Training and Courses / Features

Learn a Complementary Therapy in Bristol

By ann sheldon, Wednesday Dec 2, 2015

Working as a complementary therapist can be a very rewarding career. It’s a great option if you want to work part-time or around other commitments such as children or caring. You can be your own boss. There is ongoing personal satisfaction in working with people one-to-one and helping their health improve. This type of training often encourages personal development, and your own healing journey, as part of the process. Often these courses are taught in smaller, intimate groups of between five and fifteen people. 

Study is usually part time so you continue to earn. All courses mentioned here take place in Bristol unless stated otherwise. On graduation a therapist can charge between £40 and £90 per hour depending on the qualification. Here are some local courses starting in 2016.

Shiatsu bodywork harmonises the flow of energy in the body

Shiatsu is a pressure-point massage technique from Japan in which pressure is applied to points on the body to stimulate the meridians (energy channels), correct imbalances, and promote health.  

Bristol School of Shiatsu – Est. with this course this course since 1984 

Qualification: DS (Diploma in Shiatsu)

Recognized by the Shiatsu Society UK. 

Graduates are automatically eligible to join the register of the Shiatsu Society UK, giving the title MRSS

Three Year Part time training – 38 weekends and a Five Day Residential week plus home study and practice time 2-5 hours a week

Third year students can charge £15 to £25 as a student practitioner.


Hypnotherapy can be used to change behaviour and beliefs


Hypnotherapy uses hypnotic suggestion to help clients make desired changes in their lives. This can help with anxiety or phobia, change habits, aid performance, relieve pain, in fact any issue where the mind plays a part, IBS, stress relief, tinnitus, OCD, Easibirthing (hypnosis for easy childbirth) 

UK Academy – Established 2005 in Bath/Bristol area. 

Qualifications: HPD (Hypnotherapy Practitioner Diploma) the gold standard. Recognised by CNHC (Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council). 

Plus Dip Cah (Diploma in Clinical Advanced Hypnotherapy) and qualifications in Smoking Cessation, Anxiety, Ericksonian Hypnotherapy and NLP 

Accredited by: NCFE, OU credits  

10 weekends over 10 months plus 330 hours home study, research, reading, portfolio preparation and case study work. 

Additional info. 

Taught by Hilary Norris-Evans, practicing hypnotherapist since 1995 and a background in Education. An accredited assessor for another UK school. Students practice hypnosis regularly during the course. You can continue on to a Masters.


Counsellors help clients find their own solutions

Counselling or Psychotherapy 

C&P uses talking skills to help people to find their own answers to emotional problems in life. Counsellors and psychotherapists have regular supervision to support their practice. Sweet Track’s training in spiritual counselling especially takes into account the wide range of spiritual and cultural beliefs which a client may have. 

Sweet Track Counselling – Est. 12 years 

Accredited by: CPCAB- Counselling & Psychotherapy Central Awarding Body


Students can start with a Level 2 and progress through to Level 5.

All courses are part time, usually over weekends.

Level 2 effective listening Skills                                  3 x days 

Level 2 certificate in Counselling Skills                        8 x weekends 

Level 3 Certificate in Counselling Studies                    6 x 3 day weekends 

Level 4 Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling                 2 year training 

Level 5 Diploma in Psychotherapeutic Counselling        147 hrs over a year

Location: Glastonbury Town

Includes Eco-psychology, Embodied presence, Art therapy, Transpersonal & Mindfulness. 70% of the training is experiential.


Transactional Analysis 

A talking therapy, Transactional Analysis, or TA, examines what goes on between and inside people to help them improve their life and behaviour. TA is useful in education, management, organisational change and in counselling and psychotherapy. TA now offers an integration of Cognitive Behavioural, Gestalt, Psycho- dynamic, Relational and Transpersonal theory and practice in a humanistic psychotherapy using the TA core model of personality. 

Contact Point – Est. 5 years 

Qualifications: Certified Transactional Analyst (CTA) – Psychotherapy

A Masters level qualification recognised in the UK by UKCP and worldwide through the International TA Association.

Accredited by: United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP)


Four years, part time, one weekend for ten months of the year.  Personal reading and written assignments required 


Kinesiology uses muscle testing to find the root causes of health issues

Systematic Kinesiology 

Systematic Kinesiology uses muscle testing to find out imbalances within the body. Various mental, emotional, chemical, physical and energy techniques are then used to correct any imbalances indicated at the testing stage.  


Dawn Bailey from Essence has been a registered tutor with The Academy of Systematic Kinesiology. She has run Kinesiology courses twice a year in Bristol since 2003


Successful completion of both Foundation and Practitioners courses will qualify the student as a Kinesiologist Practitioner

Accredited by: The Association of Systematic Kinesiology

Foundation – 6 weekends over 6 months.

Practitioners – 16 days over 7 months. 

Additional info.

Essence training encourages students to connect with themselves in the belief that healing is more powerful when a practitioner treats from their inner wisdom as well as knowledge.


Reflexology works on the whole body via pressure points


Reflexology uses pressure-point massage usually on the feet, but can also be on hands and ears, to restore the flow of energy throughout the entire body. It works on reflex points that that affect different areas of the body. Stimulating these points with pressure is used to alleviate stress and other health problems and restore balance throughout the body. 

Steps Ahead Reflexology Academy – Est. 2015 

Qualification: Level 5 Reflexology – the highest level recognised

Accredited by: Centralia

1 year, over 20 days plus work to complete at home.

Additional info:

Open Days and informal interviews will be held on 10th January and 20th March 2016 10am to 2pm.


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