Best-selling author Rachel Kelly inspires next generation of counsellors at graduation ceremony

November 30, 2015 1:22 pm Published by

Rachel Kelly, former Times journalist and author of a Sunday Times best-seller book endorsed by Ruby Wax, “Black Rainbow” and new release “Walking on Sunshine: 52 Small Steps to Happiness” was the guest speaker at the 2015 graduation for trainees studying to become counsellors at Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire charity, The Counselling Foundation.



The mental health campaigner spoke of her struggle of balancing being a career woman, mother of two and wife to a junior banker and the night it all came crashing down. For Rachel, she experienced this both symbolically and literally, as she told the audience she had an overwhelming feeling as if she were strapped into a plummeting plane. It turned out that Rachel was suffering a severe depressive episode.

Rachel described her personal experience of living with anxiety and depression and her initial dismissal of therapy, but after her second breakdown, she attributed counselling in combination with poetry as her cure as well as diet and exercise.

She said her counsellor saved her life and made an everlasting impression that she will always be grateful for. Rachel congratulated the trainees in knowing that they will be able to provide vital support to others the way she received help herself and make a similar impression on others’ lives.


Rachel said: “I am so honoured to talk at The Counselling Foundation’s Graduation event. I feel as if I am among friends, others who had had to dig deep into their souls to find their own truth, to become compassionate to themselves, and thereby to become compassionate to others in their new roles as counsellors. Congratulations to all the new graduates!’

Now a well-known author and mental health crusader, this month she was one of the 200 public figures including Nick Clegg, Emma Thompson and J.K. Rowling to sign a letter to push for mental health to be treated as seriously as other physical illnesses. She mentioned in her speech that this is the time for mental health to be at the forefront of health matters and that the graduates would be a part of making this happen.




The Counselling Foundation’s staff and trustees joined the counselling trainees from the Foundation Certificate, Diploma and Advanced Diploma courses, along with their friends and families to celebrate their outstanding efforts and achievements.




Robert Cuming CEO at The Counselling Foundation said: “this event commemorates the success of our students and all their hard work they have dedicated to becoming counsellors, one of the most rewarding careers available. We were honoured to have Rachel Kelly as our guest speaker and look forward to working together in the future as an ambassador for our charity, to bring a better awareness of mental health and the services we provide.”


The Counselling Foundation Training Centre is now taking enquiries for their part time courses to start in 2016 including six week Introduction to Counselling, Certificate, Diploma and Advance Diploma plus a range of CPDs and workshops. Further information can be found on the website

If you would like to access affordable counselling, or know anyone else that may benefit from their services, then please get in touch with The Counselling Foundation in St Albans – 01727 856693.

Rachel’s books are available to purchase online:
Walking on Sunshine: 52 Small Steps to Happiness
Black Rainbow: How words healed me: my journey through depression



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