Mary Fontein

Mary Fontein

About me….

I have worked with children and young people, as a youth worker, teacher and now therapist.  My teaching experience has been in a variety of contexts, including a broad range of special needs and challenging behaviours.

Why counselling?

Children and young people can show us they are having difficulties in many different ways: aggression, fighting, being very quiet, withdrawing from or struggling to make good relationships with friends and family, bullying, defiance, control, anxiety, self image problems and unhealthy eating patterns, trouble sleeping, self harm….the list goes on.

I use Dan Hughes’ PACE model; finding that playful curiosity, acceptance and empathy unlocks the defenses of the most challenging children.  We journey together to discover and understand all our feelings; making a space to find out what we need and how to get our needs met.  I believe that behaviour that is seen as difficult is often the way a child can communicate their needs and feelings.

Experiencing feelings in a safe and containing space through talking, play and creativity, can help put appropriate words to the feelings and rehearse new ways of communicating.  It can help to do this with a trained professional, who does not have a personal relationship with the child.

What to expect

We have a small cosy room at the Yeovil Annexe, and you will find me to be warm, friendly, down to earth, empathetic, humorous, playful, and show real understanding and acceptance of the parts of yourself that you like and those you don’t like so much.  There will be different art materials and creative play resources available to use if you would like, or we can just sit and talk if you prefer.  I am an artist and so naturally communicate through pictures and objects, so I may at times imagine-in to how things are for you and draw pictures, in order to try and help solve the puzzle of who you are.

In our first session we will get to know each other a bit, talk about confidentially and how we make the sessions safe and comfortable.  We will talk about any areas in which you find life difficult and any changes you would like therapy to bring about.   After 6 sessions we will review how it is going to see if you would like to continue, and how long for.

Training, qualifications & experience

  • Diploma in Counselling Children and Certificate in Counselling Teenagers: from The Institute for Arts in Therapy and Education (IATE), London.
  • I am registered with BACP as a senior trainee as I accrue hours to attain full registration.
  • I can work with children aged 4 to 18.
  • Over 20 years’ experience working with young people as a youth worker, a teacher and then more recently as a counsellor.
  • I work with clients in secondary and primary schools in south Somerset.
  • Experience of working with children with a broad range of special needs, including Autism and ADHD.
  • Experience of working with very challenging behaviours.
  • I am fully insured, attend regular supervision and am registered with the DBS update service.

Price Structure

I charge £35 per 50 minute session.  There may be some flexibility if there is difficulty with this fee.

With younger children I like to meet with parents or carers for a 50 minute consultation, before commencing work.  This gives you opportunity to get to know me and find out more about the process of counselling children, and to decide if it is something you would like for your child.  It also helps me understand in greater depth some of the difficulties that your child is experiencing and find out some of the background to these.  The more I know about the child and their family, the more we can focus the work to really help.


I am available on Wednesdays; daytime or evening.  There may be flexibility on other days if needed, so it’s best to ring me for a chat if you need another time.

Contact details

Tel: 07787572963   Email: