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About me

We are currently in unknown territory on a global scale and understandably its causing a lot of anxiety and for some people social isolation.  Its so important to reach out and ensure we look after our emotional well being.  For this reason I am offering sessions over Skype or Zoom and welcome new clients at this time.  Lets stay connected.

Sometimes, life can feel overwhelming and you want to make changes but don’t know where to start. You’re not alone; counselling can give you the time and space to share in a non-judgmental warm environment, helping you to look at your difficulties. I am an Integrative humanistic/psychodynamic therapist who believes that people are unique and need a space to share to get to know themselves better and make positive changes.  I am a warm empathic, down to earth person who is committed and passionate about helping clients reach their goals and find peace of mind.

Humanism encourages individuals and couples to explore themselves using a variety of different approaches such as Gestalt and Person Centered Therapy. I have knowledge and experience of CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) and Brief Solution Focused Approaches. I also draw on the psychodynamic techniques as I believe that a person’s childhood and past can influence the present. Most importantly, I believe people are not only affected from personal experiences, but from the environment in which they live including society. The humanistic approach can assist in helping the individual or couple gain control over their lives and make positive choices about the future, by placing you, the client at the heart of the process, building a therapeutic relationship.

Training, qualifications & experience

Having qualified as a counsellor in 2011 I have a Diploma, Advanced Diploma and BSc (Hons) in Integrative Counselling. I also hold a Diploma in Clinical Supervision.

I am committed to continuing my professional development and am working towards a Doctorate in Psychotherapy. I have undertaken further group work training with The Gestalt Centre as well as an introduction to working with couples course at the Tavistock Centre.  I work with individuals and couples. I am a qualified clinical supervisor and am working towards a PhD in Psychotherapy, as a part of my continuing professional development.

I am currently working as a specialist counsellor within the NHS (part time) supporting individuals who have been sexually assaulted.  I have extensive group work and training/teaching experience and lecturer for Open University on their Counselling & Psychotherapy module.

Prior to this I worked within a health psychology service within the NHS in an acute hospital setting. I offered support and counselling to a variety of people and/or their families. This included people diagnosed or in remission from cancer, acute and complex trauma, stroke, MS and people who undergo plastic reconstructive surgery. In addition, I facilitated groups in relation to breast cancer, staff support (Incident debrief) and delivered training to staff around compassion fatigue and the impact of working with distress.

I have counselled individuals via the IAPT Service in West Essex and Tower Hamlets who suffer from anxiety and depression, often in the context of other emotional wellbeing concerns. I felt particularly passionate about this work, as it was an opportunity to work with mental health from the perspective that it is a community based issue, not just an individual concern. This very much speaks to my philosophy.

I worked within the Criminal Justice System (in a supportive role) 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 have specialised as a counsellor working with victims of domestic violence whilst undertaking a 12 month placement with Woman's Trust.

I am a registered and accredited member of the British Association of Counselling & Psychotherapy (BACP).

I work with couples and groups. Couple's work is a specialist area of counselling, 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 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.

Therapies offered

  • Cognitive and behavioural therapies
  • Couples counselling
  • EMDR
  • Humanistic therapies
  • Integrative
  • Mindfulness
  • Psychodynamic therapy
  • Transpersonal psychology


Please note from 19th March 2020 sessions are now online due to COVID-19 situation and to best support people's working and living arrangements.

Sessions for individuals and couples are usually weekly and last for 50 minutes.

Initial session fee is the same as the usual session fee and lasts for 50 minutes. Please contact me directly to discuss fees, Thank you.

Employer referrals: please contact me direct to discuss.

Supervision Fees: please contact me direct to discuss.

Private Health Insurance

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

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.

I am able to offer short term and long term work.

The Chelmsford Wellbeing Centre
Signal Chambers
13 Railway Street

Type of session

In person
Home visits

Practical details

Sign language Unspecified
Other languages None


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.

Wheelchair user access

I am able to offer ongoing work online and via the telephone.


daytime, evenings and weekends. Please note sessions have moved to online via Skype and Zoom and in some cases telephone.

Types of client

Older adults
Employee Assistance Programme


**Supervision will remain online/telephone until guidance supports routine face to face sessions** I trained as a supervisor at Re Vision in London. I hold a Diploma in Clinical Supervision.

Online supervision
Telephone supervision

View supervision profile


Nicola Swales MBACP (Accred) Psychotherapeutic Counsellor & Supervisor

Nicola Swales MBACP (Accred) Psychotherapeutic Counsellor & Supervisor