Isla Macdonald

Isla Macdonald



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About me

When life is hard it can often help to talk to someone outside of the situation.  I offer a safe space to slow down, pay attention and explore what is happening.  Much of what causes difficulty for us now has its roots in early life and relationships, yet shifts happen in the present.  Paying attention to what is happening now and working through things in a therapeutic relationship can enable us to uncover new easier ways of being in ourselves and the world.

I specialise in attachment and developmental trauma, sexual abuse, bereavement, existential and spiritual crisis, the inner relationship with ourselves, chronic and acute human difficulties and anxieties.  Other issues I address include relationships, low self esteem, lack, post-traumatic stress, dissociative disorder, non sexual abuse, physical and mental health, spirituality, anger, stress, depression, work issues, climate related grief and anxiety.

I hold a steady, compassionate, sensitive space where you are welcome to bring your whole self, whichever parts of you are struggling and whatever you need to say. I work intuitively, trusting the wisdom of the body and being, aspects of soul that might initially be less conscious but often have a clear sense of what is wanted and not wanted. By working creatively, welcoming and exploring with words but also movement, gesture, pictures, images, dreams and inner child expression, we can use everything to help us untangle and integrate what is here.

Training, qualifications & experience

I qualified with Re-Vision, an established yet innovative centre for counselling and psychotherapy, in transpersonal, integrative, psychotherapeutic counselling.  I am also trained in Focusing which is a gentle, profound and natural way of paying attention to oneself and others that is based upon compassion and direct experience.

These trainings enable me employ Behavioural, Relational, Psychodynamic, Systemic, Transpersonal, Mindfulness, Existential and creative approaches in the work.  I keep up to date with the latest techniques with on going training and supervision.

My own journey began in my early 20s with an unravelling of my world view and coping strategies, uncovering what was not working in my life.  A Jungian therapist helped me put myself back together, enabling me to gain new perspectives, integrate and grow aspects of myself.  I have since explored and found many ways of working with my own inner world, including bodywork and Focusing, which now inform my approach to counselling.  I was a Palliative care nurse in Bristol and South Africa for many years, taught Mindfulness for pain and stress, volunteered as a Hospital Chaplain to the dying at Southmead and as a Counsellor with Cruse bereavement care.  I now work and volunteer part time at Kinergy sexual abuse charity, working one to one and holding group work.

I love being in nature with all the benefits this brings.  As the climate crisis unfolds, I am even more aware of the interconnectedness of our lives with nature and the need to find collective and individual responses.  I support various climate campaigning groups and am interested in working with people in this area.

I’m registered with the BACP and my course is accredited with the UKCP

I am member of the British Focusing Association and the Climate Psychology Alliance.

I work with adults and small groups delivering long and short-term therapy face-to-face, taking appointments in Redcliffe, Kingswood and St Werburghs.


Diploma in Transpersonal Integrative Psychotherapeutic Counselling, Re-Vision (BACP and UKCP accredited)

Focusing Practitioner, British Focusing Association

Group Facilitation Training, Embodied Relational Therapy

Mindfulness Training, Breathworks

Chaplaincy Training, Buddhist Healthcare Chaplaincy Trust

Diploma End of Life care, University West of England

Member organisations


Accredited register membership


£50 for a 1 hour session

A limited number of concessions available

Further information

Further Training and experience:

  • Bereavement
  • Sexual abuse
  • Dissociative identity disorder
  • Children/Dynamic Focusing
  • Parts work, Treasure Maps Focusing
  • Whole body Focusing
  • Dementia
  • End of life and chronic illness
  • Spiritual/Existential questioning
  • Rituals and nature work
  • Mindfulness and awareness practices
  • Group work
  • Non violent communication

Maps & Directions

Bristol, BS2

Type of session

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

Practical details

Sign language: No
Other languages: None


Accessibility information
Wheelchair access: Unspecified


Daytimes and some evenings

Types of client

Older adults