Dr Carole Francis-Smith

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Chartered Counselling Psychologist
Available for new clients
Available for new clients

This professional is available for new clients.

Bristol, Gloucestershire, BS37
Available for new clients
Available for new clients

This professional is available for new clients.

About me

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 currently run a clinic at The Old Rectory Clinic, Iron Acton (near Bristol) on a Wednesday. I have limited online availability. 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
Online intake form - I use a secure online clinical note provider and send you a form for some initial details prior to the first session. 

Initial assessment session - I offer a an initial assessment session 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 PsychologyUniversity 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 14-80 in a range of settings (a hospital, NHS counselling service, learning disability trust, university counselling service, private mental health hospital). 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.

I have become increasingly concerned about the levels of emotional overwhelm and burnout we now struggle with, especially from recent pressures on humanity and the way we now life. I often find myself supporting people in this situation via therapy and workshops, where appropriate.

Member organisations

Registered / Accredited

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 Psychological Society (BPS)

British Psychological Society

Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)

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 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

Other areas of counselling I deal with

Life changes and readjustment

Photos & videos


£100.00 per session

Health Insurance/EAP

  • Aviva
  • Axa Health
  • WPA

Additional information

Therapy - £100 for a 60 minute assessment/ ongoing sessions

When I work

Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun

I will be open to new enquiries for therapy services at The Old Rectory Clinic from September 2023

Further information

I also offer supervision and a bespoke training service details of which are on my website.

Iron Acton, Bristol, Gloucestershire, BS37

Type of session

In person

Types of client

Young people (13-17)
Adults (25-64)
Older Adults (65+)
Employee Assistance Programme

Key details

DBS check

In England and Wales, the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS, formerly known as CRB) carry out criminal records checks for individuals working with vulnerable groups, such as children. To find out more, visit gov.uk , or contact this professional directly

I work on the first floor of the clinic, which is a listed building with no lift unfortunately, but may be able to gain access to a more suitable room.

Online platforms



In person

Good supervision is crucial for client safety and supports therapists performing their often difficult work.

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Dr Carole Francis-Smith
Dr Carole Francis-Smith