Psychotherapy and Counselling in Bristol

Dr John Ashworth

Psychotherapy and counselling for individuals

Many people benefit from psychotherapy and counselling. To give you an idea, I regularly work with clients experiencing stress, anxiety, or depression. Some are working through life crises, coming to terms with loss, have suffered abuse, or are going through relationship problems. Others have felt stuck in old patterns they would like to change or are simply keen to understand themselves better and fulfil their potential.

Psychotherapy and counselling provides the backdrop to my practice, which at its core is about helping you to understand and make sense of your life. It’s about better understanding what is taking place, and making sense of experience. It involves a sometimes painful process of facing-up to those things that are ordinarily avoided and evaded. It’s also about realising the choices you have and how you would like your life to be.

I am an experienced counsellor registered with the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP), British Psychological Society (BPS) and Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). Due to being trained in several different psychological models I am able to offer psychotherapy and counselling that is of an integrative/pluralistic nature. In practise this means that my clients are not moulded to any particular approach, but instead receive support that is tailored to meet their individual needs. Practising this way is seamless as there is more that unites than separates the differing schools of psychotherapy and counselling

I utilise learning from each of the main schools of psychotherapy and counselling; Humanistic, Psychodynamic, Cognitive and Behavioural. Please see my 'Training and Qualifications' page to find out more about the psychotherapy and counselling approaches that I offer.

Having worked with a variety of client groups in several organisations, I have broad expertise. Examples of specific client groups I have worked with include: cancer patients (NHS, Mayday Hospital), men wishing to change abusive behaviour via anger management techniques (Everyman Project), young children/families (NHS, Child & Adolescent Mental Health service (CAMHs)), and clients with neurological long-term health conditions (NHS, North Bristol Trust (NBT) as well as Bristol and South Gloucestershire specialist community neurology service (SCNS).

I currently run a private practise in north Bristol as well as work part-time for the NHS as a Counsellor and Psychologist. My Bristol counselling practise is available on weekday evenings and all day Friday.

I use the terms Psychologist, Psychotherapist and Counsellor interchangeably as I am qualified in all three disciplines, and there is more that unites than separates the areas of practise. Training and experience aside, key to the success of counselling is the quality of relationship that can be established in the therapy room. Research has shown that successful psychotherapy outcomes require the therapist and client be able to build a good level of trust between them; be able to engage with honesty and depth, and that the therapist be compassionate. To this end I endeavour to offer a warm, nurturing, and non-judgemental environment that can help the people I work with to feel safe and supported. Practising this way reflects my natural character. I am an empathic and caring person appreciative of the struggles of life.

As you can see from my areas of interest listed below, I am able to provide psychotherapy and counselling to people exhibiting a range of concerns. You may identify with one or more of these, or perhaps feel unable to make sense of what it is that’s troubling you. Either way, I welcome hearing from you.

Areas of interest include:



Anger management



Couples counselling



Health anxiety

Identity issues


Low self confidence


Relationship issues

Sexuality Issues



Initial appointments last for one hour and subsequent sessions are 50 minutes in length. Appointments are typically scheduled weekly and at the same time of day. As well as face-to-face appointments, I can also provide sessions via online platforms such as Zoom, and over the telephone. If you have any questions about the counselling / psychotherapy service that I offer or wish to book an appointment please go to my 'Contact and Fees' page where you will be able to locate my telephone number and email address.

If you are interested in receiving psychotherapy and counselling support in relation to managing anger, then please visit my other website; for more detailed information about the service I offer to people experiencing this particular concern.

“What clients need is trust that they have the resilience, in themselves, to meet the unknown, to experience it, and to survive.” - Mark Yang, 2012

Training & Background

I originally trained as a psychotherapist with the New School of Psychotherapy and Counselling, and some years later completed a doctoral programme in counselling psychology with Middlesex University. Psychotherapy and counselling psychology complement each other, and enable me to provide an integrative approach to therapy tailored to each client’s individual needs.

Although I make reference (home page and above) to being an integrative practitioner, meaning that I utilise learning from each of the main schools of psychotherapy (Humanistic, Psychoanalytic, Cognitive, Behavioural & Gestalt) it is the Humanistic school that I principally draw upon, and, within this school, the existential approach that I most widely apply.

Existential psychotherapy and counselling focus on the givens of being human. An overview of these givens follow:

Freedom: We are essentially free to make changes in our lives, though doing so can, at times, feel difficult. Counselling aims to help clients realise the options available to them and to make choices that meet their needs.

Isolation: Experiencing isolation is part of being human. Considering our sense of isolation can have a helpful impact upon how we relate to others.

Meaning: From the existential viewpoint we are encouraged to move towards what is meaningful. The counselling process aims to help clients work out what is important and meaningful to them.

Mortality: Facing the reality of our mortality can help us to realise what is important in life. That is not to say we should dwell on our finitude, rather just be accepting of its inevitability.


BA (Hons) BST Dip, DC Hyp, PG Dip ExPsych, DCPsych.


As a fully trained supervisor and group facilitator, I also spend time supporting fellow professionals with their private practise, as well as run tailored group therapy programmes in the Bristol area. Away from clinical work I lecture at differing institutes, research and publish within the field of neurology, and deliver papers at specialist conference.

I would always advise that clients seeking therapy choose an appropriately qualified counsellor.

I am a United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) registered psychotherapist, a British Psychological Society (BPS) registered chartered psychologist, and a member of the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC). Please click on the logos below if you would like to find out more about these governing bodies.

Finally, my interest in neurology has also encouraged my training in disciplines that appreciate the maleability of our brains, that is the way in which our brain's neurological structures can change over time as a consequence of the experiences that we have. To this end I am a qualified Clinical Hypnotherapist, have completed an EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing) training programme, and appreciate the benefits of engaging in mindfulness and meditation.

Sessions & Location

I practise from a secure, safe, home environment in Tockington, a small village in north Bristol (20 minute drive from city centre). Tockington is in the county of South Gloucestershire, just north of the M4/M5 interchange.

There is plenty of nearby free on street parking available.

Session length is 50 minutes.

Get In Touch

To book an appointment, or to simply find out more about the service I offer, please call me on 0771 2183772 or email me at

If unavailable I endeavour to return voicemails or emails within 24 hours.

As well as face-to-face appointments I also offer sessions via the online platform Zoom, as well as over the telephone for those who prefer.