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About me

As a relationship counsellor and sex therapist, my work is to help individuals and couples take a fresh look at their relationships and to offer strategies to help them cut through the blocks that are getting in the way of satisfying, loving connections. We often put blocks up because we understandably want to feel ‘safe’, but this can become a painful trap, keeping you stuck and feeling isolated and alone. I also work with those who are picking up the pieces after a break-up or bereavement, and those who wish to find themselves within a loving relationship but keep hitting blocks in the process, or aren't sure they're ready yet.

I have been specifically trained in the field of human relationships and sexuality and am experienced in working with both individuals and couples to sensitively explore difficult issues in these areas, as a counsellor and as a COSRT accredited psychosexual & relationship therapist.  I offer a safe space where you can be seen and heard, without judgement.

I offer flexible appointment times, daytime or evenings with little or no waiting lists, and in this age of remote counselling, thanks the to Covid 19 situation, I am welcoming clients from further afield, and internationally, as you no longer need to be local to see me.

Training, qualifications & experience

I am an experienced RELATE-UK trained relationship counsellor offering counselling and psychosexual therapy for couples and individuals.

I grew up in Brooklyn, New York, and have lived in the UK since 1985. I earned an M. ED from Florida Atlantic University, and in 2001 I started my training at the Relate Institute at the University of East London, to become a Relate-UK certified practitioner. In addition to my private practice, I worked for many years at Relate West & Mid Kent as one of their experienced and fully accredited counsellors.

Starting in 2009, I took further training in Psychosexual & Relationship therapy at Regents College, London, earning the London Diploma in Psychosexual and Relationship Counselling. In May, 2011, I trained at the Tavistock Institute in London with Dr. Sue Johnson to further my skills in the practice of Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy, and to become a qualified member of the International Centre for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy (ICEEFT). This has progressed my work with couples in distress, and especially those who are struggling with the effects of ‘attachment trauma’, for example, as a result of affairs or addiction, or as a result of the wounds of their childhood.

More recently, I have become an active member of the Relational Life Community, headed up by Terry Real, and continue to train under his guidance, offering an RLT way of working to many of my clients.

I have a special interest and experience in working with the following issues:   Affairs, compulsive lying, Co-dependency, and partners of narcissists, survivors of abuse, loss & bereavement, sexual orientation, sexual dysfunction, ‘Low or No Sex’ relationships, Difficulties around sexual orientation or gender;  life stage transitions, Anxiety, Emotional Intensity Disorder, fear of commitment, addictions & partnering those with addictions  (including internet, gambling, porn & sex addiction), Low confidence and self esteem, “I Love you but I’m not in Love with you” couple dynamics and work related stress & bullying.

While using words to communicate is the cornerstone of therapy, I also sometimes like to turn to other methods, such as the use of creative techniques including images, drawing and buttons, for example, to help some clients to go 'beneath' the words and access the bigger picture for themselves.

In addition to my private practice, I worked for many years at Relate West Kent as one of their experienced and fully accredited counsellors. I am a member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) ; The College of Sexual and Relationship Therapists (COSRT); The Relational Life Institute, The Association for Independent Practitioners (AIP); and the International Centre for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy (ICEEFT)

Member organisations

Registered / Accredited

Registered / Accredited

Being registered/accredited with a professional body means an individual must have achieved a substantial level of training and experience approved by their member organisation.

COSRT

College of Sexual and Relationship Therapists

COSRT is the UK’s leading membership organisation for therapists specialising in sexual and relationship issues.

All members must abide by their Code of Ethics and the performance of accredited members is regularly monitored.

BACP

British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy

BACP is one of the UK’s largest professional bodies for counselling and psychotherapy. Therapists registered with the Association fall into a number of different membership categories such as Individual Member, Registered Member MBACP and Registered Member MBACP (Accred), each standing for different levels of training and experience. MBACP (Accred) and MBACP (Snr Accred) members have achieved a substantial level of training and experience approved by the Association.

Registered members can be found on the BACP Register, which was the first register to achieve Accredited Voluntary Register status issued by the Professional Standards Authority. Individual Members will have completed an appropriate counselling and/or psychotherapy course and started to practise, but will not appear on the BACP Register until they've progressed to Registered Member MBACP status.

All members are bound by a Code of Ethics & Practice and a Complaints Procedure. Accredited by the Professional Standards Authority.

Accredited register membership

British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy

Accredited Register Scheme

The Accredited Register Scheme was set up in 2013 by the Department of Health (DoH) as a way to recognise organisations that hold voluntary registers which meet certain standards. These standards are set by the Professional Standards Authority (PSA).

This therapist has indicated that they belong to an Accredited Register.

Other areas of counselling I deal with

Communication difficulties, Life stage transitions, Expat and cross-cultural issues, Co-dependency, I Love you but Im not in Love with you couple dynamics, affairs, jealousy, lack of intimacy, the newly single, the perpetually single, committment issues, bereavement, survivors of sexual abuse, compulsive lying, Couple Counselling, Relationship counselling, Pre-Marriage counselling, 'Inner Child' work, particularly when your inner child seems to be running your life as an adult.

Sexual dysfunctions including premature or retarded ejaculation, erectile dysfunction, lack of orgasm, low desire/libido, vaginismus, painful sex, sexual addiction and compulsivity, Partners of those with addictions, and especially those with alcohol dependency or porn/sex/internet addiction.

Therapies offered

  • Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT)
  • Behavioural therapy
  • Cognitive and behavioural therapies
  • Cognitive therapy
  • Compassion-Focused Therapy
  • Couples counselling
  • Humanistic therapies
  • Integrative
  • Mindfulness
  • Person-centred therapy
  • Psychosexual therapy
  • Reality therapy
  • Solution focused brief therapy
  • Transactional analysis

Fees

One hour solo sessions: £55

75 minute on-going couple sessions: £70

one-off 90 minute initial couple assessment: £80

I offer a limited number of clients reduced rates, depending on your circumstances. There is also the option of having regular weekly or fortnightly sessions. Typically, my clients choose to start with weekly sessions, and then after a settling-in period of a few weeks, continue with fortnightly sessions. But my services and their arrangements are bespoke, depending on your own circumstances. In that regard, I endeavour to accommodate shift workers on a more flexible basis, and offer ‘M.O.T.’ occasional couple sessions, if desired, after concluding our body of work together.

Please contact me to discuss, as a sliding scale is in place. I offer a free 15 minute consultation for us to meet and to answer your questions, before you commit to a full session, if you wish.

Further information

Finding the right counsellor fit for you is important, and this is often down to personality, so I encourage and welcome prospective clients to meet me for a first session, without further commitment. Or if you prefer, we can have a free 15 minute chat, either on the phone, or on-screen, to answer any questions you have before booking a first session.

A quote which resonates the work I do, is the following by Dr. David Hawkins:

"Love is misunderstood to be an emotion; actually, it is a state of awareness, a way of being in the world, a way of seeing oneself and others."

I work in an LGBTQ affirmative way and my practice is open to all lifestyle choices and sexual orientations. I welcome and am experienced in working with cultural and sexual diversity.

Taking the next step...

If you would like to book an appointment please email me. It would be helpful to include the following in your email:

1) Your name and email address (and that of your partners if couple therapy)2) Would this be individual or couples therapy?
3) When you might be available for regular sessions if we began working together. 4) Are you wishing to book a free 15 minute chat, or a full first assessment session?
5) A brief description (one or two sentences) of your reason for wanting therapy.

I will get back to you within 1-2 working days with a time we can meet.

Sandgate
Folkestone
Kent
CT20

Type of session

In person
Online
Phone
Home visits

Practical details

Sign language
Other languages None

Availability

Remote sessions via Zoom, Skype, FaceTime or phone, daytime or evenings. I offer flexible scheduling for those not wishing to make a regular weekly commitment.

Types of client

Adults
Older adults
Couples
Joy Mandel MCOSRT (Accred) , MBACP

Joy Mandel MCOSRT (Accred) , MBACP