Low Cost Counselling & Psychotherapy

For people on benefit or limited income, lower cost counselling and psychotherapy is available with associate therapists at Spiral. Some are experienced trainees, and some are qualified. They offer shorter and longer term counselling and psychotherapy on a regular weekly basis at specific times.


Waiting list is closed.

We’re sorry the waiting list is temporarily closed due to high numbers. We will re-open as soon as we can and will note that here on the website.


All our associate therapists are either student or full members of a professional therapy organisation, and work in accordance with their codes of ethics and practice. Each therapist meets regularly with one of Spiral’s experienced supervisors, to monitor the progress of the sessions and to ensure the highest professional standards. Both therapist and supervisor are bound by the professional ethics of confidentiality. Within this confidential context, several of our therapists in training are required to tape record some or all of their sessions. No one will be required to have sessions recorded if they object, but it may mean a longer wait to see someone.

Fees are usually between £10 and £50 per 50 minute session, depending on your circumstances.  Fees are subject to occasional small increases. To keep fees low, payment is weekly, even for missed sessions, except on bank holidays or when the therapist is absent.

Applying for low cost counselling & psychotherapy

Please email Spiral, not the individual therapists, or telephone us for a brief discussion of your issues and circumstances. If there is a possible vacancy we will arrange an assessment interview, after which we will tell you as quickly as possible whether we can give you a place. The charge for the assessment interview is agreed in advance and is similar to the regular fee. The assessment fee is payable if you cancel the appointment with less than 48 hours’ notice.

We want to tell you that we will hold your personal information for the sole purpose of offering you therapy at Spiral. You can withdraw consent at any time and we will delete your information immediately rather than our standard practice of deleting details within two years since your last contact with Spiral.

Therapists offering low cost counselling & psychotherapy



Sasha Kaplin

I studied for four years on an Integrative Psychotherapy MA course at the Sherwood Psychotherapy Institute. I am working towards accreditation as a psychotherapist. I am a member of BACP.

I blend approaches creatively, and hold a belief in people’s potential to reflect on themselves and make choices. Within sessions, my intention is to invite an atmosphere of trust and understanding. I will support and encourage you to safely find the range of your emotions and to develop an accepting relationship with yourself. We might explore the effect that early or past relationships have had on your experience of being you, including how you cope and react. While respecting the way in which you learned to protect yourself, I will also help you explore your different options in the here and now.

My particular areas of experience include working with trauma and abuse, issues of identity and difference, and self-harming behaviours. I am mindful of the contexts of power, oppression, vulnerability and responsibility. My background includes work in a senior role at an NHS women’s crisis project, and offering social support to homeless people in emotional distress. I have been a Samaritans phone volunteer, have co-led groups for the Eating Disorders Association, and have facilitated a community group focused around sexuality, at London Friend. I have previous training in systemic therapy.

I work at Spiral in the evenings on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, and on Thursday afternoons.

Evie Pitman

I hold a Diploma in Integrative Psychosynthesis Counselling from Re-Vision Centre for Integrative Psychosynthesis (2015), and am a Registered Member of the BACP. As well as offering low cost therapy at Spiral, I am a volunteer bereavement counsellor.

Drawing on many approaches (Jungian, Gestalt, Person-Centred and Psychodynamic), I work from a Transpersonal perspective which takes into account the dimension of finding greater meaning in life and in the issues you may be struggling with. My focus is on supporting and validating your experience of who you truly are. I aim to provide you with a safe and accepting space where you can explore your feelings, in order to more fully connect with yourself and gain an understanding of how past events may continue to impact you in the here and now. And through connecting to your deeper feelings, a greater sense of self-acceptance and empowerment can emerge, from which you have more freedom of choice for the future.

I believe that the relationship we establish with each other is the most important factor in this endeavour, and I therefore approach our work together with a deep sense of commitment towards you.

I bring a deep grounding energy to our work together, which comes from a lifetime’s experience of exploring and understanding my own path.

I work at Spiral on Monday morning and Friday afternoon/evening.

Lisu Kimberley

I am a student member of the BACP and am training as a counsellor at the Re-Vision Centre for Integrative Psychosynthesis. I will complete my qualification in early 2017.

For several years I was a volunteer with the Samaritans, and this taught me, long before I began my training, the value of being a sincerely interested, sympathetic listener. I carry this through to my work as a therapist.

I offer a safe, non-judgemental space, with the intention of inviting a trusting and supportive relationship. This invitation is fundamental to our joint exploration of your current experience, and of the wider context of your past history. I will support you to become more aware of your thoughts and feelings, enabling new insight and trust in your true self to become possible.

I am at Spiral on Mondays.

Regina Silva

I completed a diploma in Therapeutic Integrative Counselling at City and Islington College (2017) and I am a member of the BACP.

My aim is to create an environment where discussion and exploration can be had in a non-judgemental and supportive space. At the core of all of us is a deep desire to be seen and acknowledged.

I will work with you in attending to what might be of concern to you in your life. We will focus on your unique thoughts and opinions, paying careful attention to your immediate concerns, and past issues. This will allow you to explore feelings that you may have felt a sense of being stuck with.

I work using a broad range of approaches, and am interested in how we are able to transform difficult experience s which can extinguish our expectations. In working together, we can focus energy on developing, reaching for connection, so that we are able to expand, and gain the strength to overcome. We might dare to imagine a future shaped differently, in a safe accepting and warm space.

I have worked for several years in social care. I qualified as a nurse in 1995, and practiced till 2000. Since then I have been working as a Senior Reablement Worker supporting adults with both physical and emotional challenges. In addition, I was a volunteer with Haringey Women’s Forum between 2010 and 2012 working with women in emotional crisis as well as assisting them in developing practical life skills.

As a therapist, I embrace fully the opportunity to facilitate an open dialogue where you feel safe enough to view all aspects of life from a different vantage point, to reflect beyond the present, and delve into the past.

My focus is on enabling you to seek and find a sense of wholeness through the safe exploration of entrenched beliefs, to look at responses that may be rooted deeply in past unresolved issues, and to walk alongside you with empathy to the integration of all aspects of your being.

I am fortunate to have worked with many people from diverse communities; being a woman from a minority culture, I am aware of the difference that feeling excluded can generate. It has been my experience that this has broadened my perspective and understanding. I believe that it is possible to gain strength from making sense of our hopes and our strengths.

I have experienced the liberation and flexibility that comes from being bicultural, and have seen the great potential of insight, flexibility and deeper perception that is waiting for all of us as a universal privilege.

I practise at spiral on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons.

Erika Mansnerus

I am a third year trainee therapist working towards a Diploma in Integrative Counselling at the Minster Centre; I expect to qualify in July 2017. I am a student member of BACP.

I am interested in how we relate to each other and feel at home in ourselves. I am curious about how emotions and thoughts might be mirrored in the body, and I can help you explore the difference between what happens when you neglect or give attention to these subtle messages from your being. I see therapy as a journey towards a sense of ourselves, and how we come into relationship with one another. By developing acceptance, compassion and mindful awareness towards our embodied experience, we can find new ways to inhabit ourselves, and live in the world more authentically and fully.

I offer an encouraging space for you to begin your therapeutic journey. My work is guided by empathy, which offers the foundation for us to build therapeutic relationship. If there is a mythical or spiritual dimension to how you see the world, I welcome an exploration of this aspect of your life.

I work at Spiral on Tuesday afternoons.

Carla Burns

I believe in the value of having someone truly listen to what you have to say. In the words of writer Brenda Uelend, “When we are listened to, it creates us, makes us unfold and expand.”

I work with a range of counselling approaches to support you in exploring whatever might be troubling you in your life at present. My aim in our sessions is to create a trusting and non-judgemental space in which you can feel safe to bring in all aspects of your self and work towards a fuller experience of living.

I am a qualified psychotherapeutic counsellor, having trained in Integrative Transpersonal counselling at Re-Vision centre. I am an individual member of the BACP and my first degree (which I completed in 2002) was in Psychology.

In previous years my work has included counselling in an NHS service for people with anxiety and depression, assistant nursing in psychiatric wards, support work for adults with intellectual disability, and respite care for families of children with autism. From these situations, I draw the experience of working with care and respect for people in need of support, and I bring this with me to our counselling sessions.

I work at Spiral on Mondays.

Erica Fernandes

I am completing an MA in Mindfulness based Core Process Psychotherapy at the Karuna Institute. I am a trainee member of the UKCP.

I provide a non-judgemental space that gives an opportunity for exploration. Our sessions will be led by you. I will support you in your inherent ability to know your own intentions and have them honoured; allowing you to know yourself more and increase awareness.

We could reflect on what may or may not be working for you in your life by taking a look at feelings, sensations and thoughts. Certain patterns or ways of being and relating can be identified that could free up energy and joy in life. Once we become aware of these patterns, we naturally take steps to transform our lives into even more of what we want.

I work at Spiral on Friday afternoons.

Heidi Shepherd

I am currently studying for a Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling at City and Islington College, and am a student member of the BACP. I expect to qualify in 2018. My background in the creative industries has meant I’ve been fortunate to meet and work with people from a variety of cultural, religious and social backgrounds. This has given me an increased understanding and greater sensitivity to people’s diverse life experiences, and how these may impact upon their lives.

My approach is integrative, mainly drawing on Person-Centred and Psychodynamic concepts, though I also work creatively and intuitively within the moment. I offer a confidential, open-minded and non-judgmental space for you to express and explore any current difficulties or worries in your life.

We’ll take a journey, which is unique to you. We’ll start from your ‘here and now’ feelings, experiences and relationships, and if it feels right for you, we can work together to discover connections to your past and to consider how those experiences might have affected your present life. I’m committed to supporting you gain new insight and understanding of your self, with the intention of helping you feel more empowered or less ‘stuck’, and better able to move forward more positively in your life.

I work at Spiral on Thursday mornings.

Kaete Robinson

I am currently in the 3rd year of the Integrative Counselling and Psychotherapy course at the Minster Centre, and I am a student member of the BACP.

My approach to therapy is integrative, meaning that I draw on a variety of ap-proaches including psychodynamic, existential and relational. This allows us to come to understand both your past and present ways of being with others through understanding something of how we relate together.

My time as a Samaritan in 2011-12 and in health and social care since 2013 has taught me how to be present with people in the depths of their distress, whilst also strengthening an interest in how we can find comfort and ease in relation with others – even when this might feel the furthest thing from our current experience. I am also interested in questions regarding identity and diversity, and have specific ex-perience in working with members of LGBTQ+ communities and people experi-encing chronic illness.

Coming from a background in ecology and evolutionary biology, I believe that we as individuals are fundamentally interlinked with our surroundings. As such, I feel that a holistic approach to therapeutic work is essential. I will work together with you to create an environment in which we can engage with your experience flexi-bly and creatively, and in which you can feel able to bring your whole self without fear of judgment.

I believe that we all have the capacity to grow and flourish, and that seeking sup-port and attending to ourselves can be a powerful part of this process. Sometimes, we face aspects of our own growth which may require us to challenge our perhaps long-held beliefs and assumptions, and to hold the possibility of an alternative way of responding to our experience. This isn’t always an easy process. However, my experience is that therapy can offer an opportunity to open up new ways of being in the world and connecting with ourselves and those around us.

I work at Spiral on Friday mornings.

Louise Smith

I am studying for a Diploma in Integrative Therapeutic Counselling at City and Islington College, and expect to qualify in 2018. I am training in Person-Centred and Psychodynamic therapy and am also interested in Alice Miller and Carl Jung’s ideas. I am a student member of the BACP and follow their ethical guidelines.

I have always been drawn to understanding people by listening to their stories. After completing a literature degree, I worked as a documentary maker. This showed me how complex our histories are and how our individual stories lead us to experience and view the world in unique ways. I now work in the NHS, promoting patient involvement in mental health service development. I also volunteer, providing support and companionship to people experiencing mental illness. Through this I have learnt a lot about respect, courage and hope.

I believe our childhood experiences influence our sense of ourselves, our potential for growth and the quality of our relationships. It is my hope that by listening and responding with patience, kindness and understanding to whatever you want to say I can help you explore your thoughts and feelings. In this way, together, we can try to understand what is concerning you and I can support you in whatever ways you find helpful.

I work at Spiral on Friday mornings.

Liza Chopra

I am a BACP registered Integrative Counsellor experienced in offering long-term support to clients from diverse backgrounds. I hold a Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling (2016) from the Mary Ward Centre. In addition to practising at Spiral, I am employed as a staff support worker at a West London charity specialising in well-being, education and employment. Part of my role involves cultivating staff well-being and potential, which then influences and informs their work with clients.

Before joining Spiral, I spent three years as a volunteer counsellor with the Wimbledon Guild Counselling Service, working in depth with clients with long standing issues such as trauma and abuse. I have also been an in-ward and day centre volunteer within palliative care.

Drawing on an interplay of therapeutic models including person-centred, psychodynamic, transpersonal and attachment theories, I offer a relational and embodied way of working together. My aim is to be in touch with what you are bringing in any given moment, while being mindful of how early ways of relating can impact on your own way of ‘being in the world.’ These patterns may manifest in your body, in how you feel about yourself and how you view your experiences, and attuning to these patterns enables an awareness of what new potential is trying to emerge from within.

Beginning counselling can be daunting at first, yet it can also be a time to devote to your own self, every week. My intention is to create a trusting and safe space where all that arises is accepted, making room for emotions, doubts, shifts, changes and transformations which can ultimately lead to a greater sense of freedom and fulfilment.

I work at Spiral on Monday afternoon/evening.

Shao Wong

I am currently in my final year of my Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling course with the Counselling and Psychotherapy Training Academy (CPTA), and am a stu-dent member of BACP. I expect to qualify in July 2018. I also hold a Diploma in the Therapeutic and Educational Application of the Arts from the Institute for Arts in Therapy & Education (IATE) gained in 2014.

Since June 2017, I have been a volunteer counsellor with Place2Be, a children’s mental health charity, which provides counselling and play therapy to children in schools throughout the country.

Through my training and experience in counselling, I have learnt the importance of loving and accepting oneself and “just being.” I have also understood how the therapeutic relationship can be reparative, supportive and transformative, enabling shifts in one’s attitude towards the self, and different perspectives on life.

My approach to therapy is Integrative and incorporates elements which are person-centred, and holistic, and which make room for a focus on spirituality. With our therapeutic work together, I aim to provide a safe, healing and non-judgmental space. I appreciate the courage and willingness of those choosing to participate on this therapeutic journey, which is not always easy but which can facilitate more self-awareness of and self-acceptance. It is and will be an ongoing life process.

I am at Spiral on Tuesday afternoons.

Radma Mahmood

I am currently studying for a diploma in Therapeutic Counselling at The Mary Ward Centre, London. I hope to complete in July 2019. I am a member of the BACP and adhere to their framework for safe and ethical practice, which promotes a genuine, open and respectful therapeutic relationship.

As well as offering low cost counselling at Spiral, I have been on placement in a local primary school with Place2Be since October 2017. The work is based on play therapy, i.e. using creative materials to allow the children to tell their story and express feelings.

My course teaches an integrative model which includes humanistic, psychodynamic and transpersonal approaches. I see the importance of the relationship between counsellor and client as central. I aim to build a trusting connection with you and so help to develop an awareness of how your early environment and relationships might be stopping you from expressing feelings, for instance of pain, sadness or anger. This awareness and release of emotions might also help you to identify how your past relationships are affecting your behavior in your current relationships.

I will work with you in a consistent and reliable manner so that you can build the inner strength to make new choices, to reach your desired goals and live life to your full potential. Everyone is different so I will respect and value you as a unique individual who has the right to be heard and make your own decisions. My training and experience has shown me how therapy can lead to more empowerment in decision making, more honesty in personal relationships and, for some, an improvement in physical as well as emotional health.

I am at Spiral on Thursday morning.

Elaise Ellis-Carr

I am currently studying for a Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling at City and Islington College and I expect to qualify in July 2019. My approach is Integrative and links concepts from both Person Centred and Psychodynamic theory. This means that in our sessions we will acknowledge your feelings in the here and now but also explore aspects of your past and what may be happening beneath the surface.

My previous work has been predominately based across the charity and voluntary sectors as well as in criminal justice. I have held various support, advocacy and managerial roles in several different contexts, including with women who have experienced abuse, people who have long and enduring mental health issues, those who have offended and are at risk of re-offending, as well as with those who may outwardly appear to others to have no issues but who have been suffering in silence. I have an understanding of diverse needs, having engaged with people from a number of different backgrounds, cultures and faiths. All of this has given me a sound basis for working with those in crisis or distress, and for building an inclusive counselling practice.

I strongly believe in people’s ability to heal, regardless of how long that process may take. I believe for this to happen it is helpful to take all elements of that person into account, mind, body, heart and spirit. I aim to provide a space for each person to explore the issues that brought them to counselling, while knowing that all of the aspects of their being will be acknowledged.

I believe that the answers to questions you may have are inside of you and that it is possible to unlock those answers. You will choose the direction you wish to go in and I will be there to facilitate as we work together to your agenda and towards what you wish to achieve. It is your time and your space, in which you can explore and understand who you are and what you want in life.

I am at Spiral on Monday mornings.

Phillippa Chinery

I am in my final year of training for a Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling at the Mary Ward Centre, and hope to qualify in July 2019. I am a student member of the BACP and work within their ethical framework, which encourages the development of an open and trusting therapeutic relationship that puts the client first.

My training is integrative and fuses psychodynamic, humanistic and transpersonal approaches. We can work together to explore the impact that some of your earliest relationships may have had on your life and the way you interact with others now. We can explore your feelings and how they might express themselves in your body. This can be liberating and exciting but can also be daunting for some. I aim to provide a safe and judgement free space where we can address these and any other concerns you wish to talk about.

I aim to support you with warmth and empathy and I believe that everyone is capable of change and growth. I will walk alongside you as we explore any patterns, behaviours and feelings that may be problematic for you at present. I understand how important it is to have feelings of self-acceptance and self-worth, and how shame and other difficult experiences can leave us without these qualities. I can offer you support around such issues and other events and relationships which may have wounded you.

I believe that the relationship we establish as client and therapist is extremely important, with both of us working in partnership to try and understand and resolve your issues in a safe space where you will be respected and valued.

I am at Spiral on Monday mornings.