2023 Awards Judges

We are delighted to tell you more about the judges of our 2023 National Counsellors’ Day Awards.

Phil Brain

Hi, I’m Phil, I grew up in Swindon before relocating to Cornwall 15 years ago. I originally trained as secondary school teacher, however due to a health condition I was unable to continue with this career. With the support of therapy, I was able to find my way to a new path in life, which in turn led me to retrain as a therapist, as I am of the belief everyone can find their own individual path with the right support. My main method of working is in the humanistic, person-centred approach which is where my core training lies. Post qualification training means I also work in an integrative method which incorporates CBT techniques, mindfulness, solution focused and directive therapy. My practice has developed in this manner in the belief that I want to support my clients in the way that works the best for them as an individual. I work in both private practice and for EAP’s which has allowed me to gain extensive experience of working with a range of clients globally, young people and offering SST therapy. It was an honor to be asked by Maria to be a judge for the awards this year. I believe that as an industry we don’t do enough to celebrate our successes and achievements, so to be a part of this which encourages that celebration feels amazing and I look forward to learning more about the many talented therapists, supervisors and companies we have within our industry.

You can find out more about Phil here: www.brainhubcpw.com

Suzanne Chalmers

I am a qualified counsellor having started my training in Edinburgh in 1995 where I studied the Scotvec courses in counselling and then after having a break I restarted my counselling training back in 2013. My training is underpinned by Person Centred counselling and I work with clients in a way that is guided by them. I have worked with adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse, domestic violence, bereavement and loss as well as general counselling. I work as a school counsellor, co-facilitate training with Cruse (Scotland), and I am in the process of completing a MSc in Person-Centred Practice, Mental Health and Well-being, and am part way through a PGCert in Professional and Higher Education. ​ I am a member of NCS.

Kirti Soni

Kirti Soni is a Person-Centred therapist based between UK, UAE and India, originally born in Africa. Due to her own life journey she’s been able to support people across ethnicities, ages, gender and religion to name a few.

She has always served in the voluntary sector, as a way of both “giving back” and of supporting those who can’t afford private care; and currently has her own private practice which in line with her ethos, is a non-profit, Daws Hill Projects CIC, serving private clients, educational institutes and corporations.

Notably, at the very onset of Covid19, while the world was just discovering and battling with the physical symptoms of Covid, she set up free online psychological help under Covid19 Mental Health Support for those suffering lockdown anxiety/trauma/loss/etc, and has worked similarly with the NHS and other therapists and organisations, providing trauma support at Grenfell Tower, London and support under Jeevan Organ Blood Donation.

Contact: Kirti Soni on Facebook and Linkedin

Paula Williams

Paula J Williams is a Person-Centred counsellor, trainer and supervisor based in Scotland. After several years working in the voluntary sector, she now works primarily in private practice. She has been involved in all levels of counselling training as a supervisor, tutor and lecturer, and has published articles and chapters about marginalised identities and mental health, as well as co-authoring the 5th edition of First Steps in Counselling with Pete Sanders and Andy Rogers, which you can view and purchase here: www.pccs-books.co.uk/products/first-steps-in-counselling-5th-edition

She is a Fellow of the National Counselling Society. 

You can find out more about Paula here: www.counsellinginedinburgh.org