Started in 2017, Bristol Relationships is a fresh, dynamic, experience-led training initiative created by Barbara Bloomfield, Dominique Sakoilsky, Rex Baird and Zoe Baird.
Barbara, Dominique and Rex have over fifty years of experience, with tens of thousands of contact hours of working with couples and, more recently, families between them. They all worked extensively together at Bristol Relate and, from 2007, were a core part of the team that pioneered the Family Counselling service there. All continue to have busy private practices. Now they are looking to share, expand and develop this body of knowledge and experience by offering specialist training to those interested working directly with human relationships.
Zoe has a strong background in administration and organisation and is responsible for all the non-teaching aspects of Bristol Relationships.
Barbara Bloomfield, MA
Barbara has been a Counsellor for 23 years and a Counselling Supervisor for 15 years. She trained with Relate in relationship counselling and has completed over 16,000 hours of counselling and supervision during her career. In 2007, after taking a Diploma in Systemic Family Counselling, she, along with Dominique and Rex, started the Family Counselling service at Relate Avon.
Barbara was a member of the Relate Domestic Abuse Training Team and has been a national spokesperson for Relate for many years, often quoted on tv, radio and media. She has written five books about relationships, one of which won a Time Out award in 1986. Her most recent book, Couple Therapy: Dramas of Love and Sex, is the world's first graphic novel about relationship counselling and is published in 11 languages. This book led to her working at Warsaw University in Poland with postgraduates.
In 2017-18, Barbara won a Winston Churchill Travelling Fellowship to study creative and innovative ways of working with relationships where neuro-diversity is an issue in Australia and North America.
Barbara is a Director of Lapidus International, the expressive arts organisation that brings together creative writing and arts with better mental health. She has a master's degree in creative writing and taught undergraduates at Bath Spa University. Her life passion is to continue helping people to have better lives and connections through therapeutic creativity.
Dominique is an experienced relationship and family counsellor, having started her journey at Relate Bristol in 1999, working with couples and individuals wanting to explore relationship issues.
In 2007, having trained as a family counsellor and Systemic Therapist, Dominique began working with families, and also worked for Relate Bristol's professional training team, delivering parenting courses, and CPD trainings for social workers and early years workers. After 10 years at Relate, Dominique has worked privately in Bristol with couples, families and individuals, as well as working for charitable organisations.
She has also spent over 25 years working in the arena of birth and parenting, and is the author of a book, The Seven Secrets of Joyful Birth, which has led to running trainings in Lithuania, Portugal, and Brazil. In 2017, her book was published in Portuguese in Brazil.
In May 2017 she was a speaker at the Women's Economic Forum in India, where she also ran workshops on well being in relationships. In January 2019 she qualified as a supervisor with an Advanced Diploma in Relational Supervision.
She has continued her study with early attachment and early trauma training, is a craniosacral therapist, and has continued CPD training in domestic abuse, authentic communication, shadow work, and many areas pertinent to relationships.
Dominique is passionate about her relationship work, feeling that bringing health, understanding and self reflection to our relationship patterns means that healthy, positive relationships can become a foundation for life. Dominique has developed a multi-disciplinary style, which is integrative in its basis, and offers a warm, insightful approach to her clients.
Rex has always been fascinated by the dynamics of human relationships and this eventually led him to train, qualify and start working as a Couple Counsellor with Relate Avon in Bristol in 2003. In 2007 he was part of the small team that set-up the Family Counselling Service at Relate, along with Barbara and Dominique. He left Relate in 2018 to focus on his private practice and developing Bristol Relationships.
Rex holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Social Sciences from the University of Bristol, as well as numerous post-qualification awards through Relate including working with domestic violence and abuse, mental health difficulties and adult survivors of sexual abuse.
In 2009 Rex also started working in private practice, something which continues to thrive. His particular areas of interest are working with anger, power imbalances and the legacies of the various identities with which we all, in part at least, define ourselves. He tends to favour a collaborative style of working with whatever theoretical base best connects with his clients. The determination, hope and bravery of so many of them over the years continues to astonish and inspire him. In January 2019 he qualified as a supervisor with an Advanced Diploma in Relational Supervision.
Rex is married to Zoe, with whom he has three children.
Zoe worked in London's financial sector for nine years gaining experience in the administration of estates initially, then moving into the investment world for the majority of her career. Zoe left London to travel the world, returning to start a family in 2001. Since then she has devoted herself to raising the three children she has with Rex. During this time she was an active member of the NCT, organising the postnatal support for Bristol and caring for her elderly grandmother. She is looking forward to being the team organiser in this exciting new adventure.