The Strength in Mind Team

Lesley Cole

Registered UKCP and BACP 

(Covering Hertfordshire and Essex)


I am the founder and CEO of Strength in Mind Therapeutic Services CIC,   a qualified trauma-informed Psychotherapist and trainee Clinical Supervisor registered with the UKCP and BACP professional standard body. My passion for becoming a Psychotherapist stem from my desire to help individuals, both children and adults, who are facing challenges in their everyday lives. I find it incredibly fulfilling to empower them and assist them in making positive changes that can transform their lives for the better.

In times of difficulty, it is crucial to seek the right help and support. This is when feelings of anxiety, fear, anger, distress, and helplessness can arise, and they can undermine our resilience, self-esteem, self-worth, confidence, and trust in others if left unresolved. It is important to remember that “it’s good to talk,” and we all need someone who can guide us towards finding a way forward.

Through psychotherapy and counselling, we can delve into emotions, beliefs, thoughts, and behaviours. Together, through the therapeutic relationship, we can gain a fresh perspective that makes life more manageable, helps us understand its purpose and meaning, and promotes positive change.

I take an integrative approach to therapy, tailoring my methods to suit each client and their unique circumstances. Depending on your needs, I will adapt and support your process within the therapeutic relationship. My work is grounded in a range of theoretical perspectives and evidence-based research, which allows me to meet the unique needs of each client and their family. This includes drawing upon psychoanalytic and systemic theory, as well as incorporating neuroscience, psycho-education, cognitive behavioural therapy tools, solution-focused and mindfulness approaches, and coaching to support the therapeutic process.

I firmly believe that everyone deserves the opportunity to explore their emotions in a safe environment, whether they are in crisis or simply seeking to learn more about themselves and gain a better understanding.

With over 20 years of experience working with children, adolescents, adults and families, I feel privileged to have witnessed countless positive transformations in individuals who once believed they could never move forward or find happiness again. Many of them express at the end of our time together, “I wish I had started therapy earlier and not waited so long.”

I understand that therapy can be intimidating, but I assure you that I will make every effort to alleviate any concerns or anxiety you may have. My goal is to provide a safe, non-judgmental environment where you can feel completely at ease during our sessions. Together, we will move at your pace, allowing you to discover your own answers and equipping you with a set of tools and skills for life.

To give you an opportunity to get to know me and decide if I am the right fit for you, I offer a free 30-minute consultation by phone. This way, you can speak or meet with me personally before making any commitments.  Remember, with the right support and guidance, we all have the ability to change our lives for the better. The hardest part is taking that first step and accepting help.

Why not begin your journey towards recovery and a different life today?  You deserve it.



Kirsty Velounias – Child and adolescent psychotherapist – UKCP

(Covering Hertfordshire, London and Essex)

I am a qualified Integrative Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist with several years of experience working with children, young people, parents and adults, and a member of UKCP.
I have worked therapeutically with children and young people diagnosed with ASD from 4 years to 20 years since 2018. My specialised interest covers attachment theory, and trauma work through the lens of ASD. I also work therapeutically in several mainstream state schools with students dealing with a range of difficulties, needs, trauma and bereavement. The work allows me to support staff members and parents which has also become an integral part of individual holistic well-being.
Integrative Therapy combines different therapeutic tools and approaches to fit the needs of the individual client, such as Talking, Play, Arts, Creative Play, Sand Tray, Dreams, and more. The Therapy is Tailored to each client based on their characteristics, preferences, needs, abilities and beliefs.
Integrative Therapy takes into account many approaches and theories such as Psychodynamic, client-centred, cognitive behavioural therapy, family therapy, Gestalt therapy, body psychotherapy, object relations theories and transitional analysis. Working with all approaches in mind, a confidential, non-judgmental, empathetic and safe space is provided.
Through the relationship, I aim to create an equal, safe, containing space where clients can process their experiences and difficulties in a way that feels appropriate for them.


Jane Gillet – Psychotherapeutic Integrative Counsellor

(Covering Waltham Cross and the surrounding area)


I became a counsellor, BACP registered, due to working with teenagers in a school environment. I observed how young people could make positive changes in their lives by having someone they could talk to and feel heard.

I offer a service that suits you, being an integrative counsellor enables me to work with adults, children and young people more holistically.

My work with adults is based on your needs and what is troubling you at this present time but also helps you to explore the past and how this may have impacted your present day.

My work with children and young people is structured around a mixture of play, art and talking therapy. I am also trained in Mindfulness practices and find that these help my younger clients, especially those with anxiety. Again my work is tailored to suit that child or young person.

I have worked with a number of young people around anxiety, depression and stress, especially around examination time. Young people are under an enormous amount of pressure at school to achieve well. Along with the pressure of peers, social media and sometimes family. The therapy room enables them to feel safe and secure to start to explore who they are and how they can manage their sometimes difficult feelings and emotions.

I aim to provide an equal relationship with all of my clients regardless of age or circumstances



Sarah Ash – Psychotherapeutic Integrative Counsellor

(Covering Broxbourne and the surrounding Hertfordshire area)

I have always had a passion for working with children, and this has ignited my interest in providing a greater level of child well-being.

I am a qualified Child and Adolescent psychotherapeutic Counsellor, and I am working toward becoming a Psychotherapeutic Child and Adolescent Counsellor.  I believe this will allow me to increase the level of support I can provide to young people. My therapeutic approach is humanistic, with a focus on person-centred support.  I enjoy developing children’s self-awareness through art and play, as I feel this provides them with a safe way to express their thoughts and feelings. I also value working with staff, parents and outside agencies, and understand the importance each plays in supporting the well-being of a child.


Tracy Smith – Psychotherapeutic Integrative Counsellor

(Covering Broxbourne and Barnet, Hertfordshire)

For the past 24 years, I have been working with children in mainstream schools, special education and healthcare settings.  Throughout this time with children, the emphasis on play has given me an insight into their development and has enabled me to tune into what the child is experiencing.

It is through play that my career path has developed into becoming a Child and Adolescent Psychotherapeutic Counsellor, MBACP,  and I feel privileged in working with the Strength in Mind Team.


Helen Chaloner – Talk Therapy/Person-Centred

My therapeutic approach is person-centred and this approach facilitates the personal growth and relationships of clients by allowing them to explore and utilise their own strengths and personal identity. I will support you on this journey.

I am passionate about helping people understand things better and take the necessary steps to improve their situation and enable change to happen.

I can offer a safe and non-judgmental space to enable you to explore what you need.


Ruth Sacks – MBACP – Registered Dog Therapist




My name is Ruth Sacks and I am currently studying Child Psychotherapy. I am also a potter and love being creative. My dog Dexter is an 8-year-old Cavachon. He is a very sweet-natured dog who loves people and we have been doing pet therapy together for 3 years.

Gabby Connell – Therapeutic Life Coach and Family Mediator


I am a qualified Therapeutic Life Coach, Grief Recovery Bereavement Specialist, Mediator and trainee adolescent counsellor.

I am trained to facilitate multiple courses and workshops including the FLASH course (self-harm), Change Your Life in a Day (coaching), Families Feeling Safe (CBT-based) and Teen Brain.

I have worked as a Senior Family Support Worker in Broxbourne for the last 8 years supporting families with high-level/ complex needs and before this, I worked in Further Education in Cambridge for 10 years, firstly as a Course Leader and Lecturer in Contemporary Popular Music and then in Student Support mainly focusing on Young Mums, Sexual Health and Emotional Well-being.

I have vast experience working with teenagers and adults and am passionate about supporting people to be as happy and fulfilled as they can be. I currently work with clients face-to-face via 1:1 sessions or in small groups but would consider telephone support or Skype sessions if appropriate. My therapeutic work is interactive and bespoke to each client as we are all different so we all need support that is tailored to our individual needs.



Layla Oldham – Therapeutic Life Coach and Thrive practitioner

I am a qualified Therapeutic Life Coach, Grief Recovery Bereavement Specialist, Mediator and THRIVE practitioner.
I am trained to facilitate multiple courses and workshops including the Video Interaction Guidance (VIG), Families Feeling Safe and Teen Brain.
I have worked as a Family Support Worker in Watford and Three Rivers for the last 2 years supporting families of primary-aged children who were at high risk or had been permanently excluded from primary school before this, I worked in Hoddesdon and Broxbourne for 6 years supporting families with high level/ complex needs.
I have experience working with young people and adults and have a strong passion for helping support them to be the best version of themselves and as fulfilled as they can be. I currently work with clients face-to-face via 1:1 sessions or in small groups but am also able to offer telephone support or Skype sessions if appropriate. The therapeutic work I offer is bespoke to each individual as no two people are the same and the support offered will be tailored to each person’s individual needs.




Nikki Howe – Life Coach and Emotional well-being practitioner

Working and supporting families in Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire


Linda NobleCounsellor. MBACP (Accred)

Working and supporting families in Hertfordshire


Trainee Counsellors

Strength in Mind is working in partnership with several training organisations.  We are pleased to have to work with our team of trainee counsellors and psychotherapists.



In addition to the regular team members,  Strength in Mind has a bank of qualified counsellors that regularly support us in delivering local projects covering emotional well-being and mental health in the community, and in over 40 schools, and additional students currently completing their Diploma and MA