Sylvia Hillman

Personal History:

From being a young mum at 19 who left school at 15, I entered into my first job working as a  fitness instructor, I then decided it was time to attempt education again at the age of 26.  I studied HNC in  Business at college and then onto Edinburgh Napier University, where I trained to become a Careers Adviser working in education, third sector, and I remain working with the military on their resettlement. In 1998 I remember being made redundant as a recycling coordinator and the feelings of loss, insecurity, and uncertainty. This led me to want to help individuals in careers and beyond because I can empathize with many of the situations and emotions that life brought. I went to university for the first time in my 30s and have never looked back.  Career consultancy with the military is a hugely rewarding job and one that led me to return to higher education again in my 40s and trained to become a counsellor.

Learning differences and relationship difficulties from working with individuals led to my curiosity as to why people behave the way they do. Studying psychodynamic theory became a passion  ‘How the past lives in the present. Much of my theoretical learning comes from Bowlby, Klien, Winnicott and Bion in psychodynamic theory and Rogers, Brown and McLeod in Person Centred Approach. I later went on to teach counselling in further education.

My MSc dissertation in 2016 was on ‘anxiety in education because it appears to be on the increase.  I became particularly interested in understanding more about  ADHD, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia and Dyscalculia. I have come to know and learn much about the neurodiverse brain and how we are all very unique. I feel it is my role to help individuals who suffer in silence and to educate society in understanding that we are all different – Let’s celebrate this.

In 2021 I embarked on a part-time PhD in Counselling & Psychotherapy and teach part-time on the PG certificate at The University of Edinburgh.  After at least  3000 hours of counselling, it feels like the right time to pass on some well-earned skills.  It is a pleasure to be part of the teaching time whilst constantly keeping abreast of new literature. 

From my personal life experiences combined with that of theory and practice, I believe I am suitably qualified and experienced to be a therapist for you. However, it is the core of a good relationship that holds and contains individuals in their confidential stories. So, here I am to try help this process for you.


My Qualifications:  MBACP Accreditated.

MSc Counselling (Merit) – The University of Edinburgh

Postgraduate Diploma in Counselling (Distinction)

Postgraduate Diploma in Career Guidance – Edinburgh’s Napier University

Diploma in Teaching in Further Education – Fife College


Contact me:

Please get in touch if you’d like to discuss any of the services I offer, or have anything else you think I can help with. You can call me on 07977 531 901 or email directly at: