Penny Downing DipCsl MBACP (Accred)

Penny Downing DipCsl MBACP (Accred)

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07949 095656

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About me

I have worked in a private psychiatric hospital, treating both general psychiatry and eating disorders, for over 10 years. This has enabled me to work with a vast range of mental health conditions individually and within groups. I also have an understanding of addiction challenges, as a number of patients that completed the addiction programme continued with follow on support in my Supportive Psychotherapy Group. I was the Eating Disorder Therapy Lead for several years before I finishing at the hospital in December 2016.

I have developed my private practice since January 2017 working out of The Park Centre in Kingswood BS15.  I have a comprehensive Privacy Policy in line with the new GDPR Guidelines so that you can feel reassured with how I manage your information.

Getting started: Therapy can sometimes create real anxiety for people. Call: 07949 095656 or email: me to arrange an initial meeting and we will talk about: what's been happening; how you're feeling, including any fears around therapy or change; what you can expected from me as a therapist; what you want to get out of your therapy; and if you are happy to start treatment. We will arrange your sessions to be on the same day and time each week to fit with your lifestyle; we can reschedule should any urgent appointments come up unexpectedly.  

What can I expect from my first session: I have some simple forms to fill out that we will complete together at the beginning and end of your therapy, so that you can see the progress you have achieved. These forms also show me how anxious and depressed you are feeling so that we can think about help from your GP if you feel that is needed. We will also define the goals of your therapy, which we will check during the process to ensure you have received the support you expected by the end of your sessions.

How can therapy help me:people that I treat can often feel overwhelmed by their thoughts, feelings, symptoms and relationships. We will make sense of why you feel this way and what manageable steps we can make to change that. I will help you understand your experiences and your judgements and self-doubts about them. We will work on your self-concept; assertiveness; and boundaries so that you feel much more self-assured and confident within yourself. Some people have had certain experiences that have changed them, others can struggle with extreme emotional reactions and a loss of control. Together we will make sense of anything you have gone through that has led you to this stage and the starting of your therapy. Pacing the work so that you feel confident and in control is extremely important in developing your confidence and self-esteem.

The Park Centre is situated opposite the Council Offices on Kingswood High Street. Kingswood Park is next door, separated by Hollow Road. Their main car park is around 50-75 yards into Hollow Road on the left hand side, it is clearly marked. There are usually plenty of available spaces on the road itself.

Training, qualifications & experience

AQA: Introduction; Intermediate; and Advanced Certificates in Counselling 2003-2005

Edexcel Level 5 BTEC Professional Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling 2005-2007

I became a fully Accredited Therapist in March 2015.

I am also a BUPA and Vitality Health registered therapist.

I am a Lead Specialist in Eating Disorders, I have also completed a variety of workshops on couple work and sexual dysfunction and I am currently getting involved with Trauma and Dissociation in relation to childhood sexual abuse.  My main areas of experience are:

Anxiety; Depression; Low Confidence & Self-Esteem; Bereavement; Grief & Loss; Relationship Difficulties; Stress Related Issues including Work Related Stress; Coaching; Mild to Moderate Psychosis; Bi-Polar Disorder; Adjustment Disorders; Post Traumatic Stress Disorder; Dissociative Identity Disorder; Impact of Past on Present; Control, including Managing Difficult Emotions; Mild to Moderate Personality Disorder; Menopause; Sexual Difficulties; Support with the impact of Serious Physical Illness; self-Harm; Suicidal Ideation.

Member organisations

Registered / Accredited


Accredited register membership

Other areas of counselling I deal with

Grief & Loss.
Complex Trauma, with special emphasis on what happens within the brain and the impact of this on life following trauma. We will increase your understanding of this process and work to re-establish a healthy response to external stimuli; so work to reset the brain. It's important to be aware that this is much longer term work.


£80.00 per 60 minute session.  Concession Rate £70.00 per 60 minute session.

Further information

Therapy is my work and my passion, I've been lucky enough to see that good therapy changes peoples lives so I want to reassure you it really can help... Within our sessions, we'll make sense of the thoughts and feelings you are experiencing and then understand the impact these have on how you see yourself, your relationships and the situations you find yourself in. We'll use how we develop our relationship as a model for how you can be with others.  

At the beginning we'll define the goals of your therapy together and adjust them if we need to along the way. My client's often find working on their self-concept, defining appropriate boundaries and assertiveness skills to be particularly helpful in the early stages.

I have connections with a number of specialists including a registered Dietitian should additional referrals be required. I hold an enhanced CRB check.

Before training to become a therapist, I worked in the fields of Distribution and Sales & Service for large organisations. I've found this has helped when work challenges come up for people and when coaching support is needed.

On a personal note my interests include: sports, though watching mainly; cooking; gardening; yoga; socialising with friends; creative crafts; and travelling.

Maps & Directions

Bristol, BS15

Type of session

Online counselling: No
Telephone counselling: Yes
Face to face counselling: Yes
Home visits: No

Practical details

Sign language: Unspecified
Other languages: None


Accessibility information
Wheelchair access: Unspecified


I run sessions through the day and two evenings a week; I can be flexible with evening work and am open to discuss weekend need.

Types of client

Older adults
Employee Assistance Programme