Nicola Swales

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MBACP (Accred) & EMDR Accredited Practitioner
No current availability
No current availability

This professional is currently not accepting new clients and may not respond to general enquiries at this time.

Chelmsford CM1 & Sawbridgeworth CM21
No current availability
No current availability

This professional is currently not accepting new clients and may not respond to general enquiries at this time.

About me

Why Counselling/Psychotherapy?

It may be that you are not feeling yourself, feel lost, stuck or maybe you cannot put your finger on what is wrong, but feel like something is holding you back in life.  Maybe you are experiencing something more specific such as; effects of psychological trauma/PTSD, grief, acute anxiety and depression.

Counselling/Psychotherapy offers you the time and space to explore anything that may be bothering you or holding you back with a view to facilitating growth.  It is a confidential space where you will not be judged but, accepted for who you are.  Many people find it hard to talk about how they are feeling with loved ones and friends and often suffer alone through fear of burdening others or being judged. Therefore, Counselling/Psychotherapy can be a way of exploring your emotions without the fear of burdening someone else facilitating a space for you to heal and grow from your experiences. 

How I work

The core of my philosophy is underpinned by relational theory, humanism and psychodynamic approaches and work with the unconscious.  As a relational therapist, I believe in the importance of the therapeutic relationship and see this as the vehicle for change for the client.  I have, what I refer to as, specific interventions I am able to offer within the therapeutic relationship.  For example, if there is a specific need such as trauma related to a single incident, or complicated grief I will be able to offer a trauma focused intervention such as; EMDR to help you process the memories related to these experiences. I use specific interventions in a relational integrative way and seek to help you wonder about the origins of the problem, not just focus on management.  

Within my philosophy, I do not just work with the mind, but the whole self.  This means I work therapeutically with the mind and body, focusing on the communication and messages that we hold.  Our bodies can communicate the difficulties that we encounter in life and in many ways tells our story and the aspects that are not always known to us consciously.

I consider myself to be a warm, authentic, down to earth person who has a passion for helping others to discover the aspects of themselves that can facilitate growth and change.

Training, qualifications & experience

I am an experienced registered and accredited Psychological Therapist (Counselling/Psychotherapy) and a European Accredited EMDR Practitioner.  I am an accredited member of BACP and adhere to their ethical framework.  I am also a qualified clinical supervisor (see supervisor section of my profile). 

Having qualified in 2011 following an extensive clinical training, I hold the following qualifications related to counselling and psychotherapy:  

  • MPhil in Psychological Therapies 
  • Advanced Diploma and BSc (Hons) in Counselling / Psychotherapy (UKCP)
  • Post Graduate Diploma in Clinical Supervision (BACP / UKCP)
  • Post Graduate Certificate in Online Education (Open University)
  • EMDR Part I, II, III (Richman Training) & EMDR Europe Accredited Practitioner status
  • Trauma Risk Management (TRiM) Practitioner (March on Stress)
  • Diploma In Counselling (BACP Gold Book Standard)
  • Certificate - Working with Couples (Tavistock Centre for Couple Relationships)

I am committed to continuing my professional development and am working towards a Doctorate in Psychological Therapies.  

I am currently working as a senior psychological therapist within the NHS offering psychological therapy to individuals and their families who have experienced a stay within critical care.  This work also facilitates support of staff in this area, including reflective practice and critical incident support using TRiM which is a NICE approved post incident de-brief model.  In addition, I am an associate lecturer for Open University - holding a cohort of students in the second year of their psychology and counselling undergraduate degree. 

Previous Experience:

  • I have worked within a sexual assault referral service within a London based NHS service. 
  • I have counselled individuals via the IAPT Service in West Essex and Tower Hamlets who suffer from anxiety, depression and complex trauma.  
  • I have experience of facilitating group supervision with trainee and qualified counsellors and psychotherapists on placement with Mind in Tower Hamlets. 
  • I have specialised experience of counselling survivors of domestic abuse with Woman's Trust. 
  • I worked within the Criminal Justice System for 13 years mainly drawing on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Brief Solution Focused Approaches. This included facilitating groups to assist individuals to make positive changes in their lives. Specialisms included: working with victims and perpetrators of domestic abuse, substance misuse and complex trauma. I hold several group work and trainer qualifications accredited by the home office. 


  • I am a registered and accredited member of the British Association of Counselling & Psychotherapy (BACP).  
  • I am a European Accredited EMDR Practitioner and member of EMDR UK. 

Areas of work

I work with individuals, couples and groups.  Couple's work and group work are a specialist area and as such I have undertaken additional training to be able to better support clients throughout this process.

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.

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


£80.00 - £130.00

Health Insurance/EAP

  • Aviva

Additional information

All forms of therapeutic work require a commitment from the therapist and client to ensure the work can remain safe, ethical and fruitful for you. I am able to offer sessions either online via a secure video platform or in person. 

Individual Therapeutic Sessions 
Sessions last 50 minutes and are usually weekly. The first session is an initial assessment.  This gives us a chance to meet and both get a sense of whether psychotherapeutic counselling is the right fit for you and that we can work together. A commitment of at least six sessions is required and this can be extended as appropriate. 

Couples Counselling
Initial assessment lasts for 90 minutes. Sessions thereafter last for 60 minutes and are usually weekly. 
A commitment of at least six sessions is required and this can be extended as appropriate. 
EMDR Sessions
 Should we decide together that EMDR is the right fit for you, sessions last between 60-90 minutes and requires the commitment of at least 12-18 sessions on a weekly basis, this includes a complex assessment. 
Session Fees
Please contact me directly to discuss fees.
I work with adults, including trainee counsellors and psychotherapists. 

Private Health Insurance

Please note that I am registered to work with AVIVA Health.  Please contact me directly to discuss how to arrange.

When I work

Please note that I do not have any current face to face availability in Sawbridgeworth at this time. 

Further information

It can be daunting making the first step to contact a counsellor. I am happy for a text or email, as well as ringing to arrange an initial assessment.  Please specify whether your enquiry is for Chelmsford or Sawbridgeworth. 

The Chelmsford Wellbeing Centre, Signal Chambers, 13 Railway Street, Chelmsford, Essex, CM1 1QS

Sawbridgeworth, Hertfordshire, CM21

Type of session

In person

Types of client

Adults (25-64)
Older Adults (65+)
Employee Assistance Programme

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 , or contact this professional directly

Wheelchair user access
Wheelchair user access

Wheelchair-accessible premises should have step-free access for wheelchair users and individuals who are unable to climb stairs. If a Counsellor's premises aren't step-free, they may offer alternative services such as telephone/web-based appointments, home visits, or meeting clients in different location, so you can choose the option that suits you best.

You can contact the Counsellor to discuss the options available.

Under the Equality Act 2010 service providers have a duty to make reasonable adjustments to ensure that individuals with disabilities can access their service. You can read more about reasonable adjustments to help you to access services on the CAB website.

I am able to offer ongoing work either in person, online or via the telephone.

Online platforms

Microsoft Teams


In person

I hold a PG Diploma in Clinical Supervision and offer supervision within an individual or group setting to trainee and qualified clinicians.

View supervision profile


Nicola Swales
Nicola Swales