions across Northern Ireland and GB via Zoom, Skype or WhatsApp. Online has worked well for teens and adults alike.
Professionalism: My training includes Integrative Counselling & Psychotherapy, Child & Adolescent Psychotherapy and Trauma Recovery. In addition, I am a registered member of the British Association of Counselling & Psychotherapy (BACP).
Life: Married with three teenagers, an always hungry retriever and a playful pup! A typical share of life's challenges yet love has always proven to be more powerful than fear.
HOW IT WORKS
After an initial introduction session, most clients then attend for a further six counselling sessions. Every session is confidential. Some reach their goals in less time and some with more. Regardless of the timeline I hold the following values with every client:
EVERYONE IS UNIQUE
Experiences of low self-worth, fear, anxiety, grief, bullying, sadness, exclusion, anger, loss, depression, loneliness, abuse, separation, trauma, confusion, isolation and shame are sadly very common; however your story is completely unique - just like you. Your counselling journey will be personal to you.
EVERYONE HAS WORTH
My strong commitment is that every adult & adolescent, every life, is extremely valuable and I counsel from that position.
EVERYONE CAN GROW
Desire for change combined with the courage to reach for help is a firm pathway to new futures and growth. Counselling changes lives.
"courage, dear heart"
HEART THOUGHTS COUNSELLING BLOG
After many years of debating about going to a counsellor I finally decided that I had to try and do something about my demons. To be honest I was terrified and didn’t know what to expect, I met Ric for the first time and I thought flip this is gonna be hard, sharing my problems with a guy to a similar age as myself. But to be totally honest I hit it off with this guy straightaway and was able to open up to him from the first session. Such a down to earth guy, and his skills as a counsellor really helped me to realise things that have changed my life for the better.
Client D (Male)
I was referred for counselling after coming to a real low point in my life. I’d just come out of a bad relationship, was experiencing extreme stress at work and had lost all concept of who I was as a person. I felt like I had no control of what was going on around me, or of my emotions, and saw no hope in the future.
It is no exaggeration to say that talking about what I was going through with Ric changed my life. He helped me understand what I was feeling, how to put situations into perspective and taught me strategies for dealing with my emotions when things got too much. He made me realise that I am strong, that I have worth and that things that have happened to me do not define who I am. Anytime I feel myself slipping into my old thought patterns I can use the tools he taught me to bring myself back to a more positive place, which really has been invaluable.
I cannot thank Ric enough for the time he spent helping me, and would recommend that anyone going through a tough time get in touch with him!
Client A (Female)
I found my time with Ric so valuable. His empathy and professionalism made every session one which was of such benefit, equipping me to face and conquer my anxieties, fears and challenges in a positive constructive manner. Leaving me with a whole better version of me !
Client G (Male)
I never thought I would get anything through counselling. I never could see the point. How could that work? All they would do is ask awkward questions! My doctor had offered me the option before, but I always declined it. Until I suppose I had hit rock bottom and couldn't face life for much longer. Then I asked her to send me. I might not do too many sensible things but thankfully that was one of my better ones.
My first few sessions were tough. There was so much of my buried past came out. I wasn’t prepared for the profound emotional pain this caused. I went home each day exhausted. After a few sessions it got easier. Ric helped me see some of my pain was not my doing. To speak metaphorically, I had thrown it into a rucksack on my back and everything weighed me down more.
I attended these sessions for months, once a week, until I was able to deal with life and talk to my husband and share worries. I'll still have some issues which will creep up but at least with Ric's sound advice, I know how to deal with it in a healthier manner.
He has been wonderful. So easy to talk to. A great counsellor and a great person. I’m so glad I got him. If any other person feels they don’t see how speaking to someone like Ric can help, they seriously need to give it a try. I could recommend his help to anyone.
Client T (Female)
As a student counsellor I had the opportunity to be counselled by Ric as part of my mandatory hours. From the moment we met I felt at ease and I didn't actually think that I needed any counselling however, the techniques that Ric used helped me identify and resolve a number of long standing issues that I had with members of my family which has allowed me to move on with my life more free. I learned so much from him and I hope that I am able to incorporate some of his skills in my practice in due course."
Student Counsellor A (Female)
I was dubious to the idea of counselling at first, however, with Ric’s professional and caring attitude, counselling became one of the best decisions I made. His skills and knowledge were excellent, as was his ability to fully understand my anxieties and needs. He helped my understanding towards the insecurities I hold and how to manage my negative thoughts. He also made me feel at ease from the very first session. A really positive experience and I would highly recommended
Client A (Female)
I attended Ric reluctantly after experiencing a traumatic event in my life. I didn't think I needed help. I was made welcome and didn't feel uncomfortable to talk to him. I eventually accepted the fact that it's not shameful to ask for help. It helped me to pick myself up, focus and carry on with life and work.
I would highly recommend Ric. I appreciate all he done for me and I have came to realise that there is no shame in asking for help. I walked away a better person and used methods to help with other problems in my past.
We may not be able to control the actions of other people but we may have to deal with the aftermath of destruction it leaves in our paths.
Not only have I carried on, its helped me help others.
Client B (Male)
The 6th March is a date that will forever be etched in my mind. Not because I had decided that enough is enough, and I can’t torture myself anymore with my failings personally and also to others, but it was the day I realised what I have and what I could lose.
I’ll not lie, it took me a few weeks to get the courage to speak to my wife and tell her the burdens I have been carrying for years. My problems have been financial and also letting the ones I love down. Failure. These two things weighed me down that much that I had nowhere else to go. Well that’s what I thought.
I was able to secure a slot with Ric on a Saturday morning, and to be honest, being a “mans man” I wasn’t looking forward to it. Actually, I was terrified. Not for admitting what I thought was a cowards way out, not at all, but opening that door for a stranger to peek inside. That was the hardest thing.
Week 1, I broke down in tears admitting the things and lengths I went to try and take my life, telling lies, making up stories about where I was, hiding debt. All the while holding up a good job and still being able to be “the man”. Being the pillar for my friends and family, being the funny guy, the helpful guy to everyone but myself.
Ric was able to help me. He was able to make me understand “My Worth”. And I am worthy. Not in like biblical sense etc but knowing my worth as a person, as a father, as a husband, as a son. I was able to know my worth and come to the conclusion that I am not going to get far in life without confiding in friends and family or it will be a hard and rocky road.
Weeks went by, the odd Saturday I would get “homework” and have to really try and discover myself and talk about what made me go down that route on the 6th of March. And I got there. With Ric’s help. He helped me realise that failure and letting yourself or others down is inevitable, but it’s how you react.
Our financial situation is getting far better. With the guidance of Ric and also myself taking that step to open up and lay it all bare, I’m now able to manage my situations and whatever is thrown at me. I can take a step back if needed from situations or even others and reset. I’ve been able to make it easier on my family and no longer let them see me suffer.
I really recommend taking the plunge and speaking to someone, if your able to speak to Ric then I highly recommend it. Very approachable, easy to listen to and even in times of silence, does not make you feel uneasy.
Client G (Male)
FIND URGENT COUNSELLING HELP
Lifeline is the Northern Ireland crisis response helpline service for people who are experiencing distress or despair. No matter what your age or where you live in Northern Ireland, if you are or someone you know is in distress or despair, Lifeline is here to help.
People living in Northern Ireland can call Lifeline on 0808 808 8000. Calls to Lifeline are free to people living in Northern Ireland who are calling from UK landlines and mobiles.
If you feel that you are a threat to yourself or others then please reach out 24/7 to someone in your local casualty department.
Your local GP is an important partner in both your physical and mental health.