Hello and Welcome

I'm Nick, a BACP registered counsellor based in Fishponds (BS16) and central Bristol (BS2). Please read on to find out more about me and how I can help you. Alternatively, give me a call or text on 07988 136267 or send an email to nick@tangata-counselling.co.uk to book sessions.

A Counsellor in Bristol For You

I can help you feel better about yourself. I am experienced in counselling many concerns that arise is today's busy world. These include but are not limited to social anxiety, bereavement, depression, relationship issues or general low self-esteem. If any of this resonates or you need to improve your confidence, then contact me. My Bristol based counselling practice runs from two easily accessible locations - Fishponds and central Bristol.

Your counselling sessions with me allow you the time to be heard and understood. You may discuss whatever is on your mind, no matter how big or small it appears. Together we can understand and reflect giving you the opportunity to choose different thoughts or actions. Working with me you are giving yourself the best chance to achieve your aspirations.

I am a registered member (MBACP) of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and work to their Ethical Framework. This means that I will always put your best interests first and foremost - you can check my membership here. I am also fully DBS checked.

Relational

Our relationship and trust in each other are at the core of the bond we will develop during counselling. This will naturally develop at a comfortable pace through respect for each other. I will hold you in the highest regard and your commitment to the process is important. You will have the opportunity to discuss your needs from low self-esteem, social anxiety or depression. I also have experience helping people with bereavement, relationship difficulties, general sadness, additions and family issues, amongst many others.

Integrative

I will work with you integratively. This means I use a core theory but will incorporate skills from other approaches as appropriate. To quote a few buzz-words, I work in a person-centred manner, integrating CBT, solution-focused and transactional analysis, amongst others.

Creative

An alternative to talking-based counselling are a variety of creative techniques. If appropriate, my training in creative writing or sand play can provide the opportunity for deeper levels of understanding. My BS16 counselling room has the equipment, so we will arrange sessions here if this is something you would like to try.

Latest Blog Posts

Could a New Idea Be Changing Counselling in Bristol?

Is There a Need for Changing Therapy in Modern Bristol?

The modern day causes us to re-evaluate many aspects of our life. Looking at the big picture one begins to realise that our journey though life is dynamic. As such, it feels fitting that the world around us adapts (or indeed prompts us to respond, depending on your viewpoint…). For example, I think most people would agree that the invention of smartphones has revolutionised our lives. Just think how easy it is to navigate unknown roads with a ‘sat nav’ app. You may ask though, how this links to changing counselling in Bristol – read on…

Changing counselling in Bristol by booking online

Therefore, it would only be right to have an open mind to how the talking therapies can better fit in with ever changing lives. Things are already quite different to the days when clients (or patients, as they were known) where expected to lie on a couch. The therapist provided minimal input. Now, we have Skype, SMS and phone counselling, to name a few. These forms of therapy are well established. As an article (click here), in The Guardian newspaper suggests, another evolution aims to make counselling as normal and easy to access as the gym.

The New Idea

The article talks about a company set up in London that aims to do just that. Therapy is bought in a bundle, ahead of time. You book sessions online at a regular time or as it suits. I agree that this sounds very convenient. However, I believe in the importance of building a strong relationship with my clients. Gaps in therapy are noticeable. It then takes a little longer to work closely and effectively.

Can This Work at a Deep Relational Level?

When a session is booked with the company, you can even select a different therapist. On one hand it’s great that it is so easy to change. If you feel as though your current counsellor isn’t right, there are no awkward conversations. Once again though, going back to the counsellor-client relationship, there can be a great deal of learning to be had. For example, discussing why things aren’t working can reveal a lot about the client. Or being allowed/encouraged to have an awkward conversation without consequences or argument can be cathartic.

Further Reducing Stigma

Nevertheless, I applaud the ethos of the idea. Some of the ways clients can use the service don’t agree with my relational way of working. However, it will suit many people, especially in a large city such as London. Furthermore, anything that helps to further reduce any remaining stigma of reaching out for mental health support is welcomed! Not only that but the online nature of initiating the service really helps integrate therapy into today’s modern lifestyle.

However, are we likely to see changing counselling in Bristol? In my opinion, Bristol isn’t quite ready. Bristol already embraces counselling. As a city, we seem to prefer not to be anonymous service users but value knowing and recognising people. This aligns with my belief in the power of building a healing relationship through personal interaction. Please leave a comment or contact me if you would like to find out more.

Balance in Mental Health – The Elixir of Life?

Working Out the Balance in Mental Health

In so much of the work I do as a counsellor, I find that one word comes up time and time again. It’s a simple word but one with incredible meaning and a number of different applications. Balance. It might make you think of riding a bicycle, walking on uneven ground or a ballerina. Of course, these are all relevant but balance in mental health and counselling has many applications.

Balance in mental health - like walking a tightrope.

With clients, I often talk about the tightrope of mental health. By that I infer that the client is walking the tightrope holding one of those long poles to aid balance. On the end of the stick are two buckets, one containing things that replenish their mental health. An example of this would be self-care. On the other end are the things that deplete their mental health, for example doing things to help others. It is often the case that one bucket is heavier than the other – you guessed it – mostly the depleting one. Subsequently, life has become difficult to manage. This visual image alone can be enough to highlight the importance of balance.

Understanding Why Life is Hard

When people forget or cannot find the time to replenish themselves, they can lose sight of what is healthy and good. Whilst specific activities are very unique to the individual, there are often patterns and generalisations that help. For example, being outside doing something is gathering increasing evidence. Our eyes are designed (evolved!) to be more sensitive to shades of green than any other colour. As supported here, the time doesn’t need to be great, just time outside!

Recovering the Balance

Exercise and a healthy diet are other generalisations. I believe in having a balance between mental and physical exercise in order to promote good sleep. Furthermore, a healthy diet does change the way our minds operate and our bodies function. For inspiration watch this video. Time travelling back a few decades in my life, I am reminded of my mother saying ‘everything in moderation’. Now I understand what she meant and see how it fits with a balance in mental health.

If this post resonates with you in any way, please get in touch to find out about counselling sessions in Bristol. I work at a pace to suit you and aim to recover lost balances through a trusting, open relationship. Contact me here.

Teacher’s Mental Health: Many Do Not Plan To Stay in the Profession

New Teachers are Struggling

A recent study by Leeds Beckett University suggested that less than half of new teachers had definite plans to stay in the profession. Surprisingly, they had come to this conclusion after only a year in their new jobs. Given the time and money they have invested, their experiences must have been quite bad! As a result, new teacher’s mental health declines rapidly.

A happy new teacher with good mental health - in the minority?

This article by the Independent newspaper expands on some of the reasons behind this worrying statistic. Anxiety or panic attacks seem to be the most commonly reported symptoms. Depression and late night self-medication of alcohol are rarer. However, given the relatively small size of the study I imagine the national figures would be very concerning.

The Responsibility of the Next Generation

Why are the people that have taken it upon themselves to follow a career developing our next generation are so badly supported? In Bristol and South Gloucestershire, teachers can choose to receive short-term counselling through the council. This is a good initiative, however managing anxiety and panic attacks can be a longer term process. Furthermore, depression tends to come in cycles and can be very difficult to shake off.

In other areas of the country, teacher’s mental health is supported by regular counsellor visits to schools. This is a time in which any teacher can confidentially speak to someone. Normally once a month, this concept of regular drop-in sessions is inspirational. Results speak for themselves with these schools often seen to maintain consistently high Ofsted ratings.

Proactive Options

New teachers struggle with mental health issues in the absence of a professional support network. Of course, by researching online one can find a plethora of information. Much of this advice is valid and generally suitable. For example, CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) is successful in combating symptoms of anxiety. However, this should be facilitated by a trained professional.

Mindfulness can often provide good results. This can be as simple as concentrating on yourself for a couple of minutes several times a day. It’s a bit like retraining yourself or learning a new skill. In other words it takes a bit of practice. However, the rewards of learning to be more grounded and present in the ‘here and now’ hold great potential. The grip of anxiety is reduced by spending less time concerned with the future.

Mindfulness can be learnt individually or with the help of a professional counsellor. Please contact me if you would like more information or to arrange well priced sessions to work on these or similar issues.