About Us

We are a community counselling service, based in Gravesend, Kent, offering counselling to individuals and couples. All our counsellors hold professional qualifications and are registered with national accrediting bodies, such as the BACP or ACC.

Something that makes us different to many other counselling services is that all our counsellors are Christians who have experience of working with issues relating to spirituality.

Our counselling service is not just for Christians. Counselling is open to all – church members, those from other churches, people of other faiths and those with no faith. We are motivated by our faith to provide a professional, ethical service to the whole community.




Our Counsellors

Kate Mendez

Head of Counselling
MBACP (Reg), MSc Therapeutic counselling, BA (hons).

As an integrative therapist, I incorporate various counselling models and techniques when working with clients, responding to individual needs and personal circumstances. My aim is to connect with every client in a non judgemental and accepting way.

I believe we are all created for relationship and am privileged to experience the healing potential of human relationships in the counselling room. I love seeing people encounter freedom from behaviours and thoughts that have limited their becoming who they truly are. Some of the approaches I find particularly helpful are mindfulness, ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy), creative counselling, and Transactional Analysis.

Before training as a counsellor, I worked in international aid and mission work and human rights advocacy. I have lived and worked overseas and so I enjoy working with those who are dealing with cross cultural issues. I also have a particular interest in supporting people with autism and their families/carers. In my spare time I have three children who keep me busy and I enjoy being outdoors walking, gardening or riding my bike.

In addition to my work at Eastgate I have worked in a university student counselling service, as a counsellor for a specialist autism charity and for the charity Mind. I also have a private practice.

Lesley O’Connor

Counsellor for individuals and couples.
MBCAP Level 4 Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling.

I am an integrative counsellor working alongside clients in areas such as stress, anxiety, relationship issues, and changes in life circumstances, bereavement, eating disorders and couples counselling.

I provide a safe, non judgmental space for clients to be heard where they can explore overwhelming feelings, thoughts and unhelpful behaviours. To enable personal growth in awareness and resilience, while supporting them emotionally in their choices to make changes that will help develop increased life skills and more helpful behaviours.

I was initially introduced to counselling when I took over a LighterLife franchise, supporting clients with weight management issues. I was trained to facilitate group work using counselling tools and I realised the clients changed more as they grew in understanding and awareness, and developed better self worth, than just by losing the weight.

I addition to working at Eastgate, I have been a volunteer counsellor at a counselling service in Essex for nearly five years. I also have a private practice. I am a member of Deep Release which focuses on creative counselling methods and I am also a member of the Association of Christian Counsellors.

Mei Choate

PhD, MACC-Accred, MBACP, Dip Couns.

I have lived and worked in the multi-cultural Far East before coming to the UK, rubbing shoulders with people from diverse cultures and social backgrounds. I’ve faced poverty, loneliness, anxiety, and depression – and can relate with clients going through similar transitions. The good news is that it is possible to overcome these hurdles and get to that better place where you can find yourself and live out of the values you hold dear.

In counselling I work within an integrative (holistic) framework – using what is most relevant to your unique needs, such as CBT, Psychodynamic, Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, and techniques specific for resolving trauma. The seeds of our present distress are often sown in the past, and this may be taken into account, if relevant. I am also trained in Christian ministry, yet happy to counsel people of all faiths or none.

I have helped clients with anxiety, depression, bereavement / loss, panic attacks, OCD, assertiveness, relationship difficulties, cultural transitions, trauma and PTSD.

I am an accredited counsellor with the ACC, and registered with the BACP. My counselling experience includes over 2 years working within the NHS and a hospice.

Tracy Jarvis

Counsellor for Individuals and Couples,
Level 6 BA (Hons) Counselling,
ACC Registered Counsellor Member,

I am an integrative counsellor which means that I use a variety of counselling models dependent on the needs of the individual client.

I trained at Waverley Abbey College which is part of the CWR organisation. The syllabus is grounded in the Christian faith and in addition to secular counselling training provides specific training for helping people with faith and spiritual issues. I believe that all people, those with a faith and those who do not profess a faith have a spiritual life; something that gives their life meaning and purpose. I love to work with people of all faiths and no faith to help them find their meaning and purpose in life and to live it out.

I have experience in working with carers, people with life limiting conditions and people experiencing complex bereavement. I also have a specific interest in working with trauma and workplace stress. I worked in the Public Sector for 30 years before training as a counsellor. As well as talking therapy I often use creative ways to help people express difficult emotions.

I have worked at a hospice and as well as working in the Transformation Centre I run a private practice at home with the help of my dog who often sits with clients during sessions.

Shannon Parish

Counsellor in training,
Studying for a BA in Counselling,

BACP Student Registered counsellor member.

rI work in an integrative manner, using different counselling models to meet different needs. My core way of working is a ‘person centred’ approach, providing a space for clients to engage with the session in their own way. I endeavour to enable clients to feel empowered and support personal and spiritual growth.

I am currently studying for a BA in Counselling at Waverley Abbey College, a 4 year course which covers a breadth of topics in counselling both from a secular and Christian standpoint. I am excited to see how I develop as my training progresses and look forward to working with those who have a faith as well as those who do not. I work in an inclusive way, believing that everybody has core longings for purpose, meaning and security. My particular areas of interest are trauma and animal assisted therapy.

Prior to this I have worked in a variety of settings, most significantly in supporting disabled children. I had the opportunity to work in South Africa for just over a year with children affected by cerebral palsy with a charity called Project Trust. I have also worked in a school for children with autism as a 1:1 support worker. I hope to bring the care, compassion and authenticity I learnt from these to my role as a counsellor.

Kate Seager

Counsellor for individuals,
Level 4 Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling.

My aim as a counsellor is always to build a trusting relationship with clients and offer support as they explore where life may have taken them. I find that time and space are keys in offering opportunity for clients to focus, recognise and be open about what they are feeling which can result in people taking sometimes difficult but very meaningful steps in their chosen direction. Providing a safe and confidential space is paramount and my hope is that this contributes to those I work with growing in self-awareness and stepping closer to the goals they set for themselves.

In addition to my work as a counsellor, I am employed by the NHS in the context of maternity and perinatal mental health and my experience in this area lies in working alongside women with complex and enduring mental health issues. I am continually learning how best to support and work with those who require specific care for their emotional well-being during this time. I am currently training to become a Birth Trauma Resolution Practitioner where I will support women and families who have experienced birth trauma to move through this and empower them to better achieve goals and relationships which would otherwise have been impacted by their experiences. I continue to feel extremely privileged to support women and their families in this way.

Some clients benefit from working creatively, and I am open to using tools to support clients in this. This includes working with stones, word cards, buttons and varying art forms as well as through thought provoking worksheets.

In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my 4 children and my family and am always keen for a good book and a long walk.

Alison (Ali) Nicholson

BACP student member,
Counselling student studying for a postgraduate diploma in integrative counselling.
Through training to be an integrative counsellor I have learned about all the major counselling theories. I mainly work in a person-centred way and through this approach I look to work with you in a non-judgmental manner as we explore together problems or situations that you might be struggling with.

I also draw from attachment theory which focuses on how early relationships impact how we learn to relate to people throughout life – how sometimes we can get stuck in patterns without knowing why.

I am really interested in human relationships and specifically how we can heal from past hurts. I look to build hope for future and current relationships through finding acceptance in another person and acceptance of ourselves.

Alongside my counselling studies, I enjoy spending time with my 4 children and being as active as possible.

Christine Morrice

I have recently joined the Eastgate Counselling team to help with the administration in a voluntary capacity – managing the mailbox and keeping our database updated. After many years as a teacher I came to realise that I was probably born to organise! I am employed by Eastgate part-time to manage room bookings among other varied tasks as is the nature of a church office, and also volunteer on the Stewarding & Welcome team. Outside of work I enjoy needlecrafts, floristry and spending time with my 2 grandchildren. I am looking forward to supporting our amazing counsellors to do what they do best in the months ahead.