joyce-feb-14-smallerJoy Mandel

A New Yorker living in the UK

My work is to help individuals and couples take a fresh look at their relationships and to offer strategies to help them cut through the blocks that are getting in the way of satisfying, loving connections.  We often put blocks up because we understandably want to feel ‘safe’, but this can become a painful trap, keeping you stuck and feeling isolated and alone.  I aim to create a safe place where you can be seen and heard without judgement.  I work in an LGBTQ affirmative way and my practice is open to all lifestyle choices and sexual orientations.

A quote which resonates the work I do, is the following by Dr. David Hawkins: “Love is misunderstood to be an emotion; actually, it is a state of awareness, a way of being in the world, a way of seeing oneself and others.”

Style of Working

I use an integrative approach drawing on training in systemic, humanistic, ACT (Acceptance & Commitment Therapy), Mindfulness, and EFCT (Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy).

I have a special interest in adult attachment issues, and often call on the techniques of Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) in my couple work, based on the pioneering work of Dr. Sue Johnson in Canada, with whom I’ve had the privilege to have trained with.

While using words to communicate is the cornerstone of therapy, with some clients I also like to turn to other methods, such as the use of creative techniques including images, drawing and buttons, for example, to help them to go ‘beneath’ the words and access the bigger picture for themselves.   I also find that a well developed sense of humour is an important resource in this work!

Psychosexual therapy

Psychosexual therapy is the process of addressing both sexual and relationship issues on either an individual or couple basis. I have experience in dealing with issues including erectile dysfunction, ejaculatory control, loss of desire, mis-matched desire in couples, vaginismus, inability to achieve an orgasm, painful sex, addiction or obsession with sexual stimuli, a history of sexual abuse, or negative childhood images about sex.

This is always a ‘talking therapy’. No undressing or sexual touching is ever considered appropriate in the therapy room. Behavioural tasks involving any sensual/sexual activity, when suggested, are done as ‘homework’ in privacy.

Talking about sex can be embarrassing and awkward for many people,  but I hope that my open, friendly and gentle approach will help you to feel more comfortable with intimate discussions.  A sex therapy program is tailored to each individual’s needs, but typically involves a combination of detailed history taking, along with behavioural tasks, exercises and ‘experiments’ to learn ways to overcome blocks and couple incompatibilities, and to be more in touch with your senses and your body.

Training & qualifications

I have been specifically trained in the field of human relationships and sexuality and am experienced in working with both couples and individuals to sensitively explore difficult issues in these areas. I use an integrative approach drawing on training in systemic, humanistic, CBT, NLP, Imago Relationship Therapy (IRT) and EFT (Emotionally Focused Therapy).

I grew up in Brooklyn, New York, and have lived in the UK since 1985. I earned an M. ED from Florida Atlantic University, and in the UK, I trained at the Relate Institute at the University of East London, to become a Relate-UK certified practitioner.I took further training in Psychosexual & Relationship therapy at Regents College, London, earning the London Diploma in Psychosexual and Relationship Counselling. I then went on to compete a 4 day training at the Tavistock Institute in London with Dr. Sue Johnson to further my skills in the practice of Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy, and to become a qualified member of the International Centre for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy (ICEEFT).  In addition to my private practice, I worked for many years at Relate West Kent as one of their experienced and fully accredited counsellors.

  • Fully Accredited Member,  College of Sexual and Relationship Therapists (COSRT, ACCRED)
  • Professional Member,  British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP)
  • Professional Member,  Association for Independent Practitioners (AIP)
  • Professional Member, International Centre for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy (ICEEFT)