Dr Carole Francis-Smith
Life can be a struggle for us all, at any point in our lives, and seeking help a first step to getting back on track. I provide a safe place to explore your unique experience and am currently operating online. The Covid 19 pandemic is adding understandable stress to our lives and recognising when we might be overwhelmed and finding support is important.
I am a chartered counselling psychologist who trained as a therapist later in life after a previous career working with vulnerable young people and adults of all ages. I hope that this, coupled with my further training and therapeutic experience means I can offer something useful to you.
I have experience of supporting people through difficulties in their life and feel it is a great privilege to be in this position. Being a counselling psychologist means I am able to offer a range of therapeutic techniques and psychological theories as appropriate to therapy. My work focus is often working with people who struggle with their lives through high self critical thinking and shame, and are looking to be able to support themselves long term - i find the compassion focused therapy approach to be very useful to this effect.
I have experience in working with a range of issues, e.g. anxiety, OCD, depression, loss & bereavement, relationship problems, work-related stress, end of life issues, life changes and readjustment, problematic anger, self-confidence, self-esteem and trauma. Every persons experience is unique - for this reason I work by listening to your needs and offering a form of therapy that will suit you.
How therapy works with me
Initial session - I offer a slightly longer first session (at the same price) to give us the opportunity to talk through your issues and start building a working relationship. We would then make an agreement about how to go forward and if we decide I am not the person to help you at this time I can help you find someone who is. I have experience in working long or short-term and I expect we would decide on an amount of sessions initially then review this regularly.
Ongoing sessions- These sessions are 60 minutes long and likely to feel different to the initial session as we get to know each other better. Therapy is likely to work best if you are able to attend regular appointments. We will review how therapy is progressing regularly to make sure it is suiting your needs.
Ending therapy- I strongly believe finishing therapy well is very important and will be working on this with you, focussing on your future.
My belief is that any one of us can feel in need of help at some time and I hope I can offer that to you. The beauty of a talking therapy is that it provides a safe place with a safe person to talk through difficult issues, and even if we have people in our lives that care about us we can often feel like we don’t want to burden them.
You are very welcome to enquire about therapy with me - I look forward to meeting you.
Training, qualifications & experience
I am a counselling psychologist which involves advanced training in many mental health issues, assessment, therapeutic techniques, therapy planning, ethics, psychometric testing etc. Accredited with the BPS by spending a minimum of 450 hours working with clients. Undertaken doctoral research into Email counselling and the therapeutic relationship.
I have also further trained in a variety of areas and techniques to enhance my practice. This includes compassion focused therapy which I have seen help people feeling stuck in very self-critical and shameful places to move on with their lives, and sustain their own recovery.
Professional Doctorate in Counselling Psychology – University of the West of England.
Psychology degree (1st class) – University of the West of England.
Counselling skills certificate – Bristol University.
Certificate in Online Counselling skills – Online Counselling and Supervision Training (OCST).
I have been fortunate enough to work with people from all walks of life from the ages of 16-80 in a range of settings (a hospital, NHS counselling service, learning disability trust, university counselling service). Some of the issues I have worked with are; anxiety, depression, loss & bereavement, relationship problems, work-related stress, end of life issues, life changes and readjustment, problematic anger, self-confidence, self-esteem and trauma.
Registered / Accredited
Being registered/accredited with a professional body means an individual must have achieved a substantial level of training and experience approved by their member organisation.
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.
Health and Care Professions Council
The HCPC are an independent, UK-wide health regulator. They set standards of professional training, performance and conduct for 16 professions.
They keep a register of health professionals who meet their standards, and they take action if registered health professionals fall below those standards. They were created by a piece of legislation called the Health Professions Order 2001.
Registration means that a health professional meets national standards for their professional training, performance and conduct.
British Psychological Society
British Psychological Society
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
Other areas of counselling I deal with
Life changes and readjustment
EAP/Health Insurance Providers
Therapy - £90 for a 60 minute session (longer initial assessment session at the same rate) via webcam or telephone.
Email therapy - £60 per Email exchange
I am currently offering therapy and supervision via webcam or telephone.
I also offer supervision and a bespoke training service details of which are on my website.