Michael Swales

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MBACP (registered member) NCPCS (Acc.)
Available for new clients
Available for new clients

This professional is available for new clients.

London W1G & EC1A
Available for new clients
Available for new clients

This professional is available for new clients.

About me

Feeling lost on life’s journey?

Maybe you took a wrong turn, broke something and don't know how to repair it.  

Telling your story in a safe and confidential setting without judgment can be a good start. By working together on what you need, we can create positive changes that lead to the lessening of anxiety and depression with vitality, joy and the freedom to choose rather than react emerging from the work. My relational, experiential approach can help you become aware, empowered and ready to take on what’s next. 

I work with individuals and couples online and in person at various locations across London. I am a registered member of both the BACP and NCPCS, adhering to their ethical guidelines with a therapeutic approach focused on relationships, trauma, and recovery.  

My own personal experience with therapy was transformative and taught me how to be present and experience life in a way I had not realised was possible. I had careers in finance and hospitality before making the choice to train as a therapist and coach, studying Psychodynamic, Transpersonal and Integrative models as well as the work of Bader-Pearson, Pia Mellody, and Gabor Mate, all of which inform my therapeutic approach, one which is based on the relationship we have with ourselves and how that plays out in our connection to others.  

In addition to my private practice, I work with charities and social enterprises, facilitating group work. I have worked within the NHS, offering outcome-focused, time-limited therapy. I have also worked with young adults in residential treatment, supporting their recovery from addictive behaviours.

By increasing our awareness of the cognitive, behavioural, and emotional worlds we inhabit, and working on the relationship between our body and mind we can improve our self-esteem, release past traumas and reduce the symptoms of anxiety and overwhelm. 

Healing occurs through changes in our perspective. We can grow and transform by becoming aware, experiencing and expressing those feelings. Our truth.

Working experientially, we look at the barriers to emotional intimacy that are present for you and how your past relationship patterns and histories impact you now. When we heal our trauma, the unhealthy and addictive strategies we use to protect us from the pain can be released and we can discover the ability to choose rather than react.

I practice an integrative approach drawing on Gestalt, Person-Centred, Transpersonal and Psychodynamic theory, with the quality of the relationship and the connection between us creating trust, so that awareness, healing, and transformation can begin. 

With changes in perspective, you can grow and transform, gaining insight and becoming able to experience and express your feelings in healthier ways. Working experientially helps remove the barriers to emotional intimacy and release unhealthy or additive coping strategies. When you heal your trauma, you can discover the ability to choose rather than to react - your vitality returns, allowing you to experience your life fully. 

Couples Counselling

The Bader-Pearson Model of relationships is a psychodynamic theory that describes the process of relationship development as a progression of stages, starting from dependence and ending in separation and individuation.
It suggests that successful relationships are characterised by the resolution of childhood conflicts and the attainment of mature, differentiated selves and that this process is driven by mutual psychological needs and growth. The theory highlights the role of unconscious forces in shaping relationship dynamics and emphasises the importance of self-reflection and communication in promoting healthy relationships.


Pia Mellody's model of co-dependency focuses on understanding and healing the impact of early childhood trauma and dysfunctional family dynamics on adult relationships.
She identifies five core symptoms of co-dependency: difficulty experiencing appropriate levels of self-esteem, difficulty setting functional boundaries, difficulty owning one's own reality, difficulty experiencing and expressing one's own reality, and difficulty taking appropriate care of oneself.
Co-dependency treatment involves therapy and self-awareness to address past traumas and develop healthier coping strategies. By working through childhood wounds and learning healthier relational skills, individuals can improve their self-esteem, establish, and maintain healthy boundaries, and cultivate more fulfilling and balanced relationships. The goal is to break free from unhealthy relating and emotional dependency patterns, promoting personal growth and emotional well-being.

Gestalt Therapy

Gestalt is an approach that is about being here in the present, how the whole is more than the sum of its parts, and how exploring this can help. We look at how your past affects and influences your feelings at this moment rather than how you felt back then. We focus on your awareness and experiment with different ways of responding. The interactive and feedback-driven experience can help with most issues including anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, and relationship problems. 

Psychodynamic Therapy

We work on uncovering the unconscious processes in your present behaviour which grows self-awareness and an understanding of the influence your past has on present behaviour. It can help you understand how your past experiences, unconscious mind, and impulses shape your current feelings and behaviour. this can help you understand what you’re feeling now, why you behave the way you do and how this affects your relationships.
Psychodynamic therapy helps with many problems, including anxiety and depression, eating disorders and addictions. 
Person-Centred Therapy

We focus on maximising your ability to find solutions and support a therapeutic process that encourages positive change within yourself. 
Your needs are the focus, and I am here to listen to you while providing a conducive environment for you to make decisions independently without judgment, helping you change your behaviour via self-direction. Person-centred therapy enables you to eliminate the idea or feeling that external forces beyond your control influence you. The goals of this practice include increasing self-awareness, improving your ability to use self-direction to make desired changes, increasing clarity, improving self-esteem, and boosting your self-reliance. 
The importance of self, also known as the self-concept, is vital in your total life experience and influences the way you view yourself and the world around you. Person-centred therapy is an effective tool for managing difficult situations such as traumatic events. The therapy benefits those dealing with various issues, such as relationship problems, phobias, panic attacks, substance abuse, personality disorders, low self-esteem linked to depression, stress management, eating disorders, and trauma recovery. 
Transpersonal Therapy

Meditative and creative exercises can help in the exploration of our interconnectedness with others and the world, helping us connect with our potential and gain an understanding of our place in the universe and our life's purpose. This can help address challenges such as anxiety, depression, low self-worth, identity confusion, relationship distress, trauma, spiritual questioning, PTSD, and grief. 
Addiction Recovery Coaching

As a CCAR Recovery Coach Professional, I promote recovery by serving as a personal guide and mentor for anyone seeking or already in recovery from substance addiction. 
We start with a recovery plan that works for you, building on your individual strengths, needs and recovery goals, focussing on a recovery rooted in a culture of hope, health, and wellness, grounded in trust, and providing you with the tools, resources and support to achieve long-term recovery. 
There are five core elements of recovery coaching: connectedness and supportive relationships, hope, identity, formation of health coping strategies, empowerment and building a secure base. Support to attain or maintain recovery from addiction is vital.


Training, qualifications & experience


  • Foundation Certificate in Counselling Skills - WPF
  • Certificate in Counselling and Psychotherapy - CCPE
  • Recovery Coach Professional (RCP) - CCAR
  • Diploma in Integrative Counselling (MBACP) - TAC

Professional Development:

  • The Voyage Foundation Trauma-Aware Training
  • Gabor Mate Compassionate Enquiry Masterclass

Continuing Professional Training:

  • Advanced Diploma in Relationship Psychotherapy - NAOS Institute
  • ADHD Clinical Services Provider
  • Anxiety Treatment Professional

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.

National Counselling & Psychotherapy Society (NCPS)

The National Counselling and Psychotherapy Society

This Not For Profit association of counsellors and psychotherapists aim to support the counselling profession, members and training organisations.

In 2013 the NCS register was accredited by the Professional Standards Authority under the Accredited Voluntary Register Scheme. Accredited by the Professional Standards Authority.

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

National Counselling & Psychotherapy Society
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.

National Counselling & Psychotherapy Society
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


£75.00 per session
Free initial telephone session

Concessions offered for

  • Low income
  • Keyworkers
  • Students
  • Trainee counsellors

When I work

Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun

Further information

I offer sessions online via Zoom and in person at several Central London locations

Individual therapy in-person or online from £75  
Couples Therapy from £95 per couple
Reduced rate for students and low-income earners 

If you have any questions please give me a call at 07453 281495 or email info@m-swales.com

London, Greater London, W1G

London, Greater London, EC1A

Type of session

In person

Types of client

Adults (25-64)

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

Online platforms

Google Meet