Frances Arden MA, UKCP Reg
I am a UKCP accredited psychotherapist who began working in psychotherapy and counselling in 1988. For 10 years I worked in mental health and social services, running groups and providing counselling services for a wide variety of individuals whose problems included depression, severe anxiety, eating disorders, relationship difficulties and personality disorders. I was also a counsellor in GP surgeries, drama schools and for university students and staff in the UK and USA. Since 1997 I have been in private practice in London and then Bristol.
I prefer a flexible, integrative approach, which can be adapted to the needs and preferences of individual clients, whilst also drawing on evidence of effective practice. Starting from an interpersonal and attachment-based model, we explore how patterns in the way you relate to others may affect your emotions and health. This approach is particularly suited to unravelling depression, anxiety and core issues relating to your sense of self.
Therapy is a process of jointly constructing a narrative that helps to make sense of how you arrived at your present view of yourself, others and the world. An important aspect can be clarifying and coming to understand the way the right and left hemispheres of your brain react differently, resulting in confusing conflicts between your emotions and more logical parts of your personality. Usually these responses are rooted in attachment experiences from the earliest stages of your life which may have been taken for granted but which re-emerge later, particularly in response major life changes which impact on your sense of self such as trauma, bereavement, divorce, redundancy, retirement or relocation. Therapy offers a safe reflective space to put the pieces of your life and relationships together, then begin to see yourself, and act, differently.
Often people feel confused, anxious and overwhelmed by the complexity of their difficulties at the start of therapy. I believe in giving people space to talk, but also in developing a collaborative exchange which provides support as we try to make sense of your experience. I offer both longer and short-term therapy as I recognise people have different needs and available resources. But as I work from an attachment-based perspective, once there is an established therapeutic relationship, former clients can return for occasional or short blocks of sessions to discuss any futher issues that occur or simply to maintain an on-going reflective connection.
I work mainly from interpersonal, attachment-based and brief psychodynamic models believing it is important to understand the links between your past and present experience and how that shapes your sense of who you are. But I also have training in working with dissociation, narrative therapy, therapeutic hypnosis and CBT which I am able to draw on where necessary.
For individuals going through a period of transition I offer "Life Narratives", a structured 12 session life review programme which combines individual therapy with weekly reflective writing tasks.
Areas of work:
I offer sensitive, experienced and confidential help for a wide range of personal difficulties. As I have more than 30 years experience of working in mental health and psychotherapy I have worked with many aspects of emotional distress, but feel it is inappropriate to claim I can help with every type of problem. The areas listed below are those I have particular experience, training or interest in, but if after reading my profile you would like to contact me about a different issue please email me and I will help if I have space and feel qualified to do so.
- depression, anxiety or stress in various forms.
- emotional distress relating to fertility, pregnancy and childbirth; or the impact of miscarriage or abortion
- Low self-esteem, narcissism and uncertain sense of "self"
- eating disorders
- dissociation and DID
- obsessions and certain forms of OCD (an alternative to cognitive approaches)
- confusion and distress during major life transitions such as mid-life crisis, retirement, redundancy, bereavement or relocation
Training, qualifications & experience
UKCP Accredited Psychotherapist
PG Dip Psychodynamic Counselling at Birkbeck/London University; 1992 (Merit)
MA Psychoanalytic Studies at Tavistock Clinic/UEL; 1999 (Distinction)
Certificate and Diploma in Life Coaching and Performance Coaching 2005/2006
1 year CBT training at PG Dip level (University of Wales, Newport) 2010
Advanced Dip Hypno-Psychotherapy at NCHP; 2011 (Distinction)
Certificate in Guided Autobiography Facilitation at Birren Centre; 2011
Certificate in Working with Eating Disorders; 2017
Member of ESTD (European Society for Trauma & Dissociation)
ESTD-UK Foundation and Post-Foundation training in Working with Dissociation / DID; 2017
Mentalization Based Treatment (MBT) Stage 1 training; 2018
10 years experience working in mental health for the NHS & Social Services, as a keyworker, counsellor and group facilitator, working with adults with severe long-term mental health difficulties (1988 – 1998)
5 years experience of counselling in higher education (1997 – 2001, 2003, 2010)
21 years in private practice as a psychotherapist, counsellor and life coach. (1997-present)
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.
UK Council for Psychotherapy
The UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) is a leading professional body for the education, training and regulation of psychotherapists and psychotherapeutic counsellors. Its register is accredited by the government's Professional Standards Authority.
As part of its commitment to protect the public, it works to improve access to psychotherapy, to support and disseminate research, to improve standards and to respond effectively to complaints against its members.
UKCP standards cover the range of different psychotherapies. Registration is obtained by training or accrediting with one of its member organisations, or by holding a European Certificate in Psychotherapy. 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
Concessions offered for
Individuals: typically £55 for 50 mins
Concessionary rate: negotiated with individual, typically £40-45
Payment for 6 sessions in advance £305
Payment by cash, card or online transfer
Mondays to Thursdays 10 am to 9pm
Owing to the risks of Covid-19 I am currently only offering online or telephone sessions - as recommended by UKCP. I am reviewing the situation every few weeks and will resume face to face work as soon as it seems safe, ethical and realistic to do so.