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Who We Are

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Kate Houghton

Humanistic Integrative Counsellor (Independent)

I am a humanistic integrative counsellor and a registered member of the British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists. This means that I place the building of a safe and trusting relationship with you central to my work, whilst integrating other approaches which I feel may be of benefit to you.


Events may have occurred that have left you feeling confused, overwhelmed and struggling to cope. We all need a bit of extra help at times and counselling can be a place for you to make sense of what you are experiencing, make positive changes in your life and increase your sense of well-being. I will assist you to do this by providing a space where you feel heard and understood. Where you are met with compassion and acceptance, as I help you to try and make sense of your emotions so that life can begin to feel easier.


We will work together to explore your story look at what it is you really want out of your relationships and life. As the work together progresses we will have regular reviews to ensure you are achieving what you want from therapy and to reflect on how you are finding the experience.


The aim is to help you become clearer about both the extent and the effect of the problem and maybe to help you recognise possible solutions, ones that will work for you. 


I previously worked at The New Forest Mindfulness Centre for 2 years when we moved to the area 5 years ago. Whilst working here, I developed an interest in Mindfulness and meditation which I still practice and find extremely beneficial now.


I’m married with two young children and we live in the New Forest.  I’m at my happiest outdoors, I love spending time in the forest, especially with my dog and family.


Dr Zoe Sylvester

Mindfulness Based Childbirth and Parenting Teacher  

I gained my medical qualification from Southampton University in 2001. After postgraduate training in neonatology and paediatrics in Cambridge I then went onto train as a psychiatrist, passing my postgraduate exams and becoming a Member of the Royal College of Psychiatrists in 2007. I undertook further specialist training in Child and Adolescent psychiatry working in community and hospital settings for 5 years.


I returned to the New Forest in 2009 working locally within Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services and decided to take a career break following the birth of my eldest daughter. I have had a regular meditation practice since university and after becoming a mum my long term interest in child development and mental health and well being led me to become interested in the role of mindfulness in parenting. After meeting Maret during a baby massage course with our small people I began to explore mindfulness further through personal practice.  I have had the great benefit of attending the New Forest Mindfulness parenting course, retreats and sitting groups to deepen my practice.


I went on to undertake a year long Mindfulness Based Childbirth and Parenting Teacher Training course with the Mindful Birthing foundation under Nancy Bardake (the founder of MBCP) and completed this initial training in December 2018. I will complete the level 2 program in early July 2019. I am very interested in the application of mindfulness in pregnancy and parenting and how practice can benefit parental well being; early infant - parent bonding and attachment and subsequently child developmental outcomes.  


I am excited to be co-facilitating MBCP group and individual sessions and mindful parenting courses with my New Forest Mindfulness colleagues and feel privileged to be able to support expectant parents and families in this way. I am married and have 2 girls aged 3 and 6. We enjoy spending time enjoying the gorgeous beaches and forest, as well as dancing, singing and reading. I am also slightly obsessed with plants and gardening and am currently enjoying how to nurture my new house plant babies! 


Dr Nicky Crockett

Clinical Psychologist (Children, Young People and Families Advisor)

I am a Clinical Psychologist with a doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the University of Christ Church and Canterbury and a First Class undergraduate psychology degree (BSc Applied Hons) from Cardiff University.  


I specialise in working with children, young people and their families, with experience across a range of national health and local authority services (including child and adolescent mental health, looked after and adopted children and child physical health).  I currently work within a Paediatric Neuro-rehabilitation service at the University Hospital Southampton (NHS).  Within this role I work with children and young people who have acquired brain injuries, and support their families.  


My work is informed by a range of evidence-based theories including: Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Attachment Theory, Systemic Theory, Narrative Practice and Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP).  I'm committed to developing my knowledge and skills and have completed Level One Training at the Institute of Narrative Therapy, as well as Level One and Two DDP trainings, with Dan Hughes.  I am currently working towards a Graduate Certificate in Family Therapy at the Institute of Family Therapy in London.  


I am passionate about promoting emotional wellbeing in children and young people and their parents.  I am interested in how research into attachment, trauma and neuroscience can help us understand problems that negatively impact on our lives, and reduce distress.  I'm also interested on the impact of stories surrounding us (within our families, friends, media and politics) on child development, psychological health and family life.  


I use a collaborative child-led approach in my work, drawing upon the talents and abilities within children, young people and their networks to grow emotional resilience and facilitate positive change together.   


I am also married, with two children and live in the New Forest.  I enjoy music, walking in the forest and the occasional (slow) run.

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Claire Lock

MBCT Teacher 
Mindfulness Teacher 

I work as a Senior Wellbeing Worker in Portsmouth where I support people one-to-one and in groups settings who wish to stop smoking, reduce their alcohol intake and maintain a healthy weight.  I was introduced to mindfulness through work in 2010 when I was trained in Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT).  This approach really resonated with me personally and I could also see the benefit to the clients I was working with.

In 2014 I started my own daily mindfulness practice as well as attending a local sitting group, Southsea Sangha, who I now lead mindfulness practices for once a month.  In 2015 I attended the 8-week Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) course which helped deepen my practice and following this, I made a commitment to attend annual silent retreats at Gaia House, Devon.  I started to see huge benefits in my life from practising mindfulness and following a major life event, I decided to train to be a mindfulness teacher. 


I completed the Foundational Course in Teaching MBCT in 2017/18 at Oxford Mindfulness Centre.  I am passionate about sharing this life changing course with others which is why I am keen to continue gaining experience of teaching MBCT.

I am a GP living in East Dorset.

Having gained a degree in Physiology and Biochemistry, I went on to complete a medical degree at Southampton University.

Although, very much enjoying the physical side of medicine, my specialist area has been to improve the emotional wellbeing of my patients. This, not only enhances the quality of their lives, but is also essential for their physical wellbeing.

In 1998, I temporarily left General Practice in order to set up a charity known as ISECCA (Improving self efficacy, self esteem and confidence in children and adults). With the help of a generous contribution from the Gatsby Charitable Foundation, I learned how to facilitate a 3 day workshop, based on Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, and delivered the programme to many organisations and individuals throughout Dorset. In addition, I arranged for others to learn how to deliver this material and as a result approximately 2000 people had taken part in the workshop by the time I returned to General Practice in 2005.

Along the way, in Jan 2000, I was awarded an MBE for services to the improvement of mental health in the community.


In 2010, I attended an 8 week course in MBCT (Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy) and subsequently completed a Foundational teacher training at the Oxford Mindfulness Centre. Finding it of enormous personal  benefit, I was convinced that, this, with practice, patience, and commitment, could potentially be of huge benefit, especially for those suffering from stress, anxiety and depression.

At the Centre I provide one to one consultations as an added support to those with physical illness.


I also visit organisations to deliver a half hour presentation, free of charge, on “What is Mindfulness” to any who would like to learn more about it.


Dr Maret Dymond-Basset

Clinical Psychologist,
Mindfulness Teacher & Trainer University of Oxford 

​I am a Clinical Psychologist who is passionate about how we support parents in our society and how we can enrich and strengthen our families and relationships from early childhood into old age. I am also interested in the importance of wellbeing in the workplace, in how we gain and maintain the elusive work-life balance and mental and physical health in the fast paced, information-technology based and demanding environments within which we live and work. 

I have a doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the University of Southampton (DClinPsych), and an undergraduate psychology degree (BA Hons) and postgraduate research doctorate (PhD) in perinatal psychology from the University of Reading. My professional training gave me a good grounding in Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT), attachment theory and experience of Systemic / Family Therapy and Cognitive-Analytical Therapy (CAT). 

I am registered as a Practitioner Psychologist with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and a listed MBCT and MBCP teacher with the UK Network for Mindfulness-Based Teacher Training Organisationsworking towards their UK Good Practice Guidelines for Mindfulness-Based Teachers. I am a visiting academic at the University of Southampton and an Affiliate of the Center for Child and Family Wellbeing, University of Wisconsin-Madison.

I also began exploring mindfulness personally as a student in the 1990's and then later in the 2000's I trained in: Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT) with The British Isles DBT Training Team;   Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) at The Oxford Mindfulness Centre, University of Oxford with Professor Mark Williams; and Mindfulness-Based Childbirth & Parenting (MBCP) with it's founder Nancy Bardacke, RNM.

In my roles at the University of Oxford Mindfulness Centre, I led a project investigating the acceptability and usefulness of MBCP in the UK and currently train others to teach MBCT and MBCP, including as a tutor on their Master of Studies in MBCT programme. 

I am married with two young children and live in the New Forest. I enjoy being in nature, spending time with loved ones and reading.

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Marie Johansson

MBCT Teacher and Trainer (Provides Supervision)

I’m a qualified Social Worker, graduating from University of Umea, Sweden in 1979, when I moved to the UK. My background is primarily in Adult Mental Health, within NHS, Health & Social Care and the Voluntary sectors. As an experienced Mental Health Practitioner, Cognitive Behavioural Therapist (CBT) and Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) Teacher and Trainer, I have a particular interest in working with people experiencing depression, anxiety and a range of mental health issues.

During the eighties I worked in London in Residential Therapeutic Communities for adults with mental health difficulties/diagnoses. Since moving to Oxford I set up a women’s mental health drop-in centre, where I worked with a number of women with domestic, physical/sexual abuse issues. I managed a Family Centre for 11 years and worked as a freelance trainer and group worker (CBT) within the Health & Social Care field.

In 2006 I met Professor Mark Williams and began my training as an MBCT Teacher. I was invited to join Mark’s team and became involved in developing the Oxford Mindfulness Centre (OMC). I set up and led a forum for Mindfulness Teachers, which met regularly to support the teaching we were all involved with. I worked initially as part of the research team, taking patients with recurring depression through the 8-week MBCT course and subsequently initiated the delivery of the courses to the general population. I went on to train psychology clinicians within the local NHS Trust, to become MBCT Teachers.

As MBCT Course Lead at the Oxford Mindfulness Centre, I manage delivery of the MBCT courses to the general public, as well as teaching the courses myself.  I am involved in training new MBCT teachers on our 1 year ‘Foundation to Teaching MBCT’ course, as well as training teachers locally (within the Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust) nationally and internationally. I supervise Master of Studies students and trainee teachers, as well as experienced teachers, mostly within psychological treatment services, both in the UK and abroad.  As a member of our Senior Leadership Team, I am involved in contributing to the strategic development of the OMC.

I feel incredibly fortunate to continue to be involved in delivering a programme that makes such a difference in people’s lives, including my own. I am constantly humbled by the courage and commitment participants bring and what a privilege it is to be involved in something that brings such a difference to the quality of people’s lives….truly touching and inspirational.

I am a listed MBCT Teacher with the UK Network for Mindfulness-Based Teacher Training Organisations and a referee for Teachers wishing to register.

I am a grandmother to a beautiful granddaughter, who teaches me much about mindfulness. I spend as much time as I possibly can with her as well as enjoying reading, walking in nature, singing and delighting in the company of good friends.


Cate Taylor

Educational Consultant and
Mindfulness for Schools Teacher

I am a teacher with BA Hons French and Spanish from the University of Sheffield and a PGCE from the University of Southampton.  I have 17 years experience teaching in the state and independent sector across a variety of subjects, age groups and abilities.  I am dedicated to inspiring my students to achieve their best and develop a love of learning.  I currently teach part-time at Walhampton Independent Preparatory School in Lymington, which has pupils between the ages of 2 and 13.  I previously spent many years teaching in a secondary school in the state sector. I am also a tutor, providing one-to-one lessons to children with a wide variety of learning needs.  I have a life-long enthusiasm for learning and a keen interest in current educational research.  Throughout my adult life, I have had an interest in the benefits of a meditation practice for well-being and I trained in Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) at New Forest Mindfulness.  I trained to teach the Paws b course which is a classroom-based mindfulness curriculum for 7-11 year olds with Mindfulness in Schools Project.  I am passionate about the benefits to be gained from learning mindfulness-based techniques as a child, particularly in the current cultural and educational environment with the ever increasing reports of juvenile mental health issues. I have a keen interest in supporting parents and families to make the right choices for their children in this ever changing, fast-paced, technological world.

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Dr Anne Hayden

GP and Medical Advisor

Caroline James

MBCT Teacher 
Counsellor and Gestalt therapist

My background is originally in languages teaching, and I have an MA from Cambridge University, where I studied French and Spanish.  I went on to gain a Post Graduate Certificate in Education from Warwick University.


I am a registered member of the British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists, and have a Diploma in Person Centred Counselling, and a Post Graduate Diploma in Gestalt Psychotherapy, from the Gestalt Centre, London.


My initial interest in meditation grew from my practice of chi kung – the ancient Chinese art of movement, stillness and meditation.  As my meditation practice deepened, I decided to study further at the Oxford Mindfulness Centre, where I completed the foundation course to teach MBCT.  In addition, I am also trained as a Mindfulness in Schools Project “.b” teacher, and have delivered this programme to students aged 16-18.


I practise as a therapist in Winchester both privately and for the charity, the Olive Branch.


I am married with four children, and am never happier than when out walking along the Itchen or in the Forest with my family and dogs.


Safia Finlay

Marketing Advisor

I have over 12 years experience in marketing, management and leadership mainly in the travel, leisure and hospitality sector. In 2018 I completed an MBCT course with Maret and Caroline, and have gone on to attend an advanced Mindfulness course and several retreat days. I am passionate about the work the New Forest Mindfulness Centre does, and telling as many people as possible about it! 

I live in the New Forest and enjoy walks with my lovely family and pet Labradoodle.. 

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