Helen is an experienced UKCP-accredited psychotherapist and child counsellor. She sees adults, children and young people for a range of difficulties such as anxiety, depression, eating disorders, trauma and dissociation.
Types of therapy I offer
- Eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR)
- Family/systemic therapy
- Gestalt psychotherapy
- Person-centred psychotherapy
- Play therapy
- Psychodynamic psychotherapy
I can help with...
- Bipolar disorder
- Borderline personality
- Dissociative disorders
- Eating disorders
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Sexual abuse
- Traumatic childhood
Types of client I see
- Young people
Languages I speak
- Room 23 at 175–7 Borough High Street, SE1 1HR
In my work I offer the opportunity for self-reflection in a non-judgmental and healing space. I invite you to explore with me any issues in your life that are causing you psychological distress.
I keep an open mind on the value of mental health diagnoses and psychiatric labels, preferring to orientate my work towards you as a unique individual. I am interested in how you experience the world and the people around you, including me as your therapist.
I know that sometimes the same old problems or relationship patterns come up again and again or suddenly we face new losses, or other challenging life events, that seem overwhelming. Difficult childhood memories, the impact of trauma or current relationships that are just not going well, either at work or at home, can destabilise any one of us, sometimes resulting in depression or anxiety.
Talking to a therapist who will listen with empathy, and not judge you, can bring relief and healing. Mental health has become a regular topic of conversation in the media and yet we all know that the NHS cannot currently cope with the increasing demand for mental health services, perhaps especially for children. Because I believe that counselling services should be accessible to all I offer up to 50% of my available time at a subsidised cost.
In working with children and young people I will often use play therapy and for both children and adults I may encourage a variety of creative activities including sandplay. Sandplay therapy can be an effective, often non-verbal means of healing when simply talking seems inadequate.
My approach to counselling and psychotherapy is rooted in Gestalt psychotherapy. Gestalt is an optimistic existential therapy which believes that each person is born with the capacity to lead a successful creative life and to form rewarding relationships.
However, life may offer us roadblocks and setbacks that interfere with our natural development. I will explore with you the fixed patterns and core beliefs that may be depriving you now of a sense of aliveness and growth.
Gestalt therapy encourages experimentation in new ways of being, without introducing prescriptive rules for making changes in your life or behaviour.
I also have a grounding in psychodynamic and person-centred approaches to therapy and use the methodologies of internal family systems therapy (working with parts of the personality) and of EMDR (eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing) where appropriate.
I have a keen appreciation that one style of therapy does not suit all.
Training and qualifications
I trained at the Metanoia Institute and in 2017 gained their Clinical Diploma in Gestalt Psychotherapy as well as an MSc in Gestalt Psychotherapy in association with Middlesex University London. During this core training I added a Postgraduate Diploma in Counselling Children in Schools awarded by Place2Be in association with the University of East London.
I also hold a Practitioner Certificate in Addiction and Eating Disorders from the Metanoia Institute and a Postgraduate Diploma in Contemporary Trauma Practice from Relational Change.
I am an avid attendee in workshops that enhance my skills and have particularly benefited from the PODS (Positive Outcomes for Dissociative Survivors) workshops on trauma and dissociative disorders. I am listed on their register of dissociation-friendly therapists.
I am currently completing several other trainings. These include:
- sandplay therapy with Play Therapy UK, of which I am a member
- EMDR with Sandi Richman
- Level 1 Internal Family Systems therapy training with The Center for Self Leadership – this complements the 18 months of online training I have enjoyed within the IFS Circle and the IFS Continuity Program
Many of my clients have been struggling, often for years, with the impact of trauma and complex PTSD, which may include feelings of dissociation or depersonalisation. I undertook specialist training in contemporary trauma practice last year and am committed to enhancing my skills in EMDR in order to offer a more comprehensive approach to those still grappling with the aftermath of terrible events or developmental trauma.
I have provided therapy and counselling as a volunteer in several mostly charitable organisations over the last 7 years, including the Metanoia Counselling and Psychotherapy Service, Brent Bereavement Services, Kingston Women’s Centre and the Koan Practice. I continue to volunteer with The Olive Branch Christian Counselling Service in Winchester.
I worked for 2 and a half years as an honorary psychotherapist within the Oxleas Trust for Greenwich Psychotherapy Services, principally with clients who had been diagnosed with personality disorders. My training also included a 6 months’ placement on a residential psychiatric ward in the Maudsley Hospital.
I worked with children in 2 primary schools for Place2Be for over 2 years and spent almost a year with Trust House Reading, supporting children and young people who had suffered as a result of sexual abuse.
I also worked for 2 years in the NHS with clients diagnosed with personality disorders and have worked with the severely mentally ill on an NHS psychiatric ward.
- accredited with UKCP (UK Council for Psychotherapy)
- registered member of BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy)
- member of PTUK (Play Therapy UK)
- trainee member of the EMDR International Association (EMDRIA)
- Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and a Chartered Tax Adviser with the Chartered Institute of Taxation, both qualifications obtained in my former career
I was a Director and the Treasurer for The Olive Branch in Winchester for several years. I am currently a Director of Helen Maxwell Counselling and Therapy Ltd.
I abide by the:
- UKCP Ethical Principles and Code of Professional Conduct
- BACP Ethical Framework for the Counselling Professions
Fees and availability
- £10 for a 50-minute initial assessment
- £50 for a 50-minute session (subject to negotiation depending on ability to pay)
Please feel free to call or email me if you would like to discuss whether psychotherapy is for you. We can then arrange the initial assessment at a cost of £10 so that we can get to know each other a little and you can have some idea of what to expect in therapy sessions. If you feel you would like to go ahead we can discuss future fees based on ability to pay.
I am available for therapy sessions on Tuesdays from 2.30pm to 10pm. I also work from another location near London Bridge on Mondays and from home in south east London during the rest of the week.