Our Team

Introducing the Heartwood Team

Jane Schindler-Ord

Level 4 Tutor, Level 5 Tutor and Tutor in Counselling Young People (Advanced Specialist Diploma)

I am a psychotherapist, supervisor and trainer and a registered member of the BACP. I have been working in private practice for over a decade. I have previously been involved in starting up and running several successful counselling agencies and I managed a counselling and mental health service for five to 22 year olds from 2012 to 2019. 
After gaining a diploma in therapeutic counselling I went on to achieve both level 5 and level 6 diplomas in psychotherapy and supervision before completing a foundation degree in counselling in 2011. I have also undertaken further studies in working with children and young people at the Gestalt Centre in London.
I write and deliver courses and workshops with my husband for counsellors in and around the south west, including a Diploma in Working Therapeutically with Young People. I am also a qualified and accredited Mental Health First Aid (Youth) trainer. I am a national trainer teaching courses that I have written in Mental Health, Attachment and Trauma across the UK.
Alongside my tutoring work I also run a thriving private practice where I see children, young people and adults, as well as providing supervision to counsellors and other professionals.
Outside of counselling and training I enjoy being creative, walking, camping and keeping bees.

Jane Taylor- Cert. Ed (PCET), Dip Psych, Dip Couns, D32/D33/D34 Assessor

Level 4 Tutor

Jane completed her level 4 and level 5 training here at Heartwood, her experience was so enriched by the experiential teaching style; that when the opportunity to join the tutoring team presented itself, she felt it was as if the planets had all aligned. Combining her passion for teaching with her counselling and psychotherapy experience, resulting in doing a job that she loves. She has been in Further Education lecturing, mentoring, coaching and quality assuring in the Catering and Hospitality sector, for both private training companies and colleges for almost two decades.  It was during this time that she began her counselling journey, whilst supporting her students as part of their pastoral care.

Jane is a qualified and accredited NCS Integrative Counsellor and Psychotherapist, she works with clients from a diverse sector of the community as a voluntary counsellor for a local charity. In addition, she has set up her own private practice, specialising in working with adult clients experiencing chronic pain and loss of any kind, maybe due to bereavement, work, relationships, or health. She is a professional Dowser as well as having a background in Shamanic and other spiritual practices, she offers this alongside her counselling and psychotherapy work for those wishing to explore other therapies for their own personal development.

“I have a passion for supporting people in mind, body and soul. To rebalance ourselves emotionally, physically and spiritually, I feel the importance of our energy systems being given the opportunity and space for healing to be experience and explored.”

When Jane is not teaching or in her therapy space, she can often be found birdwatching, photographing nature or out with her dowsing rods exploring ancient landscapes out on Dartmoor. She finds that it enriches her mind, body and soul.

James Schindler-Ord   BSc, Dip. NLP, Dip. CBT, Dip. Sup, Dip. Psy Couns, Dip. Thera Couns, Cert. Rel Couns, Cert. CBT, PTLLS, Registered Member MBACP

Level 3, 4, 5, & 6 Tutor

I have been practicing as a counsellor and psychotherapist for over a decade in both the charity sector as well as the corporate world and have built up a thriving private practice working with individuals, couples and groups of all ages in South Devon ( www.jamesschindlerord.com ). I have also been supervising counsellors and other professionals since 2011 and alongside this I manage an affordable counselling agency in Teignbridge. In addition to this, I write and deliver courses and workshops with my wife for counsellors in and around the south west.
I began my journey into counselling in order to help a close friend and quickly found myself working through my own issues, issues that I had never really admitted (and in many cases never realised) I had. I continue this journey of self-discovery and personal growth, hopefully working towards achieving my full potential as a human-being.
I use a broadly humanistic, approach developed principally from Gestalt and Body Process Psychotherapy, Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).
I see counselling and therapeutic work as a collaborative process in which the client brings their experiences in both a conscious and an unconscious way and I bring my awareness, my experience and my respectful curiosity. 

Beth Hicks 

Level 3 Tutor

Beth’s career started in the theatre. After discovering a talent for performing, Beth attended East 15 Acting school, graduating in 2003. Alongside acting, Beth has worked extensively with young people in various school and educational settings running life skills classes, delivering playworx’s sessions and Facilitating drama workshops. 

Beth returned to roots in the Westcountry after nearly ten years in London.  She attended an information day at a counselling college in Devon and was soon drawn into the world of counselling – she had finally found her tribe.  Beth has not looked back since and her decision to train as a counsellor has been absolutely life changing.  Beth has found her theatre skills have been transferable and she is able to effectively combine her love of performing with her passion for counselling.  In 2009 Beth co- founded a theatre company. 

The theatre company tours work based on topical mental health issues such as insomnia, intrusive thoughts and split personality disorder.  Beth works as a counsellor in a Plymouth Secondary school, is an associate counsellor at Psychology Associates, works as a specialist mental health mentor for students at both Plymouth and Exeter University and is a counsellor for First Light, a charity for survivors of sexual violence. 

Beth is passionate about all things counselling, drama and teaching.  With Beth’s skills, knowledge, experience, and love of all things counselling she is able to provide a valuable teaching experience for her students at Heartwood and is delighted to be a part of the Heartwood team.

Fee Scott

Level 4 Tutor

Fee has been working with people for 35 years in a number of roles in Leicester, Birmingham and Devon; as an advocate for disabled people, a residential worker with adolescent boys, a Social Worker with asylum seekers and refugees, as a manager of a LGBT Centre, a training manager in social care and in developing multi-disciplinary work with children and families.  The focus of all of her work has been supporting those who are often excluded, disempowered, and silenced.  Counselling offers such potential for people to feel valued, empowered and to find their voice.  For the past 10 years Fee has been the Chief Executive of Devon Rape Crisis and Sexual Abuse Services, developing an organisation which delivers high quality, effective trauma-specialist services for those who have been impacted by sexual violence. 


Fee is a registered Social Worker, qualified Counsellor and accredited EMDR Therapist, and trauma work is at the heart of her thinking and practice.  Fee is currently working as an Independent Social Worker, undertaking assessments of prospective foster carers and building an EMDR and counselling practice alongside her role at Heartwood teaching the Level 4 Diploma in Integrative Counselling.


Fee has benefited personally from excellent individual and group therapy and understands the importance working with skilled, knowledgeable, and safe practitioners. 


Fee says “My life has been changed immeasurably since I discovered I could safely discard my false persona and live more authentically……


Training has been a large part of all my previous roles, and I love the potential for training to move us along, both personally and professionally.  I’m delighted to be working at Heartwood, helping to shape the skills and knowledge of new counsellors.  The programmes are so rich and creative and I love the encouragement to both bring fun to the training room, and to have fun myself!”

Sarah Lord

Level 4 Tutor

Sarah has worked in education for 18 years and expanded her skills into counselling in more recent years. 

As well as tutoring at Heartwood, she works in school leadership and has a private practice counselling adults and children. Sarah has a particular interest in supporting children with Special Educational Needs and has worked with the National Counselling Society to develop their competencies in this area.

Teresa Gray- BA (Hons), MA, PG Cert. Coaching and Mentoring

Level 2 and Level 3 Tutor

Teresa has a background in art, design and media education bringing 25 years of experience as an educator and curriculum manager in further, higher, and postgraduate education. She has a wealth of experience as a lecturer, pastoral tutor, coach, and mentor.

Teresa is a qualified adult Mental Health First Aid instructor. In this capacity she trains individuals and organisations in mental health awareness and as MH first aiders. Teresa’s interests include a passion for wellbeing in the workplace, and she is an advocate for creating and sustaining mentally healthier businesses and communities. Teresa also works in a freelance capacity, helping organisations with mental health awareness initiatives.

She is training to be a counsellor at Heartwood.

Teresa enjoys writing and creative practice, spending time with her family, being in nature, beaches in winter and walking with her dog.

Trudi Jones   Dip Counselling, Advanced Cert Ed, 7307 Teaching cert, Assessor awards D32/33/34/36, Coaching, Level 4 in Human Resource Management, Cert in teaching basic Skills (Literacy)

Level 2 Tutor, Level 3 Tutor and Level 4 Tutor

Hello, I am a qualified/accredited (NCS) pluralistic counsellor. I was originally trained here at Heartwood and am lucky enough to have joined the team 3 years ago as a tutor teaching Level 2, Level 3 and the Level 4 courses.  My background has been in higher management, teaching, training and development which has taken me all around the world.

I am also in private practice and have experience of working with body dysmorphia, transgender, body issues, young adult age 11+, adults – bereavement, anxiety and depression, trauma, relationship issues and student anxiety around exam/university life. I have experience of working within a University, Young Devon (YES – Youth Enquiry service) and Rowcroft Hospice Bereavement Service.

“I love my job, if you do what you love it doesn’t feel like work – I am passionate about facilitating growth and development within the Heartwood counselling and psychotherapy college and am currently tutoring the Level 4 diploma in counselling, I am a keen writer and have a deep interest in self-development including the transpersonal aspects of counselling amongst other approaches – one size doesn’t fit all.  My mantra in life is to never stop exploring and questioning the human connection”.

Willow Dicker

Finance Manager and Social Media Marketing

Willow mostly deals with the finance side of things at Heartwood, she writes the newsletter and keeps the Facebook page running as well as being an internal assessor. Willow comes from a Social Work background having worked for five years in the field before deciding to leave the professional for a slightly slower pace of life. Willow has also completed her Level 4 training in counselling. Willow’s passion lies with working with children and she has lots of experience in Child Protection, particularly children in care. Willow will be the person you will speak to if you have any finance related issues and she is always willing to help. Sometimes Willow will come in and help teach the Child Protection and Attachment Theory days on our courses due to her experience and knowledge of the subject.


Dinah Mears

Tutor in Relationship Counselling (Advanced Specialist Diploma)

I began my career by training as a State Registered Nurse and then moved into community work running Family Support Groups and a Youth Club for Devon County Council. In 1993 I worked with the International Red Cross resettling traumatised refugee families to Devon from the war in the former Yugoslavia. I began my therapeutic training in 1999, alongside my role in a child protection team where I began to develop an open access support service for parents and children.

While completing both the Foundation and Clinical practice Certificate in Family Therapy from Exeter University’s Department of Psychology, I spent 10 years working as a manager of Family Support Services in the field of Child Protection.

I then worked as a counsellor and trainer with Relate for 10 years, before developing my own private counselling practice. During the last sixteen years, I have also become a specialist trainer and consultant in the field of Domestic Abuse, Child Sexual Abuse and Child Sexual Exploitation. I deliver training on these subjects across the UK.

Outside my work I enjoy swimming, vinyasa yoga and a spot of fairweather camping.

Relationships are the core part of how we function in the world as human beings, and as such my curiosity about them is fundamental to the work that I do whether it is counselling, training or supervision.

Dr Philip A. Rees   BA(Hons), ThD, PhD(Psychology), DipCoun, DipPTSC, CertSuper, MISMA, FRSPA, FCollT, FCIEA, FRSA, Member of the Chartered College of Teachers, Licensed NLP Practitioner, 

Heartwood External Examiner/Verifier

I was appointed the Heartwood External Examiner/Verifier in 2018 for the Qualify Checked and Accredited Courses with the National Counselling Society. I have been involved in the field of Counselling for over 35 years, within a range of clinical and educational settings.
I have had the privilege of being involved in the training of counsellors and psychotherapists in Independent, Further and Higher Education centres of learning.  I have worked as a Lecturer and Programme Manager to a large Counselling Department at a Further Education College in Birmingham.  I have delivered Counselling Training Courses, Summer Schools and Workshops throughout Great Britain and Northern Ireland – and in Gibraltar!  I have written a wide range of training courses from Level 2 to Level 6 for a major Awarding Body which have been delivered all over the UK.  In addition, I wrote a Training Manual for Pharmacists in counselling skills and practise which was published by the University of Manchester and used as the core material for training Pharmacists across England and Scotland.  I have also been External Examiner to the University of Greenwich and the University of Nottingham.
I worked for AQA (Counselling) for nearly twenty years as an External Verifier, Chair of Examiners for twelve years and Chief External Verifier for two years.  From 2014, I have been working with AIM Awards as an External Verifier to their Counselling programmes of learning within FE, HE and Independent Training Centres.
In 2013, I was appointed by the National Counselling Society as their Independent Assessor, and act as External Examiner and Verifier to a number of Independent Centres who have chosen the NCS route for the accreditation of the counselling training courses.