Author Archives: disphoria

Clinical psychologist and chartered psychologist: Dr Joanne Weston

Clinical psychologist and chartered psychologist: Dr Joanne Weston

Please note that I am currently working by telephone or on-line.

Dr. Joanne Weston is a clinical psychologist and chartered psychologist. She is registered with the Health Care Professions Council (HCPC) and holds chartered status and Associate Fellowship with the British Psychological Society (BPS). She offers psychological therapy, clinical supervision and also provides medico-legal reports for solicitors working on Personal Injury cases.

I offer evidence-based assessment and psychological therapy to adults with a wide range of issues. I am trained in cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), psychodynamic, systemic and person-centred approaches. I have also done additional training in areas such as eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR), solution-focused therapy and narrative therapy. Having this range of models to draw on, as well as a wealth of psychological knowledge, enables me to adapt my interventions to meet people’s varying needs. I would describe myself as an integrative practitioner.

I offer therapeutic work for emotional and mental health difficulties experienced during adulthood and into older age. These can include:

  • Anxiety and panic
  • Stress (including work-related stress)
  • Depression and low mood
  • Low self-confidence and low self-esteem
  • Relationship difficulties
  • Adjustment issues (e.g. due to illness, life changes, relationship break-ups)
  • Loss, grief and bereavement
  • Obsessions and compulsions (OCD)

Working with people who are experiencing problems that many of us face during our lives, whether that is anxiety, low mood, bereavement, specific phobias (such as flying) or generally struggling to cope with life’s demands and questions such as “Who am I? Who do I want to be?” is something that I find fulfilling. To help someone to understand and find ways to take control of their past, present and future is a rewarding aspect of my work.

Work philosophy:

I believe that every person is unique and needs an individual therapy plan which is tailored to fit with their specific situation – there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to therapy. An essential first step of any therapy is for the client and therapist to work together to get a good understanding of the problem and then explore how the person can reach their goals using therapeutic approaches that resonate with their values, beliefs and ways of thinking. I see my job as helping to empower and provide people with the support, tools and framework that they need to address their difficulties. I offer short-term and longer-term therapy.

Therapy offers many opportunities for personal growth but it also requires hard work and the courage to talk about things that you might never have told anyone before. I believe that all therapy needs to take place within a respectful, trusting, safe, confidential and containing therapeutic relationship. It is only when we feel unconditionally supported that we can allow ourselves to take risks and move forward with our lives.

Other services:

I also offer clinical supervision and provide medico-legal reports for solicitors working on Personal Injury cases (I have undertaken Bond Solon Expert Witness training).

Contact me:

If you would like to discuss any of my services or whether therapy could be suitable for you, please get in touch. I offer a free mini-consultation of up to 15 minutes over the telephone.

Email the Therapist

Two new therapists at the Harbourside Practice

Milena NikolovaTwo new therapists are soon to be working from the Harbourside Practice.

Milena Nicolova is a Cognitive Behaviour Therapist and counsellor with 10 years NHS experience, setting up in Bristol to complement her practice in Taunton.

Jessica VacarroJessica Vacarro is a counsellor, originally from the US, but now a longtime UK resident, using a humanistic, person-centred counselling approach and with a special interest in the effects of colonialism especially in sub-Saharan Africa.

The Harbourside Practice is Five…

The Harbourside PracticeThe Harbourside Practice recently celebrated its fifth anniversary and the only real change during those years has been towards talking therapies and away from the manual therapies.

The practice started off as a general complementary health clinic with the usual fairly eclectic spread of therapies including acupuncture and buqi, homeopathy and aromatherapy. Massage and talking therapies were no more prominent than the others but, over time, the shift to talking therapies led to the big hydraulic couch having to go to free up another room for more talking, making space for three more chairs in the room.

The trend continued and now, out of all the hours spent at the Practice, probably a good 95% are ‘talking’ hours of one kind or another. Counsellors, psychotherapists, mentors, hypnotherapists, coaches, NLPers and CBTers account for the majority of time. It’s true that the building lends itself to quiet reflection and a peaceful therapeutic exchange but this is just as true for manual therapies so the reason for this will remain obscure for the time being. But if that’s how the Practice has developed organically over time then that’s fine.

If it’s matured over its five years into a talking shop, then so be it; it seems to know where it wants to go. And for all that it seems to work for Caroline and Louise who practise holistic massage and Bowen therapy, both of whom have been working from the Practice for what must now be over four years.

Holistic massage, Indian Head Massage and Reiki – Caroline Girgensons

Holistic Massage Therapy, Indian Head Massage, Reiki: Caroline Girgensons -B.Ed.(Hons)MTIHolistic Massage Therapy, Indian Head Massage, Reiki: Caroline Girgensons -B.Ed.(Hons)MTI

Experience the magic of massage……

What is holistic massage therapy?
As a holistic therapist I treat clients as individuals and tailor the treatment to meet their specific needs. Holistic massage is the therapeutic and sensitive use of touch, adapted to a client’s unique physical and emotional requirements, in order to promote positive change. Massage is suitable for everyone. It can encourage deep relaxation thereby enabling the body to release stress, tension and anxiety; furthering your own healing potential. Regular holistic massage can help you relax, rejuvenate and feel revitalised by releasing emotional and physical tension and promoting general well-being. It can bring you back in touch with yourself.

  • Regular massage has many benefits and can help to:
  • Relieve muscular aches & strains
  • Ease & reduce chronic pain and tension
  • Improve muscle tone & joint flexibility
  • Release endorphins – the body’s natural painkiller
  • Reduce headaches & migraine
  • Promote better sleep
  • Improve circulation
  • Promote positive health during pregnancy
  • Reduce mental stress and anxiety
  • Revitalise your spirit and energise your body
  • Encourage healing – post injury & illness
  • Aid & relax breathing
  • Balance the body’s systems to promote well-being
  • Relax mind, body and spirit


A Massage Treatment:
Your massage session will always begin and end with a conversation – to establish and agree the most appropriate massage for you. I have an intuitive approach and work sensitively with clients. Massage work can be light and gentle, an acknowledgement of the body, or you may prefer a firmer touch, working deeper into the muscles. Specific problems can be addressed with a range of massage techniques, also joint mobilisation, trigger points and breathing, stretching, rocking or holding and energy holds. We will work together to encourage healing and relaxation, to restore and balance you. A holistic massage provides a quiet time and space for you to relax away from your everyday activities and pressures. We can manage our demanding lives if we look after ourselves at the same time.

How often have you said? “I need a massage!”

Indian Head Massage
Indian Head Massage takes place as a seated massage treatment. I use a range of different techniques in a flowing sequence of massage movements over the upper back, shoulders, neck and scalp areas. In addition, I will also gently stimulate and stroke pressure points on the face. The session will usually last about 30 minutes. It can be a very powerful experience.

Indian head massage is an excellent treatment for those of us who have little spare time. It is especially good for office and computer workers who build tension patterns in the upper back, neck and shoulders, through postural habits. Indian Head massage can relieve, fatigue, insomnia, headaches, migraine and sinusitis. It is particularly good for reducing the effects of stress and tension. Clients report that the experience is deeply calming and relaxing; leaving them feeling energised and revitalised, and better able to concentrate.

Reiki is a holistic treatment simultaneously healing on a physical, mental and emotional level.

Clients come to Reiki for a wide range of reasons such as seeking relief from physical pain, emotional clearing and achieving greater mental clarity. It can be used to treat any ailment or disease. Reiki is also excellent at relieving stress and its associated symptoms, as well as boosting the immune system and reviving energy levels. Reiki can benefit everyone. It is kind to your body, is safe and gentle.

The energy of your body and that of the practitioner work together to bring you back to health and balance. Recognising the link between mind and body, Reiki works holistically, ensuring your emotions support your body’s move to wellness. As a result, Reiki can begin to assist you in other areas of your life, as you find balance in body, mind and spirit. Relaxation is an integral part of the treatment; as such it is an excellent way of reducing stress and can therefore be as appropriate in the prevention of illness and maintenance of good health, as it can in the healing of specific condition. Some common benefits are: Reduction of physical pain, deep relaxation during the session, which is retained; improved sleep patterns, mental clarity, increased wellbeing; feelings of calmness. Reiki and massage are a wonderful combination and can be combined as a treatment.

About me
I trained with the Bristol College of Massage and Bodywork (BCMB). I have Diplomas in both Holistic Massage Therapy and Indian Head Massage. I am a member of the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC). I undertake regular professional development on an on-going basis choosing courses prompted and supported by my work with regular clients and those suggested by my own needs and interests. I am currently pursuing these interests through courses in Pregnancy Massage and further Reiki training.

I participate regularly as a volunteer massage therapist with The Rainbow Trust. The Children’s Charity provides emotional and practical support to families who have a child with a life threatening or terminal illness.

As a registered CHNC and MTI practitioner, I have public and professional liability insurance with Balens. I gained my teaching degree in Bristol in1987.

  • Level 4 Diploma in Holistic Massage and Bodywork – MTI
  • Level 3 Diploma in Indian Head Massage – MTI
  • Acupressure Facial Therapy
  • Massage and Pregnancy Level 1
  • Integrated Myofascial Therapy Pt 1 & 2
  • Reiki Level 3 Master Practitioner
  • BEd (Hons) Degree in Education / Qualified Primary School Teacher
  • Registered with Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC)
  • Member of Massage Training Institute (MTI)
  • Member of UK Reiki Federation


Holistic Massage: £55 – 1 hour;
£33 – half an hour;
Indian Head Massage – £33
Reiki – £50
Massage & Reiki combination: £60 – 1 hour; £75 – 90 mins
Acupressure Facial Therapy – £50

I offer advance block booking discounts and concessions for pregnant clients.

Gift vouchers are also available.

Health Insurance: As a member of CNHC, Caroline is recognised by some health insurance companies. If you wish to make a claim from your health or workplace insurer I will provide a receipt. (eg Healthshield)

I also practice at:

The Fishponds Practice – Osteopaths in Fishponds:

Southville Clinic

To make an appointment please me directly:

Tel 07963 566887

email –  


giving yourself “space to be” ….Massage Training Institute Complimentary & NAtural Healthcare Council