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Mike Swift Counselling

Hello and welcome to my site. I offer individual and couples counselling
in central Bristol, in Keynsham and online.

I imagine you’ve arrived here because your life is feeling difficult and painful in some way right now and you need a hand to get back on track. You want to feel different - 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. Maybe this feels familiar?

Perhaps you need 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 to make some sense of it.

It can feel hard to reach out for help, the idea of it can be daunting. I remember it well myself. My aim will be to support you throughout the process in ways that work for you.

Common reasons people have counselling are: anxiety, depression, relationship issues, issues in friendship groups, low confidence, low self-worth, self-criticism, stress, work-stress, abuse (past or present), anger, self-harm, eating disorders, identity/gender issues, sexual problems, drug use, addiction, bereavement, loss. I have a specialist interest in working with behaviours that we know are bad for us but we struggle to change.

I welcome people from all walks of life including LGBTQIA+. I champion and celebrate the uniqueness of every person.

For couples information, please see the separate page 'couples'

I also welcome psychedelic integration work and am currently furthering my training with the Institute of Psychedelic Therapy.


Whatever challenges you are facing, my hope is that we can create something useful, together. 

I look forward to hearing from you.



Contact me using the form below. You can include some detail about why you're looking for counselling, but it's not necessary.


I will respond (usually the same day) with my availability and if something works we can set up an initial session.


The initial session is chargeable if we decide to work together. If we decide not to, on eithe side, there is no cost. My standard fee is £60.


After the initial session, if we feel like a good fit, we will agree a regular slot that will be yours for the duration of our work.

The process of getting counselling with me

I try to make things as straight forward and clear as possible

What to expect in an intro session

People often ask me about this, so I've added this section. The intro session is a chance to meet and see what it might be like to work together. I will ask you to tell me what has brought you to counselling and 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. We can talk about how counselling might help. 

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.

A bit about me

I'm sure you'll want to know a bit about who I am to help decide if you would like to get in touch. I would if I were you. 

I have 6 years' counselling experience, having trained at Bath Centre for Psychotherapy & Counselling. I hold an advanced level 6 diploma in Humanistic and Integrative Counselling. I'm fully qualified and insured. I am a registered member of BACP and follow their official guidelines for ethical practice. My work is overseen by a qualified and registered supervisor. I have trained in couples therapy with the Centre for Relational Couples Therapy, and I am currently on a two-year post-grad training in Psychedelic Assisted Therapy.

Prior to my training, I had a career in the creative sector working in the world of brand design and strategy. I studied Philosophy as an undergrad. My non-therapy interests are electronic music production, cooking, reading, travel (I've lived in Australia and Canada previously), film and bad TV.

I've mostly been in Bristol for the last 20 years, but originally I'm from rural Lincolnshire, where I grew up outdoors amongst the crops and Fenland drains.

For more info about me, please see the 'about me' page.
About the counselling I offer

Counselling is ​essentially talking to someone who will listen and empathise with whatever you share without judgement, who will help you try to make sense of things while treating you with humanity, compassion and care.

I cannot fix or cure, rather my goal is to provide a space that is conducive to your growth. Often people have had experiences in life which have blocked or hindered their forward motion. Natural growth can be fertilised and re-kindled by the process of counselling.


I will always be keen to understand what it is you would like to change, so I can make sure I'm doing my best to help you get there. This might be something we try to define together.

We are all 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.


The good news is that we can adapt and change throughout life (phew!). 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.

Get in touch

Message received, I'll reply soon.

I'll try to reply within 24 hours.

All correspondence is strictly confidential.

"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." 

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Client feedback

"I’m enormously grateful to Mike for helping me gain perspective on some issues that were really hampering my enjoyment of life. He was always open, interested, and non-judgemental when listening to anything I had to say, even on subjects that I was scared to talk about and felt I’d never be able to speak about with anyone. I very soon came to look forward to our weekly session as a place to feel safe and understood."

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