Our Counselling Team
Mosaic Counselling Services consists of a team of competent, committed and experienced qualified and trainee counsellors. Allow us to introduce them:
Sandra Haslam (Qualified Counsellor/Assessor) Gestalt/Integrative, MBACP
I can offer you a warm, safe and confidential space to work through any difficulties you may be experiencing that interrupt your well-being.
I first trained as an Integrative Counsellor, qualifying in 2011, and graduated from the Albany Centre's Diploma in Gestalt Counselling in 2015. My working life before that was in residential care, supporting adults with learning difficulties. I decided to train as a counsellor because I believe that sharing life's problems makes them more manageable. I have worked in agencies offering support to clients struggling with bereavement and substance misuse, and am aware of how complex and painful our feelings can become.
My belief is that through the therapeutic relationship, it is possible to regain a sense of self, and the ability to manage life's challenges. With over eight hundred hours of experience, my aim is to support you sensitively as you face what is troubling you. My hope is that together we can explore what is important to you, and enable you to deal with your concerns.
Lin Codrai (Senior Trainee Counsellor)
People decide to come for counselling for many different reasons. There may be times, as for many of us, when past or present difficulties can be overwhelming and you may feel that your usual ways of coping don't seem to work anymore.
I would like to offer you a safe place to talk, be heard, and reflect on the way you feel and the difficulties you are facing currently.
Working for over twenty years in commercial business both at management and general level, I can relate to the stress and pressure one can face in day-to-day work.
Sue Roden (Senior Trainee Counsellor)
My name is Sue and I have recently completed a Diploma in Counselling at the Albany Centre. Most of my working life has been in hospital pharmacy, and the pharmaceutical industry. During my career, I came to recognise that drug therapy is only one aspect of treating the many mental health issues that so many people experience in their lives. I decided to train as a counsellor because it seemed to me that counselling offers so much more than 'papering over the cracks'. I believe it provides a safe environment in which to explore your feelings and start to heal painful experiences. I have personal family experience of a number of mental health and addiction issues, as well as a great deal of life experience.
Marina Ziff (Trainee Counsellor)
I have a passion for working with individuals going through relationship difficulties, struggling with self-esteem, weight and body image and eating disorders. I am committed to empowering individuals using a straight-forward and non-shaming approach.
Prior to pursuing a career in counselling, my background was in Marketing. I hold a degree in International Relations and a MA in Health & Social Marketing. I have previously worked at MIND and the NHS.
Gemma Seller (Trainee Counsellor)
My name is Gemma and I have been training to become a counsellor for three years, after overcoming anxiety and depression. After experiencing first-hand the powerful impact counselling can have, I feel passionate about helping others in this way. Counselling can enable people to discuss what is troubling them in a safe environment, free from judgement and expectation.
I have a background of working with adolescents in primary and secondary schools. I have also worked in a large corporate organisation so understand the pressures that can arise from this. I am particularly interested in working with young people and those struggling with depression.
Verity Critchlow (Qualified Counsellor)
I have recently trained to be a Gestalt Counsellor, and have a Diploma in Psychodynamic Counselling at the University of Hertfordshire, and a Certificate for Counselling Children Through The Arts, at the Centre for Child Mental Health, London.
I have been a primary school teacher for over thirty years, during which time I have supported parents and children through some difficult times in their lives.
I understand the importance and value of counselling as a means to help people overcome depression and anxiety. I will listen, work to understand and support you, and provide a comfortable, secure space in which to build trust.
Melanie Sanders (Trainee Counsellor)
I am in my final year of training to be a Gestalt Counsellor because I have a passion for helping people resolve their problems. I am a caring, warm and genuine person. In addition to my training I have worked at a drug and alcohol service offering support to their clients.
Whatever you want to focus on right now, I will provide you with a safe, confidential and empathic space in which you can talk openly without judgement. We can explore and understand the issues that are troubling and affecting you. I aim to help you gain a deeper understanding of yourself, and by focusing on your self awareness, raise your knowledge of why you feel the way you do. We will work on new areas of yourself to help you reach your full potential, and hopefully give you a new understanding and practical tools, which will help you in your life ahead.
Trish Jones (Trainee Counsellor)
Counselling has been hugely beneficial to me. I was drawn to it, having felt the need for people to be listened to in my previous job as a lawyer. I am now in my final year of Gestalt training and this form of therapy creates a secure place where you can really be heard. I have worked for a number of years with people who are suffering from a variety of mental health issues – large and small – and I believe that everyone can change and grow where non-judgemental, appropriate support is offered in a safe way. We all have difficulties, and I am here to offer to work alongside you with yours.
Fiona Gratte (Trainee Counsellor)
I strongly believe in the power of the therapeutic relationship when it is embraced as a way of channeling and challenging our feelings. I work alongside clients as they discover a deeper understanding of themselves and their feelings by providing an accepting, safe, empathic environment where clients can feel that they have been heard without judgement or recrimination.
I have worked for over 20 years with families, children, adolescents and individuals in a variety of support settings, as well as the education sector.
Mike Longridge (Trainee Counsellor)
I am in my third year studying towards a Diploma in Counselling. It was suggested to me by family and friends to think about becoming a counsellor so I began by completing an introductory course at City Lit in London. I see the role of counsellor as someone to know and trust and to help guide you through difficult or awkward times. In my professional experience, I had a number of jobs after leaving school which culminated working in mental health, including homelessness.
Ania Mikolajek (Trainee Counsellor)
I am in my second year of training to be a Gestalt Counsellor. I hold a Masters Degree in Human Resources and draw from diverse life experiences of being an immigrant, a mother, and an explorer of belief systems.
My goal as a counsellor is to facilitate my clients in developing their ‘here and now’ awareness, empowering them to let go, be present, and truly enjoy their lives. I seek to help them bring the flow back to their lives, clearing stuck areas of attention and moving forward with the natural flow of their unique life.
My role is to invite you to have an open, honest dialogue with yourself. I will guide you along your own journey, back to personal balance and freedom.
Abi Spong (Trainee Counsellor)
As a counsellor, I aim to create a safe space for clients to explore any issues they may be having which are affecting their wellbeing. I am a firm believer in counselling as a tool to support anyone to improve how they deal with the big and small challenges of everyday life.
I have been training at the Albany Centre for two years, and have many years experience working with young people and adults in the Further Education sector.
All of the above counsellors are training or have trained on the Diploma in Counselling at The Albany Centre. If you are interested in training, please visit this page.
Our Management Team
Jon Wilson Cooper (Director/Assessor)
Jon is a qualified Gestalt Psychotherapist with over twenty-eight years' experience of working therapeutically. This has included work in therapeutic communities in the UK, USA and India. Jon has worked with people with enduring psychiatric problems, young offenders, people with learning difficulties and people who misuse drugs and alcohol. Jon was also a tutor and course leader on the Foundation Degree in Counselling at Harrow College (validated by Middlesex University) for ten years.
Jon is currently a Director of The Albany Centre for personal and professional development in St.Albans, Hertfordshire. He is also Director of the Diploma in Counselling at the Centre, and is Chair of the Board of Trustees for Signpost (a youth counselling charity based in South West Hertfordshire). He is a freelance trainer, consultant and supervisor.
Mosaic Counselling, Gestalt counselling service for all in St Albans city centre.