About me

** Update Nov 2021 - I am currently taking on new clients **

I imagine you’ve arrived here because you're struggling in some way, something in your life isn't right. It might be a specific issue that you're very aware of, or you might not be able to put your finger on what's wrong. I offer counselling support that can help you to understand and manage what it is that’s troubling you, with the aim of helping you to heal and move forwards in your life.

Counselling can help with the issues affecting you now including: anxiety, depression, panic, grief, relationship-problems, self-harm, addiction, anger management, bereavement, lack of self-confidence, low self-worth.

​It can feel hard to reach out for help, and the idea of talking-therapy may be daunting. If we work together, my aim will be to support you through the process in a way that works for you.

I am a warm, supportive and experienced counsellor working in private practice in Bristol, Bath and on Zoom. I am LGBTQ+ positive and welcome people from all walks of life.

We all experience times in our lives that are difficult and often painful. You might be in the midst of something very present: the end of relationship, bereavement, or constant anxiety. Or your experience might be hard to define. Often, what's wrong is not clear - and that's normal. I offer a non-judgemental, safe space in which we can work together to understand and clarify your thoughts and feelings.

What is the 'safe-space' that most therapist listings describe? Well, to me it means that in our sessions you are welcome and encouraged to contact and express all parts of yourself, including those which feel dangerous or shameful, and that I will not pass judgement, rather I will respond with curiosity and compassion to the whole of you: exactly as I would wish to be treated were I the client. 

I will always be keen to understand what you would like to get from counselling, so I can make sure I'm doing my best to help you get there.

While I will always offer thoughts and suggestions when it feels right to do so, I see my role as that of an impartial,  companion travelling alongside you and supporting you in your personal exploration. For me, it is a privilege to get to know all sorts of people and hear their unique stories -

"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." Client Testimonial 2021

Primarily, I work relationally. By this I mean that my aim is to form a genuine relationship with my clients. It's through this 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.

I am particularly interested in 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 the 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.

Get in touch via the email button above, or through my website. I offer all clients an initial FREE 30-minute intro on Zoom, or phone, in which we can get an idea of what it might be like to work together. Generally, at the end of this, we will discuss whether you wish to continue and, if you do, discuss an ongoing time that works for us both. I generally work weekly with a 50 minute session on the same day and time each week. However, I will always try to be flexible where possible; I understand busy lives often make a regular weekly slots tricky. 

I work both short-term and long-term depending on your needs. 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. I am in regular supervision with a qualified and registered supervisor. 

I know what it's like to be a client, having had over 5 years' personal therapy. 

Member organisations

BACP

British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy

BACP is one of the UK’s largest professional bodies for counselling and psychotherapy. Therapists registered with the Association fall into a number of different membership categories such as Individual Member, Registered Member MBACP and Registered Member MBACP (Accred), each standing for different levels of training and experience. MBACP (Accred) and MBACP (Snr Accred) members have achieved a substantial level of training and experience approved by the Association.

Registered members can be found on the BACP Register, which was the first register to achieve Accredited Voluntary Register status issued by the Professional Standards Authority. Individual Members will have completed an appropriate counselling and/or psychotherapy course and started to practise, but will not appear on the BACP Register until they've progressed to Registered Member MBACP status.

All members are bound by a Code of Ethics & Practice and a Complaints Procedure. Accredited by the Professional Standards Authority.

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.

Fees

Additional information

£30 - £40. 

59 West View Road
Keynsham
Bristol
Avon
BS31 2UE

Type of session

In person
Online
Phone
Mike Swift

Mike Swift