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Low Cost Counselling Service

Our low cost counselling service aims to increase access to therapy.

Mike Swift, Counsellor in Bristol ,

Mike Swift

**UPDATE April/May 2023 - I have some space for new in-person clients on Tuesday and Thursday** 

Please contact me for latest availability. 

Hello, and welcome to my listing on the BCPC site. I imagine you’ve arrived here because your life is feeling hard in some way right now and you need some help to get back on track. You want to feel better.

We all experience times in our lives that are difficult and often painful. We might approach family or friends for help, but sometimes that may not feel enough, or we may not feel able to talk to those around us about what's really going on. Does this feel familiar?

Maybe you want to explore a specific problem, or the time and space to look at your life in depth. Either way, I can offer you the support to talk things through to try and make some sense of it all. 

It can feel hard to reach out for help, the idea of it can be daunting. I remember it well myself. If we work together, my aim will be to support you throughout the process in a way that works for you.

I welcome people from all walks of life including LGBTQ+. I champion and celebrate the uniqueness of every person. If I had my way, counselling would be available to everyone.

Common reasons people have counselling are: anxiety, depression, relationship issues, issues in friendship groups, low confidence, low self-worth, self-criticism, addictions, stress, work-stress, abuse (past or present), anger, self-harm, eating disorders, identity/gender issues, sexual problems, bereavement, loss. I have a specialist interest in working with behaviours that we know are bad for us but we struggle to change. Perhaps you are questioning your relationship to alcohol, or know that you need to stop drinking but just can't seem to do it? I have worked extensively in this area.

Whatever challenges you are facing, my hope is that I can help.

Drop me a line - I look forward to hearing from you.


The process of getting counselling with me

1) Contact me using the 'email me' button above, or via the form on my website. You can include some detail about why you're looking for counselling, but it's not necessary. Please do include the location you're looking for - either online, or face to face in Bristol or Bath.

2) I will respond (usually the same day) with my availability (or give you a call if that's what you'd like). I'm happy to answer questions on email, phone, or we can have a quick zoom to chat about working together, there is no charge for this. 

3) If we can find a slot that works for us both, I'll invite you to an initial 50 minute intro session/assessment which costs £55 (or £50 online). 

4) After the initial session, if you decide you would like to work with me, we will agree a regular slot that will be yours for the duration of our work.

What to expect in the intro session

The intro session is a chance to meet and see what it might be like to work together, for me to begin to understand what's going on for you and whether I can help. I will ask you to tell me what has brought you to counselling and, if you wish, you are welcome to ask me any questions about the process of counselling, the style of the counselling I offer, my professional qualifications and experience.

Often, people are carrying a great deal as they enter into counselling. Although there are some things I will need to ask in the intro session, it is still very much your time and many people find even the first hour of counselling helpful. 

I will ask you what you would like to get from counselling eg, to feel less anxious, to feel happier within yourself, to be less self-critical, to be more confident, to move on from a break-up, to process a bereavement. If you don't know what you would like to get from counselling, that's fine too and completely normal. Defining what the problem is might be part of the work we do.

Perhaps you are aware of how things that have happened in the past are affecting you now? In the intro session I might also invite you to tell me a little of your personal history. Essentially, I will just want to start to get to know you.

Near the end of the intro session we will discuss how you have found talking with me and whether you would like to continue. If you are unsure you are welcome to take a few days to think about it and let me know. Finding the right therapist is crucial.

Here's how some recent clients have felt about their work with me:

"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."

"I approached Mike for sessions relating to specific relationship issues/stressors. He really helped me to reframe some of the issues and my behaviour patterns around them. This has really helped me understand the actual emotions I am feeling and allows me to work with/through them. I felt very comfortable talking to Mike about a range of other topics and areas of life. After every session I came away with interesting insight into myself and have been able to build and learn from these things. If I choose to go back to therapy I would be contacting Mike first." 

The type of therapy I offer

Above all else, I work relationally. By this I mean that my aim is to form a genuine relationship with my clients. It's through this person-to-person 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, which I see as a fundamental aspect of wellbeing. We are often our own worst critic.

I work within a theoretical framework of 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 an 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.

I work both short-term and long-term depending on your needs. To find out more about me, and view my fees, please visit my site - where I also have a blog on counselling related topics.


  • counselling


  • Counselling: Fully Qualified

Sessions & Fees

Individual: In-person £55
Individual: Online £50


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 principles and standards of practice and am fully insured.

Wy work is overseen by a qualified and registered supervisor.