Professional Help was established in 2012 by Catherine Betley who has over 20 years’ experience of managing counselling and therapy organisations, starting and developing new projects and ventures and delivering training and support to a huge range of organisations.
Catherine has worked in business and across the voluntary and community sector at local, regional and national levels, including a significant period serving as a Director of a large UK bereavement charity. Catherine is also a founding Leader in Residence and Honorary Teaching Fellow at Lancaster University Management School and has a particular interest in end of life and bereavement care.
In her spare time Catherine enjoys running, live music, spending time with her family and walking her two lovely Labradors in the beautiful Lake District.
Business Support Manager
Day to day business support is carried out by Chantelle Rose, an experienced customer service and administration manager. Chantelle has enjoyed a varied career working across retail, business and in the charity sector. Chantelle looks after Professional Help's growing team of Associate Counsellors and ensures that our counselling services are delivered to the very highest standards.
Chantelle also lives in Cumbria with her family where she enjoys the relaxed pace of life, and loves exploring the great outdoors with her highly enthusiastic (!) Labrador/Whippet cross puppy.
Head of Counselling
Joanna Williams is a qualified psychotherapeutic counsellor and hypnotherapist. Her particular areas of professional interest are grief and loss, anxiety, trauma and self-defeating behaviours. Joanna’s responsibilities at Professional Help include client assessment and support, counsellor training and organisational policy and ethics. As well as working for Professional Help and GriefChat, Joanna has a private practice and is also a tutor for Chrysalis.
Joanna’s personal interests are reading, writing, running and the Arts. She was the winner of the 2014 Bath Novel Award and her books Precocious and Hush Little Baby were subsequently published by Ebury. Joanna lives in Surrey with her son.
Head of GriefChat
Sarah Hill has worked within the voluntary, public and education sectors for 18 years in a wide variety of organisations ranging from household name charities to outdoor events and joined Professional Help in 2016 to help set up and launch GriefChat. She originally worked for Cruse Bereavement Care before training as a secondary school music teacher, then moved into adult education and working within the helplines sector. Sarah has particular expertise in how to support families after the death of a baby and is passionate about how bereavement support can make a huge difference to people’s lives.
Sarah manages our ground-breaking GriefChat® service and specialises in developing and managing non face-to-face support services. She particularly enjoys training and developing a team of people committed to supporting service users.
In her spare time, Sarah enjoys life with her partner, cat and three ducks in South West London.
Marketing, Communications & Partnerships Manager
Rebecca Walker is the Marketing, Communications and Partnerships Manager at Professional Help and brings with her over 15 years combined experience in coordinating projects, events and marketing for a variety of public and private sector organisations.
Rebecca lives in Cumbria with her teenage son and in her spare time loves walking, cycling and the occasional run. She also enjoys travelling to Italy exploring the many historical sights and sampling the local food and drink not to mention Chianti and gelato!
EAP & Bereavement Counsellor
Mandie Howard is a BACP registered counsellor, qualified in 2014 at City Lit in Covent Garden. As well as her two year placement at the City of East London Bereavement Service she has also spent two years working with St Joseph’s Hospice in London as a bereavement counsellor.
As well as running her own private practice, Mandie has been with us at Professional Help since January 2017 seeing clients and working on GriefChat shifts a couple of times a week. Her inspiration to become a counsellor came from working on the helpline at Childline for four years where she came to appreciate the power of listening without judgment.
She lives in Hackney in East London with her partner, son and beautiful dog.
Nicola Massey works with both adults and children and has a specialist interest in bereavement counselling, previously working for both Cruse and Childline on their support lines.
Following the loss of her own child, she completed further bereavement training for children who have been bereaved. More recently Nicola has undertaken new qualifications in relationship and family counselling. Nicola practices an integrative counselling model and works with clients to recognise and change issues which are causing distress or anxiety.
Online & Telephone Counsellor
Ruth Taylor is a qualified therapeutic Counsellor registered with the BACP, and an NLP practitioner. She strongly believes in finding an approach that works for each individual, placing them and their needs at the centre of the counselling, to help and support them in a way that fits in with them and their life. Her special areas of interest include bereavement and all types of loss (particularly loss that isn’t always recognised as such i.e. dementia, the impact of long-term health conditions etc.), and anxiety.
Ruth also has her own private practice and, in the past, has worked in the funeral industry, managed a women’s centre and been a nurse and a midwife.
In her spare time she enjoys reading, working out at the gym, watching films, walking her furry monster of a dog and crocheting. She will also shortly be training to be a hypnotherapist and is working towards her level 2 EFT (tapping) practitioner status.
Jacquie Hampton is an experienced therapist, coach, supervisor and trainer and works with both adults and young people, helping them explore and resolve their problems and concerns. She works with a range of issues including relationship problems, stress, anxiety, depression and the many challenges associated with loss and bereavement.
Jacquie is an accredited member of the NSC (National Counselling Society), a registered member of the BACP (British Association of Counselling & Psychotherapy) and a member of the Stress Management Society. She holds a Level 5 Diploma in Psychotherapeutic Counselling, as well as an MA in Education, and has specialist training in Online Therapy Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). As well as significant experience in the corporate, education and voluntary sectors, Jacquie is also accredited by The Foundation for Infant Loss to support parents who have suffered a bereavement by miscarriage, stillbirth or a neonatal loss.
The name ‘Professional Help’ came about as a result of the number of times that Founder and Managing Director Catherine was told by staff members (and volunteers) in the organisations she was working with that they were struggling with providing services for their clients when they felt that they needed professional help themselves. Many of these organisations were dealing with difficult issues and prided themselves on providing excellent care for their clients and customers – yet struggled to offer this to their own people. Staff members including leaders and senior managers often felt that they were not well supported to deliver their role and that any additional stresses in their work or personal lives may be the tipping point at which they would be unable to continue to offer the quality of service that they wanted and needed to - or even to come to work at all. Many also felt that supporting their colleagues was an additional difficulty and that they did not have the skills or confidence to offer support when their own staff members and colleagues were going through difficult times.
These conversations stuck with Catherine for years - and is now what drives this organisation – the desire to ensure that everyone is able to succeed and achieve their fullest potential even in the most difficult times.
Professional Help is also a wry nod to the organisations that Catherine has been involved with – many of which have been in some manner or other counselling and therapy related and from which she learned a great deal not only about organisational and people management but also about life and the things that matter. Catherine's favourite book of all time is Atul Gawande's 'Being Mortal: Illness, Medicine and What Matters in the End' which she highly recommends that everyone reads!