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Kirsty Pakes

Tunbridge Wells

  • Focusing Oriented counselling
  • Inner relationship Focusing


Focusing has been transformative in my life and I am deeply passionate about sharing its gifts with others. It has enabled me to develop a strong, containing yet tender relationship with myself and this supports me to access a kinder and wiser way of being in the world and with others.

What services do I offer?

I specialise in Focusing-Oriented Therapy, teaching Focusing to individuals and groups and working with parents.

My background in Focusing

Having experienced the benefits of Mindfulness Meditation a few decades ago, I came across Focusing and found it to be the missing piece for me around how to be with my experience.

I particularly found the inner relationship approach supportive in giving me the ways to come into relationship with my experience in a loving and accepting way.

As a Clinical Psychologist who has studied attachment theory, it seemed that I was experiencing the core aspects of secure attachment in the quality of the empathic and containing relationship I was developing with myself. For me, in very specific ways, Focusing gave me the practical building blocks of what a secure attachment relationship is.

After learning Focusing with the BFA, I then began bringing it into my clinical work and became a Focusing-Oriented Therapist. I find that it is a gentle, accessible, powerful and empowering approach for clients and it also gives them a life-long way of being with themselves, their emotions and the different parts of themselves, that supports their well-being and emotional resilience.

I am also a parenting consultant in an approach called Parenting by Connection. This is very aligned with Focusing and I very much enjoy teaching Focusing to parents both as a support for themselves and their well-being, but also as a way to develop deep connection with their children.

Focusing has been a central part of my life for a couple of decades so far and I am deeply grateful for what it offers me and I am passionate about helping others access its treasures.


- BFA Focusing Skills Certificate (2008)
- BFA Practitioner Training (2010)
- Focusing-Oriented Therapy Training with the London Focusing Institute (2014)
- Children Focusing with the International Institute of Focusing (2012)
- Hand in Hand Parenting Instructor Training (2017-2020)
- Getting Free: A Year of Untangling (Inner Relationship Focusing) with Ann Weiser Cornell and Barbara McGavin (2023)
- Beyond Trauma: Helping Your Clients Cultivate Inner Presence (2021) Ann Weiser Cornell
- Doctoral Degree in Clinical Psychology, University of East London (2003)
- BA Hons and MA in Social and Political Science (Psychology), Cambridge University (1998)

How do I practice?

  • Online


"I have really appreciated the care she has taken with me - and her insightful ways. I have also appreciated the way she has introduced ideas to me, and worked in ways that are less familiar to me. Her genuineness and complete trustworthiness have been just what I needed. I have felt very held by her. Many, many thanks Kirsty!"

"I know it’s not goodbye yet but just want to say how grateful I am to you for your caring and compassionate presence in all our sessions and in your emails. I’m in a much better place than when we started thanks to you. "

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