Family life is often joyful but can sometimes be difficult.

Families with young children can experience times when life is difficult and problems arise causing anxiety and distress.
This often effects everyone in the family. Families and young people can find it helpful to reflect and explore solutions to their problems in a supportive environment.

We work with families from pregnancy to young adulthood

At Engage Therapy we work with families from pregnancy to young adulthood to help them manage a range of issues including:

  • Birth preparation
  • Postnatal depression & birth trauma
  • Coping with pregnancy and a new baby
  • Sleep issues & feeding problems
  • Tantrums
  • Separation anxiety
  • Conduct problems
  • School refusal & bullying
  • Depression & anxiety
  • Parenting advice and support

We look forward to working with you. To book an appointment, please contact us.

Meet Our Team


Priya obtained her doctoral training from the Royal Holloway, University of London and the Tavistock Centre. Her undergraduate degree in psychology was completed with first class honours in Australia.

With more than 15-years experience working with families with children of all ages from babies to young adults, Priya has worked in both the public and private sector.
Over the years, Priya has acquired specialist training in:

  • Cognitive Behaviour Therapy
  • Narrative Therapy
  • Play Therapy
  • Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy
  • Family Therapy
  • Child Psychotherapy
  • Specialised assessment of Autism and ADHD

Priya is the founder of the South-East London Therapists Network for practitioners in private practice and she supervises junior colleagues.

Priya’s practice adheres to the ethics of the British Psychological Society. She is a chartered member of the British Psychological Society and is registered with the Health Professions Council. Priya is a Member of the Association of Child and Adolescent Mental Health (ACAMH) and the Assocation of Child Psychologists in Private Practice (ACHIPP).

Priya works in close association with a network of experienced psychiatrists, educational psychologists, speech therapists, occupational therapists and adult and family therapists.


Elisabeth is chartered by the British Psychological Society (BPS) and registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). Elisabeth is a member of the BPS’s Division of Clinical Psychology and Faculty for Children, Young People and their Families (CYPS) and Faculty for Perinatal Psychology (PERI). She obtained a first class honours degree from the University of East London (UEL) where she also completed her doctoral training.

Elisabeth has a warm, respectful and skilled approach to working with individuals and families and endeavours to recognize and build on their strength, resilience and resources. Her interventions are guided by the assessment process, evidence-based practice as well as clients’ needs, wishes and their goals for psychological input. Elisabeth believes that developing a shared formulation paves the way for working together effectively and collaboratively therefore creating positive change, whether this might be through short-term or long-term interventions.

Elisabeth’s specialist training includes:

  • Narrative and family therapies
  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
  • Trauma-focused Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (TF-CBT)
  • Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT)
  • Play Therapy
  • Parent-Infant Psychotherapy
  • Early intervention in Psychosis (EIIP)
  • Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT)

Areas of particular interest and expertise include:

  • Child and family clinical psychology
  • Perinatal and parent-infant mental health, including under 5s work
  • Teenage pregnancy/motherhood

Psychological assessment and interventions for adolescents and young adults

  • Gender identity difficulties
  • Clinical health psychology and Paediatric palliative care


I have worked with individuals, couples and families with a range of presenting problems including emotional and behavioural problems such as anxiety, depression, self harm, suicidal thoughts, OCD, eating disorders, ADHD and substance / alcohol misuse. I also have a good knowledge of  working within the educational system and supporting families with issues around school refusal and other issues that effect young people such as depression, conduct disorder, ADHD, self-harm and trauma.
 
As an addiction family therapist I have worked with couples and families at different stages in their recovery that want to address various behavioural and substance problems as well as helping people reflect on how substance use affects their relationships. I also have training in the 5 Step approach that is aimed at those who are affected by another persons substance/alcohol use.
 
Qualifications:
I hold a Msc Family & Systemic Psychotherapy (2013), Post Graduate Diploma in Systemic Supervision & Training (2008). Post Grad Dip in Pharmacology and Psychopharmacology of Drugs and Addiction (2001),
Further training in Functional Family Therapy, Attachment Based Family Therapy, Dialectical Behavioural Therapy.
 
Organisation membership: 
I am a member of the following organisations and abide by their codes of practice. 
AFT (Association for Family Therapy & Systemic Practice) www.aft.org.uk and  UKCP (United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy) www.ukcp.org.uk
 
What is Systemic therapy: 
Systemic Psychotherapy, also known as Family therapy, supports people with relationship difficulties whether it be Families, Parents or Couples. It provides a safe space for families and couples to express and explore the problematic behaviour patterns and emotional language that have developed over a long period of time and helps to increase a level of understanding and enabling relationship change.  It is a non-blaming strength based therapy giving space to reflect and strengthen relationships. Systemic Therapy is known empirically to be effective in the treatment with families and couples. 
 
Individuals:
Therapy can help individuals that face difficult circumstances or transitions in your lives that can result in stress, distress and dissatisfaction. Therapy would aim to bring some understanding and utilise your strengths and think about coping strategies. Also to help with various relationships if your life that you feel you want to explore.
 
Families/Parenting:
Family Therapy can help families cope with transitions such as events in the life cycle and developmental stages, or loss, ill health and trauma. Family therapy offers support with relationship difficulties between parents and children. It is a safe place to explore together what has led to a break down in communication and closeness. The hope for therapy is to provide a space to foster conversations that allow people to feel listened to, to negotiate boundaries and to help encourage more satisfying relationships. It can also help to explore different parental strategies when responding to challenging behaviours of children as well as think about how to parent as an effective team. 
 

Couples:
Couples can face many different and difficult problems within their relationship and coming to therapy can be a daunting and personal journey. Through her experience of working with couples and families Melissa provides a safe and non-judgmental space where these issues can be explored. Therapy can help you, as a couple, to think about how you are relating to each other and pull out your strengths and resources to help you move towards the relationship and life that you feel is more beneficial. Therapy can help you break the repeated destructive patterns that you have fallen into and help you understand each others needs and think about what you both need in moments where you are feeling less connected to each other.


Charmaine is an experienced Clinical Psychologist registered with the HCPC. She completed her training in Clinical Psychology with distinction from Rhodes University, South Africa in 2006. Since then, she has worked in South Africa, Ireland and in the UK with children, adolescents and adults, in voluntary and NHS Child & Adolescent Mental Health Services, educational settings and in the local authority.

Since 2009 she has worked in CAMHS tier 3 and tier 4 inpatient services, as well as with looked after and adopted children with complex presentations.

As well as working in private practice, Charmaine holds a senior position in a Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) offering assessments and therapeutic intervention to children/adolescents and their families.

Approach

Charmaine offers a range of evidence based psychological therapies. Using primarily a Mentalisation Based Therapy (MBT) approach, she also draws from a range of theoretical and therapeutic models (Psychodynamic, Attachment, Systemic, Solution-Focused and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy). She is also trained in EMDR up to level 3, Tree of Life and Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP) level 2.

Charmaine believes in supporting and working with all parts of a system in order to initiate and sustain change.She aims to formulate a shared understanding of what is going on for the young person and his/her family. Using a playful and curious stance, she likes to work with the children/young people/families to gain a better understanding of their narratives and how they came to be where they are at (both terms of strengths and difficulties). Prior to commencing therapeutic work, Charmaine shares her clinical formulation with the client/family and this, in addition to current guidelines on best practice, will inform the therapeutic treatment plan in line with the needs of the child/young person or family with whom she is working.

Areas of particular interest and expertise include: 

  • Traumatic experiences
  • Emotional difficulties such as low mood and anxiety
  • Attachment and/or difficulties in relationships
  • Difficulties adjusting to life transitions and loss
  • Struggles with identity
  • Low confidence/self-esteem
  • School refusal
  • Post adoption support
  • Attachment parenting (PACE)

Karen is a counsellor with over 10 years’ experience working therapeutically with adults, children and young people in private practice and education. 

Karen holds a post graduate diploma in Integrative Therapeutic Counselling and has been working therapeutically with adults, children and young people for the past ten years. Karen’s experience includes working as therapist in community based counselling services and GP surgeries. She is also a highly experienced primary and secondary school counsellor working as a manager of two centres in a leading children’s mental health charity.

Karen is a fully registered member of the BACP (British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy) abiding by a strict code of ethics and professional practice. 

Karen has a warm and welcoming way of working, and knows that sometimes it can be difficult to talk about feelings. Her belief is that counselling will provide people with an opportunity to explore experiences, emotions and problems in a safe and confidential space. 

Karen works collaboratively with parents and carers creating an opportunity to think together about the themes of the therapy and how best a child or young person can be supported. Karen’s aim is to create a safe place for children and young people to express their thoughts and feelings in a way that is comfortable and natural for them; enabling them to better understand and cope with their feelings.  

Support for Individuals

Karen has experience of working one to one with adult difficulties including: 

  • Depression 
  • Anxiety and stress
  • Bereavement and loss 
  • Trauma and abuse 
  • Parenting 

Support for children and young people through play, creative art and talking

Some of the difficulties Karen has experience with include: 

  • Bullying 
  • Parental separation/divorce 
  • School transitions (primary to secondary) 
  • Bereavement and loss 
  • Anxiety and anger 
  • Exam stress 
  • Abuse and trauma 
  • Priya has a lovely way with children and teens, and helped our family tremendously. Her therapeutic approach enabled our daughter to have some insight to why she was feeling the way she was. She gave her a tool kit of coping strategies which she still uses a year and a half on. I sometimes here her say, “What would Priya say?”

  • Priya made me go from an insecure, scared, panicked 18 year old to a confident person who is now striving at university. I will be forever grateful.

  • Elisabeth is very warm, caring and understands what our family is going through.  I highly recommend families seek her help when they are struggling to cope with a challenging situation.

  • Priya’s support of our daughter at a difficult time for our family made a huge improvement to her emotional wellbeing. She is still reaping the benefits now. I can’t recommend Priya highly enough.

  • Priya exudes the right amount of warmth and sensitivity needed to help children feel safe. My son was able to form a bond quickly that allowed him to discuss his worries.

  • We’re really grateful for how much Elisabeth has helped our teenager.  

  • Priya Vigneswaran was the first counsellor I felt at ease with. She was great and helped me tremendously. I would recommend her without hesitation and will certainly go back to her should I need any help in the future.

  • Dr Priya was great – involving the whole family. Friendly and empathetic, Dr Priya was still a composed professional throughout. She gave us great ideas to help, with good success. I would recommend her to anyone.

  • Priya is fantastic, very sensitive and understanding. It was a pleasure to work with her.

  • This is a new one that I am adding in to see about length of text etc.