Cara Swanston Verified Professional Verified Professional
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BA(Hons,) MBACP, Dip. And Adv Dip

About me

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)
  • Addictions
  • Autism
  • 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

Member organisations


British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy (BACP)

BACP is one of the UK’s leading professional bodies for counselling and psychotherapy with around 60,000 members. The Association has several different categories of membership, including Student Member, Individual Member, Registered Member MBACP, Registered Accredited Member MBACP (Accred) and Senior Registered Accredited Member MBACP (Snr Acccred).

Registered and accredited members are listed on the BACP Register, which shows that they have demonstrated BACP’s recommended standards for training, proficiency and ethical practice. The BACP Register was the first register of psychological therapists to be accredited by the Professional Standards Authority (PSA).

Accredited and senior accredited membership are voluntary categories for members who choose to undertake a rigorous application and assessment process to demonstrate additional standards around practice, training and supervision.

Individual members will have completed an appropriate counselling or psychotherapy course and started to practise, but they won’t appear on the BACP Register until they've demonstrated that they meet the standards for registration. Student members are still in the process of completing their training.

All members are bound by the BACP Ethical Framework and a Professional Conduct Procedure.

Accredited register membership

British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy

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.

British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy

Photos & videos


Additional information

£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.

When I work

Daytime, Evenings and Weekends by arrangement. Also available for Skype Counselling.

Type of session

In person

Types of client

Young people
Older adults
Employee Assistance Programme

Key details

Wheelchair user access

Wheelchair user access

Wheelchair-accessible premises should have step-free access for wheelchair users and individuals who are unable to climb stairs. If a Counsellor's premises aren't step-free, they may offer alternative services such as telephone/web-based appointments, home visits, or meeting clients in different location, so you can choose the option that suits you best.

You can contact the Counsellor to discuss the options available.

Under the Equality Act 2010 service providers have a duty to make reasonable adjustments to ensure that individuals with disabilities can access their service. You can read more about reasonable adjustments to help you to access services on the CAB website.