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.


The waiting list is open.

We recently had to close the Spiral low cost waiting list for the first time due to high numbers of people seeking support, and the unacceptably long waiting time this caused. We’re pleased that the list is now open again.



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 Friday afternoon/evening


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.

Erica Fernandes

I have an MA in Mindfulness based Core Process Psychotherapy from the Karuna Institute. I am a registered member of the BACP.

Mindfulness based Core Process Psychotherapy has the ability to positively impact the root causes of concerns rather than just alleviate symptoms. 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, improve steadiness and ability self-regulate. Specific attention will be paid to a building of your own personal internal resources that maybe lack at present. 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 Mondays.

Heidi Shepherd

I qualified with a diploma in Therapeutic Integrative Counselling in 2018 and am currently studying for a Foundation Degree in Counselling at Open University. I am a registered member of the BACP. 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 increased understanding and sensitivity to people’s diverse life experiences and how these may impact upon their lives.

My counselling 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, hurt 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 be affecting 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’, feel better able to move forward more positively and make lasting changes in your life.

I work at Spiral on Saturdays.

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.

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.

Dimuthu Fonseka

I am a student member of the BACP and adhere to their Code of Ethics. I am training to be a counsellor at the Minster Centre and hope to complete my qualification by early 2020.

As an integrative counsellor I work with a range of approaches so I can walk side by side with you as you explore your inner world. My aim is to provide a safe non-judgemental space in which you can share all aspects of yourself, working towards re-integrating those parts which may have been denied or forgotten.

I believe that we all have the ability to grow and thrive in our lives. In my experience my growth has often meant I’ve needed to confront long held ideas about myself and the world. I find this an ongoing and valuable process in learning to move through life mindfully with awareness. It is my experience that therapy holds the potential for us to explore new ways of being and relating in terms of facilitating a deeper connection to ourselves as well as another. It is when we are truly seen and heard by another that it allows us to most fully be ourselves.

Being from a minority culture myself, I’m sensitive to how difference can leave us feeling excluded or isolated. Having grappled with some of these issues in my own life, I feel it has given me a genuine curiosity and widened my understanding. I feel it is possible to gain our power by working through issues which once caused us incredible pain.

I work at Spiral on Wednesdays.

Julie Rogers

I hold a certificate in Humanistic Counselling and I am currently undertaking a Diploma in Gestalt Counselling, which I will complete in July 2020. I also hold a Diploma and a BSc in Addiction Management. I am a student member of BACP.

My aim within our therapeutic relationship is to create a space which enables you to begin to explore whatever issues are causing you difficulty. I will offer a confidential and non-judgmental relationship and invite you to explore your experiences in the room with me. In creating a warm and valuing environment you can begin to explore and process your thoughts, feelings and choices. I believe you can gain insight and the possibility to heal. My focus will be on supporting you to resolve issues to enable you to reach your full potential. I draw my practice from a humanistic approach, using gestalt and person centred counselling.

My background includes 20 years in the voluntary and private sectors, whereby I have had the privilege in working with socially excluded groups. I have great respect for others and value the therapeutic relationship which I believe can be a vehicle to support fulfilment.

I am available at Spiral on Wednesday mornings.

Frances Hampton

I am studying for a Professional Diploma in Integrative Counselling at The Mary Ward Centre, London, and hoping to finish my training by the end of 2019. I am a student member of The British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy and work within their ethical framework.

Prior to training I worked in the voluntary sector for charities supporting mental health service users, single parents and people with sensory disabilities. As well as offering low cost counselling at Spiral I am also on a placement within an NHS drug and alcohol addictions service. I have personal experience of childhood bereavement and living with a chronic health condition; this has greatly informed my understanding of developing resilience to random life events which cannot be changed.

My Integrative approach combines Person Centred, Humanistic and Psychodynamic theory to try to enable you to explore links between past experiences and present behaviours and find a way to move forward. I offer a warm, empathic and containing space for you to explore areas of your life which are not working for you and believe that the therapeutic relationship between me and you will be vital in the work we do together.

I will be working at Spiral on Thursdays between 12-3pm.

Jennifer Tessler

I am currently training for a Diploma in Integrative Transpersonal Psychotherapy at the Centre for Counselling and Psychotherapy Education (CCPE), and should complete my qualification in 2020. I am a student member of the BACP and adhere to their Code of Ethics.

As an integrative therapist, I work creatively and intuitively by drawing from a variety of approaches — from psychodynamic, to Jungian, humanistic and existential — all the while holding in mind a transpersonal perspective, and a firm belief in the capacity of the human psyche to heal its wounds and break free of limitations.

I bring to the therapeutic space a warmth, openness, curiosity, and a non-judgemental attitude to help create a space where you feel safe to bring and explore all layers and aspects of yourself. Whether you are coming to therapy with a particular issue, a general sense of unwellness, or a deeper search for purpose and meaning, I intend to walk alongside you and help you unpack your personal story, better understand your feelings, and gradually find out and stand in who you really are

In additional to my formal therapeutic training, my approach is also informed by my own personal journey. In particular, I have been using practices such as meditation and yoga, music and creative writing, and immersion in the natural world, as pathways to self-knowledge and personal growth.

Ultimately, I believe that connectedness to oneself, others and the world is essential to our flourishing as human beings, and that therapy can provide a most precious space within which to explore and understand what stands in the way of our wellbeing, and in so doing enable both subtle and profound shifts to occur.

I work at Spiral on Tuesday afternoons.


Alev Butun

I am a registered member of the BACP, hold a postgraduate diploma in Integrative Psychotherapy and Counselling, gained from the School of Psychotherapy and Psychology at Regent’s University, London.

Over the past 15 years I have worked in a variety of educational and voluntary settings including as school and college counsellor, working with adults and children with learning difficulties and their families. I also worked at a Women’s Centre, where I supported women around domestic violence, relationship issues, trauma, physical, sexual and mental abuse through 1:2:1 counselling.

I use techniques drawn from psychoanalysis, humanistic and existential therapy, inspired by your specific life experience, personality and holistic self. I also work in an embodied way, supporting you to become aware of how your emotional and psychological challenges are experienced in your body, as a way to reach and heal the root of your issue. This could include bringing awareness to the specific sensations, movements or gestures in the body and supporting breathing and body techniques. I aim to incorporate all levels of your experience, the physical, mental. emotional and spiritual, the whole of who you are as a person. When relevant powerful techniques such as Neuro-linguistic Programming, guided meditations and mindfulness are employed.

My intention as a therapist is to offer you an empathic, accepting space where you cam express yourself, understand unconscious patterns that are creating unhappiness in your life, reconnect with your true authentic self and develop greater self-awareness so you can move towards your desired life with power and purpose.

Being from a minority culture and having worked with many people from diverse communities, I can understand at a deep level what it means to be different, feel isolated, and not belong, as well as how important it is to be given a space for expression of our differences and cultural backgrounds and build our sense of belonging. I appreciate that these experiences have enabled me to provide this space sensitivity.

I work at Spiral on Friday evenings