Frances Arden MA, UKCP Reg

Frances Arden  MA, UKCP Reg

16 Victoria Place

Southville Clinic
68 Coronation Road

0117 207 7070 / 0730 5225445

Saved Save profile

About me

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

MA (Oxon)

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)

Member organisations

Registered / Accredited


Accredited register membership


Individuals:  typically £55 for 50 mins

Concessionary rate:  £45 for 50 minutes

Couples: £65 for 50 minutes or £90 for 90 minutes

Payment for 6 sessions in advance £300

Payment by cash, cheque, card or online transfer

Maps & Directions

Bristol, BS3 3BP
Bristol, BS3 1AS

Type of session

Online counselling: No
Telephone counselling: Yes
Face to face counselling: Yes
Home visits: No

Practical details

Sign language: No
Other languages: None


Accessibility information
Wheelchair access: No


Southville Clinic, BS3: Wednesdays 3pm to 9.30 pm; Victoria Place BS3: Mondays 10am - 9pm; Tuesdays 10-12am & 4 - 9pm, Thursdays 10 am to 9pm

Types of client

Older adults
Employee Assistance Programme