The People Behind Help!
Founder, Lead Supervisor
Peter has a quarter of a century’s experience working as a counsellor and psychotherapist. From his experiences working in addictions counselling with adults, Peter identified a common cause of distress in his adult clients who were misusing substances to mask their distress – childhood trauma.
So, Peter founded Help! Counselling in 2001 to meet the needs of young people in Bristol. Over the following fifteen years, Peter developed Help! Counselling from a charity of three counsellors into the organisation it is today, which supports dozens of counsellors running over a thousand counselling sessions every year with children and young people across the West Country.
In order to improve clinical governance of the charity and separate clinical oversight from administrative management, Peter stood down as the charity’s Director in 2017 and took the post of Lead Supervisor. Peter shares his decades of training and experience with the supervisory team at Help! Counselling and advises the Board of Trustees on how their decisions will affect the counselling process.
Peter has run his full-time private psychotherapy practice since 2005 and has served on the Council of the United Kingdom Association for Transactional Analysis. In 2013, he began working with clients on the Autistic Spectrum and has developed a humanistic approach to empowering people with the traits of Asperger’s Syndrome (www.thedifferentengine.net).
In April 2019, Peter was awarded the UK Association for Transactional medal for these contributions to Transactional Analysis and to the community.
Counsellor, Chair of Trustees
Lesley has been working as a volunteer for Help! for 10 years and as a trustee for 6 years. She trained at the University of the West of England from 2008 to 2011 and qualified as an integrative counsellor in 2011. Lesley continued to work for Help!, while setting up her private practice, which is very successful.
Since qualifying she has received extensive training, including therapeutic play, sand-tray therapy and the ongoing training offered by Help!, which focuses on working closely with the young people.
Before training as a counsellor, Lesley worked as a teacher for over 30 years, mainly in the secondary sector, but also for about 5 years in the primary sector. She has a wealth of experience working with young children and teenagers. For a number of years during her teaching career, she was Head of Year, working closely with he young people in her care and their families. She found this work very rewarding and fulfilling, as indeed she does working with this age group, both in her private practice and with Help!
Supervisor, Executive Director
Neil is a psychotherapist trained in Transactional Analysis (Certified Transactional Analyst) and registered with the UK Council for Psychotherapy. Neil is the Director of Help! Counselling and has been working with children and young people for seven years, both in his own practice and at local primary and secondary schools.
After qualifying as a psychotherapist, he completed further Master’s-level training in counselling for children and young people. Neil has lived most of his life just north of Bristol and supports children and young people in the area where he lives.
Nilu joined Help! as a trainee counsellor in Integrative Psychotherapy in 2019 and is now also a Trustee of the charity. She has extensive experience in mental health working as an academic, community practitioner and freelance researcher.
As one of Help!’s Trustees, Nilu brings her areas of expertise which include social inequalities, ethnicity and race, migration, gender, ageing, and religion and spirituality to her role in increasing the diversity of the client and counsellor base of the charity, and delivering training on working with difference.
Nilu is committed to ensuring voices of marginalised groups are heard and works with a number of charities and refugee and asylum groups to help make this happen.
Rachel qualified as a counsellor in 2008. Since then has gained post-graduation qualifications in counselling children and young people and in supervision. She has worked with children, young people and families as a counsellor, supervisor and counselling project manager in a variety of settings, including nine schools
Counsellor, Supervisor, Trustee
Naz is an Integrative Counsellor and Therapeutic Supervisor. She is a registered member of British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy. Naz has been in private practice for four years supporting clients of all ages, and she joined Help! Counselling over a year ago. Naz supports children and young people in primary and secondary schools.
Having qualified as a counsellor and therapeutic supervisor, Naz is now completing her Master’s in Counselling and Psychotherapy and Master’s level training in counselling children and young people. She lives and practices in Bristol
Amanda has completed her clinical training in Transactional Analysis psychotherapy and has been seeing clients since 2015 as a volunteer counsellor with Help! Counselling. Amanda has been the Case Manager for Help!
since 2019. In the role of Case Manager, Amanda matches clients with suitable counsellors in order to provide the best possible support, and making the right referrals for our clients is very important to her.
As well as her voluntary roles with Help!, Amanda works full time for the NHS where she manages the improvement of services for the local population.
Kerri has extensive experience of working in the field of therapeutic counselling and psychotherapy with children, young people and adults. She was a manager of a therapeutic community for adolescent girls aged 10 – 18 for several years before qualifying as a counsellor.
She then went on to establish two counselling services for children: one for children who had experienced domestic violence and the other for children who had been sexually abused. After qualifying as a psychotherapist, Kerri moved to Bristol and began working in a psychoanalytical counselling service for children and families as a senior practitioner, where she specialised in working with mothers and babies and children less than 8 years old.
She currently teaches and supervises counsellors, practitioners and psychotherapists. As a lecturer at West of England and South Wales Universities, Kerri contributes to courses in Counselling and Psychotherapy.
Besides being qualified as a Training and Supervising Transactional Analyst Psychotherapist, Kerri is also a Person Centred Counsellor and Supervisor.
Salma is an academic, psychotherapist and clinical supervisor. Salma works in private practice and in the NHS, as well as lecturing at St Andrew’s University in Scotland. As well as supervising the work of Help! counsellors, Salma also provides therapy sessions to children and young people referred through our charity.
Steve is a psychotherapist trained in Integrative Psychotherapy, has a degree in Psychology and is registered with the British Psychological Society. Steve has been counselling with Help! for 15 years, has taught counselling for children and young people at Weston College, and currently teaches on the counselling degree course there. Previously to counselling, Steve was a special needs teacher in secondary schools
Hayley-jade has worked with children and vulnerable families in the Knowle West area of Bristol for 11 years as a children’s practitioner and family services worker. Haley-jade went on to complete a degree in counselling and psychotherapy at the University of Bristol and started volunteering for Help! Counselling as a student in 2011. She has always been interested in working with children and young people and has been with Help! Counselling for 7 years.
Quentin St. Clair
Quentin started his training in 2006 and subsequently completed five years advanced Transactional Analysis psychotherapy training. He started practising in April 2009 and has since worked in schools counselling, Employee Assistance Programmes and private practice, accruing over 3,000 client hours both face-to-face and online, with roughly half of those hours being with children and young adults.
He is accredited as a Therapeutic Counsellor with the UK Association of Humanistic Psychology Practitioners, through which his is an accredited registrant with the Professional Standards Authority. He practises using an Integrative approach, with TA still as his main model, and utilises elements from his other training such as Gestalt, CBT, and Person-Centred. He also uses strands of Existential Psychotherapy from his own reading.
He is a keen performing musician and songwriter.