Nicola Swales MBACP (Accred) Psychotherapeutic Counsellor & Supervisor
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 a humanistic 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. I have undetaken 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 have trained as a clinical supervisor and am pursuing a research degree.
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.
Accredited register membership
Areas of counselling I deal with
- Affairs and betrayals
- Anger management
- Bipolar disorder
- Career counselling
- Childhood bullying
- Chronic fatigue syndrome/ME
- Domestic violence
- Drug addiction
- Eating disorders
- Emotional abuse
- Family issues
- Feeling sad
- Generalised anxiety disorder
- Low self-confidence
- Low self-esteem
- Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Panic attacks
- Passive aggressive behaviour
- Personality disorders
- Physical abuse
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Postnatal depression
- Pregnancy and birth
- Relationship problems
- Separation and divorce
- Sex problems
- Sexual abuse
- Suicidal thoughts
- Work-related stress
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 and state whether you would like to be seen in Chelmsford or Sawbridgeworth. Thank you.
Employer referrals: please contact me direct to discuss.
Supervision Fees: please contact me direct and state whether it is for London or Sawbridgeworth. Thank you.
Private Health Insurance
Please note that I am registered to work with AVIVA Health. Please contact me directly to discuss.
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.
Maps & Directions
Type of session
|Face to face counselling:||Yes|
daytime, evenings and weekends.
Types of client
|Employee Assistance Programme|
Supervision & training
I trained as a supervisor at Re Vision in London. I hold a Diploma in Clinical Supervision.