Cara Swanston BA(Hons,) MBACP, Dip. And Adv Dip
Sometimes in life, we are thrown a curve ball, and our challenges become too tough for us to handle alone. These are the times that counselling can help. Counselling can provide a safe, totally non-judgmental, and confidential space for you to explore and work through these challenges. Improving your sense of emotional contentment, physical health and connection to the world.
It is so important to find a counsellor who you feel comfortable with, to help you on your journey. If you feel at ease, safe and have a good rapport with your counsellor, this will make the journey of counselling so much easier. I tend to take a down to earth approach, am known for being very honest and real, and love my work with people. I believe this comes across to my clients. I was once fortunate to have a great counsellor,who enabled me to experience the benefits and transformation possible after really good therapy. This inspired me to become a counsellor myself, so I have total empathy and respect for anyone coming to counselling to help improve their life.
My way of working
I go very much at your pace. I am trained in the pyschodynamic approach (looking back to the past to help make sense of the present and improve the future) and also in CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy - a very much here and now approach, with tools and techniques embedded to help improve symptoms in the present). I also use some holistic techniques, and occasionally creative techniques, depending on what you need at any given time. I think its very important to be flexible and open minded, and by being very real with you and keeping an honest dialogue, we can help ensure you get out of counselling, what you need. Its always about your needs and goals, and as such I will put you at the centre of everything we do.
How long do you need to come to counselling?
This is very much up to you, and something we will always explore throughout the counselling process. I will encourage you to consider what you want to achieve from coming to counselling, and this will impact on the potential duration of the process.
Short term work usually has a focus on present issues, whereas those who are experiencing issues from past trauma or from their childhood, often benefit from longer term counselling.
Special Areas of Expertise
Over the years I have been counselling I have developed a particular specialism and expertise in working with the challenges below, in addition to some of the more common mental health concerns such as anxiety, depression and loss:
- Trauma and PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder)
- Sexual Abuse
- Self harm and suicide (suicidal thoughts or people bereaved by suicide)
Training, qualifications & experience
I run my own private practice, and have worked in the community in various different organisations and also run a community organisation in Bangor, Co Down.
- Level 5 Adv Dip in CBT
- Level 4 Dip in Integrative Counselling
- Safe Talk
- 3 years working on the Self Harm Intervention Project
- Specialist counselling intervention for adults and young people with ASD (autism spectrum disorder)
- Intensive addictions counselling (integrating CBT and psychodynamic approaches)
- Short term solution focused therapy
British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy
BACP is one of the UK’s largest professional bodies for counselling and psychotherapy. Therapists registered with the Association fall into a number of different membership categories such as Individual Member, Registered Member MBACP and Registered Member MBACP (Accred), each standing for different levels of training and experience. MBACP (Accred) and MBACP (Snr Accred) members have achieved a substantial level of training and experience approved by the Association.
Registered members can be found on the BACP Register, which was the first register to achieve Accredited Voluntary Register status issued by the Professional Standards Authority. Individual Members will have completed an appropriate counselling and/or psychotherapy course and started to practise, but will not appear on the BACP Register until they've progressed to Registered Member MBACP status.
All members are bound by a Code of Ethics & Practice and a Complaints Procedure. Accredited by the Professional Standards Authority.
Accredited register membership
Accredited Register Scheme
The Accredited Register Scheme was set up in 2013 by the Department of Health (DoH) as a way to recognise organisations that hold voluntary registers which meet certain standards. These standards are set by the Professional Standards Authority (PSA).
This therapist has indicated that they belong to an Accredited Register.
Areas of counselling I deal with
£50 per session.
Weekend sessions occasionally available. Please get in touch to discuss.
I also offer Skype counselling to clients who live abroad or travel for work / studying. Get in touch if this is something you would like to arrange.