I work with adults of all ages facing a range of relationship and other difficulties, individually, in couples or in family groups, and also offer supervision. I have a particular interest in several main areas:
- Couple relationships
- Relationships between parents and adult-children
- People living with chronic illness (including dementia)
- Supporting carers of people living with chronic illness (including dementia)
- Mental health problems
- Bereavement and loss
- The challenges of middle and later life
- Resilience, how we find and draw on our strengths,
PLEASE NOTE: during the current pandemic restrictions I am working solely online, mostly using zoom, and not seeing people face to face.
Family and Systemic Psychotherapists work with individuals, couples and family groups. Systemic therapy offers a way of helping people in close relationships to help each other, and of helping individuals to look at their relationships with other people and the relationships between different parts of their lives.
Therapy often involves:
- supporting people to share difficult thoughts and feelings;
- helping people to understand each other’s experiences, worries and views;
- supporting people to identify and build on their strengths;
- helping people to make decisions and changes in their relationships and aspects of their lives.
I am a UKCP registered systemic therapist (UKCP registration 00960074), a member of the Association for Family Therapy and Systemic Practice (AFT) and a professional member of the Association for Counselling and Therapy Online (ACTO).
What happens if you come to see me?
See below - I am currently working entirely online due to the pandemic.
What happens if we meet online?
Online counselling/ therapy provides an opportunity to explore a difficulty in a confidential and supportive environment at a time and in a place convenient to you. The first two sessions act as assessment/ consultation and after that we will discuss whether and how to take things forward. Online sessions are booked in advance by email, are only available to clients in the UK aged over 18, and are held using audio, or audio and webcam on Zoom or alternative platform (if agreed in advance).
Training, qualifications & experience
I qualified as a psychiatrist (GMC registration 2382872) and then trained as a systemic psychotherapist. I completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Family Therapy at the University of Wales in 1993 and have worked in a family clinic since the 1980s, at first in Manchester and then in Wolverhampton, where I worked in a life span clinic until 2009. Since then I have completed a PhD and a Diploma in Systemic Supervision.
I practise as a systemic therapist part-time, alongside work in education, research and consultancy. More information on this can be found on the Older Mind Matters Ltd website.
I have undertaken additional training in working with couples, in working alongside trans and gender variant people, in non violent resistance (NVR) and in working online. I use non violent resistance techniques in working with the parents of so-called "dysfunctionally dependent adult-children" - see my blog for more information using this link:
I have published on family therapy:
Benbow S, Egan D, Marriott, A, Tregay K, Walsh S, Wells J & Wood J. Using the family life cycle in later life families. Journal of Family Therapy (1990) 12: 321-340.
Benbow SM, Marriott A, Morley M & Walsh S. Family therapy and dementia: review and clinical experience. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry (1993) 8: 717-725.
Benbow SM & Marriott A. Family therapy with elderly people. Advances in Psychiatric Treatment (1997) 3: 138-145.
Benbow SM. Gender issues in therapy with later life families. Context (2005) 77: 3-6.
Benbow SM & Goodwillie G. Think family: systemic therapy in later life. Chapter 6, pp. 91-106, in Casebook of Clinical Geropsychology: International Perspectives on Practice, eds. Pachana NA, Laidlaw K & Knight BG. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2010.
Benbow SM & Sharman V. Review of family therapy and dementia: twenty-five years on. International Psychogeriatrics (2014) 26 (12): 2037-50.
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.
UK Council for Psychotherapy
The UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) is a leading professional body for the education, training and regulation of psychotherapists and psychotherapeutic counsellors. Its register is accredited by the government's Professional Standards Authority.
As part of its commitment to protect the public, it works to improve access to psychotherapy, to support and disseminate research, to improve standards and to respond effectively to complaints against its members.
UKCP standards cover the range of different psychotherapies. Registration is obtained by training or accrediting with one of its member organisations, or by holding a European Certificate in Psychotherapy. Accredited by the Professional Standards Authority.
Accredited register membership
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.
Areas of counselling I deal with
Other areas of counselling I deal with
Individual systemic therapy with adults of all ages;
working with adults of all ages in family groups;
working with families facing issues of middle and later life;
living with chronic illness (including dementia);
relationships between parents and adult children;
bereavement and loss;
Individuals/ couples £70 for 50 minute session.
Families of 3 or 4 members please contact me to agree arrangements and timings. For larger families two therapists may be recommended: fees to be agreed in advance.
Individual or couples therapy appointments are generally weekly or fortnightly at the same time for 50 minutes. Family appointments may be every 2-4 weeks and generally last 75 minutes.
Please contact me by email if you are interested in supervision.
I see people on Fridays and Tuesday mornings and currently am working online usually using zoom.
Please note I trade as Older Mind Matters Ltd.