AMEND’s free and confidential counselling service for fully-registered patient members is provided by three counsellors: Kym Winter (Lead Counsellor), David Phipps (Associate Counsellor) and Becca Hargreaves (Associate Counsellor). Our Counsellors are also often to be found providing valuable input at our Annual Patient Information Days.
How can Counselling Help?
Living with any on-going health condition is challenging, whether you’re newly diagnosed, ‘had it for ages’, or if it’s someone you know who has the condition. Any on-going condition has its ups and downs: sometimes it’s more in the background and sometimes it’s more ‘in your face’. Often, talking to family members or friends can feel very supportive, but sometimes the thoughts, feelings or situations you are experiencing might feel complicated, confusing or difficult to talk to them about. That’s when it can feel helpful to talk to someone who has been trained to help you express and explore your thoughts and feelings from a more neutral position.
Sometimes, just one session will be enough. Sometimes several sessions over a few weeks is useful in helping you understand and manage difficult feelings, choices and experiences.
The AMEND Counselling Service offers FREE and confidential telephone sessions to all fully-registered patient members of AMEND (aged 18 and over), including help to access face-to-face counselling in your local area if appropriate. Pre-bookable face-to-face counselling may also be available on occasion at AMEND events.
Lead Counsellor, Kym Winter, has also produced the following leaflets for AMEND on emotional well-being issues:
Living with Uncertainty
Dealing with Diagnosis
Kym Winter – AMEND Lead Counsellor
I am a trained and experienced counsellor and psychoanalytic psychotherapist with over 15 years experience having worked in a variety of settings including the NHS, higher education and for charities. My first background is in psychology, before going on to train as a counsellor and psychotherapist. I am registered with the UKCP and now work primarily as a counselling trainer, supervisor and therapist in private practice in St Albans, Hertfordshire, UK. Read Kym’s full biography here.
Contact is possible by email or telephone to members of AMEND. If you telephone, you may well get to my answer-phone in the first instance, but do please leave a message and also let me know you are calling via AMEND. I’ll aim to return your contact within 48 hours, so if I haven’t done so by then, please do call / email again.
David Phipps – AMEND Associate Counsellor
David will provide cover for our Counselling Service when Kym is unavailable (holidays etc), or for members who would prefer to speak with a male Counsellor:
David is fully qualified and accredited with the British Association for Counsellors and Psychotherapists. He has over 12 years experience working in various different settings with both individuals and groups. He has worked in the NHS for Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT), GP surgeries and psychotherapy departments, as well as in the private mental health sector, residential mental health settings and for CRUSE bereavement care. David works remotely via online video-call (Skype, etc) and telephone.
His particular interests relate to how individuals can find ways of living full and meaningful lives, after having experienced, or who are still experiencing, troubling psychological or physical health difficulties. Read David’s full biography here.
Becca Hargreaves – Associate Counsellor
We welcomed Rebecca Hargreaves (Becca) to our team of counsellors in November 2020. Becca’s early professional background is in Nursing. She brings to our service not only medical knowledge, but professional experience of NHS services and systems. As well as working with Rareminds, she is the part-time Clinical Lead in a Counselling Service for staff and students in a large secondary school. Becca brings experience of working with adolescents, safeguarding and running workshops for parents, students and professionals. Becca has two teenage sons. She tells us her spare time is therefore spent stocking the fridge. We look forward to working with Becca in the future.
Patient members outside of the UK should first contact Kym by email to arrange mutually convenient sessions in advance. Please bear time differences in mind.
7 Secrets to Living Well with MEN
Watch Kym’s presentation on emotional wellbeing from AMEND’s 2015 Annual Patient Information Day for lots of tips for coping with life with MEN.
Coping Strategies for MEN Patients
AMEND’s 2015 project aims were to help people to develop strategies for coping with living with MEN (patients, carers and family members).
Our free-to-access podcasts will help you learn about and practice Mindfulness and are available on our YouTube Channel (AMEND3).
Click here to visit the webpage for more information.
I had a black dog, his name was depression
Other Sources of Help
Below are other possible sources of help available in the UK and internationally:
The Samaritans (24 hour support, text and email on 116 123 / email@example.com)
Turn2Us (for financial advice/support)
Carers UK (support and advice for carers 0808 808 7777 from Monday to Friday, 9am – 6pm or firstname.lastname@example.org)
Family Lives (free confidential support line for guidance and emotional support on all aspects of parenting and family life 0808 800 2222)