Our Founders...

Essere is an Italian word meaning ‘To be’. We wanted to choose a name that conveyed the inclusiveness of the service we want to offer.

We have always loved being around people and so the idea of Essere was created in a local community coffee shop. Essere's ethos comes from a deep need in both Catherine and Helen to feel connect and we feel our logo of the birds represent this beautifully.

So it's not surprising that Essere has grown into a team of passionate like minded people.

We know that when people come together it supports a movement towards people finding their purpose whatever that might be, for some, it's a more peaceful and positive state of being, for others it might be finding a new way of viewing this often confusing world.

We know it's not easy coming to therapy, so we want to make it as easy as possible.

We have a team of therapists so we don't have waiting lists, we also don't do lengthy assessments, we just have a conversation to make sure we provide the right therapist for you, your child, teen, or family member.

square photo of helen lewin


Helen is a Co-founder of Essere and loves being with people.

Helen is aware that there has been a shift in recent years, and we now have a much clearer and more accepting understanding of how therapy can help with unresolved experiences.

Helen is passionate about being with others in a therapeutic relationship, especially after experiencing difficulties after the birth of her child. She knows the benefits of having a deeply empathetic, trusting relationship and this was her drive to provide this for others.

Helen has worked with children, teens and their families for many years, maybe now, a few too many to count...

But she isn't stopping yet, she wants to keep on providing an empathetic, safe space for others, that's why Essere keeps on growing, she believes when the conditions are right, something special happens.

Helen is an Integrative Therapist and Clinical Supervisor, and along with Catherine they are also Co-founders of Open Space a Community Interest Company.

Open Space has providing opportunities for people from displaced communities to access  therapy, community groups have also been provided for many.

Both Catherine and Helen are always thinking of how they can bring people together, so watch this space...





Photo of Catherine from Essere Therapies


Catherine is a Co-founder of Essere and a British Association of Play Therapist’s trained and experienced Play Therapist, accredited by the Professional Standards Authority. She has additional training in the family therapy models of Filial Therapy and Theraplay®, and in Lego® Based Therapy.

Previously, Catherine was a primary school teacher and over the years she met a lot of children who had had difficult life experiences that were affecting the way they felt about themselves and the world around them, adversely affecting their capacity to learn and thrive. Catherine could see that these children needed a specific kind of support and help before they were going to be able to fully focus on fulfilling their potential. Recognising this situation led Catherine to return to university to train as a Play Therapist.

Since gaining her Master’s degree in Play Therapy, Catherine has worked with children and families experiencing a range of issues and very differing histories. Some clients have experienced multiple traumas and losses in their lives and are experiencing a range of difficulties when they begin therapy. Other children are referred because they are experiencing specific issues, such as separation anxiety or low self-esteem. She has worked with children and their birth families as well as those in foster care and those who have been adopted. Her services are sought by schools, social care and parents who seek support privately rather than via. the organisations mentioned.

Catherine is also privileged to be foster mum to someone who is now an exceptional young woman (who has allowed Catherine to write this bit). The ongoing experience of becoming a family (and staying one!), of the roller-coaster that is parenting, of needing to learn many new things (therapeutic parenting, PACE, Dan Hughes, Sarah Naish being some of these) and how to advocate for someone who has the right to a positive experience of the world but has not always experienced this, has taught Catherine enough to write a book! (Though, thankfully, others have already done this, so she doesn’t plan to.) She brings this knowledge and experience gained through lived experience to her work with children, teens and families in many ways that she hopes enable them to feel deeply understood, warmly accepted, well supported and far less alone.

Please visit the Testimonials page to read about client’s experiences of working with Catherine.