Meet the team

Meet the team

Agnes Sullivan D. Mng LCSW MSc. HCPC Registered

Certified Advanced Individual & Group Schema Therapist, Supervisor & Trainer, ICEEFT Certified EFT Couples Therapist


Agnes Sullivan is the Founding Principal of the Counselling Pastoral Trust (CPT). She began working for the NHS more than 30 years ago. She was awarded a Master of Science in Counselling and Psychotherapy from the University of Surrey in 1995, and a Master of Clinical Social Work in 2001 from Fordham University in New York, she holds a clinical license to practice as an LCSW in New York, New Jersey and Georgia.


Agnes developed the Life Skills – ‘Learning to Live, Learning to Love’ curriculum in the UK, a programme that has been delivered to thousands of families to increase resilience and reduce breakdown.  Fuelled by a deep desire to demonstrate the humanity of Jesus, Agnes participated in a national steering group that founded the Association of Christian Counsellors.  An author on two policy documents addressing domestic violence and addiction across four London Boroughs, Agnes’s aim has been to bridge the training gap between faith organisations and evidence-based psychotherapy. The Counselling Pastoral Trust provides training at introductory, intermediate and advanced levels to lay ministers and clergy in the Church of England as well as other denominations.


As a counselling psychologist, supervisor and trainer accredited by the International Centre of Excellence in Emotion Focused Therapy (ICEEFT), the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), Agnes trained with Dr Jeffrey Young on the International Certification programme in Schema Therapy. She founded The Schema Therapy Institute in London. She is a member of the International Society for Schema Therapy (ISST)’s Quality assurance, Training and Supervision standards committee and Brainstorming Group. Agnes dedicates almost a third of her time and energy presently in training, supervising and guiding clinicians, to monitor patient outcomes and clinical competency to promote the access to this highly effective form of treatment across different communities in the UK. Agnes is also an Ambassador for the Global University for Lifelong Learning (G.U.L.L.).


Continuing in her pioneering approach to family work, Agnes also has taken a large role in introducing an attachment-based approach to couples, family and group therapy to the UK – and is one of only 4 certified emotion-focused couples therapists working and training others in the UK (certified by the International Society for Emotion Focused Couples Therapy (ICEEFT)).


For more about EFT and couples work, please visit

Rachel Chandler PhD LMSW 

Member of the International Society of Schema Therapy


Rachel is a licensed social worker and therapist. Before obtaining her Masters in Social Work, in the United States (US), Rachel completed doctoral thesis at Kings College London, and post-doctoral fellowship at University College London in pharmacology in the area of chronic pain. She has co-authored over 25 research papers.


Rachel is a long term and full time volunteer at the Counselling Pastoral Trust, working since its inception in 1993 to support programme development, training, research, business and charitable budgeting/planning, as well as client work. Rachel trained in psychotherapy in the UK and US gaining qualifications in integrated Approaches to Counselling and Psychotherapy working in both hospital inpatient and community settings.


She undertook group trainings at the Westminster Pastoral Foundation, and Schema Therapy Institute, in Copenhagen and Individual and Child / Adolescent Schema Therapy training in London. She is a member of the International Society for Schema Therapy (ISST). Her role at CPT is divided equally between CPT’s counselling and training activities, in group and individual therapy as well as in programme development.


Rachel is motivated by the impact of Schema Therapy and its effectiveness in helping to bring change for individuals and families who have suffered from breakdown or trauma or whose lives are disrupted by addiction or chronic depression and anxiety.

Lissa Shortt

Member of the International Society of Schema Therapy


Lissa was appointed Centre Director in 2005, and is a women’s group leader.  Lissa was responsible for the Trust’s move from its previous site to Fulham Palace in 2004, and with Agnes Sullivan and other members of the Team, CPT’s expansion to the City in 2014, and the move to Covent Garden where they were previously located before now being in Putney.  Lissa is also member of the fundraising and PR teams.


Lissa’s first degree was in Theology.  She was an active member of the The Family Action Group of the Order of Christian Unity, which wrote and published ‘Torn Lives?’ in 1979.   A first child-centred approach to divorce, the study was summed up by The Lord Home KT in his Foreword,  ‘the effects of divorce and unhappy marriages vary’ … but … ‘the child’s reaction is to put on a kind of defensive shell which takes a ‘rough and anti-social form’ and ‘an almost inevitable consequence is an ‘inborn cynicism about the possibility of success in marriage’’.   It has been her concern for individuals and families suffering emotional pain and neglect which has continued to be the driving force in her life ever since.


Her determination to understand the interface between faith and psychology in the processing of suffering, together with her own life-difficulties, drove her on from a PGCE and teaching, to want to help people recover from abuse, neglect and difficulties in relating.  An autobiographical book, Beyond Myself, was published in 1986, in which Lissa tells her personal experience of the pain of losing two babies.


Lissa gained her Diploma in Counselling & Psychotherapy from Roehampton University, studied for a year at the Institute of Group Analysis and holds a Diploma in Supervision from the Westminster Pastoral Foundation (WPF), and a Masters in ‘Reflection and Action Learning/Organisational Planning’ from the Global University of Lifelong Learning (GULL).

Julian ChurcherJulian Churcher 

Member of the International Society of Schema Therapy 



Julian qualified as a GP and worked as an educator for fellow GP’s. He gained a Diploma in Therapeutic Practice in 2017 and began professional training for individual practice using Schema Therapy.

Cathy Vasey

Cathy Vasey

Member of the International Society of Schema Therapy


Cathy began her career as an Educational Psychologist in both the state and private sectors. She received BSc Psychology and MSc Educational Psychology from University College London and PGCE from The Froebel Institute, Roehampton.


Her interest (passion) & fascination for recognising and providing for childrens’ needs within the learning environment together with personal experience of the challenges & impact of mental health issues within the family lead naturally to further training in psychotherapy – specifically Schema Therapy with its developmental approach rooted in Attachment theory as a basis of emotional health.


Cathy completed her Higher Diploma in Counselling at Gilead School of Counselling, is a trainee Schema Therapist and is embarking on Emotionally Focussed Couple Therapy training.


She works with individuals, groups and co – leads the Learning to Live, Learning to Love programme Women’s group.

Jansel Hews




Jansel is an Accredited member of the BACP. She began her career as a nurse. She has since retrained in group and individual counselling at Westminster Pastoral Foundation and Roehampton University. Jansel works at the Schema Institute as a group facilitator and individual counsellor.

Mike Exton


Mike is an architect now working part-time and today specialises mainly in the development of new and refurbished residential properties working often within clients tight budget restraints.


Mike also trained as a therapist and now co-leads addiction groups and is currently a trainee schema group facilitator.