Our team are at the heart of everything we offer. We select a team who have a very diverse range of skills, styles, experience and personalities. Clients are with us for a relatively short time, and we know that it is easier to work with someone you like so you are free to choose who you would prefer to work with. Equally, each of the different professions has different ways of working, a different set of tools and a different lens through which they view solutions. By working with an integrated team, these skills can be blended to give you the best help from each perspective.
Robin Lefever has a BSc in Psychology from the University of Kent and is the Managing Director of PROMIS Clinics. Having been a part of the PROMIS Research Group, Robin has been published in articles and papers in international scientific journals and presented research at international addiction conferences. Robin is also a skilled therapist, and his clinical interests include a wide range of therapies, including EMDR, EAP, Psychodrama, Group Therapy, Family Therapy and Early Interventions.
ADMISSIONS AND PROFESSIONAL RELATIONSHIPS MANAGER / GENERAL MANAGER
I’m Lucy Britton, and I head up the admissions team here at PROMIS. We are the first point of contact for people phoning to enquire about treatment at our clinics. We are here to listen to an individual’s story, assess their situation and requirements and then advise how best we can help with their recovery.
As well as being a trained therapist with an Advanced Diploma in Humanistic Integrative Counselling.
I am also part of the management team, managing ‘behind-the-scenes” aspects as well as developing
nurturing relationships with professionals in our field.
For me, it’s a privilege to work for an organisation like PROMIS with its family history, open-minded and
ethical ethos, and diversity of therapies and treatment programmes. I’ve visited other clinics in this country, and as far as I know, nobody is delivering the same service, especially with regard to offering 1:1 therapy every single day. I love that! 18 years into my own recovery, and it is incredibly meaningful to use my experiences to help other people going through similar struggles.
HAY FARM MEDICAL
DR SARAH MAGINN
I’m a consultant psychiatrist here at PROMIS, a member of the Royal College of Psychiatrists with over 25 years experience in a wide range of mental disorders with a specific interest in ADHD.
When a client comes to Hay Farm, I conduct a thorough psychiatric assessment to enable the team of therapists to determine the most effective treatment plan for them.
What I love about my work here at PROMIS is the diversity of our guests, all from different backgrounds and requiring specific methods of treatment. What’s amazing about the clinic is the opportunity to experience a wide range of therapies available.
DR LAIMONAS GONCARAS MD
PRIMARY CARE PHYSICIAN
Dr Laimonas Goncaras (Dr Liam) has worked since 2007 as a General Practitioner at The Medical Centre in Maidstone, Kent. Dr Liam graduated from Kaunas University of Medicine (Lithuania) in 2003. He endeavoured in further education in England and obtained a Postgraduate Diploma in Medicine (Newcastle University), Prescribing (Greenwich University) and Dermatology (Queens Mary University, London). He also obtained Substance Misuse Part 1 and Part 2 Diplomas from the Royal College of General Practice and is a proud member of the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP). Since the early days of his career, he has been a very keen player in the Substance Misuse Services in Kent, running a Shared Care Service (methadone and suboxone) for his practice patients and also being a member of a Steering Group with KCA. Dr Liam advises other primary care physicians and doctors on substance misuse, painkillers and appropriate prescribing.
HAY FARM THERAPISTS
I started my professional career in 2013, studying at the University of South Africa, and have dedicated myself to the field of addiction ever since. In South Africa, I worked in residential treatment facilities for nine years before relocating to the UK.
I joined PROMIS at the start of the pandemic. It’s a place where I can really be myself and use the experience of my own recovery to help those in a similar situation and help them drive their own recovery.
My approach to therapy is based on the values of Compassion, Empathy, Honesty, Patience and Integrity. I’m particularly passionate about EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing), an effective psychotherapy method to help people recover from trauma and PTSD symptoms.
Outside of work, I enjoy simple, grounded things like walking my dog and exploring new towns and villages.
I’ve worked for PROMIS since 1993 and my qualifications include: Practitioner skills for eating disorders (awarded by the British Psychological Society,) an addictive behaviours counselling diploma (from AEB) and a CSCT diploma in counselling. My interests are eating disorder addiction & recovery, family therapy and counselling.
‘As someone in recovery myself, I’ve experienced the devastation addiction has on families: by the time a person goes into treatment, they are usually broken in every way a person can be, physically, emotionally and spiritually. However, with support and understanding and a gentle environment, it’s not long before the peace, joy and laughter return to their lives and as importantly, into the lives of their families. This is what PROMIS offers.’
Whilst studying for a MSc in Addiction Counselling my area of particular interest became childhood developmental trauma. This relates to how the coping mechanisms we tended to resort to in our younger years are carried forward into our adult life and affect our daily behaviour. This is what I explore extensively with my clients.
Trauma is also often stored in the body and so, in addition to cleansing the mind, I believe in working with the body in the same way. Incorporating meditation and yoga into treatment can be very beneficial. This holistic approach to therapy was very much shaped by the time I spent in Thailand, India and Bali practising yoga with a variety of teachers.
The benefit of working alongside such a diversity of therapists at Hay Farm is the inspiration I gain from all the different skills, styles and experiences. I have faith in the healing power of nature and this is ever present here at Hay Farm.
I have an MSc. in Clinical Psychology and an MSc. in Forensic Psychology and Mental Health.
Since joining PROMIS I have introduced Projective Testing, a psychological personality assessment to give an in-depth understanding of our clients’ emotional control and attitudes. Ultimately, this can help them understand their conflicts and character better and, therefore, increase their ability to regulate emotions and behaviour.
Practising as a Psychologist in India enabled me to work with a wide range of problems such as depression, personality disorder, dementia, ADHD, anxiety and other psychiatric disorders – many of them co-occurring – across every age group. I’m therefore able to add a diversity of expertise to therapeutic treatment at PROMIS, offering my clients a broad perspective and addressing a multitude of problems rather than focussing on just one.
Accredited by the UKCP as a Humanistic and Integrative Psychotherapist, I began to practise and specialised in Psychodrama under Marcia Karp’s clinical supervision while still performing and directing Playback Theatre in 2014. The British Psychodrama Association (BPA) recognised my early creative therapeutic work with young people with an Anne Bannister Award that same year.
My multifaceted background includes the Performing Arts and Socially Accountable Corporate Communications – threads I weaved together in a Communication and Arts Master’s by the NOVA University of Lisbon, prior to relocating from Portugal to the UK and retraining as a Psychotherapist.
I now pursue and encourage continuous development in creative and relational expression, holistic wellbeing and different therapeutic modalities, with current interest in the Neuroscience of relationships, Family Systemic Therapy and Transgenerational Psychotherapy. Before joining PROMIS, I volunteered with several charities, worked within HMPPS, the NHS and in private practice.
As an author, I have published several articles and a book in Portugal based on Strategic Public Relations and Social Accountability research and practice. In the UK, I have published about Psychodrama and CBT, and Psychopathology in the BPA Journal; I have co-authored a book chapter describing my integrated approach to Psychodrama and Art Therapy in Forensic Therapeutic Community environment. I am also a singer-songwriter.
I qualified 11 years ago as a therapist and have extensive experience in helping people recover from trauma.
Working within a team of other highly experienced therapists, I help to shape and put into action a daily personal treatment plan for our guests here, facilitating group sessions and 1:1’s where guests can feel safe and be open about their feelings. It’s so important that people feel they can be themselves at the clinic so they can make progress and change in their lives.
What I love about working here is the beautiful setting of the clinic, the lovely team and the privilege of being part of our guests’ journey into recovery. I learn something from every individual I spend time with here.
“As I embark on a second career, I’ve successfully completed Level 6 in Integrative Counselling with distinction at Inter-Psyche and gained experience in a wide range of settings, including helping young adults at the University of Kent, working with patients and bereaved carers at a hospice, and volunteering with organisations like Anxiety UK and Shout text service for individuals in crisis.
In particular, my professional path has been profoundly shaped by my work in grief counselling. I’ve come to realise the deep relevance and effectiveness of grief work in the context of addiction recovery, where healing often hinges on the healthy process of grieving.
Before training to become a therapist, I spent two decades in the textile/fashion industry, both in Italy (Como), and in the UK. My years in this highly competitive field provided me with a profound understanding of the demands of working in both creative and corporate environments, highlighting the critical importance of setting healthy boundaries; also crucial in the recovery process.
Currently, at PROMIS, my role involves facilitating structured therapeutic support programs through group and one-to-one sessions, as well as delivering psycho-education groups and activities.
I firmly believe in the power of group work as a transformative element in recovery. When members feel comfortable enough to share openly and vulnerably, the group evolves into a cohesive source of support for each participant.
Finally, I am a member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), committed to upholding the highest professional standards in my practice.
AISHWARYA JOSHI (ASH)
I have an MSc in Psychotherapy from the University of Kent and have worked as a therapist for over 20 years.
I use a solution focused approach to my therapy sessions. This type of therapy facilitates personal development by working with neuroplasticity, that is, the ability of the brain to form new connections and pathways and change how its circuits are wired, a type of therapy which is very helpful in the aftermath of trauma.
The holistic, humanistic and spiritual approach to my 1:1 session has, rather amusingly, earned me the title of ‘Mystic Lucy’ from the clients here at Hay Farm.
I find it immensely rewarding working at PROMIS, helping clients to realise their recovery hopes and witnessing their journey progress.
Trainee Equine Assisted Therapy Practitioner
As a trainee Equine Practitioner here at Hay Farm, my role is to guide our clients through activities with our horses – Bella, Jake, Sky and Troy – in order to help them develop skills such as emotional regulation, self-confidence, and responsibility. Equine Therapy – a holistic, experiential and highly specialised form of therapy – is one of the very many special things about our clinic in the beautiful Kent countryside. I really enjoy giving our clients the opportunity to connect with themselves in a situation they may never have encountered before, simply by feeding, grooming and leading our horses.
My interest in animals goes back a long way. I achieved a BSc in Zoology and MSc in Animal Health & Welfare at Royal Holloway University and working here at PROMIS has enabled me to bring human and animal interaction together, a field I find fascinating.
Even when I’m not facilitating therapy here at Hay Farm, you’ll find me in the field with the horses – grooming, checking their weight and even teaching them to recognise their names! I have two dogs at home and enjoy spending time training them, as well as taking them for long walks along the coast.
HAY FARM NURSING
With a Psychology degree & Nursing degree from Southampton University, I am now a mental health nurse and trainee therapist here at Hay Farm. I am very often the first person our guests meet when they arrive at the clinic. My priority is to assess initial clinical needs and help to settle them in their room. I am a source of support throughout their stay, dispensing medication and assisting them with any worries or discomfort on a daily basis.
I’m passionate about giving people as much freedom as possible during their treatment for addiction and other mental health disorders, enabling them to be in charge of their recovery, and that’s something we do really well here at PROMIS.
For me, the best thing about working here is the non-clinical environment within the beautiful countryside which not only gives our guests a peaceful place to recover but also allows me to bring my pug Mr Darcy to work! Animals are a real passion of mine and in my spare time I am a volunteer dog walker for elderly or ill people who aren’t able to walk their pets.
I’m Natalie, I’m usually the first person guests meet when they arrive at Hay Farm. I understand how apprehensive people may be coming to the clinic and I’m here to make them feel relaxed and comfortable. I take my time to settle them and make things as simple as possible for them so they don’t feel overwhelmed by the process. Throughout their stay, I administer medication and I’m always here to talk things through and give support.
The best thing about working here is the actual farm itself. The outdoor space is beautiful. I’m also really grateful for the opportunity to help people lay a good foundation for their path to recovery.
Outside of work, I enjoy interior design and love upcycling furniture. Singing and dancing when nobody is watching also makes me very happy!
REGISTERED MENTAL HEALTH NURSE
I have over 30 years experience working in mental health and addiction recovery. Im often the first point of contact for clients being admitted for treatment. I undertake the clinical observations, risk assessment and formulate an initial 72 hour care plan whilst liaising with the doctor.
When it comes to recovery, | believe everyone is on an equal footing and everyone should be treated as an individual. Im proud to work in a team of compassionate and diligent staff who support individuals who, when arriving at the clinic, may be physically and emotionally broken. It is so positive watching peoples wellbeing improve over a course of weeks and seeing them move forward with their lives.
lam well known for having a very needy codependent Staffie dog called Lemmy who often comes to work
with me and enjoys having his tummy rubbed by therapists and clients alike.
I joined PROMIS due to its intimate, family-like atmosphere and serve as your Admissions Officer. My academic background includes a first-class degree in Counselling, Coaching & Mentoring from Canterbury Christ Church University, paired with a substantial history in Customer Service. This combination has honed my listening skills, crucial for my current role where sensitivity and attentiveness are paramount.
Day-to-day, I field incoming calls from potential clients and their families, often reaching out during some of life’s most challenging moments. I am thankful that I can be there for those taking their first step whilst also being able to hear about their progress and growth after leaving our clinic.
In terms of therapy and recovery, my ethos revolves around the power of time and listening. Everyone’s journey is unique, and providing a space where individuals feel heard and understood is integral to initiating healing and recovery.
I live on the coast and so away from work, I like to take walks along the seafront as I find the sea air therapeutic. I also enjoy music and can often be found at The 1975 gigs.
HAY FARM TEAM
I really enjoy being part of a clinic which can play such an instrumental part in our guests’ future. I’m a strong believer that recovery is not possible in isolation. Support from others is an absolute necessity. People need other people!
Outside of work, I’m a very enthusiastic photographer and videographer. Gardening is also a great love of mine. I enjoy making unique terrariums and I’m prone to rescuing drooping plants at garden centres and nursing them back to life.
MEDIA PRODUCTION AND MARKETING
I work in marketing, based at Hay Farm. I use my background in photography, public relations & journalism to compile engaging and interesting material for our social media and website and bring to life the picturesque environment and diversity of therapeutic activities by taking daily photographs.
One of my proudest achievements here at PROMIS is setting up the Therapeutic Journaling group which encourages our guests to reflect on their recovery through writing.
Our clinic is such an inspiring and vibrant place, full of positive stories and exciting experiences, and I love finding creative ways to document and express all of this.
As the chef, I manage the daily running of the kitchen. I plan the menu each day, giving the guests three options for lunch and dinner, taking into account any special dietary requirements. Establishing healthy eating habits is associated with improving mental health, and so we put fresh, nourishing and high-quality food at the foundation of our guests’ care.
We only use natural sugars in our recipes, incorporating unsweetened jams, bananas, dates, mangoes, sultanas and fresh fruit into our homemade desserts. Our ethos is to use local suppliers, sourcing our ingredients within a radius of 30 miles, and my latest project was to clear an area of overgrown land to create a seasonal vegetable garden.
It’s always nice when a guest pokes their head around the kitchen door to tell us they’ve had a great meal. To be able to inspire people to love food once again and even incorporate simple recipes into their recovery is very rewarding. I enjoy working within the calm environment of the clinic and to “do what I love”.
HEAD OF HOUSEKEEPING
I lead the housekeeping team here, ensuring the farm remains immaculately clean.
It has been my responsibility to manage infection control during the pandemic and also conducting regular Legionnaires assessments. Nothing is too much trouble when it comes to looking after our guests, and I want them to feel as though they can approach me and ask me anything. I’ve been here for 10 years and love the variety of the role. On a typical day I could be meeting the Farrier, serving lunches, cleaning and refilling the hot tub, arranging flowers and changing beds. Every day is different.
Whilst I take my job very seriously, I love cheering up our guests if they’re having a low day, listening to their concerns and offering small comforts like a round of hot toast. I have a real love for dogs and am always happy when our guests bring their dog to stay.
head of maintenance
I’m Mark and I’m in charge of caring for the Hay Farm site, ensuring that it operates smoothly on a daily basis. Basically, I’m really good at fixing things!
On a typical day I could be attending to a drainage issue, painting and decorating, carrying out some carpentry or building a wall. I am always available to provide solutions to our guests’ issues, helping with things as small as a forgotten phone charger but I find that these little things can make a big difference to our guests’ stay.
I am known for having a real fascination with the goldfish in the pond. At two o’clock each afternoon, you’ll find me feeding them! This is a beautiful environment to work in and I take great pride in making it look even better than it already naturally is.
DEPUTY MANAGER & SENIOR THERAPIST
I’m responsible for the day-to-day running of our London clinic and overseeing the therapeutic programme. I also work with our clients on a 1:1 basis and facilitate group sessions. As someone in recovery, this has undoubtedly inspired my passion for helping people who have issues with addiction. I am naturally drawn to our clients who have co-occurring conditions, such as Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD); because of this I am keen to explore Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), which can help treat personality disorders and interpersonal conflicts.
I enjoy working in the rehab environment where everyday is different, engaging with a diverse range of clients and colleagues. At PROMIS, we recognise how the problems our clients face are individual and we work alongside them, helping them to build a personal, solid foundation which will give them the best chance of achieving their goals when they leave the clinic.
Working at PROMIS is extremely rewarding, providing me with a fantastic opportunity to learn and develop my own skills and personal growth.
My vocation as a therapist started back in Mexico when I studied for a Masters in Psychology, looking specifically at the effect of substance abuse on families. Having experienced a close relative struggling with addiction, I understand how difficult it is and therefore have a strong interest in helping members of a family understand each other better, change negative behaviours and resolve conflicts. As well as communicating via phone call to close relatives, I also hold conjoint sessions, bringing relatives together, ideally face-to-face, and working to improve the dynamics between them which, recently, have not been working.
Over the years, the clinic has also established group therapy sessions which offer multiple families the opportunity to come together, share experiences and discuss topics which are perhaps taboo. I feel that supporting families as a whole is something which PROMIS does really well.
I love working within the stimulating and international environment here at Kendrick Mews and enjoy exploring the art, food and nature within the city of London.
Canadian-born, I gained a BA in Psychology and a qualification in Addiction Counselling at home in Toronto and spent time working at a residential treatment facility. Moving to London, I achieved an MA in Psychodynamic Counselling and Psychotherapy at Goldsmiths, University of London.
In terms of therapy, trauma is a particular interest of mine and, from time to time, I incorporate a psychodynamic therapeutic approach to some of my sessions, looking at a client’s history and how it has come to affect their present. However, it’s important for me to meet clients where they’re at, and only lead them back into their past when they’re ready to do so.
My role here at Kendrick Mews is not only to provide therapy but spend valuable time with each client during the early days of their recovery, often taking them on little adventures around London, perhaps to a museum or gallery. It’s important to build close and trusting relationships with all the individuals I work with.
I enjoy working hard here at Kendrick Mews and look forward to my trips back to Canada to see my family.
My vocation as a therapist has been influenced by my own experience with addiction, specifically an eating disorder, and has led me to study a Masters in Addiction Psychology & Counselling at London Southbank University.
The integrative approach at PROMIS clinics, and the way we choose techniques from different modalities to best suit our client’s specific needs, really appealed to me. The opportunity for further learning and career progression is also exciting and I am particularly interested in specialising in the treatment of eating disorders as well as childhood trauma, something which I have great empathy for. I find the environment here to be warm and non-judgemental.
When I’m not working, I enjoy activities which take me out of my comfort zone, such as ecstatic dance. I find this is a good way to connect with my emotions through the body, incorporating spirituality with movement.
Influenced by my own personal experiences with addiction and recovery, I moved from the advertising industry six years ago to an entirely new career as a therapist. I am particularly interested in how addiction relates to creativity and creative people, something I can readily relate to and empathise with. Harnessing creativity often necessitates going deep, looking inwards, allowing oneself to be vulnerable, which in turn can lead to deep feelings coming to the surface. When these are dysregulated, or when they trigger long-held traumas, they can lead to addictive behaviour.
Whilst I have pursued this career as a therapist relatively late in life, it’s this life experience which enables me to meet its multiple and fulfilling challenges.
Whilst there are certain characteristics which are common to people with addiction issues, every individual I meet at the clinic is different and has their own unique story and struggles. I see the recovery process as a rich and stimulating collaboration between therapist and client – characterised by deep compassion, empathy and, yes, humour.
Outside of work, it’s fair to say that I’m “obsessed” with popular culture. London is an amazing place in which to experience music, theatre, movies, dance, art and literature and my therapy is very much influenced by my experience and immersion in this. I’m also passionate about continuous ongoing exploration into new developments in psychotherapy, meditation and techniques of self-discovery to help find new and effective paths to recovery.
My commitment to becoming a therapist was largely inspired by my own successful recovery and this led me to pursue a trainee therapist role here at Kendrick Mews whilst studying for my professional qualification in counselling.
My role here involves facilitating therapeutic groups, engaging with clients on 1-1 basis and supervising the recreational activities around London which are intended to promote health and wellbeing. We are so privileged to be based in the heart of the city and have world-famous attractions on our doorstep such as the Natural History Museum, Kensington Gardens and Palace. I enjoy giving clients the opportunity to take a break from intensive therapy and explore London with their peers.
My introduction to PROMIS was actually as a client. It is where I started my own recovery. This first-hand experience means I can really emphasise with our clients. I understand the nature of substance and alcohol misuse and the challenges of addiction. My primary goal is to ensure our clients feel comfortable and safe in our clinic so they can fully engage in our treatment programme and build a strong foundation for a successful recovery.
I trained to be a nurse in my home country of Slovakia before relocating to the UK 17 years ago. In the early years of living in London, I worked a range of jobs in the background, focussing on my nursing degree. You could say I came from zero to here!
I worked in the NHS before moving to PROMIS and really enjoy the international element of the clinic in
London, with many of our staff and clients having joined us from places afar. The part I play in caring for the health of our guests is interesting, challenging and rewarding. Every day is different! I believe it’s important to remain upbeat and positive to try and brighten our guest’s day wherever possible. It is a busy role, and I have been told that I never sit still.
In my free time, I love to travel, and I’ve recently taken up surfing – albeit very badly. I find it a wonderful
Currently in my third year as a registered nurse, I came to Kendrick Mews certain that it would be an interesting place to work, very different to the NHS wards and community roles I’ve experienced. Here, I’m able to get to know our clients on a deeper level compared to my previous roles which I find very rewarding.
As the first point of contact for clients arriving at Kendrick Mews, it’s important that I make them feel comfortable whilst I assess their immediate clinical needs, especially important for clients who are beginning a detox programme. I will do everything I can to ensure they have a successful experience here and reach a point where they can safely transition back into their lives.
I’ve lived in London all my life, gaining my MAs in Medical Humanities and a degree in Adult Nursing at West London University. On my days off, I enjoy going for brunch in the city with friends. I look forward to warm holidays, in particular Dubai, which is my favourite destination.
Having relocated to the UK from Hungary, I was pleased to join the multicultural team at Kendrick Mews, working with professionals and clients from different countries and backgrounds. The private and calm location of the clinic is a lovely place to come to work and I enjoy the responsibility of making every room spotless and comfortable, creating an environment in which people can relax and feel safe within. I originally trained as a florist and am able to put my creative skills to good use, brightening the place up with colourful flower arrangements.
My 25-year career as a chef has taken me around the world. I started out in Paris studying International Cuisine before going on to live and work in Vienna, Austria and Kiev, Ukraine. After that, I moved to New York and worked at the Rainforest Cafe. When the company opened a restaurant in London, I relocated once again for the role of Executive Head Chef. During my time in the capital, I have also studied Hotel and Catering Management & Cooking at Westminster College and was very privileged to work in the city during the exciting event of the 2012 Olympics.
When I came to PROMIS in 2014, I saw a wonderful opportunity to apply my knowledge of nutrition to create balanced meals which are associated with improved mental health. We avoid white flour and sugar, steering our guests towards healthier options such as gluten-free/brown rice and pasta. I’m proud to say that we source our ingredients daily and avoid freezing our food to ensure everything is as fresh as possible.
Aside from doing what I love, another rewarding aspect of the role at the clinic is the chance to form connections with our guests and develop an understanding of their situation.