My path to the profession
My name is Hugh Mayers, M.B.A.C.P., M. A.R.E.B.T. After gaining a degree in Law and
an MA in Politics I began working for victim support Lambeth as a volunteer, then
in 2002 I was recruited by HMP Feltham to work with some of the country’s most volatile
young offenders in their outreach team. The role required me to provide stress management
to young people in the establishment deemed at risk of self-harm due to mental health
concerns, drug and alcohol addictions or them being victims of bullying. Consequently
I was offered the chance to do some work related training on a counselling skills
Developing a deep interest in counselling led to me completing a higher professional
diploma in counselling. This allowed me to run an anger management clinic in Feltham
HMP for two years. Since then I have gone on to earn an MSc in Rational-Emotive &
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy from Goldsmiths College and run a private therapeutic
practice based in Brixton.
I am a member of the association of rational emotive behaviour therapy (AREBT) and
adhere to their code of ethics. I also engage in a minimum of 30 hours’ Continual
Professional Development annually, e.g. in March 2013 I attended a five week Life
I have worked in a number of agencies in the role of counsellor and psychotherapist
beginning in 2006, which included two prisons and a national mental health charity,
receiving referrals from a number of sources including general practitioners.
There are many different models of therapy: I have received training in three main
models of therapy. My speciality : Rational-Emotive behaviour Therapy (REBT) / Cognitive
Behaviour Therapy (CBT). This process involves me taking a more active directive
approach in identifying a client’s dysfunctional thinking, behaviour and emotional
responses and self-defeating ideas about specific issues they are facing or their
view of life in general, while assisting them to develop more helpful perspectives,
goal enhancing beliefs and to make healthy emotional and behavioural changes.
I have received extensive training in and also practice Person Centred Counselling
: In this process I extend empathy, unconditional acceptance and congruence. Also
the client determines the direction and tempo of therapy, with therapeutic emphasis
being placed on the client feeling heard, understood and not judged.
Existential Counselling is the third mode of therapy I have been trained in and is
based on the idea that inner conflicts in life come about when we find ourselves
confronting the inevitable realities of existence : our fear of endings, our fear
of freedom ( and its subsequent responsibilities), our fear of being alone with
respect to our internal experiences and our search for meaning. When working existentially
I focus less on a client’s past and more on the exploring the choices they need to
make in the present and future.
Although I am guided by these modes of therapy in my practice, I do not work from
a rigid template, acknowledging the fact every individual is unique and so I will
tailor my approach to meet the needs of my client.
I aim to be sensitive to the cultural and ethnic origins of individuals and their
religious beliefs and operate my practice along the lines normally associated with
an equal opportunities employer.