From an early age I was interested in the human condition and like most children asked ‘why?’ a lot. My early childhood was spent in wild places: Northern Ontario and Labrador, Canada, then the desert of Peru. I moved to England when I was 10 years old but loved the feeling and atmosphere of Peru, so studied Latin American Studies for my degree. This took me to Mexico in my early 20s and my fondness for Latin American culture grew. I enjoyed the felt experience of living in a complex culture – a mixture of western and ancient values and traditions.
In my late 20s I took a different turn after becoming a mother and went into a ‘caring profession’: nursing. I knew I wanted to serve people in some way. I was also interested in personal development and began to study within an Eastern wisdom tradition. I trained as a yoga teacher and taught classes for a few years in Portsmouth, before moving to Devon in 1995 and working as a registered nurse. I nursed cancer patients both in a clinical setting and as a specialist nurse over a 20-year period.
However, counselling was always a deep interest. Having worked with a counsellor as a client and experiencing the benefits of being seen, heard and met, I knew this was the direction I wanted to go in as a career. When I had the opportunity to do a counselling course through the NHS I jumped in with both feet. I gained my Advanced Diploma in Integrative Counselling with the Iron Mill Institute (now College) in Exeter, in 2009.
Alongside my nursing job, I worked as a Volunteer Counsellor in NHS mental health settings for 4 years, during my training and afterwards. Then it was time to start my own private counselling business. In 2011, I gathered some counsellor friends and we started Torbay Talking Therapy, operating as sole practitioners out of a GP surgery in Torquay. After a couple of years I moved my practice to central Totnes, and with a counsellor partner we took over the former counselling room of the long-established Croft Counselling.
In 2016, I spent a year in Ottawa, Canada, the country of my birth, which was effectively an inner journey, and am now back in Totnes where I continue to do the work that I love.
- Advanced Diploma in Humanistic-Integrative Counselling, the Iron Mill Institute, Exeter, 2009
- Registered with the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP)
- Registered Nurse – cancer nursing and Oncology Research
- Trained in Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT)
- Volunteer counsellor – Devon Partnership Trust (NHS mental health service provider), 2008-2011
- Member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (MBACP)
- Completed the Women’s Initiatory Journey in 2014, facilitated by Elisabeth Josephs-Serra, Culture of Honouring/Social Alchemy
- Counsellor for Torbay Care Trust’s Carer Support scheme from 2014-15
- In private practice since 2011
Find me on Facebook: Ingrid Koehler Counselling