Mike Swift Verified Professional Verified Professional
Verified Professional

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Integrative Counselling BACP registered, DipHIC, BA (Hons)

About me

**I CURRENTLY HAVE SOME SPACES FOR NEW CLIENTS (ONLINE TUESDAYS, IN-PERSON FRIDAYS)**

Hello, I'm Mike. I offer one-to-one counselling for adults working online or in-person in central Bristol, BS1. 

I imagine you’ve arrived here because your life is feeling hard in some way right now.  While we all experience times in our lives that are difficult and often painful - and we might approach family or friends for help - sometimes that may not feel enough, or we may not feel able to talk to those around us about what's really going on. Does this feel familiar?

​Perhaps you want to explore a specific problem, or the space to look at your life in depth. Either way, I can offer you the support to talk things through to try and make some sense of it all.

​It can feel hard to reach out for help, and the idea of counselling can be daunting. I remember it well myself. If we work together, my aim will be to support you throughout the process in a way that works for you. 

I welcome people from all walks of life including LGBTQ+. I champion and celebrate the uniqueness of every person.

Please drop me a line - I look forward to hearing from you. 

The process of getting counselling with me (I try to make things as straightforward as possible)

1) Contact me using the 'email me' button above, or via the form on my website. You can include some detail about why you're looking for counselling, but it's not necessary. Please do include the location you're looking for - either online or face to face in Bristol. PLEASE NOTE, I almost always reply within 24 hours but my emails sometimes go to people's spam folder. Please check your spam if you've not seen a reply within 24 hours. I will reply from my email address: mike@mikeswift.co.uk You might even like to add me to your safe senders list if you have contacted me to avoid this potential issue. 

2) I will respond (usually the same day) with my availability (or give you a call if that's what you'd like). I'm happy to answer questions by email, phone, or we can have a quick zoom to chat about working together, there is no charge for this. 

3) If we can find a slot that works for us both, I'll invite you to an initial 50 minute intro session/assessment which costs £45 (online) or £50 in-person (I also offer some low-cost spaces, please contact me for availability).

4) After the initial session, if you decide you would like to work with me, we will agree on a regular slot that will be yours for the duration of our work.

What to expect in the intro session 

The intro session is a chance to meet and see what it might be like to work together, for me to begin to understand what's going on for you and whether I can help. I will ask you to tell me what has brought you to counselling and you are welcome to ask me any questions you may have.

​Often, people are carrying a great deal as they enter into counselling. Although there are some things I will need to ask in the intro session, it is still very much your time and many people find even the first hour of counselling helpful. 

​I will ask you what you would like to get from counselling eg, to feel less anxious, to feel happier within yourself, to be less self-critical, to be more confident, to move on from a break-up, to process a bereavement. If you don't know what you would like to get from counselling, that's fine too and completely normal. Defining what the problem is might be part of the work we do.

​Perhaps you are aware of how things that have happened in the past are affecting you now? In the intro session, I might also invite you to tell me a little about your personal history. Essentially, I will just want to start to get to know you.

​Near the end of the intro session, we will discuss how you have found talking with me and whether you would like to continue. If you are unsure you are welcome to take a few days to think about it and let me know. Finding the right therapist is crucial.

Here's how some recent clients have felt about their work with me:

"Mike created a space where I have been able to experience a healthy, supportive and safe relationship with a man for the first time in my life. This is now beginning to translate into my relationships with others in the world. He has helped me discover the diamonds in the coal mine of life. I will be forever grateful."

"I approached Mike for sessions relating to specific relationship issues/stressors. He really helped me to reframe some of the issues and my behaviour patterns around them. This has really helped me understand the actual emotions I am feeling and allows me to work with/through them. I felt very comfortable talking to Mike about a range of other topics and areas of life. After every session, I came away with an interesting insight into myself and have been able to build and learn from these things. If I choose to go back to therapy I would be contacting Mike first." 

The type of therapy I offer

I work relationally. By this I mean that my aim is to form a genuine relationship with my clients. It's through this person-to-person relationship that change and growth often occurs. I believe in the power of compassion and how a holding relationship with a therapist can help to increase self-compassion, which I see as a fundamental aspect of wellbeing. We are often our own worst critic.

I will offer my real responses to what you bring, which can sometimes be challenging, but I will only do so gently, in the spirit of your growth and healing. 

I work within a theoretical framework of how we are shaped by our past experience, particularly our early experience and relationships with caregivers. Neuroscience now confirms that our early experience literally shapes our brain and its neural pathways, encoding responses and patterns of behaviour that can re-occur throughout life. But an amazing thing about us humans is our ability to adapt and change throughout life. In this sense, the counselling I offer might be a place for you to explore your own patterns of behaviour and how these patterns may have come to be. Insight puts us in a better position to step outside our patterns and choose different, more fulfilling ways of being.

To find out more about me, please visit my site - where I also have a blog on counselling related topics.

I look forward to hearing from you. 

Mike

Training, qualifications & experience

I trained at Bath Centre for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP Accredited course) and hold the following qualifications:

  • Advanced Diploma in Humanistic & Integrative Counselling (level 6)
  • Philosophy BA

I work according to BACP's ethical guidelines for safe practice. My work is overseen by a qualified and registered supervisor.

Member organisations

BACP

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

Fees

From £45.00 to £50.00
Free initial telephone or online session

Concessions offered for

  • Low income
  • Keyworkers
  • OAPs
  • Students
  • Trainee counsellors
  • Unemployed
  • Refugees

Additional information

My standard session fee is £45 for online and £50 for in-person. I have a number of low-cost spaces for those on low income - if this applies to you please mention this when contacting me.

When I work

Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
Morning
Afternoon
Evening
Night

55 Queen Square, Bristol, Somerset, BS1 4LH

Type of session

In person
Online
Phone

Types of client

Adults
Older adults

Online platforms

Zoom